Woolly Aphid on Box

Between Spring and Early Summer little white, fluffy looking dots may start appearing on box hedging and topiary. These are woolly aphids, a small sap sucking insect feeding on the soft stems of box. Woolly aphids are actually black aphids who cover themselves in white, waxy secretions for protection. Infestations are rarely bad enough to cause any lasting damage to the box so rather than using chemicals, I prefer to brush the aphids off with a stiff brush. Another way to control woolly aphids is to encourage their natural predators into the garden. Ladybirds, lacewings and hoverfly larvae are excellent…

Trimming on Top of a Water Rill

I’m often faced with many challenges when trimming but this is the first time I’ve had to work with a water rill. It’s part of a stunning design that I’ve really enjoyed trimming and shaping over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully the water rill is easily drained to enable essential maintenance work. I also use boards to cover the empty water channel. A wise idea because I can become very focused on my trimming and don’t want to risk breaking a leg by stepping backwards into a rill. The trimmed box leaves are easily sucked up directly from the…

Improve the Health of Box Topiary and Hedging with Regular Mulching

Spring is the perfect time to mulch underneath box hedging and topiary. Mulching is an excellent way to improve the health of box and encourage thicker, bushier growth. Buxus sempervirens has a very shallow, wide-spreading root system. Soil around the base of box will be disturbed and removed overtime by weeding, watering and Winter weather conditions. This may leave the root system exposed and at risk of drying out, which will affect the health of the box. A regular application of mulch every Spring is a good way to protect the roots and help retain moisture in the soil during…