Monday, 2 April 2012

Cloud Pruning Box Project

Last year I saw an episode of 'Love your garden' on ITV. It featured a formal garden with a box pruned to a lovely wild lollipop like shape. Now I'm not usually a fan of topiary but the playfulness and bonsai like quality you get through pruning this way attracted me to it. This clip is from that episode and shows of that box and how you can make one yourself (the part with the cloud pruning starts at about 2:10.

Not long after seeing this video I went of to the garden centre and bought a smallish box shrub. It was not pruned yet into any shape and I chose it by looking at the stems in the middle and whether there were a couple of strong ones there. At home I started pruning, hard. leaving only little tufts of growth at the top of the stems and eliminating a good amount of stems completely. It had a bit of a shock turning the edges of the leaves yellowish but soon after started growing. For this year I have put it in a larger pot filled with lovely nutricious soil, hopefully stimulating the box to put on a big flush of growth this year. The shape of the stems on this shrub is rather upright. So today I wired some of the more pliable stems to bend more to the outside into a cup like shape. I am not yet sure what sort of shape I want it to be in the end but moving some branches away from the centre seemed like a good idea. I am also starting again with nipping of the buds from the stems since we want to keep them bare. It will be a couple of years yet till it resembles anything like the box from the clip. This year I will only roughly be pruning the tufts into globular shapes starting somewhere in May.

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