This week is my week to trim all the box bushes in our garden, the cloud prune hedge and the more regular shaped specimens used as the cones and balls to mark entries and exits to different sections of the garden.
My preferred tool for the job is a pair of “sheep shearers”, the traditional topiarist’s favourite. They are not very kind though to arthritic joints in your hand so I need frequent stops. But what I do appreciate about these shears is that I find they help get a rhythym going which is essential if my creations are going to end up with satisfying curves. I prefer not to use any lines or formers to get accurate shapes. It is hard to explain but I just follow my instincts and react to the plants. I listen to what they tell me and let them guide my hand and eye. This does mean that the cloud hedge in particular looks slightly different every year.
In this first series of photos we can see the box right at the beginning of their haircuts.
When time comes for a break, to rest my hands and eyes I retreat to the summerhouse for a coffee, and watch Jude, the Undergardener clearing the pool in her leaky waders!
So now for a look at the finished product.