Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Practical gardening skills: clipping box topiary

I've been neglecting the blog somewhat, *guilty face* as I have been working super-hard for the last couple of months: not only making hay while the sun has shone, shone, shone, but presenting my usual FSC training courses, including - for the first time - a one-day workshop on the extremely challenging topic of How To Use A Botanical Key.

Not an easy course to run!

I've also been working really hard on Garden School, which is my big project for passing on practical gardening skills. We've been clipping box topiary hedges like mad things:

Here's the Big Knot, half done. Can you see where we've been? *laughs*

Have you ever wanted to have a go at something like this?

Have you ever wandered round all those stately homes, wondering how they get such nice neat edges on their hedges, or how long it takes to clip them? Ever wondered what happens if they slip, and chop off the wrong bit?

Come along to Garden School and find out for yourself!

It's not often that individuals will get a chance to have a go at full-size, mature topiary, but take it from me, it's not rocket science, and almost anyone can do it.

Each session starts with tools (cleaning, maintenance), an explanation of how the plant grows and how we use this knowledge to create the shapes we want: then a demonstration of how to clip, and then you get a chance to do it yourself, including the aftercare of the plants, and how to avoid pesky things like box blight.

The Big Knot is now finished, but of course we'll be doing it all over again in mid September, so if you want to book a place, contact me now for details.

In the meantime, I have a few places left on a very specialist Topiary course: renovation of neglected box hedging. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a chance to see how to restore topiary. There will also be some Box Ball Clipping, which is always fun.

To book a place, or to learn more, contact me at

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