Saturday, 13 March 2021

Smiling Box Face - Update.

 A while ago, I wrote about creating a new piece of Box topiary, from a very ragged Box ball.

The Box plant in question had become very overgrown:

That's it, on the left, behind the Acer, whose branches appear to be being eaten by it.

Worse, it was so huge that people - and the wheelbarrow - could barely squeeze in between it, and the water butt.

This was very annoying for everyone, so my first job was to reduce it in size.

This is always a scary job, because you have to really hack into them, back into bare stems. It's always advisable to make sure the Client knows what you are about to do, and to reassure them that it will green up again!

Luckily, my Client trusts me, so this was the first stage - and now we are looking at it from the other side.

I did this - right - in June, and within a month, it had greened up quite nicely, although it took another year before it was a solid green ball again.

To be perfectly  honest with you, I rather forgot about it for a year or two, because now that it was no longer in the way... I just didn't particularly notice it!

But then last year, I looked at it again, and decided to do something interesting with it.

This particular garden has a swimming pool, and in summer there is a constant stream of young visitors coming to use the pool, and they enter the garden along the side passageway.

So they see this Box ball, on their way in.

Aha! I thought to myself. I'll do something amusing, to make the kids laugh.

So I re-cut it into a happy smiley face:

This - left - is what it looked like on the day I first clipped it, which was in March of last year.

Oh, and see that water butt on the right? The gap is now wide enough for the wheelbarrow, whereas before I started this project, the box was projecting well over the edge of the grass.

So you can see that I had to reduce it quite substantially, before I re-shaped it. 

And there it is, a happy smiley face.

Not bad, eh?

I left it to re-grow, and by mid-summer it was looking quite fluffy.

The problem, if you can call it that, with topiary is that you do have to keep on at it - you can't just cut it once, and that's it. You have to continually revisit it, with a little bit of secateur attention from time to time, and a full re-clip, usually twice a year.

Here we are in September of last year: just a couple of months after first clipping it, and now it's really starting to look quite well-defined.

Of course, 2020 was the year of Covid-19, so there weren't actually any visitors to the pool... which is a bit of shame, but at least it gave me time to develop this piece of topiary!

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