At A Glance: Pruning The Boxwood

Mindy from M and M Flowers sends a crew every year in late June to prune the boxwood garden in front of the shop.  Pruning day is a really big deal; I make sure the spring growth is totally flushed out before I ask her to prune. This is a big job that takes a lot of planning and thought.  If you prune your boxwood too early, you may be faced with the prospect of pruning it again.    

I like the spring flush of boxwood growth to be done, and hardening off-prior to the music of the shears.  I so have patience for this part of my landscape maintenance. Once a year-the pruning of the boxwood. The boxwood cue me-I do not cue them.  The steel poles driven into the ground, and the carefully drawn level lines are a sure sign of a formal pruning event to come. 

Mindy’s crew prunes my boxwood with hand shears.  Corona is by no means a designer tool company.  They make reasonally priced and well engineered tools.  My point here?  Pruning boxwood is not about a tool.  It is about an experienced eye, and a willing and patient pair of hands.  Gorgeous pruning has everything to do with that individual who is willing to clip clip clip-with a sharp tool, for hours on end.

Techny arborvitae grow so so slow-it should have been named  Arborvitae The Snail. My short pair of techny arborvitae hedges enclosing the shop property-every bit of 13 years old.  They are just now coming into their own.       

The face of those Technys need a snip snip here or there-or everywhere. They need a top swipe, level with the horizon.   A tool that makes pruning way up in the air possible-an aluminum tripod ladder.   

Three men pruned from 8:30 this Sunday morning, until 3:30 this Sunday afternoon.  This means 7 hours, for each of three people.  My boxwood, pruned properly, takes 21 hours.     

As the pruning of the boxwood begins to take shape-I am so pleased.   


The boxwood in the front of the shop suffered terribly, given several winters with incredibly heavy snow loads.  We are on year two of a treatment for a rare fungal infection  from hell. The boxwood are being trimmed a shade looser this year.  Every move in a landscape asks for some thought.  Some spot on, current and relevant thought can make for a great garden.


By the end of the day today, I breathed a big breath.  The landscape at the shop looks beautiful to me.

Comments

  1. My boxwoods are so tiny – I have a long wait ahead of me – but something to look forward to!

    • Deborah Silver says:

      Dear Zoya, small plants take hold fast, and grow fast, if they are happy-but you are right. My boxwoods grow 6 inches a year, at best. Deborah

  2. Love the curly aspect of the foliage of the Technys. Happy on the eyes!

  3. You really have the most beautiful formal beds. Boxwood does take a long time to shape and patience is the key as you noted. I usually have the crew do mine, but this year I let them grow out a bit and did my own snipping. And it was snipping with a light touch. I swear I heard them thanking me.

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