The Rule Book says that box balls should be cut on Derby Day, which, to those of us who don’t follow horse racing, is the first weekend in June or thereabouts. I say rules are there to be broken and that box balls should be trimmed when you can’t stand their shagginess any more! Living in the south west of the country, where it is a little warmer and a lot wetter than other parts of the British Isles, I couldn’t stand it any longer three weeks ago and everything got a haircut.
Starting with the Lonicera pileata hedge under the kitchen window, you have to admit it is very shaggy!
That’s a lot better, don’t you think?!
Just beyond the hedge is a shrub of another Lonicera, this time nitida Baggesens Gold, definitely in need of a haircut! This was a very blobby shape but for the last couple of years we have been trying to cut it into a cone shape.
I think we’re almost there.
They don’t look very shaggy but there isn’t really enough room to get the wheelbarrow down the path. These balls are by the rose garden in the front between the house and garage.
Room to get through now.
All the other box balls in the rose garden have been clipped, looking a lot better before they vanish under all the roses.
At the top of the steps opposite the back door are two more balls, one on either side of the steps. I think I forgot to clip them last year, so there is quite a lot to come off this time, not just a trim.
Looking a lot better now, the two box bushes here are a variegated variety.
I have tried to look this one up in the book the RHS Plantfinder and there are so many different varieties of Box, it is very confusing, but this is a golden form. When clipped you cut back into green leaves, but after a few weeks, they turn yellow again. This one is at the pointed end of the bed under the dead oak, the bed is crescent shaped.
It was supposed to be a half sphere at the bottom, with a ball on top, but I think it looks more like a chinese ginger jar! Well, at least it is neat and tidy!
All these bushes and the hedge were cut with an old sheet on the ground to catch the clippings, which could then just be lifted and taken to the compost bin – no tidying up to do!