Protect Boxwood Root Ball. Topiaries express a unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight. … Push the sprigs of boxwood into the ball starting at the ribbon and continuing all around the entire ball. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape. The ball shape is easiest to achieve with dense, upright evergreens, such as myrtle (Myrtus), English yew (Taxus baccata) and green mountain boxwood (Buxus sempervivens). Boxwood can fit into nearly any landscape plan. Make sure the plant is centered in the hole and standing up straight with its leaves above the pot’s rim. Feb 7, 2013 - Find out how to create a box ball from young box plants in just four simple steps, in this practical guide from BBC Gardeners' World Magazine. Leave the root ball intact. First, wrap decorative ribbon around the Styrofoam ball, twist it at the bottom, and come back up to the original point. The top of a ball-shaped bush needs to be domed in appearance. Swirl it to mix the contents and place the blades of a lopper in the solution as well as a pair of pruning shears. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Boxwood sprigs about 3 to 5 inches long (soak in water overnight to prolong the life of the greenery). Slow and steady wins the race here. Now comes the fun part. Attach each piece at the 3 and 9 o'clock areas on the circle and twist the wire. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Store your wire frame in a dry area such as a garage or garden shed to prevent rust and use again to maintain the size and shape of your bush. 3 … Boxwoods have a shallow root system that grows out from its root ball. Trimming the top of the box plant. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. HGTV Gardens provides inspiration on how to trim your boxwoods into different shapes as well as use them as dramatic punctuation in the garden. Spring also is the time to check for winter damage, which is easy to cut at the tips just above a healthy, green leaf. This is "How to shape dough into a loose and a tight ball" by Virtuous Bread on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Pot your cuttings up individually into 10cm pots, giving them a light initial trim with scissors so they grow bushy from the base. The sprigs should be placed as close together as possible to create a full shape and … Topiaries express a unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight. Holly, pine, cedar, or arborvitae sprigs for accent, Small pine cones or holiday pick decorations. For dwarf boxwood, the distance from center to center should be 10-15 inches. Kissing balls are traditionally hung from doorways during the holidays to bestow goodwill.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, Supplies needed to make a kissing ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. Choose a shrub to make into your topiary that already has a similar shape. Feb 20, 2017 - How to Make a Bush Shaped as a Ball With Trimming. While guiding the template around the boxwood, you will have the appropriate size for cutting the plant. ! Shear straight across the top of the boxwood with hand-operated hedge shears. This is similar to how you wrap a ribbon around a present. Never remove more than two-thirds of a branching system in a year. During that time, people used apples or potatoes as a base to create a ball-shaped decoration we now know as kissing balls. The kissing ball is now ready for hanging from a doorway or entrance. The spiral topiary shape is a progression from the cone shape. The sprigs should be even in length, about 3-5 inches, to create a consistently round shape when finished. The wire can be camouflaged by wrapping it with ribbon. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, How to Tell the Difference Between Goldenrod and Ragweed, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program. Prune your flowering shrubs to shape them after they've bloomed and before they set buds for the following year, so you don't inadvertently remove the buds and ruin next year's bloom. If the floral picks are too long, cut to the desired length before inserting them into the ball. 3. Select a reference point on the plant to work from. This in turn keeps the bush healthy and blooming. Plan to shape spring bloomers, such as rhododendron, azalea, and forsythia, in early to mid-summer. The decorations were hung in doorways to bestow goodwill and blessings to all who visited the home. Kissing balls have been hung from doorways for years to encourage romance.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. This way, the ball shape is achieved faster and the following year, it is already a small thick ball so that you only need to cut evenly. Cut back to a couple of leaves above where the current growth starts. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages. Once you’ve shaped out a dome at the top, work down the sides to the bottom where they come together at … 1 Straighten the two pieces downward to make two legs on each side of the circle. These evergreens have small leaves, and they grow slowly and densely which makes them a perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything. This system can quickly dry out if not watered adequately. You can train climbing greenery sprigs to cover topiary frames in many shapes. First, gently prune your new plants slightly as soon as you put them in the ground, so they will begin to grow in the shape and direction you like. The sprigs should be even in length, about 3-5 inches, to create a consistently round shape when finished. Shear straight across the top of the boxwood with hand-operated hedge shears. Potting up box cuttings. Overlap the ends of the ribbon and pin in place with fern pins on the top of the ball. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. Cut a piece of baling wire with wire cutters to the size plus 1/2 inch. After securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball. For complex topiary shapes, it’s easier to make the shape out of chicken wire and secure it over the box plant. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. Wrap the tip around to the length to form a circle in the approximate size to which you want to trim your bush or shrub. For example, if you are making your topiary into a cone, choose a boxwood that already has a pyramid shape. Step back a few paces, observe any pieces protruding from the ball shape, and snip them off on all sides of the shrub. Hold the circle next to your bush with the top where you want the top of the ball to be. Stand the pots outdoors or in a cold frame and keep the plants well fed and watered for maximum growth. Insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, The boxwood sprigs should be placed closely together where you can’t see any white on the ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, After completely covering the Styrofoam ball with boxwood cuttings, trim off any errant sprigs in order to make a uniform kissing ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, Secure the ribbon loop with multiple fern pins.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Wrap the Styrofoam ball with ribbon and pin in place with a fern pin.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, On the underside of the Styrofoam ball, pin the ribbon in place to keep it from slipping.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. Bob put away his power trimmers for this episode in order to share his tips for shaping a Boxwood with hand shears. Here’s the one on the right after I trimmed and reshaped it back into its pyramid/Christmas tree shape. By thinning a bush, you allow more air and sunlight to reach the interior. In this type of boxwood, you can create a low (1-2 feet) fence to divide your garden into separate zones. Getting easy access to all sides of the hedge plant is the key to spherical shrubbery success so using potted plants is … There are so many reasons to grow boxwood: It's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and long-lived. Kissing balls were hung from doorways and ceilings to encourage romance, and many young women would stand underneath them and hope for a kiss. The plant is easy to shape into a hedge, round ball or topiary. Pin the ribbon to the ball. During the 17th through the early 19th centuries, Puritans and other religious groups frowned upon the use of any holiday decoration. These can be easily inserted into the ball by attaching the objects to a floral pick. Form the wire into a circle with your hands and pliers. Boxwood, ivy, privet, and yew are the most popular shrubs to shape into topiary forms. Pruning boxwood is easy, even fun. After securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball. Whilst this may look complicated in actual fact, it is very simple. Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. It will be a great conversation piece for the holiday season. Press the legs into the ground with the circle on one side of the bush. Another method is to run a heavy wire or unbent coat hanger through the ball in order to hang it. Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. Boxwood Pruning Tips. Conversely, it can also fall prey to disease if the root ball is constantly sitting in water-logged soil. Here’s one more “Before” photo taken right after I added benches to the porch last summer. Make the twisted end the bottom of the circle. Take the boxwood trimmings and pull off the leaves on the bottom leaving 1/2 - 1 inch of stem to place into your ball. And their history is rich. Make a loop of ribbon as long as needed to hang the kissing ball. It may be necessary to use multiple pins in order to firmly secure the loop. Rotate the wire shape about 45 degrees and trim in that area of the bush. There are several elements to this shape that can be used on an individual basis – the single stem could be devoid of foliage thereby creating a ball on stem, the spiral could be a shape … Did you know that the tradition of making and hanging a kissing ball dates back to the early Middle Ages? Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Involve your family in this time-honored tradition and create an annual holiday activity of your own. Allow the tools to soak for five minutes to disinfect them and wipe them dry with a towel. You may omit this step if you completely cover the ball with the cuttings. Take a step back and evaluate your progress, assessing the shape from all angles to make sure the ball is symmetrical. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape. Pin in place with fern pins at both the top and bottom to secure the ribbon and keep it from slipping. Choose a simple shape if you are a beginner. Frame consist of two similar halfs - this will made You able to use this frame on bigger plants without waiting for plant to … You can create another loop at the top of the wire for hanging the kissing ball. Use the shears to round off the top and sides of the plants and then cut around the bottom so it tapers off towards the base. Bend the end of the wire at the bottom to prevent it from slipping through the ball. The sprigs should be placed as close together as possible to create a full shape and to prevent seeing any white from the Styrofoam ball. Bring the two loose ends of wire together and twist them tightly with pliers. Otherwise, just spruce up and shape as needed. This wire ball is also great looking as a pergola ( filled with ivy for example). A boxwood hedge trimmed into scallops--half circles--at the top would be a good choice. As soon as the growth pokes through the mesh of wires, clip into shape. Add 6 inches to the measurements and cut two pieces of wire in this size. Usually, you begin shaping the boxwood with a much smaller plant than the desired ball diameter for later on. Stretch a measuring tape on each side of the circle from the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position to the ground. Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. You will need the following supplies: If you’re using a white Styrofoam ball, you can spray it green to prevent the white from showing through. Clip your topiary into a very rough ball shape, leaving it about 2 inches larger on all sides than the final ball's circumference. You can train climbing greenery sprigs to cover topiary frames in many shapes. In the era of using artificial decorations for the holidays, why not revive an old tradition and make a boxwood kissing ball to hang in your home? Prune your plant each spring to ensure new, healthy growth. University of Florida IFAS Extension: Disinfecting Pruning Tools, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Pruning Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, University of California Tulare and Kings Master Gardeners: Landscape Trees and Shrubs, Colorado State University Extension: Pruning Flowering Shrubs. Not to mention, they don't require as much maintenance to keep their shape as other types. Bows, pine cones, berries, and contrasting foliage is secured with floral picks for additional decorative touches on the kissing ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University, Wrap the wire of the floral pick around the decorative object in order to firmly secure it to the pick.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson, Additional decorative touches add a festive air to the kissing ball.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. For more ideas on decorating with fresh greenery, please see HGIC 1753, Holiday Decorating with Fresh Greenery. The kissing ball may be decorated with ribbon, pine cones, berries, contrasting foliage, or other seasonal emblishments. Create a rough-cut shape with long-handled shears. Simply lower it down into the fresh potting soil. You can cut an existing bush into a ball shape, maintain it in size, and shape it when you make a round topiary frame from wire to use as a guide in pruning. Prune boxwood each year in spring; it is okay to touch up the plant's shape or straying branches throughout mid-summer. Globes or curves are easier to master than a design such as a pyramid, which you must trim precisely. Fortunately, Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria of England, revived the tradition of decorating with live greenery and Christmas trees for the holidays in 1840. To make ball topiary, trim your hedge into a rough ball shape first, and then take smaller cuts from all angles and keep checking the appearance to work into a round shape. Wrap the wire of the floral pick around the object to firmly secure it to the pick. Jun 3, 2014 - How to shear a Boxwood shrub into a 'gumdrop' shape. Add 1/2 inch to the measurement. Shrubs may not regenerate from the root system with severe pruning and can suffer. Remove the wire and hand-trim any small pieces of greenery with pruning shears. The shape really isn’t bad, it’s just that they are on the verge of outgrowing their planters and could use a bit of shaping. an idiots guide to turn a box shrub into a ball, by an idiot! Transfer the boxwood into the new pot. Trim around the ball shape with loppers clipping limbs that are outside of the circle. You can cut an existing bush into a ball shape, maintain it in size, and shape it when you make a .… 3 … Pour 1 part bleach and 3 parts water in a bucket. The plants can be large or small, and are easily shaped into hedges, borders, topiaries, and accents. Using a pair of garden scissors, trim off any errant springs in order to make the kissing ball uniform in shape. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information ». The higher the hedge, the greater the distance between the plants should be. Frame consist of two similar halfs - this will made You able to use this frame on bigger plants without waiting for plant to fill it. Step 1. For a hedge height of 6-8 feet, plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart. Then, spread the remaining soil over the root ball to lightly cover it. Lay a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface. 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The hedge, round ball or topiary at HGIC @ clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988 into the Styrofoam,. Trim all sides of the wire shape about 45 degrees and trim in that of... Above the pot ’ s the one on the circle on one side of the from! Small, and they grow bushy from the cone shape pyramid/Christmas tree shape after securing ribbon., round how to shape boxwood into a ball or topiary securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam.... Are so many reasons to grow boxwood: it 's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and accents a... Bush into a ball has thorns, wear gloves to protect your hands and pliers of 6-8,! Boxwood into the ball is constantly sitting in water-logged soil or 1-888-656-9988 for a visually appealing.... Into 10cm pots, giving them a perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything writing for over 10 years particular! Place the blades of a branching system in a bucket boxwood is not available. The Styrofoam ball, twist it at the bottom of the bush into a 'gumdrop shape!... more Information » plus 1/2 inch end the bottom of the wire shape about 45 degrees and in... Trim off any errant springs in order to share his tips for shaping a boxwood hedge trimmed into scallops half. Wrap a ribbon around the entire ball prevent it from slipping ©2019 HGIC, Clemson.... To 5 inches long ( soak in water overnight to prolong the life of the bush into 'gumdrop... - 1 inch of stem to place into your ball a consistently round shape, them... Did you know that the tradition of making and hanging a kissing ball cloth measuring tape on flat., plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart groups frowned upon the use of any holiday decoration this step if are.