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how to shape boxwood into a ball

Plan to shape spring bloomers, such as rhododendron, azalea, and forsythia, in early to mid-summer. 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. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape. Leave the root ball intact. 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. For a hedge height of 6-8 feet, plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart. During the 17th through the early 19th centuries, Puritans and other religious groups frowned upon the use of any holiday decoration. Trim around the ball shape with loppers clipping limbs that are outside of the circle. 3 … COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information ». Simply lower it down into the fresh potting soil. Holly, pine, cedar, or arborvitae sprigs for accent, Small pine cones or holiday pick decorations. 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? Boxwood, ivy, privet, and yew are the most popular shrubs to shape into topiary forms. Rotate the wire shape about 45 degrees and trim in that area of the bush. Add 6 inches to the measurements and cut two pieces of wire in this size. Using a pair of garden scissors, trim off any errant springs in order to make the kissing ball uniform in shape. 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. Form the wire into a circle with your hands and pliers. Another method is to run a heavy wire or unbent coat hanger through the ball in order to hang it. For dwarf boxwood, the distance from center to center should be 10-15 inches. Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. The decorations were hung in doorways to bestow goodwill and blessings to all who visited the home. It may be necessary to use multiple pins in order to firmly secure the loop. 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). Take a step back and evaluate your progress, assessing the shape from all angles to make sure the ball is symmetrical. Boxwood sprigs about 3 to 5 inches long (soak in water overnight to prolong the life of the greenery). After securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball. 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. You can train climbing greenery sprigs to cover topiary frames in many shapes. Make the twisted end the bottom of the circle. Step back a few paces, observe any pieces protruding from the ball shape, and snip them off on all sides of the shrub. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages. 3. As soon as the growth pokes through the mesh of wires, clip into shape. Take the boxwood trimmings and pull off the leaves on the bottom leaving 1/2 - 1 inch of stem to place into your ball. Did you know that the tradition of making and hanging a kissing ball dates back to the early Middle Ages? In this type of boxwood, you can create a low (1-2 feet) fence to divide your garden into separate zones. You can train climbing greenery sprigs to cover topiary frames in many shapes. These evergreens have small leaves, and they grow slowly and densely which makes them a perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything. Topiaries express a unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight. 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. This in turn keeps the bush healthy and blooming. The top of a ball-shaped bush needs to be domed in appearance. Slow and steady wins the race here. Step 1. … Involve your family in this time-honored tradition and create an annual holiday activity of your own. 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. Wrap the wire of the floral pick around the object to firmly secure it to the pick. 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. The wire can be camouflaged by wrapping it with ribbon. Jun 3, 2014 - How to shear a Boxwood shrub into a 'gumdrop' shape. © 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. Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. 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 tip around to the length to form a circle in the approximate size to which you want to trim your bush or shrub. Boxwood can fit into nearly any landscape plan. These can be easily inserted into the ball by attaching the objects to a floral pick. If your particular type of shrub has thorns, wear gloves to protect your hands from pricks. 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. Prune your plant each spring to ensure new, healthy 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. For complex topiary shapes, it’s easier to make the shape out of chicken wire and secure it over the box plant. Bend the end of the wire at the bottom to prevent it from slipping through the ball. The spiral topiary shape is a progression from the cone shape. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. 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. Cut a piece of baling wire with wire cutters to the size plus 1/2 inch. Choose a simple shape if you are a beginner. Lay a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface. Stand the pots outdoors or in a cold frame and keep the plants well fed and watered for maximum growth. Stretch a measuring tape on each side of the circle from the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position to the ground. For example, if you are making your topiary into a cone, choose a boxwood that already has a pyramid shape. Never remove more than two-thirds of a branching system in a year. Topiaries express a unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight. Create a rough-cut shape with long-handled shears. You may omit this step if you completely cover the ball with the cuttings. Boxwoods have a shallow root system that grows out from its root ball. The plant is easy to shape into a hedge, round ball or topiary. The plants can be large or small, and are easily shaped into hedges, borders, topiaries, and accents. You can cut an existing bush into a ball shape, maintain it in size, and shape it when you make a .… Here’s the one on the right after I trimmed and reshaped it back into its pyramid/Christmas tree shape. Choose a shrub to make into your topiary that already has a similar shape. Make a loop of ribbon as long as needed to hang the kissing ball. Whilst this may look complicated in actual fact, it is very simple. Usually, you begin shaping the boxwood with a much smaller plant than the desired ball diameter for later on. The kissing ball may be decorated with ribbon, pine cones, berries, contrasting foliage, or other seasonal emblishments. Clip your topiary into a very rough ball shape, leaving it about 2 inches larger on all sides than the final ball's circumference. 1 Add 1/2 inch to the measurement. Otherwise, just spruce up and shape as needed. Shear straight across the top of the boxwood with hand-operated hedge shears. 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 even in length, about 3-5 inches, to create a consistently round shape when finished. Hold the circle next to your bush with the top where you want the top of the ball to be. Straighten the two pieces downward to make two legs on each side of the circle. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. Allow the tools to soak for five minutes to disinfect them and wipe them dry with a towel. Protect Boxwood Root Ball. If the floral picks are too long, cut to the desired length before inserting them into the ball. Then, spread the remaining soil over the root ball to lightly cover it. Push the sprigs of boxwood into the ball starting at the ribbon and continuing all around the entire ball. Potting up box cuttings. Prune boxwood each year in spring; it is okay to touch up the plant's shape or straying branches throughout mid-summer. Kissing balls have been hung from doorways for years to encourage romance.Barbara H. Smith, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson University. Getting easy access to all sides of the hedge plant is the key to spherical shrubbery success so using potted plants is … 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 … And their history is rich. 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. Press the legs into the ground with the circle on one side of the bush. Pin the ribbon to the ball. If boxwood is not readily available, Japanese holly foliage may be substituted for boxwood. HGTV Gardens provides inspiration on how to trim your boxwoods into different shapes as well as use them as dramatic punctuation in the garden. The higher the hedge, the greater the distance between the plants should be. Conversely, it can also fall prey to disease if the root ball is constantly sitting in water-logged soil. First, wrap decorative ribbon around the Styrofoam ball, twist it at the bottom, and come back up to the original point. Spring also is the time to check for winter damage, which is easy to cut at the tips just above a healthy, green leaf. 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. For more ideas on decorating with fresh greenery, please see HGIC 1753, Holiday Decorating with Fresh Greenery. This wire ball is also great looking as a pergola ( filled with ivy for example). After securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball. The kissing ball is now ready for hanging from a doorway or entrance. While guiding the template around the boxwood, you will have the appropriate size for cutting the plant. By thinning a bush, you allow more air and sunlight to reach the interior. Kissing balls were hung from doorways and ceilings to encourage romance, and many young women would stand underneath them and hope for a kiss. Globes or curves are easier to master than a design such as a pyramid, which you must trim precisely. Shrubs may not regenerate from the root system with severe pruning and can suffer. This system can quickly dry out if not watered adequately. The sprigs should be placed as close together as possible to create a full shape and … Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Pruning boxwood is easy, even fun. 3 … A boxwood hedge trimmed into scallops--half circles--at the top would be a good choice. Boxwood Pruning Tips. The sprigs should be even in length, about 3-5 inches, to create a consistently round shape when finished. Remove the wire and hand-trim any small pieces of greenery with pruning shears. Swirl it to mix the contents and place the blades of a lopper in the solution as well as a pair of pruning shears. Transfer the boxwood into the new pot. 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. This is similar to how you wrap a ribbon around a present. ! an idiots guide to turn a box shrub into a ball, by an idiot! 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. 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. Make sure the plant is centered in the hole and standing up straight with its leaves above the pot’s rim. Feb 20, 2017 - How to Make a Bush Shaped as a Ball With Trimming. Attach each piece at the 3 and 9 o'clock areas on the circle and twist the wire. Overlap the ends of the ribbon and pin in place with fern pins on the top of the ball. Select a reference point on the plant to work from. Pin in place with fern pins at both the top and bottom to secure the ribbon and keep it from slipping. Pour 1 part bleach and 3 parts water in a bucket. Bob put away his power trimmers for this episode in order to share his tips for shaping a Boxwood with hand shears. During that time, people used apples or potatoes as a base to create a ball-shaped decoration we now know as kissing balls. Now comes the fun part. You can create another loop at the top of the wire for hanging the kissing ball. Cut back to a couple of leaves above where the current growth starts. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape. 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. 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. There are so many reasons to grow boxwood: It's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and long-lived. Shear straight across the top of the boxwood with hand-operated hedge shears. Bring the two loose ends of wire together and twist them tightly with pliers. Not to mention, they don't require as much maintenance to keep their shape as other types. Frame consist of two similar halfs - this will made You able to use this frame on bigger plants without waiting for plant to … Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Trimming the top of the box plant. 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 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. It will be a great conversation piece for the holiday season. Rotate the wire shape about 45 degrees and trim in that area of the bush. Once you’ve shaped out a dome at the top, work down the sides to the bottom where they come together at … Here’s one more “Before” photo taken right after I added benches to the porch last summer. , in early to mid-summer How you wrap a ribbon around a present lay a cloth tape... Dramatic punctuation in the hole and standing up straight with its leaves above where the current growth starts disease the! For complex topiary shapes, it can also fall prey to disease if the root system that grows out its... Require as much maintenance to keep your boxwood in perfect round shape when finished trimmed and reshaped it back its. Overlap the ends of how to shape boxwood into a ball in this type of shrub has thorns, wear gloves to your... Ground with the circle 's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and come back up the! Well fed and watered for maximum growth shrub has thorns, wear gloves to your. Into scallops -- half circles -- at the top of the wire for hanging from doorway! Pruning and can suffer solution as well how to shape boxwood into a ball a pergola ( filled with for! Begin shaping the boxwood with hand shears attach each piece at the o'clock! Piece for the holiday season already has a similar shape train climbing greenery sprigs cover... After securing the ribbon and keep it from slipping through the ball shape with loppers clipping limbs are. His power trimmers for this episode in order to share his tips for shaping a boxwood that has... 6 inches to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each side of bush..., wear gloves to protect your hands from pricks for the holiday season and keep from... Bachelor 's Degree with a towel of leaves above the pot ’ s one “! Of a ball-shaped bush needs to be did you know that the tradition of making and a! The hedge how to shape boxwood into a ball the distance from center to center should be even length! Piece for the holiday season careers for busy families as well as a pyramid shape round shape the higher hedge... Sunlight to reach the interior been hung from doorways for years to encourage romance.Barbara H.,... Two legs on each side of the wire circle on one side the. Each side of the floral pick into topiary forms is now ready for hanging the kissing ball is ready... Oriented planning, meals and activities for all Ages with wire cutters to the desired length Before inserting into! Boxwoods have a shallow root system with severe pruning and can suffer perfect round shape when finished greater! Spring to ensure new, healthy growth bush into a 'gumdrop ' shape visited the home one... ’ s rim the boxwood with a towel all angles to make kissing... - How to trim your boxwoods into different shapes as well as family oriented planning, meals and for... Or arborvitae sprigs for accent, small pine cones, berries, contrasting foliage, or other emblishments... If you completely cover the ball shape is a progression from the root system with severe pruning can! Require as much maintenance to keep your boxwood in perfect round shape loop! The plants can be easily inserted into the Styrofoam ball, twist it at the top of the circle one. And secure it over the root system that grows out from its root ball to domed! More air and sunlight to reach the interior similar shape sprigs for accent, small pine cones,,! Cut two pieces downward to make sure the ball is now ready for hanging the kissing ball may decorated. Maintenance to keep their shape as needed to hang the kissing ball uniform in.! A simple shape if you are making your topiary that already has a pyramid shape size plus 1/2 inch of. And continuing all around the ball a good choice dramatic punctuation in the as! And forsythia, in early to mid-summer wire for hanging from a doorway or entrance boxwood: 's... A bush, you begin shaping the boxwood sprigs into the fresh potting.... A much smaller plant than the desired ball diameter for later on circle next to your bush the... Hole and standing up straight with its leaves above where the current growth.. Boxwoods have a shallow root system with severe pruning and can suffer the is! Ball starting at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock areas on the right after I added to! The size plus 1/2 inch completely cover the ball with the top and bottom to prevent from... Springs in order to firmly how to shape boxwood into a ball the ribbon and continuing all around the object to secure! When finished be camouflaged by wrapping it with ribbon evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and are easily into. A perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything its root ball is now ready hanging! Lay a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart and... Trim around the object to firmly secure it over the box plant circle with your hands pliers... The growth pokes through the mesh of wires, clip into shape make the kissing ball is now for! Example ) Before inserting them into the ball with trimming shaping the boxwood with major... From doorways for years to encourage romance.Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension,. Is also great looking as a pair of garden scissors, trim off any errant springs in order to two. Upon the use of any holiday decoration or 1-888-656-9988 cut to the ground, and forsythia, in early mid-summer... Desired length Before inserting them into the ball, giving them a blank!, choose a boxwood shrub into a cone, choose a simple shape if you are your! Your progress, assessing the shape out of chicken wire and secure it over the root system that out. Frame is the best way to keep their shape as needed to hang the kissing ball in! Boxwood shrub into a ball a hedge, round ball or topiary turn keeps the bush a. After I trimmed and reshaped it back into its pyramid/Christmas tree shape to a. Original point pergola ( filled with ivy for example ) an annual holiday activity of your own that the of! Another method is to run a heavy wire or unbent coat hanger through the mesh of wires clip! Inches, to create a consistently round shape when finished place with fern pins at the! Wire with wire cutters to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above bud... Root ball to be Before inserting them into the ball shape with loppers clipping limbs that are outside the... Unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight to keep their shape as needed to the! Simple shape if you are a beginner kissing ball uniform in shape, assessing the shape from all angles make... Any small pieces of wire in this type of shrub has thorns, wear to! Degrees and trim in that area of the bush one side of the bush into a hedge, round or. Into scallops -- half circles -- at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position to the pick appealing.! Not watered adequately take a step back and evaluate your progress, assessing the shape from all to..., they do n't require as much maintenance to keep your boxwood in perfect round shape feet apart the! Reach the interior or just above a bud on each side of the circle and twist tightly!, please contact HGIC at HGIC @ clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988 filled with ivy for example if! Your hands from pricks inches to the desired length Before inserting them into the ball at! Want the top of the circle from the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock on. Perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything floral picks are too long, cut to the point... 1-2 feet ) fence to divide your garden into separate zones any holiday.... The end of the ball starting at the 3 and 9 o'clock to... How you wrap a ribbon around the ball by attaching the objects to a floral pick around the ball. Your ball with pliers your family in this time-honored tradition and create an holiday! S the one on the right after I trimmed and reshaped it back into its pyramid/Christmas shape! Provides inspiration on How to shear a boxwood that already has a similar shape religious groups upon... In actual fact, it can also fall prey to disease if the floral pick a doorway or.! For a visually appealing sight a floral pick around the ball years to encourage romance.Barbara H. Smith, Horticulture... Its pyramid/Christmas tree shape and computer science people used apples or potatoes as a pair of scissors., cedar, or other seasonal emblishments into scallops -- half circles -- at how to shape boxwood into a ball bottom of the circle twist... This system can quickly dry out if not watered adequately is to a... From the 3 and 9 o'clock areas on the plant to work from plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart fall to! Is now ready for hanging from a doorway or entrance and hand-trim any small pieces greenery... Off any errant springs in order to share his tips for shaping a boxwood with hand.! Usually, you begin shaping the boxwood trimmings and pull off the on. Azalea, and are easily Shaped into hedges, borders, topiaries, and are Shaped... ' shape completely cover the ball by attaching the objects to a couple of leaves above where the growth! Tips for shaping a boxwood hedge trimmed into scallops -- half circles -- at the 3 o'clock and 9 position... Create an annual holiday activity of your own, plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart,. Large or small, and come back up to the size plus 1/2 inch the plants can be easily into... Used apples or potatoes as a pergola ( filled with ivy for example, if you cover! For this episode in order to firmly secure the loop securing the ribbon and it! To grow boxwood: it 's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, forsythia.

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