Cloud pruning is a form of topiary that is now becoming very popular now. Many thanks to people who have the great vision in creative pruning like Jake Hobson. It is basically sculpturing the plant from one large rounded shape into one that has many rounded part and indeed can look almost like a cloud. Almost any plant that doesn’t mind being pruned and shaped regularly can have this done to them. Ideal candidates are plants like yew, box, cotoneaster and forms of shrubby loniceria. They can be newly planted or mature specimens that have well been blobbed in the past and it’s a specimen like that I am showing you how to turn from a blob into a thing of beauty within one growing season. It will take a few trims to get it right but once you have a shape and structure you need, it’s a case of just trimming back to this every few months or once per year depending on growth on the plant.
The tools you need are a pair of sharp good quality pair of shears. I use these pair of ARS shears, the reason I don’t use my quality topiary shears at this time is due to the fact I will be cutting into older wood and they aren’t designed for it. A pair of secateurs finishes off the tool requirements well apart from a rake
Firstly you need a blob and this variegated loniceria is indeed one! It’s made up of a group of plants and lends itself perfectly to want I want to do.
As you can see, there’s lots of growth on there to be trimmed back
So I slowly start to form more round shapes into the bush using shears. I trimmed this first section a bit harder, to get it away from the potentilla.
You can see shapes slowly starting to appear and you just keep trimming these shapes into the plant, these don’t need to be any shape of size, just what you want and feel it would be good for the plant. It is at times, these shapes appear to you as you trim, these shapes may come from branch networks or indeed from the individual plants within a group, making natural mounds or shapes. These are hidden from the first view from other branches, so try and be flexible when pruning like this
You can see the shapes really forming now
Thicker bits can be removed using secateurs
While the shaping can be done with the shears
It doesn’t take long to form these lovely shapes that give a little bit of a simpsons cloud effect and give the garden a feature of interest for you all to look at
It’s a pretty quick job, I think it took me about 45 minutes to form this beautiful shape in this garden. When I have gone in so hard into a shrub like this, I look at it as a summer project to get the plant shaped up into its final shape. It may change a little bit but that’s the fun thing about pruning like this. You can do the same effect by buying in new Plants and shaping those as they grow.
We shall be returning later on in the summer to see how it is doing and look at adjusting the shape if required and regular shaping
Well I am delighted to announce that in conjunction with the Chawton House, we will be offering a series of garden workshops over the next year. These workshops are to be held is the beautiful surroundings of Jane Austin’s brothers Hampshire house, where Jane spent many happy days walking around the garden.
The first one on the 6th of March is looking at pruning rambling and climbing roses and the second on the 13th of March is looking at bush and shrub roses. These are all day course with a light lunch and refreshments part of the £75 ticket. There is a maximum of 15 tickets for sale for each day
I have many years of experience pruning roses after learning my trade working with the roses at Mottisfont Abbey Gardens. During these workshops, we shall be looking at the type of roses, the basics of pruning and the reasons behind it, a demonstration followed by a have-ago session with me on hand to advise you.
These workshops cover a wide range of topics looking at detail of getting the best from your roses, looking at feeding, underplanting, pests and diseases that may attack them and how to control them both organically and using chemicals. We all want Plants for nothing don’t we, here’s your chance to learn how to lift and divide Plants, learning how to divide herbaceous Plants with fibrous or more woody root plates. Unsure about what pest and diseases you have in your garden and how to treat them? Then we have a workshop for you, learn about the common pest and diseases in the garden and the ways to control them both chemically and organic!
Rose pruning-rambling and climbing roses
Rose pruning-bush and shrub
Lifting and dividing perennial plants
End of March
Common pest and diseases in the garden
Herbaceous Plant staking
Looking after roses
So if you find your roses a rambling mess, no idea how to control your Hybrid Teas, please contact Chawton House to book yourself on these workshops, their details are as follows: email@example.com or telephone: 01420 541010.
It doesn’t seem possible does it? Already 2 weeks into January, almost halfway though the month! But what a mild week it has been, the grass seems to be growing, certainly put on a bit of growth in the weeks between my visit to one site, hoping we get a little bit of colder weather to slow it down! One thing I hate is those winter days where it’s just dull all day, makes me feel very inclosed and we had a week of those, only day it was bright and cheerful was on Wednesday when I had the pleasure of taking a pruning workshop for a small group at Waterperrys in Oxford, the gardens there are always wonderful and it was lovely taking time to spend basically talking about a job I love doing, pruning roses. Taking about pruning let’s delve into my sin on Saturday for this week, again coming from a clients garden in the new forest.
First one of the 6 this week has to be pruning these beautiful espalier apple trees, not had much pruning done for a few years, had to do a little corrective works on them to get them into a little more of a shape but very happy for the finished works, will be summer pruning them next time.
Ahh yes a simple pot marigold or calendula, been flowering non stop since the summer! A massive ray of sunlight on a dull January day and also the first time I have seen on flowering this late in the season
Ahh still some rose hips about, almost like Christmas baubles left on the Plants, forgotten by all, for some reason the birds have left these alone but how lovely is it to see them on the plant this late on in the season. No idea on the rose yet, not seen it flower properly,
Rosemary and I am guessing this form is Miss Jessop upright, well the straight upright stems are a little bit of a giveaway! One plant we never think about using as a wall shrub, it makes a great espalier if grown on a sunny wall or 6ft fence panel! Takes a few years to get there, but well worth it, sorry got lost on another line of thought! Yes flowering remarkably early this year.
I just had to add this Sarcococca into the mix, the smell from its tiny white flowers just filled the whole garden with its scent, again without the planting plan, the size of the shrub along with the leave shape leads me to believe its hookeriana var Humilis. Great for a small garden and the scent is just out of the world!
Another pruning shot, this time of a pear tree that’s been fan trained, not seen many fan trained pear trees, normally it’s the stone type fruit trees that get fan trained, once again though these trees need a bit of work to get them back into a little bit of shape, felt happy with them now I am done, will summer prune umm in the summer 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My clients gardens. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look
Until next week, have fun in the garden