Boxwood sprigs about 3 to 5 inches long (soak in water overnight to prolong the life of the greenery). 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. Protect Boxwood Root Ball. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape. Then, spread the remaining soil over the root ball to lightly cover it. Attach each piece at the 3 and 9 o'clock areas on the circle and twist the wire. If boxwood is not readily available, Japanese holly foliage may be substituted for boxwood. Make a loop of ribbon as long as needed to hang the kissing ball. 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. Form the wire into a circle with your hands and pliers. By thinning a bush, you allow more air and sunlight to reach the interior. This is similar to how you wrap a ribbon around a present. Allow the tools to soak for five minutes to disinfect them and wipe them dry with a towel. Pour 1 part bleach and 3 parts water in a bucket. 3. Potting up box cuttings. Prune your plant each spring to ensure new, healthy growth. Trimming the top of the box plant. For example, if you are making your topiary into a cone, choose a boxwood that already has a pyramid shape. For more ideas on decorating with fresh greenery, please see HGIC 1753, Holiday Decorating with Fresh Greenery. Not to mention, they don't require as much maintenance to keep their shape as other types. Bring the two loose ends of wire together and twist them tightly with pliers. There are so many reasons to grow boxwood: It's gloriously evergreen, fragrant, deer-resistant, and long-lived. 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. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages. Did you know that the tradition of making and hanging a kissing ball dates back to the early Middle Ages? Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. Plan to shape spring bloomers, such as rhododendron, azalea, and forsythia, in early to mid-summer. Take the boxwood trimmings and pull off the leaves on the bottom leaving 1/2 - 1 inch of stem to place into your ball. Lay a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface. … 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. The top of a ball-shaped bush needs to be domed in appearance. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. Prune boxwood each year in spring; it is okay to touch up the plant's shape or straying branches throughout mid-summer. Involve your family in this time-honored tradition and create an annual holiday activity of your own. 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? Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. Never remove more than two-thirds of a branching system in a year. Slow and steady wins the race here. Pin the ribbon to the ball. an idiots guide to turn a box shrub into a ball, by an idiot! Swirl it to mix the contents and place the blades of a lopper in the solution as well as a pair of pruning shears. Continue trimming until you trim all sides of the bush into a ball. Choose a simple shape if you are a beginner. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Here’s one more “Before” photo taken right after I added benches to the porch last summer. 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. Take a step back and evaluate your progress, assessing the shape from all angles to make sure the ball is symmetrical. For complex topiary shapes, it’s easier to make the shape out of chicken wire and secure it over the box plant. During that time, people used apples or potatoes as a base to create a ball-shaped decoration we now know as kissing balls. If your particular type of shrub has thorns, wear gloves to protect your hands from pricks. Pruning boxwood is easy, even fun. Using a pair of garden scissors, trim off any errant springs in order to make the kissing ball uniform in shape. Prune back to the fork created by the previous pruning or just above a bud on each branch. This in turn keeps the bush healthy and blooming. Usually, you begin shaping the boxwood with a much smaller plant than the desired ball diameter for later on. A boxwood hedge trimmed into scallops--half circles--at the top would be a good choice. After securing the ribbon, insert the boxwood sprigs into the Styrofoam ball. Rotate the wire shape about 45 degrees and trim in that area of the bush. Add 1/2 inch to the measurement. The kissing ball is now ready for hanging from a doorway or entrance. 1 These evergreens have small leaves, and they grow slowly and densely which makes them a perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything. 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. Boxwood, ivy, privet, and yew are the most popular shrubs to shape into topiary forms. 3 … 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. It will be a great conversation piece for the holiday season. Transfer the boxwood into the new pot. 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. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information ». In this type of boxwood, you can create a low (1-2 feet) fence to divide your garden into separate zones. Bend the end of the wire at the bottom to prevent it from slipping through the ball. Whilst this may look complicated in actual fact, it is very simple. HGTV Gardens provides inspiration on how to trim your boxwoods into different shapes as well as use them as dramatic punctuation in the garden. 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. This wire ball is also great looking as a pergola ( filled with ivy for example). Add 6 inches to the measurements and cut two pieces of wire in this size. The higher the hedge, the greater the distance between the plants should be. While guiding the template around the boxwood, you will have the appropriate size for cutting the plant. Simply lower it down into the fresh potting soil. Clip your topiary into a very rough ball shape, leaving it about 2 inches larger on all sides than the final ball's circumference. Press the legs into the ground with the circle on one side of the bush. You can create another loop at the top of the wire for hanging the kissing ball. Cut a piece of baling wire with wire cutters to the size plus 1/2 inch. Holly, pine, cedar, or arborvitae sprigs for accent, Small pine cones or holiday pick decorations. Wrap the wire of the floral pick around the object to firmly secure it to the pick. Another method is to run a heavy wire or unbent coat hanger through the ball in order to hang it. Leave the root ball intact. 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. Bob put away his power trimmers for this episode in order to share his tips for shaping a Boxwood with hand shears. Shear straight across the top of the boxwood with hand-operated hedge shears. Frame consist of two similar halfs - this will made You able to use this frame on bigger plants without waiting for plant to … Boxwoods have a shallow root system that grows out from its root ball. During the 17th through the early 19th centuries, Puritans and other religious groups frowned upon the use of any holiday decoration. 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. Topiaries express a unique personality in a lawn or garden for a visually appealing sight. You may omit this step if you completely cover the ball with the cuttings. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at or 1-888-656-9988. Create a rough-cut shape with long-handled shears. Getting easy access to all sides of the hedge plant is the key to spherical shrubbery success so using potted plants is … 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. The plant is easy to shape into a hedge, round ball or topiary. This solid wire frame is the best way to keep Your boxwood in perfect round shape.

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