Friday, 11 March 2011

Box topiary deliciousness - and another blog award!

I adore box topiary. I am very priviliged to live in a beautiful part of the world, with gorgeous country side , cute chocolate-box cottages and lovely neighbours.
Think Agatha Christie novels like the Murder At the Vicarage without the high body count .
My neighbours are all completely besotted with box topiary- though thankfully you won't find a life size steam engine cut out of box here, or one of those frightening monstrously big squirrels.
It's more box balls, cones and spirals.
Look at this lovely display- isn't it gorgeous !! All my neighbours are people with an artistic streak, a  great eye, and all are keen gardeners, so you can imagine how lovely it all looks .

So I thought I would share with you how you can get your box spiral topiary on a budget and how to cut your own topiary spiral .
Just be brave, get those scissors out and you will have your own topiary for next to nothing !!!

Your first step : hunt around for some basic box shrub at a garden section of a hardware store.
You are bound to get it most cheaply there-I managed in the past to get box balls, priced down at the end of the season for £5,-.

Let it grow for a few seasons till you reach a height of about knee-high.
 This would be your starting point for your spiral. I took me about 3 years to grow this from a 1 foot high box shrub to this height.You can also buy the box much bigger but basically , the smaller the box, the more inexpensive.Just buy a small plant, put it in a corner of a garden and let it grow.
Now for the cutting. These are your tools.Sharp scissors- small and bigger.
The weather should be overcast and drizzly- no hot sun.This will scorch the leaves and you will end up with brown bits on your box- so rain and drizzle and blah weather like below is what you need .
Think of your spiral cutting as though you are going to cut a three-tiered wedding cake, where the horizontal lines of the tiers rise from low to higher up.
Keep that picture in mind while you are cutting.
Start with the lowest tier.Cut and remember, the line needs to go UP.
Cut a horizontal line that rises up in an angle of about 20 degrees ,  in the box, as though you make the lowest tier on a wedding cake.
Here you see that the horizontal line going up is cut. Piece of cake! Bit of dog on the picture as well, they were trying to see who could break my concentration first running around like mad....
Then you cut a vertical wall on top of the first horozontal tier.A bit like you cut the sides of the second cake of the three-tired wedding cake.So you are going more inwards.This is what I mean.
Then you cut the second tier of your "wedding cake " - again a horizontal line rising from lower to higher up.
And again, you cut a vertical wall on top of the second horizontal tier.

You continue with the third tier ,going up again and you're done.You've made yourself a box topiary spiral.
Get your scissors out and give it a go !I think Maud won the contest by the way of who runs circles fastest.
 I was lucky this year with some more box extravaganza for the front garden which I  tidied up in this post,  as my lovely neighbour had managed to get an enormeous amount and kindly let me share in it.
So the front has gone from this.....
                                   to this ......with a wealth of ( minute )  box extravaganza !
                                     Such deliciousness!!Can't wait for these babies to grow!

And more surprising good news- I have won another blog award !!

Thank you Mariette from Mariettes Back To Basics
I am so thrilled!! What a lovely surprise
Go check out her lovely blog- it's so full of beauty, love of gardens, love of animals and love of people- worth a visit and a follow !!!
.There are so many blogs that are fabulous but I would love to pas the award on to the following bloggers :
1. Munchkin Munchies.Check out this lovely blog full of surpising and beautiful recipes and gorgeous looking biscuits.Sue's rainbow cookies are sure to put a smile on your face this weekend when you bake them !! Go and spread the blog-love if you can and become her follower!!
2.Crejjtion. Maaike from Amsterdam in the Netherlands has a beautiful ( English ) craft blog with fantastic photography- her projects always make your day better.Whether you look at her crochet projects  or her pictures like this Christmas teacup , it always delights and puts you in a happy mood.
3.Melissa's Cuisine .This talented lovely lady shares her love for cooking and baking on a fabulous blog where she posts recipe after wonderful recipe.You are strongly recommended to become her follower - such great recipes like this giant double chocolate cookies . MMMmmmmm!!!
4.Primp . Michelle from Primp is an incredibly talented creative spirit and decorator.Just check out her inventive book pumpkin for instance ! Another really interesting blog that you really should follow..Check it out and be in awe!!
5.Mod Vintage Life .Nita's blog not only shares her love for beautiful interiors, but for animals as well, so she really is a woman after my own heart ... and her posts are always so the fabulous bathroom she did .. and then of course her posts when she helped poor Zippy , a lovely dachshund, to find a home- which ended happily with Zippy being rehomed.So a woman with style, taste and a great heart.The world should be full of Nita's  and we would be in much better shape !!!
6.Me, you and a wiener .Not only a talented decorator and artist, which you can see from this makeover post here.( Bri  managed to make a simple Ikea chest of drawers into a very stylish designer bit of furniture which looks just fabulous..) but also a very funny girl-  Bri's blog had me weeping with laughter with her cartoon on her blog  about how she would defend her dog till death in the worst case scenario if her Timmy would be threatened by a bear.Go and visit and become her folllower ! You won't regret it !
7.Cocina Diary .Angie is such a stylish cook and her blog is beautifully presented and gorgeous.Look at these delicious flaky pastry cookies for instance- I only wish I had more time to make all her recipes.Strongly recommended for popping by and for a follow!!
 Well, I am off now to let all the candidates know about their award.Hope you visit them all and follow them- have a nice browse this weekend and enjoy!!

Happy weekend!!

I am linking this to
 Masterpiece Monday
Amaze me Monday
Tutorial Tuesday
All things related Tuesday
Tuesday Garden Party
Outdoor Wednesday 
Wow us wednesdays
transformations and treasures
Swing into Spring
Transformation Thursday
Time travel Thursday
Thrifty Thursday Bloghop
Fertilizer Friday
Project Party weekend
Weekend wrap up party

Inspiration journey linky party

Sunday Favourites


Anonymous said...

Dearest Bea,

Yeah, what a topiary lesson! We got lots of those 'ball' cuts around here.
The award, you are supposed to pass on again... It's a bit of work but that will yield sometimes some more readers/followers and this is the goal to help each other.
But it's up to you. Enjoy your weekend and hope the weather will become mild soon. Today I was feeling a lot better, after three bad days that is great. Got a lot done at least.
Hope your knees are doing better too. I had a sciatica problem but guess the rain and wind makes us ache easily. And like you, when the weather changes we have no patience we are outdoors and not wearing enough... Perspiring a bit, than some wind and it's: 'gotcha'...

Will we ever learn?!

Lots of love and enjoy your weekend!


Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I'm popping over from Mariette's to say hello! Love your blog header and you are so fortunate to live in such a lovely area. I have two balconies with plants but we've had a strange "winter" season here so most of my plants aren't doing well at all. We have one tree here that is quite adaptable to its surroundings. If you cut it back, it becomes a bush or can grow into very tall trees. When they are cut for hedges or even arbor, so folks here do have them cut into pretty shapes. Its amazing what can be done with this litle tree that starts out so spindly. :) Hope you have a fantastic weekend. Our weather today would certainly be perfect topiary cutting weather. :/ Best wishes, Tammy

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

P.S. I forgot to say that the kitties in the gift basket was adorable. Anytime we bring any kinda small box or bag, our Jingles tries to wriggle her way in too. Crazy cats! :)

Marian said...

Wat leuk, weer een lesje topiary,
Heb ook een heel klein topiary stukje in de tuin,en ook een olifant gemaakt van 4 kleine buxussen.
Voor waardering van topiary kunst moet je volgens mij wel in UK wonen, hier wordt dit niet zo gewaardeerd :(
Zal er eens een postje aan besteden.

Wordt het jou voortuin? zo ja, dan wordt het prachtig, en hebben jullie daar ook last van die nieuwe buxusziekte?
Hier is het sinds vorig jaar echt vreselijk, hele aangetastte stukken in de buxushaagjes.

Jessica said...

Wow, how fabulous is this? Thanks so much for sharing!

Bri@Meyouandawiener said...

Wow thanks for the award! I really appreciate you stopping by my blog and taking the time to read my cartoons. I am really humbled and honored. I didn't think many people would appreciate my sense of humor, glad to see some do. A million thank you!

P.s. I have a black thumb but am determined to plant some sh*t this year, I'll be dropping by a lot to see your tutorials. My yard looks like death ran through it.

Have a great weekend and thanks again!


Maaike said...

Hi Bea, wat ontzettend lief dat je creJJtion de LiebsterBlog doorgegeven hebt! Ik bloos van de mooie tekst die je er bij geschreven hebt en ben heel vereerd. Dankjewel! Binnenkort zet ik 'm op mijn blog. Voor jou ook een heel fijn weekend, liefs van Maaike

Sue said...

Thank you so much for thinking of me, and for your sweet words! I appreciate your kindness:) Your garden is so pretty and your pup is a cutie:)

Melissa said...

Hi Bea!
Thank you so much for the award! I will gladly accept it and I thank you for thinking of me. I really appreciate your kind words.

Abby said...

This was very interesting. Its always so exciting to see things grow. Thanks for stopping by today!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oooh, I love topiary. I'd love to get some structures in our garden to give some more winter interest. Not that I'm out there much in the winter but I like to know it's pretty!!

Thiis is a great tutorial. Thank you!


Keetha Broyles said...

Yes, but can you make a Mickey Mousse topiary??

Oh, I do kid.

That white bench is just wonderful in the garden, isn't it?

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello my friend...

I just love your beautiful spiral topiary! I would love to have one and maybe now that you have given us instructions on how to grow and cut one...I can! I think patience is the "key" word though! Hehe! This really is fabulous...thank you so much for sharing your beautiful box topiary with us for the Sunday Favorites repost party this week...such a treat, my friend!

Have a fabulous week!
Chari @Happy To Design

Anonymous said...

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Happy Monday.

Mrs V said...

Everything you do is so beautiful, thanks for sharing!

DEBBIE said...



DIYbyDesign said...

That is really so beautiful. Love the topiary. Thanks so much for your comment. Made me smile. Hope you stop back tonight and join the party. said...

LOVE THIS! Come on ova' and link up to my Linky Party! xoxokara


That lil pup is too CAAAAUTE! Come share!

DIYbyDesign said...

I'm so glad you stopped back and linked up to my party. Again, everything is gorgeous.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Lovely topiaries! And your furry model in front of them is quite adorable. ;)

Thanks for linking to the party. I hope to see you again this week.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Oops! I also meant to congratulate you on your award. ;)

And let you know that the link you linked to my party last week isn't working properly.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Custom Comforts said...

You make cutting boxwood sound so easy. Everything seems to come easier in the UK when it comes to gardening ~ you have the perfect climate. Thanks for the tutorial.

Yvonne said...

What lovely gardens you have. Millie and Maud are adorable! Visiting from Tootsie's.