The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Gardening -


This tiered “triple crown” has prob­a­bly taken 30-40 years to grow, and would cost thou­sands of pounds to buy at this size. How­ever, this shape can be formed by clip­ping away to the stem at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals on plants of any size. The bold could even at­tempt it on a ma­ture pyra­mid or cone. The Ro­man­tic Gar­den Nurs­ery near Nor­wich (01603 261488; www. ro­man­tic-gar­den-nurs­ is the place to go for stylish top­i­ary, as ad­mir­ers of their Chelsea Flower Show stands will know. They stock box (Buxus) and yew (Taxus) triple crowns from £145, as well as wire frames for train­ing box, yew and other ever­greens into bird shapes (from £7.10 each). 2 BOX BALLS Lan­g­ley Box­wood Nurs­ery near Liss in Hamp­shire (01730 894467;­wood. sup­plies a wide range of box va­ri­eties in­clud­ing Buxus har­landii (gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity be­cause of its ap­par­ent re­sis­tance to box blight) in bare-rooted 20-30cm hedg­ing plants at £2.75 each, and B. sem­per­virens balls from £9.50 for a 15cm di­am­e­ter plant. They also run top­i­ary cour­ses. 3 BEECH HEDGE Beech’s re­ten­tion of dried cop­pery leaves un­til the new ones push through in spring makes it ideal for a win­ter hedge. Ashridge Trees in Cas­tle Cary in Som­er­set (01963 359444; www. ashrid­ has an of­fer on its bare-root beech hedge packs. Sturdy three-year-old 100-120cm plants – as near to “in­stant” hedg­ing as you can get – are £93.81 for 50 plants. It rec­om­mends five stag­gered to a me­tre in a wider hedge or three per me­tre in a sin­gle line). Fifty 80100cm plants are £69.77. 4 TOP­I­ARY SHEARS Top­i­ary shears, which are es­pe­cially suited to cut­ting through soft new growth as op­posed to wood, are very pleas­ing to use. The su­per-sharp, pleas­antlysprung blades can be op­er­ated with one hand, leav­ing the other free to “fluff up” the shorn growth. Bur­gon & Ball (0114 233 8262; www.burg­onand­ sells an ex­ten­sive range, some with coloured or leather han­dles, from £18.95, plus top­i­ary hedg­ing shears (£28.95) and sharp­en­ers (£4.95).

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