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coultman859
07-18-2012, 07:46 PM
Hi. I live and work out of Lexington, Ky. With a TON of the older homes with more formal landscaping in town, I have found clouded boxwoods. A customer told me that originally in Virginia, American and similar varieties would fall and create holes as they got large. To help hide the holes, caretakers simply clouded them. The ones that I have seen in Lexington are unlike similar clouded hedges i have seen. Instead of all the clouds being the same size, some are large and some are small (I'm guessing to hide the holes?). Any info or tips on clouding boxwoods would be great. I've heard vastly different theories around town from different companies and was hoping to get some more opinions. Attached are some pictures of a horseshoe I was working on earlier in the season.

larryinalabama
07-18-2012, 07:50 PM
Interesting, sometimes hedges go without care and evolve into all sort of shapes.

coultman859
07-18-2012, 07:57 PM
That's what is interesting. These particular boxwoods are babied. Sprayed, trimmed every year, etc. From what I understand they just fall into clouds after the get a certain size, and regular trimming is done from there. Just didnt know if anyone had advice on this- Thinking of adding a boxwood maintenance program to my business. Heard of several ways to cloud- the best is to have one person clump the cloud while another trims?

larryinalabama
07-18-2012, 08:08 PM
Sometimes or most of the time boxwoods intended to grow individually grow togeather, again lack of maintance, so in an evveor to return them to individual plants with out hacking the looks out of them they get clouded because they get made smaller a little at a time.

coultman859
07-18-2012, 08:22 PM
I see. In most cases in my area it seems that they were let grown together intentionally though, not out of lack of maintenance, as in this one. I also have been told that you are supposed to trim in spring if you want them to grow larger, and summer if you want them to stay the same size. Either way, I'm just curious about clouding in general. havent found much on the internet, and my local library only has select books on topiary

larryinalabama
07-18-2012, 08:56 PM
Topiary isnt that popular in the US. I think theres only a hand full of topiary public gardens in the whole country. I guess "clouding" would be a form of topiary but its not really popular.

larryinalabama
07-18-2012, 09:00 PM
Those in the picture look like English Boxwoods, I think they were probably cut extremely hard at one time and thats waht resulted. They grow extremely slow and the growth tends to stay "tight" thus the wavy look.

agrostis
07-19-2012, 10:48 AM
I really like that look. I wish people would let shrub's grow together a lot more.

Just Me
07-19-2012, 11:07 AM
Hi,

Adding Boxwood maintenance can be extremely profitable. Especially in your area. But they are super sensitive and very slow growing. We have a market here in our area and a few select people have the majority of the business.

By clouding I understand you mean an undulation shape? We refer to this as poking holes into the exterior of the plant making an uneven/natural look. The way I was trained for boxwood maintenance, it was in order for sunlight to reach the interior of the plant in order for the plants not to get all of the foliage growth only on the very end tips.

When someone sheers the hedge, It ruins the look and feel of a boxwood. They are suppose to be loose and uneven. Unless, you are going for a very tight knot style, which you literaly trim on a very regular basis. I was always taught to trim boxwoods with Felco pruners and be selective.

I am by no ways an expert on these!! Just followed behind some others that where worse than me!

coultman859
07-19-2012, 11:41 AM
Just Me- Thanks for the post. I have noticed in my area a huge number of boxwoods that are clouded like this, and only a couple people who take care of them. And yes, "undulation" is the perfect word. I understand about letting light in, but I was under the impression that this was just typical pruning done feb-march to avoid the hardened outside layer, like you say. Everything I have read online indicates exactly what you say; as far as trimming with felcos and maintaining a loose feel. However, around here it seems that even the specialists tend to trim them regularly, following the "clouded" shape. From what I have gathered, the clouds are still formed by either pruning (creating holes) or natural fall (still, creating holes), which leads to low spots in the box that can be used as a guide. While I'm out today I will post more pictures from around town if you are interested. Thanks!

Just Me
07-19-2012, 12:03 PM
Of course we want pictures. Boxwoods are beautiful. They just stink like cat urine!!
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Belgium
07-19-2012, 03:27 PM
Lol sometimes we plant boxwoods like this on purpose because peole like it over here. Of course we do plant them individually too and if you trim them regularly you can keep them perfectly in shape
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coultman859
07-19-2012, 05:11 PM
That's why I'm not quite sure what larryinalabama was talking about.
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larryinalabama
07-19-2012, 09:45 PM
Ya'll might enjoy this.
http://boxwoodgarden.com/

coultman859
07-19-2012, 10:48 PM
Thanks Larry.
Here are some more pictures from a few more properties today.

Just Me
07-19-2012, 11:12 PM
Have to say. That is not undulation. That is mass mounds. The idea of boxwood is elegant and airy. Not clumpy and dumpy. That would not be acceptable around here.
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coultman859
07-19-2012, 11:36 PM
really? I know what you mean by being clumpy, but either way they are extremely popular here. Just very interesting.

coultman859
07-19-2012, 11:40 PM
However in The Art of Creative Pruning, I hvae found a few examples of box being trimmed this way. hm.

larryinalabama
07-20-2012, 09:32 AM
Cool pictures.

UKHortCat
07-29-2012, 10:22 AM
really? I know what you mean by being clumpy, but either way they are extremely popular here. Just very interesting.
Hey coult, I also work in Lexington. Clouding is extremely popular in the Chinoe/Richmond Rd area but can be a little tedious. The best way I've found to accomplish clouding is to treat each existing mound as its own "plant". Carve it with a good pair of scissor shears, trimming the farthest side from you to achieve a round look. And don't be afraid to flip them "upside down" and every which way. Its a long process but if you keep your patience it gives a very high end look and a happy customer. Good luck.
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Mahoney3223
07-29-2012, 11:26 AM
neat design, does anyone else think the front row of shrubs in third picture looks like a dong? lol

coultman859
07-29-2012, 02:39 PM
Thanks ukhortcat- appreciate it. Always good to hear from a fellow lexingtonian. Glad to know someone here doesn't think
I'm nuts too. And yes, totally looks like a dong haha.
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