Spiral and Cloud Pruning

Conifers can be kept neat and tidy by regular pruning.
Equally Conifers can become feature plants with there own personalities.

Spiral Pruning

  • Interesting patterns and shapes can also be created like this double spiral on a Golden Yew.
  • Two conifer types were used the low growing ball shaped shrubs to make the spiral at ground level. Abies balsamea ‘Hudsonia’ is a bun shaped, slow growing conifer.
  • The tall spiral was cut into a Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Columnaris’ which can grow to 20′ high. Golden Yew could also be trained to grow in this shape.

Cloud Pruning

  • Cloud pruning was a fad some years ago but it takes dedication to keep up to it.
  • Ilex crenata, the small leaved holly is popular in Japan
  • Taxus Yew is without equal when clear geometric shapes are required.
  • Even Leylandii can be pruned into cloud shapes.
  • Pines are more difficult and time-consuming to prune this way.
  • Leylandii are forever needing extra trimmi9ng but if you enjoy pruning then it may be the plant for you.

Topiary Shears


I called this female statue ‘Lady Gardener’ due to the implement she was carrying that looks like Topiary Shears. In truth the shears are used in the woolen trade for shearing and working cloth. (The clue was seeing her in Dewsbury the Heart of the Woolen District of West Yorkshire.) She looks a bit too formidable to use as a garden statue but if my garden (and pockets) were big enough she could feature.

I have a large and small pair of these shears for light trimming and training of shrubs. I particularly use them to keep Lonicera nitada ‘Baggins Gold’ under control as trimming encourages new yellow leaf.


Shears by Burgon & Ball


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