How to make a bird out of boxwood

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Boxwood is particularly suitable for landscaping. It is easy to maintain and very decorative both as a hedge and as a single plant. Properly used, the evergreen shaped wood is an eye catcher in every garden, especially in winter. With its fine foliage and its ability to regenerate, boxwood is also ideal for cuts and figures. Spheres and pyramids, but also more complicated forms - as in our example a bird - can be worked out in detail.

For the bird figure you need a broad-crowned and well-branched plant that should not be too dense yet. Especially recommended are more vigorous varieties of the small-leaved boxwood (Buxus microphylla), for example 'Faulkner', because they are less susceptible to the dreaded instinctual death caused by a fungus called cylindrocladium. Another enemy are the caterpillars of the boxwood. The infestation can be quite well controlled, if you have only a few individual box trees in the garden.

Step by step: forming a bird from boxwood

Boxwood shape step 1

Boxwood shape step 2

In the garden center you get a suitable starting plant (left). Stable wire is used to form the skeleton of the figure (right)

Galvanized steel wire with 2.2 mm thickness is best suited as a "support corset" for the future figure. Cut a few pieces with the pliers and make two different sized loops for the tail end. For the head you need two equally long pieces. These twist together at the top and just below, creating the desired shape.

Boxwood shape step 3

Boxwood shape step 4

If a branch does not want to stay in the desired position, it can be fixed to the wire frame with a hollow cord (left). Then you have to cut the figure over several years periodically in shape, so that the contours are good (right)

Insert the three wire supports in the middle deep into the pot ball so that they stand firmly. Now guide the various main drives through the frame to roughly form the desired figure. Finally, all protruding tips are shortened with the scissors. With good care and two to three shape cuts per season, the figure is so dense after a few years that it is easy to recognize as a bird. The wire frame can now be cut with pliers into small pieces and removed.

The sharper the scissors, the cleaner the cut

Buchs can be cut with normal hedge trimmers and special boxwood scissors. Tailoring professionals prefer to use sheep shears. They cut very precisely without plucking or pinching the shoots. Tip: Clean used tools after cutting to prevent disease. One of the most popular book characters is the ball - and putting them into shape freewheeling is not that easy. A uniform curvature on all sides, which leads to a uniformly round book ball, succeeds only with much practice. This problem can be easily solved with a template made of cardboard.

Video Board: Topiary - the art of shaping trees & shrubs into art forms ~ courtesy of Pinterest.

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