BUXUS TOPIARY

TOPIARY, GARDEN PLANTS, GARDEN PLANTERS  FROM NEW LEAF TOPIARY IN WIGAN AND LONDON, UK

Topiary plants and trees can be used to add sculptural impact to garden or can be planted as garden feature. Topiary plants and trees will enhance any patio, balcony or terrace. On our website will find best garden plants for formal, modern or roof garden. Topiary can be used in different garden styles and create interesting design effects.

Topiary range include lollipop trees, topiary pyramids, topiary cones, topiary balls, topiary spheres and topiary spirals as well as animal shapes and sports figures. We also offer architectural plants and ready potted plants and gift plants

ANOTHER YEAR WITH BOX BLIGHT & BOX TREE MOTH

REPORT BY DR BÉATRICE HENICOT, PRINCIPAL PLANT PATHOLOGIST AT THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY

 

In the mid-1990s, the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola was introduced into the UK. It has had a devastating impact on box (Buxus spp), a British native and one of the oldest ornamentals. The fungus causes leaf spots, defoliation and die-back of box. A diagnostic feature of the disease is the presence of black streaks on the stems.  The disease is extremely disfiguring and as a result of repetitive defoliation the plants may die especially if they are young.  Cylindrocladium blight is different from another box blight disease caused by Volutella buxi. Unlike C. buxicola which can penetrate directly through the cuticule, V. buxi needs wounds to infect and stressed plants are likely to be more susceptible to the disease. This latter fungus also causes dieback and it is often seen with C. buxicola. In wet conditions, the spores of the fungus are white for C. buxicola and pink for V. buxi and may be seen on the under surfaces of infected leaves.

Box blight (Cylindrocladium buxicola) on Box (Buxus sempervirens).

C. buxicola became established quickly in the UK and has now spread to most of continental Europe from North (Sweden) to South (Spain and Portugal) and from West (Ireland) to East (Turkey and Georgia).  It also occurs in New Zealand. No one knows where the disease comes from and the claims that the fungus originated from Central America have not been substantiated. The fungus is likely to cause little damage where it originates from, a characteristic of most introduced pathogens. The disease is threatening natural habitats and affects box on Box Hill (near Dorking) where 40% of native box occurs. In Georgia, large areas of ancient forests of Buxus colchica have been affected by the disease.  [Note:- Buxus colchica is a relict species of box native to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Turkey. It does not differ morphologically from B. sempervirens and is considered to be synonym of it.]  In October 2011, the disease spread to the USA and Canada. In the USA, the disease has spread rapidly on infected material and is already recognised in many different States on the Eastern and Western Coast.

2012 saw the highest number of cases of Cylindrocladium blight on box since it was first seen at the RHS in 1998. High rainfall during the growing season has made the plants particularly vulnerable as young leaves are more susceptible to infection. Work on host range showed that other Buxaceae are susceptible including Sarcococca and Pachysandra. In the genus Buxus, B. balearicaB. bodinieriB. glomerataB. harlandiiB. microphyllaB. macowaniiB. ripariaB. sinica and B. sempervirens (many varieties) are susceptibleThere are however differences in cultivar susceptibility and work is still in progress to demonstrate those differences. Work done in Germany for example showed that the varieties B. microphylla ‘Faulkner’, B. microphylla ‘Herrenhausen’, B. microphylla var. koreanaBuxus ‘Green Mound’, B. sempervirens ‘Arborescens’, B. sempervirens ‘Handworthiensis’ are less susceptible to the disease. Work done in States showed that varieties of B. microphylla are usually more resistant and varieties of B. sempervirens are more susceptible. There are exceptions to this rule as some varieties of B. sempervirens have a more open growing habit (for example B. sempervirens ‘Dee Runk’) which will make them less likely to be infected and vice versa there are some varieties of B. microphylla with tighter growing habits such as B. microphylla var. japonica ‘Green Beauty’ which are more susceptible to the disease.

There are some effective treatments available to nursery growers but the fungicides tested so far which can be used in gardens have a limited success.  A second population of C. buxicola has emerged recently which has a reduced sensitivity to some fungicides but no difference in infectivity with the main population has been detected. This finding will have important implications on management practices using fungicides. Therefore, the disease will continue to be difficult to control in gardens but several control strategies can be put in place to limit the spread in gardens and the wider environment.

MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

Box blight is a very damaging disease that can spread very rapidly in optimum conditions. Prompt and aggressive control measures are therefore necessary to contain the infection.

The most important precaution gardeners can take is to ensure that the box plants they buy are not infected. Hold any newly bought plants in isolation for at least three weeks to confirm they are free of infection before planting out. Commercial nurseries may use fungicides which suppress but do not kill the fungus and this isolation technique will allow time for any suppressed disease to become visible.

Consider taking cuttings from known disease-free plants.  Box strikes readily from cuttings and nodal stem tip cuttings should root in about two months.

Reducing or stopping clipping to make the plant less dense and therefore allowing more ventilation throughout the plant also helps to reduce the incidence of the disease.

Inspect your plants regularly and if the disease does break out, remove and destroy affected plants. If they are mature and highly valued, cut out all affected parts, clean up fallen leaves (including stripping and replacing surface topsoil to ensure complete removal) and treat with a fungicide. Fungicides available to amateurs for use on ornamentals such as difenoconazole, myclobutanil, tebuconazole and triticonazole are likely to have a limited activity so they should not be used when the symptoms are severe. Difenoconazole has shown to have some protectant activity in trials carried out in Germany.

 

This article was originally printed in 2013 Topiarius Volume 17 page 31.

Photographs copyright Royal Horticultural Society

TOPIARY GARDENS

A Yorkshire estate has been showing off some top class topiary on its nearby green this week.

Shaun the topiary sheep and his floral display have been causing quite a stir on the estate’s Kirkfield Green thanks to Thorner Tenants and Residents Association.

Shaun the topiary sheep

Association member Andrea Walker said: “Shaun has taken up residence with us for the summer season and has already given lots of pleasure to many people living in and out of the village.

“Shaun’s visit is part of the association’s green team’s flowerbed project aimed at giving the estate the uplift it was in need of.

“As members of Thorner Tenants and Residents Association we feel very honoured to be the first people to show Shaun off in a rural setting.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind comments and encouragement to carry on with the good work, also a thank you to those who have made a donation towards the purchase of our plants.”

Leeds City Council (Redhall Nurseries) has let the estate display Shaun on loan this summer.

But it is Thorner Tenants and Residents Association, established in October last year, who has successfully secured his debut appearance for the benefit of the village.

Mrs Walker said: “Our aims and objectives are to make our environment a pleasant place to live and to improve conditions to promote and represent all tenants and residents of the area. We have planters arriving in the near future which will be placed on the Bramham Road area to provide a floral display and the association has also helped elderly residents and just recently provided skips around the area.

“We hope to achieve a good relationship with East North East Homes Leeds and all tenants and residents in our area and also to work alongside Thorner Parish Council on all matters relating to the community in which we live.”

l The association is holding an open meeting on the July 25 at Thorner Primary School at 3.30pm until 5.30 pm. Representatives from the local police, fire service, highways and East North East Homes Leeds departments will be present to deal with any issues along with members of the association committee.

TOPIARY GOLFER THEFT

A 6ft tall topiary bush in the shape of a golfer about to hit a ball has been dug up and stolen from a golf club in East Sussex.

It had been imported from Italy and had only been in place at the Sweetwoods Park club, in Holtye, for six weeks.

The unique work of art was stolen overnight between 9 and 10 January.

Police believe several people would have been needed to dig up the bush, and lift it over the perimeter fence of the golf club.

Neil Crittenden, the head green keeper, said the topiary, which is worth about £1,000, had been planted into a container which was dug into the ground at the entrance to the club.

“All the members loved it and it was a nice piece. It’s sad to see it go,” he said, adding that a reward was on offer for its safe return.

TOPIARY ELEPHANTS IN THE GARDEN

The hedge outside his kitchen window had grown wild when the 49-year-old took it to task.

With a hedge-trimmer, shears and even a pair of scissors he carefully carved out seven adult elephants and three babies.

And the unique topiary hedge has become a tourist attraction outside his home in Brecon.

Mr Hogg, 49, fell in love with the wildlife during a safari in Kenya that when he returned home he decided to recreate a little bit of Africa in his back garden.

It took two days to craft the herd and the result is a striking 100ft-long trail of green elephants that stretches around the corner of his family home outside Brecon in Mid Wales.

Mr Hogg said: “It was just a normal, fairly boring box hedge when I started. I found a picture of a group of elephants and set about shaping it. Time seemed to disappear while I was working on it.

“I was able to create the appearance of folds in the skin and shadow lines for shoulder blades and hips.

“I also clipped an eye in some of the adult elephants to give it greater authenticity. It was a lot of work and the ears and trunks were a bit tricky but I am pleased with the end result.”

Mr Hogg and his wife Vina, who have two children, farm organic vegetables at their 17th century home.

He added: “It’s great to see our own herd of elephants every time we look out of the window, even if they are green. They will need a haircut twice a year to smarten them up. But they will be a permanent feature.”

The topiary elep