Pruning your boxwood shrubs should be somewhat regular yard maintenance especially if you hope to create designs out of them. If your boxwood shrubs grow too large without being trimmed, they can get a little unwieldy and be harder to shape. Boxwoods are ideal for design trimming because they grow compactly with firm, brittle branches. You don’t have to be trained in the art of topiary to successfully design your shrubs. There are many easy and attractive designs you can start with.
Plan out the Design
Before you begin pruning the shrubs, have the necessary tools ready to go, and start by imagining what type of shape you want your boxwoods to take on. Sketch it out if necessary. The tools you will need are an electric hedge trimmer, a pair of handheld shears and an extension cord. Work gloves are not a bad idea either. If you are new to creative hedge trimming, don’t immediately try to trim the boxwoods into the shape of an animal or something complicated like that. Most residential boxwoods are long and low to the ground. For this reason, your design choices may be limited, but that does not mean you cannot be creative and have fun.
Because most boxwood shrubs are long and short, pick a design that works with the flow of the shrub. Avoid extreme detail as it will be difficult to accurately trim out and be imperceptible to an onlooker. The best designs are often the simplest. One that works really well resembles the top of a medieval castle. The top of the boxwood ends up looking like a parapet with evenly spaced gaps cut out in it.
A wave design is another way to decorate your boxwood. It goes well with the long and low shrub to carve out a flowing sine wave. Or simply consider rounding the sharp edges of the boxwood out to give the shrub a softer look. Rounding out the corners and getting them to match could be a bit of a challenge, but if you have a good eye and a steady hand, it is well within your ability.
More advanced designs incorporate other geometrical shapes. In fact, those are what you should stick with. Geometric solids present enough of a challenge, and they are interesting to the eye. Trimming out a creative top to your boxwood shrubs consisting of a pattern of trapezoids, triangles and parallelograms is one such idea, but the sky is the limit with this type of design.
Creating attractive designs in your boxwood shrubs is a great way to add a little spectacle to your landscape. Boxwood shrubs make an excellent material because they are so compact and firm. It might take some practice to become adept at trimming the shrubs, though. That is why you should start with something relatively easy, incorporating an interesting pattern of geometric shapes in the design. You probably won’t be able to recreate the Elgin marble in your boxwood, but you can certainly trim your shrub into the shape of a felled Greek column if you so desire.