2 June 2017
June: Box Clipping!
June! All over the land, people are rummaging through their sheds, shaking out their pruning sheets and oiling down their shears, all the while casting anxious glances at the dark clouds above - getting ready, in short, for box clipping.
Derby Day (Epsom, not Kentucky) is seen as the green light for the box clipping season to begin, and it conveniently coincides with the end of a short but glorious growth spurt that started some time in April. The idea is to hold off until your box has done most of its growing, and then get stuck in. Start too soon and it keeps growing, looking scruffy and needing clipping again weeks later. June is perfect.
We like to think we know a thing or two about box clipping. In fact, we KNOW we know a thing or two about it. Here are some KEY POINTS.
1. Sharp shears. 2. Clean shears. 3. Niwaki shears.
Follow at least two of the three key points, and you’ll be fine.
Sharp shears are essential - blunt ones tear and bruise the foliage, rather than cutting it cleanly. We recommend the #1000 grit Niwaki Stone for regular sharpening.
Clean shears are essential - dirty ones clog up and are much harder work. Even good shears get dirty. We recommend the Crean Mate, but there’s nothing wrong with a bucket of water and the rough side of a washing up sponge.
Niwaki Shears - they’re essential too, obviously. The trick is to use the Topiary or Garden Shears for as much of the job as possible, and then the one handed Topiary Clippers for smaller stuff. See below for some suggestions.