The Kindest Cut


I do love topiary. I have an area in my own garden  we pretentiously call “The Topiary Allee”, which, for future generations, will no doubt be quite impressive. Currently, I fear  my topiary are what Edward Gorey would call objects of pity on the lawn.  No matter. I faithfully go after my little tamaracks with the clippers, picturing the  balls and birds  which will some day disport themselves whimsically across my garden. In the meantime, I take note of how they do things in Paris.

01659ce899198a5c8451417c54da4b8846adf11ff5The French are totally into clipping trees. They are kind of out of control.

011148e55b746e8446db29f8d2104f3cd9feb90e00 It can look kind of spooky. Gothic. Skeletal.

01eace18b04874fa86c8b03005c7eb41a328961732_00001 You get these interesting nobs on the branches.

01953d1be1c26f31166eb1aead81ef94bcd4430a03 In addition to pollarding, they also limb up, creating really tidy shrubberies.

0151ea3077e6f37555151bc271cf213e44851e0e50 Tidy as heck.aadsc09093 This kind of hedge-on-a-stick look is everywhere, but not in leaf yet in Paris (thanks to for the image). I guess it’s a question of how far from nature do you want to go. I find bonsai a bit too far, for example. Poor little trees, with their roots like bound feet in the tiny pots. I think we need to revisit this issue when things leaf out. Is it possible to go too far with this? 6532361



2 thoughts on “The Kindest Cut

  1. Enjoyed your take on topiary, being a fan of the clippers too. Sadly my own pretentious “parterre” (painstakingly raised from cuttings) has fallen prey to box blight after all this rain. Love the elephants, but may not live long enough to go that far! Look forward to reading more….

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