Turn Overgrown Front Door Plants Into Nice Topiaries

Sylvia had asked me to deal with the plants by her front entrance some time ago. It seems that the blue point junipers were getting a bit out of hand. I like blue points but they take either a lot of room or a lot of care. There’s definitely not much room in this yard. […]

Front Door Plants—Starting a Topiary Project

I’ve been working with plants professionally for 35 years or so. During that time, one of the most requested tasks has been to “find me something distinctive to go on the front porch (or by the door).”  Usually it takes a lot of time and searching to find just the right plant for the job. […]

Pruning for Betty. Japanese Maples, Topiaries and Bonsai

I got a text message the other day saying that the Japanese maples needed pruning. I had been expecting this so I shifted my schedule around, sharpened my Felco pruning shears, grabbed my camera and headed out. Betty has been a special friend and client for a number of years. She has also been a […]

Pruning a Japanese maple

Japanese maples are special and as such they require special treatment. They are such cute little trees when we plant them but after a while they get much larger. It is a matter of personal preference as to whether the tree looks better in its natural state or whether it is more desirable to prune it. I am generally of the latter opinion.

Foundation planting with containers

  Today’s article is about what I call a “Barbie Doll Garden.”  Here’s the story: One of my favorite clients for a number of years is very easy to please as long as she gets ­exactly what she wants.  The problem is that I sometimes have to get really creative to reach that goal.  I spent […]

Plant in the wrong place? Make a topiary

Mabel and I were talking about improvements that needed to be made in her beautiful back yard garden. She stopped and pointed, “John, that pretty cedar tree is in exactly the wrong place next to the walkway. I hate to say it, but I guess we need to take it out.” I agreed that it […]

A Privacy Screen with Arizona Cypress and Knockout Rose

What happens if you don’t prune? I write a lot of articles about pruning and actually the articles on pruning Knockout Roses are the most popular ones on my blog site. One of my rules on landscape design is to plant so that the project will look finished in five years. Today, I visited a […]

Tree forming-Landscaping from the inside out.

Using Bonsai techniques to prune and shape overgrown shrubs and trees in the landscape

I have always thought that a good landscape design should provide pleasing views from the inside out as well as just from the outside.

How to prune and reshape an overgrown bonsai tree

How to prune and reshape an overgrown bonsai tree  I started a bonsai for Micky about twelve years ago by cutting up a dwarf procumbens juniper and potting it in a clay saucer. I think the last time I pruned it was about five years ago. It was one of those things I kept meaning […]