The Prunus lusitanica and the triangular Buxus sempervirens in front of it need regular clipping and pruning to keep the proper shape.
Both get pruned and clipped in the so called Hako-zukuri style (see: Karikomi and hako-zukuri) (shrubs clipped into boxes and straight lines).
The Prunus lusitanica is a strong grower and needs to be pruned completely twice a year. In between we take out the strong sprouts so as to retain shape and to enforce compact growing. The art lies not only to retain and improve the shape but even more so in doing that while keeping it small.
On the photo, about half of the tree has been clipped. This now also reveals the flowers that have grown inside on “old wood”.
Although this is more time consuming, we do not clip with a hedge-shears but rather prune the Prunus with a hand pruner or pruning shears. The reason for doing so is that we do not want to end up with damaged leafs. These leafs are relatively large and stay on for a couple of years. This means that we would be looking at mutilated leafs for a couple of years and hence we take some extra time for this.
A forthcoming advantage of this method, that also saves some time, is that we do not have to collect the leafs from the ground by hand afterwards. We would not want to use a rake because that would damage the Leptinella groundcover.
Unfortunately this method is not practically feasible for the Boxwood (like the one in front). On the other hand there the result is less dramatic because of the small leafs.
This photo shows the “harvest” of this single shrub (tree) for one treatement. This we do two times a year and can be done any time during the growth season.