If you are after a garden statement factor, a structural element and/or an artistic focal point, I’d suggest you dare to rock cloud pruning. This type of pruning makes an (evergreen) plant look like it has green cotton wool balls shooting off the end of its branches. It just looks supercool. It has previously been recommended using it sparingly in garden design schemes. Now, however, it seems that convention has been thrown out the window, and a sense of more is more has arrived. Rules are meant to be broken!
Pruned but not so cloud pruned trees …
Cloud pruning, like bonsai, originated in Japan where it has been around since the 1200s. There it’s known as Niwaki and can be translated into garden tree and sculpting tree. Although I’ve seen cloud pruned shrubs/trees around before, their coolness were today brought to mind reading the December 2022 issue of Gardens Illustrated. An article highlighted a design scheme by Australian garden designer Jane Jones. From what I understand, she started with pruning one tree and because it looked so good, basically didn’t stop. And what a fab result she achieved. Well done!
Cloud pruned specimens seen on Google
If you do dare to rock cloud pruning, how should you go about doing so? A good idea is to start with a suitable tree. That applies to the kind of tree as well as branch formation. But I’ll leave it to the Royal Horticultural Society to give you the full lowdown.