Every now and then, I spend time working at other gardens around the San Francisco Bay Area. This past week, El Camino Del Mar in Seacliff was the location.
The owner has a front and backyard landscaped in a very formal French parterre theme. It's a bit different than the look at Wildwood Farm. The philosophy behind the gardens at Wildwood and the garden in Seacliff is similar though. Both involve hand trimming and shaping. Of course, boxwood hedges need frequent attention!
All plants respond better to careful shaping rather than indiscriminate razing with mechanical tools. And keeping plants in check requires much more vigilance and skill than allowing a plant to mature to full height.