THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun30

Article In Topiarius Magazine

I recently wrote a piece for Topiarius magazine, the flagship publication of the European Boxwood & Topiary Society – of which Modern Mint is both a member and big supporter.

Check out the EBTS here. They frequently run courses and talks too, so worth keeping an eye on.

Below is the piece I wrote about the tools I use when making topiary and pruning trees….

Darren’s Piece In Topiarius Magazine

I use Okatsune Secateurs, which I started pruning with when working on a large orchard in Hampshire.

My Felco’s were too difficult to open with cold hands, but the chunky clasp at the bottom of the Okatsune, with their iconic red and white handles, made them a practical replacement. The steel is strong and the action channelled towards the cutting blades. They are my everyday secateurs.

Secateurs whetstone gift set

Newly hooked on Japanese tools, I bought the Okatsune shears and the soft whetstone to keep it sharp. I love the balance of the 21″s, the blade length allowing for a smooth and rapid flow as you clip, the handles light and strong.

Shears Ultimate gift set

Tobisho make the ‘Barracuda’ topiary clippers I use.

I hated most hand clippers; too clunky, too stiff, too blunt, too painful to use for longer than five minutes. Handmade, these clippers are worth the outlay, so sharp and tough they make the work fun and allow you to focus on adding detail to the topiary piece you are making.

My indefensible purchase are the Tobisho shears with curved blades. Imagine two samurai swords, just bolted together. A weapon for making organic shapes! You don’t need them and you can only really use them on boxwood.

But I bought them because they are thrilling to use, so light and sharp and shiny. They seem able to slice the air. A foolish purchase. Yet as I write this, I catch myself smiling thinking about them. Roll on the boxwood season….

If You Have A Plant You Need Pruning…

Get in touch and see if I can help you.

I happily clip hedges into interesting shapes, sculpt shrubs, make topiaries, prune roses, wisteria and fruit trees.

Don’t let a plant in your garden go to waste. Make it architectural and interesting by pruning it with an eye for the detail.

And of course, make sure you use some decent tools whilst you make it. They will help save you time and make pruning a joy.

Check out more pruning tools here.

Nov19

Fernando Caruncho, A Couple More Interviews To Read…

Fernando Caruncho is a garden designer from Madrid. I am always inspired by his work – his clean lines, ‘green architecture’, sense of proportion, balance and minimal plant palette. This seems to bring out the atmosphere of the garden, the space, intensifying its… spirit. I have written about him a lot – here, for example… and here. But recently I have discovered a few more interviews with him, so thought I would link to his words as he always has something interesting to say, the opposite of prosaic. This first interview from the Society of Garden Designers will give you …

READ MORE

Nov11

Talks Information 2021, Darren Lerigo Garden Club Speaker, Modern Mint

In 2021 I will be offering 5 talks – so if you are a Garden Club, Horticultural Society, WI, Probus group or club of some kind who needs a speaker, click on the link below to read a short document with all the details! Talks Information 2021 inc Zoom Darren Lerigo, Modern Mint There is an FAQ’s section included in the download, but if you have another question that needs answering then please do get in touch with me and ask it. I’m happy to help! Contact Me About A Talk For Your Group

Nov10

Book Yourself A Topiary Workshop In 2021

Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2021. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2021