THE MODERN MINT BLOG
We have a copy of the book ‘The Barn Garden’ by Tom Stuart Smith here, for sale.
It has some great review on Amazon and is his own account, with photos, of how he came to make his own garden. No ‘blousy’ peonies or kniphofias (although there was a time he had them in his borders) because he wanted a garden that belonged to the landscape.
He writes beautifully and often leaves the reader with tantalising notes on certain plants – like keeping the plants that come from tough, dry environments in nature free of additional fertiliser. A lean diet benefits their growth!
The photos of the corten tanks that were originally a part of his Chelsea Flower Garden, against the Iris that bloom so bright and delightfully, are a wonder and really make me think about the way I garden. To up my game, to be bolder and use plants that can sometimes be a little harder to grow, or to establish, or to thrive, but not let the put me off and work smarter to make them bloom.
Because when they do they are a true delight!
Amazon are selling copies of the book, 2 copies, used, for £75.
Or brand new from £297!
We would like to offer it to you for £45. That way you can read it, sell it on and get some of your money back… or, keep it and enjoy the inspiration you can get from Tom Stuart-Smith’s ‘The Barn Garden: Making a Place.’
Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …
Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …
Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …