THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun29

Charlotte Molesworth

Earlier this month Modern Mint were lucky enough to be invited to visit the garden of Charlotte Molesworth – the Queen of Topiary.

Charlotte Molesworth

The garden is full of the most wonderful shapes in yew and box – peacocks, pets, clouds, plinths, blobs – you name it, the sun will be shining on it throughout the day, creating the most beautiful shadows and textures.

For more photos, click here.

Charlotte explained that they have grown the garden over the last 33 years, the box all coming from cuttings. Looking at the sheer size and weight, it seems incredible that these pieces of art have grown from a tiny piece of stem.

But that is gardening – patience rewards!

Not just a topiarist, working wonders with plants, Charlotte is also an artist (in a more traditional sense) and flower arranger. Do pop down to her studio when it is open to see her creations.

For details of the Open Studio, click here.

We left inspired to do more clipping and topiary work, and to grow our own plants for pruning – not just the traditional native evergreens box and yew, but things like pittosporum, phillyrea and holm oak too.

Hopefully by next year we can put together some space for creating ‘hedge art’ – and one day become as good as Charlotte Molesworth!

If you want to have a go at some topiary, check out some tips we learnt previously from the ‘Topiary King’ Jake Hobson…

The Art of Creative Pruning.

And most importantly – use good, sharp tools!

Check out the Modern Mint Pruning Tools – they’re the best!

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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