THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Earlier this month Modern Mint were lucky enough to be invited to visit the garden of Charlotte Molesworth – the Queen of Topiary.
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.
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.
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…
And most importantly – use good, sharp tools!
Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits and flowers of your …
Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …
This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies?