THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun01

Chelse Fringe, Week 2

Our Chelsea Fringe project ‘You Should Have Seen It Last Week…’ has now reached its second week and material gathered is now starting to look really good. If you haven’t been to a Chelsea Fringe project yet – what are you doing with your time?!?

The contrast between the plants in the southern hemisphere (which enters Autumn) and the project participants from Europe cannot be more marked – all that seems to change each day in Amalia Robredo’s photos is the sea, although if you look closely the fruits on the Cereus uruguayanus (cacti at the front) are being eaten by the birds.

The peonies from Willow in Italy and Oana in the UK have taken a slow evolution from flower bud to flower, but have now passed the stage of promise and are showing us their marvellous blooms, while the Essex garden started with a few tiny green shoots that now appear to be proper seedlings.

Anthea Harrison gave us a ‘ta-da’ moment last week, while Sophie seems to have a new flower everyday depending on when the sun hits the garden. Maja and Andrew Thorne’s garden in Germany is a beautiful contribution, forget-me-nots turning from blue to grey, daisies in the lawn coming and going depending on when they are mowed and flashes of colour from the roses as they open up in the garden…

Artist Gloria Sanvicente Amor chose to work with cut flowers. We watch in the knowledge they exist on borrowed time, losing a little more vitality and warmth each day – it reminds us of a family member coming to the end of a long illness, the urgency to share gracefully what time is left – these photos have been a soft reminder of these times.

We hope you are enjoying this project so far, please do keep coming back for its final week!

Thank you, Modern Mint and the Chelsea Fringe…

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

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 …

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