THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan25

Creative Pruning – A Vocabulary

A simple blog post today – we offer you a vocabulary to use when looking at ways to prune creatively, then at the end link to places you can buy tools and read more about the work of some of the key players in the pruning world.

We hope this vocabulary is useful though – as you never know when you might need to explain the difference between a wibble and a twmp – it may help sell the idea to a client, or unwilling family member who thinks you should just leave that tree well alone…

A Shape and Clipping Vocabulary

Blobs

Blobberies

Balls

Squares

Cubes

Rectangles

Dice

Domes

Cones

Spirals

Crenellation – a space between two merlons in a battlement wall.

Puddings

Multi-stem

Standards

Spheres

Buttresses

Windows

Arches

Wedding Cake

Boxes

Parasol

Goblet

Drumstick

Helter Skelters

Teardrops

Kidneys

Clouds

Rockets

Pyramids

Merlons – the upright bit in a castle fort (see crenallation… or google ‘crenels…) An archer may have peered through it to fire arrows.

Carbuncles

Parterre – a more formal topiary arrangement than a bump, say…

Doughnuts

Bumps

Parachutes

Niches

Batter – sloped side on a hedge, where the bottom is wider than the top allowing light to reach the whole height of the hedge.

Eggs

Slabs

Planes

Broccolli

Peacocks

Humps

Lumps

Bells

Bolls

Tunnels

Candles

Tumpties

Twmps

Mushrooms

Onions

Liberty caps

Nipples

Espalier

Pleached

Niwaki – meaning ‘garden tree’ – Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way

Pollarded

Stilts

Stooled

Raised

Layed

Coppiced

Hedge – double, triple…

Flailed

Thinned

Animals

Chess Pieces

Top Hats

Russian Dolls

Plinths

Soldiers

Castles

Faces

Organic

Karikomi – one plant repeated in a great mass… for great effect…

Flat

Semi-flat

Poodle

Pompom

Furniture

Nursery & Topiary Specialists

Jake Hobson – sells tools here at Niwaki, and his books are here at Amazon.

Nicky Fraser – graffiti artist using hedges. Brilliant stuff!

Solitair

Charlotte Molesworth – It’s the shape of things to come.

Topiary Arts

Architectural Plants – where we first heard the term Niwaki.

Earlstone Box and Topiary – field grown box plants near where we lived in Hampshire.

Langley Boxwood – where we sourced little used Buxus ‘Herrenhausen’, a tiny leaved box…

European Boxwood and Topiary Society – publishers of the wonderful Topiarius magazine and brilliant starting place to learn about all things box. Modern Mint are proud to be members!

Tool Vocabulary

 

We hope this glossary of terms helps you put into words what you are trying to do when you clip. It is, much like the act of pruning, an organic artifact that is growing all the time as new people take up a pair of shears and begin to shape the plants around them.

We hope that you have a go this year, and can help add another word to the growing vocabulary of the pruner!

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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