THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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
Crenellation – a space between two merlons in a battlement wall.
Merlons – the upright bit in a castle fort (see crenallation… or google ‘crenels…) An archer may have peered through it to fire arrows.
Parterre – a more formal topiary arrangement than a bump, say…
Batter – sloped side on a hedge, where the bottom is wider than the top allowing light to reach the whole height of the hedge.
Niwaki – meaning ‘garden tree’ – Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way
Hedge – double, triple…
Karikomi – one plant repeated in a great mass… for great effect…
Nursery & Topiary Specialists
Nicky Fraser – graffiti artist using hedges. Brilliant stuff!
Charlotte Molesworth – It’s the shape of things to come.
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!
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!
I am running a topiary workshop in 2020 with the wonderful topiary artist Charlotte Molesworth at her spectacular topiary garden in Kent. This is a topiary workshop where you will learn to clip, so be prepared to do some cutting. We start with a tour of the garden, which Charlotte and her husband Donald have been cultivating for 34 years. It is organic, full of wildlife and has the most extraordinary pruned shapes made from yew and boxwood. You can see more photos of the garden in an article in the Guardian here: Topiary Garden In Kent What Else Will …
On Monday night I gave a talk to the Hardy Plant Society Middlesex. Below are a few links for further information based on some of the ideas discussed in the talk: Real Seeds – a fantastic supplier of fruit and vegetable seeds for growers. Boxwood Caterpillar Advice – from the European Boxwood & Topiary Society. I will also write a little companion piece this winter with more information and some topiary techniques, so watch out for that on this website. Boxwood Lure & Nematodes – my preferred option for dealing with the caterpillar. Discount code for 10% off is EBTSBOX29GBZ …