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!

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.