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!
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
How To Use Topiary In The Garden is my new talk, which I first gave last year via Zoom for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society. Returning to Zoom again, there are two dates available to see and hear the talk: March 16th – Book your ticket here April 6th – Book your ticket here The talk is great fun, perfect for keen gardeners or people who want to know how to improve their garden with hedges and architectural plants. How To Use Topiary In The Garden looks at how to move away from the idea topiary is twee or old-fashioned, …