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!

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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