THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May24

Dan Pearson’s Must-Have Plants: Annuals, Bulbs and Climbers

We went to see Dan Pearson and Fergus Garrett speak at the Gardens Illustrated talk last week.

Dan spoke about his gardening mentors, the Garden Bridge project for London and his current addiction for Epimediums… his work has evolved over the years – though always remained rooted in the nature of the place itself – he spoke of how his planting palette was changing and the gardens he makes looser and closer in feel to a natural space.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

The list he gives below is a useful starting point for anyone needing some gardening inspiration, originally shared in a Gardens Illustrated article…

My own love in the garden is for topiary, but topiary only works in all its glory when you add other plants around it. Some of these annuals, adding colourful contrast to the strength and rooted feel of a group of yew or boxwood topiaries would be a brilliant way to make a garden.

As well as reading on below, do also check out this review of Dan Pearson’s excellent book ‘Spirit’.

Annuals

Ammi majus – the flower growers best friend… I have seen it replaced in a bouquet with the slightly more robust, less elegant flower of ground elder…. yes, seriously!

Eschscholzia californica

Linum grandiflorum ‘Rubrum’

Nicotiana suaveolens

Nigella papillosa ‘African Bride’

Papaver Somniferum ‘Single Black’

Silene armeria ‘Electra’

Bulbs

Crocus tommasinianus – if squirrels are stealing your crocus bulbs, dip them in a paste of cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce first, before planting. That should put them off!

Cyclamen hederifolium f. albiflorum ‘Album’

Erythronium dens-canis

Galanthus ‘Magnet’

Gladiolus ‘Ruby’

Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’

Lilium ‘Claude Shride’

Narcissus ‘Pipit’

Nerine bowdenii

Tulipa sprengeri

Climbers

Akebia longeracemosa

Hedera pastuchovii ‘Ann Ala’

Jasminum officinale ‘Devon Cream’

Parthenocissus henryana

Rosa ‘Cooperi’

Schizophragma integrifolium

Read Part 2, Part 3 or Part 4.

Recommended Reading:

Spirit: Garden Inspiration

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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