THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May25

Dan Pearson’s Must-Have Plants: Ferns, Grasses & Half-Hardy Perennials

This is the second in our plant inspiration guide from garden designer Dan Pearson… he has been sharing the plants he loves to use, and I think it is a fascinating series and major help when trying to work out what you can add to your garden.

My own love in the garden is topiary, but topiary really works best when planted with and around some of the plants in this blog.

So check them out below and see act you might add to your borders this year!

(Do check out this review of his excellent book ‘Spirit’.)

Ferns

Adiantum venustum

Asplenium scolopendrium

Athyrium ‘Ghost’

Dryopteris wallichiana

Osmunda regalis

Grasses

Briza media

Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Malepartus’

Molinia caerulea subsp. Arundinacea ‘Transparent’

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

Stipa barbata

Thamnochortus insignis

Half-hardy Perennials

Dahlia merckii ‘Alba’

Pelargonium tomentosum

Salvia discolor

Read Part 1, part 3, Part 4.

Further Reading:

Spirit: Garden Inspiration

Contemporary Designers’ Own Gardens

Designing With Grasses

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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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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