THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May27

Dan Pearson’s Must-Have Plants: Shrubs & Trees

The final part of Dan Pearson’s list, to inspire you to hopefully plant a tree or two… we have so far seen his views on bulbs, perennials and grasses, but now we come to what he recommends we plant in the woodier genre!

I would love to plant some of these and use them as topiary, my own favourite style of gardening – which you can see more of here in The Guardian. The Laurus nobilis he recommends planting is of course a brilliant plant for topiary and pruning, mostly because it reflects the light and grows back when pruned.

As for the trees he recommends, I love Stewartia, a much too rare plant for our gardens as it can be kept small and offers fantastic leaf colour in the Autumn. And of course, Malus hupehensis is one of the great blossom trees for anywhere – garden or the wild.

Check out Naoko Abe’s book about ‘Cherry’ Ingram, who helped bring the Malus hupehensis to the UK… there is an amazing specimen of this tree in the garden of my mentor, Charlotte Molesworth, as she lives in the cottage next to what was Cherry Ingram’s vegetable patch.

Sitting beneath it is one of my favourite spots in her garden.

Just for your information, if you don’t have space to plant a tree in your garden, don’t despair – we are planting trees in the Highlands, and you can add a tree to the Modern Mint grove for just £6. Go here and donate £6 for a tree!

And do also check out this review of Dan Pearson’s excellent book ‘Spirit’.

Now then, onto the trees and shrubs!

Shrubs

Aesculus parviflora

Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Grandiflorus’

Euonymus planipes

Hamamelis x Intermedia ‘Jelena’

Hydrangea aspera Kawakamii Group

Ilex x Koehneana ‘Chestnut Leaf’

Indigofera ‘Claret Cascade’

Laurus nobilis f. angustifolia

Magnolia wilsonii

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’

Rosa ‘Ausday’

Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis ‘Dragon Gate’

Salix purpurea ‘Nancy Saunders’

Trees

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’

Crataegus monogyna

Liquidambar acalycina

Malus hupehensis

Sorbus torminalis

Stewartia monadelpha

Read part 1, part 2, part 3.

Further Reading:

Planting The Natural Garden – my favourite plant bible….

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

When do you prune? Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits …

READ MORE

Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

READ MORE

Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies? I did a similar meet-up with garden designers in spring 2021. Here is where you can read the Topiary Provocation Spring …

READ MORE