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….

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.