THE MODERN MINT BLOG
David Austin, the Rose breeder and nurseryman, passed away the week before Christmas.
You can read his obituary in the Guardian and I am sure there will be many more words about him published across the internet. Many of us have his English roses in our gardens, or have given them as presents to friends.
We met him briefly in Shropshire during 2017, at his home, when afforded a tour behind the scenes of the David Austin Nursery. I have written about that visit here. The nursery itself is worth a visit in June for the collection of wild roses alone.
A sad start to the year. But also a reminder (for me at least) to stop and take time to smell the roses. Or the peonies, my own favourite, which you can find at the nursery of Claire Austin, his daughter.
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022