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.
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. …
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.
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 …