THE MODERN MINT BLOG
We love topiary and clipping here at Modern Mint. That is one of the reasons we sell some of the best, sharpest and most beautifully balanced hand tools in the business…
THE BEST TOPIARY CLIPPERS. EVER.
So it is gratifying to read about others who have ditched the power tools and started taking the time to garden with a better, quieter connection to the plants.
“I decided at the end of autumn 2015 to become a fossil fuel-free gardener – or at least work towards it. No bothering with extension cables, no fiddling with my chainsaw’s petrol-oil mix, just muscle-power.
I’d like to say that my conversion was the result of a high-minded engagement with the Slow Movement, but that was only part of it. It was more to do with a growing irritation with just how much it takes to keep power tools happy….”
Read more about this chaps adventure in ditching power tools here.
We loved this article, because it shows what happens when you spend a little time with your plants. You learn more about how they grow, sure, but you also learn about yourself. Those few times he has spent doing the garden, bit by bit, creates a habit that will eventually lead him to his goal (of cutting the hedge without fossil fuel.)
Less irritation with sorting out the tools, less of an attitude that it is just another job to tick off the to-do list, gardening in tune with your own muscle means you grow personally – the mind will start by racing away with all the thing you could be doing, but then settles (quicker than you might think!) and allows you to focus, pay real attention, on the actual job at hand.
It is a lovely way to live, to work – and who needs the hedge done at once anyway?
Kudos to the guy as well, for having hedges as the boundaries of his home. What a fantastic place for wildlife to inhabit.
To see what can be done with hand tools, check out our work with Charlotte Molesworth at her topiary garden in Kent….
To see the tools we use to make life easier and the mind… sharper… visit our pruning tools page for a browse.
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