THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May16

Essex Wildlife Trust

One thing we’ve learned is that people in horticulture really are welcoming and keen to share their knowledge. And some people have a wealth of knowledge…

Essex Wildlife Trust ran a wildflower id and survey skills course earlier this week, with local botanist and fern fanatic Tim Pyner. The day was spent wandering through the nature reserve at Leigh-on-Sea noting down what plants could be found, the results then being submitted to Plantlife in order to map the spread of species – and find out what has left and what has arrived!

Tim was completely self-taught. He said, “I went out on weekends and studied plants. I would learn by spending twelve months just looking at grasses, getting to know them. Then in the winter when nothing was growing I would study mosses and lichens.”

In October Tim will visit Japan to study ferns in the mountains. What an adventure that will be, for this self-confessed pteridomaniac… but before he goes, in September he will be taking another wildflower id course. We recommend you go and listen well, to learn all you can from Tim Pyner, the fern fanatic.

Recommended Reading:

The Wild Flower Key (Revised Edition) – How to identify wild plants, trees and shrubs in Britain and Ireland

Sarah Raven’s Wild Flowers

British Wild Flowers: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide)

And for any other fernophiles…

Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania

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.