THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Estudio Caruncho is the garden design studio of one of our favourite garden designers, the Spaniard Fernando Caruncho.
Minimalist rather than maximalist, he has made some of the most iconic gardens of the last 20 years. Recently his own garden has taken something of a transformation too, as a plague wiped out the vast plantings of evergreen boxwoods and escallonia.
Reduced as the evergreen components were, it allowed him to replace it with masses of the annual white cosmos – you can read and see photos here of Caruncho’s Temporal Cosmic Garden.
But it is his work space we concentrate on today, via this wonderful article in Architectural Digest – Estudio Caruncho.
This is what the exterior of the office looks like…
In typical Caruncho fashion, it uses deep greens set against strong forms. The buildings, of which there are 3, are cubes with little ornamentation to them and few windows.
Meanwhile, the interior is all concrete, skylights, high ceilings and Spanish pine…
Fernando Caruncho did something beautiful with the entrance to the Estudio. He made it small, so that when you enter you must stoop.
“The mere act of lowering one’s head, marks the beginning of a new story and a refreshed vision.”
We love to read what this man says, as it is always interesting and thoughtful, whilst provoking our own thoughts in turn…. this fable he recounted to the interviewer is a fine example of what we mean…
“There was a man who wanted to build himself a home. He started with the garden, and then he built a loggia where he could gaze upon the garden. Only later did he build a bedroom…
Trachelospermum cover the walls.
… the art of living, this story suggests, is not about comfort. It is about keeping our relationship with nature at the center of our experience.”
Cultivating a relationship with nature, even if you do it in such a controlled and considered way as Caruncho has at his Estudio, sounds a fine way to go about designing your garden.
Read more about Fernando Caruncho and his planting palette.
Or see some notes on his Temporal Cosmic Garden.
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