THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock.

Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life.

The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it all felt comfortable and open enough to discuss ideas that just came up, in the moment.

Near the end of the podcast, Stephen even mentions using some of my words, words I wrote inspired by the talk we had, and turning them into a song. Haha of course! Topiary to lyricist….? That seems a… direct link.

But somehow it all makes sense when you listen.

So please do find just under fifty minutes to take a listen to the Kites and Strings Podcast.

Listen here

Check out the other episodes in series one and be inspired to get creative!

Find more of the Kites & Strings Podcast here.

And you can see more of my topiary work made here in the snow…

Or for a little brighter, warmer photos of my work, go here – topiary work.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

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 …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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Apr22

Topiary Provocation Spring 2021

organic topiary snow

Topiary Provocation? What is this about? Topiary Provocation, Darren Lerigo, Spring 2021 This spring of 2021 I invited a number of garden designers to a series of meetings via Zoom, to discuss how topiary can be used effectively in modern gardens. I wanted to discover how both clients and designers felt about topiary, whether it was a part of the garden that got as much thought as, say, the choice of stone for a patio…. and if certain plants and shapes tended to trend in designs or if it truly was a mish-mash of different topiary styles. The provocation and talks …

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