THE MODERN MINT BLOG
I am running a topiary workshop in 2020 with the wonderful topiary artist Charlotte Molesworth at her spectacular topiary garden in Kent.
This is a topiary workshop where you will learn to clip, so be prepared to do some cutting.
We start with a tour of the garden, which Charlotte and her husband Donald have been cultivating for 34 years. It is organic, full of wildlife and has the most extraordinary pruned shapes made from yew and boxwood.
You can see more photos of the garden in an article in the Guardian here:
What Else Will The Topiary Clipping Workshop Offer?
After the tour of the garden Charlotte and I will run you through the ideas you need to know – pruning techniques, the correct tools for the job, how to sharpen your shears and what plants can be used to create the topiary in your garden.
We are also keen to teach you about plant health and how we keep the topiary looking healthy and well, especially in light of the boxwood caterpillar nibbling bushes across the UK. (I’ve discussed the caterpillar in a post here – Dealing with Boxwood Caterpillar.)
“I’m inspired to try some topiary now. You both make it fun as well as interesting and it’s good to know it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes.I’ve started a Christmas list already for some shears!”Previous Workshop Participant
When Is The Topiary Workshop? And Where?
Start time is 10am and it will be at Charlotte’s topiary garden in Benenden, Kent. More details about how to find it will be sent to those on the course as we get closer to the date. But you can visit earlier by staying at ‘The Potting Shed’, a barn in Charlotte’s garden.
Go here to see the Potting Shed Holiday Cottage.
The workshop lasts 3 hours, so from 10am-1. Cake and refreshments are provided.
If it rains, we will get wet! So please bring suitable clothing and shoes. If you have a pair of shears or clippers, bring them with you as well.
Do I Need To Learn To Clip On A Topiary Workshop?
Nope, not at all! Go into your garden with secateurs and shears and make some shapes. Practise makes perfect, and we love to see people give pruning a go.
But this learn to clip workshop will be a lot of fun, taught by two experienced teachers and taking place in the most incredible setting. Because the group is smaller and you get two tutors, it also doesn’t matter what level you are at – keenness is the only qualification, as we can adapt the day to help you get the most from the workshop.
“Thank you both for a truly inspiring day in the most wonderful setting, for your generous hospitality, and especially for trusting us with your precious plants! I hope very much to see you both again in the not too distant future!” Jo, Workshop Participant
Spaces are limited on our learn to clip topiary workshop, and it is the only weekend we will be teaching in Charlotte’s garden in 2020, so please do book early to guarantee your spot.
It may also be something you would like to do with a friend, so do share the idea with them!
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 …