THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Modern Mint offers a topiary service.
This means you contact us asking for a helping hand. It can be a shrub, hedge or small tree.
Darren (that’s me) will then visit you and work out how to make it look great.
A thing of beauty.
Formal Topiary? Or Organic?
There are a few different styles of topiary, and as with any art each ‘pruner’ will bring their own imagination to bear on the piece they make.
Two of the most distinct schools are the formal and the organic.
Organic topiary is where you allow the plant to tell you how it needs to be pruned. You follow its strengths and outlines.
You dance a fine line between what you want it to be and what the plant itself is telling you it could become.
Formal topiary is more the crenellations, the chamfers, the tiers and plinths you see in the gardens of old houses.
Everything is straight, the plant is trained with string if necessary and the pieces are normally large and crisply maintained.
Charlotte Molesworth is the lead practitioner of this in the UK.
I learn a lot from her each time we work together in her own garden.
If you want to see more, we often post the latest pieces we have made on Instagram.
Help You Make Or Maintain Your Topiary?
First of all you need to choose the right plant. Don’t prune one that won’t grow back!
Secondly, using the right tools is every bit as important. We love, and only use, sharp and shiny Japanese made shears.
Thirdly, take your time. The care you take pruning your plant will show in how good it looks when you are finished.
If you don’t want to clip yourself, or would prefer some guidance the first time, then you can always ask us about it.
I love helping people with their topiary and am happy to answer any questions you might have, so do get in touch now.
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: Topiary Garden In Kent What Else Will …
On Monday night I gave a talk to the Hardy Plant Society Middlesex. Below are a few links for further information based on some of the ideas discussed in the talk: Real Seeds – a fantastic supplier of fruit and vegetable seeds for growers. Boxwood Caterpillar Advice – from the European Boxwood & Topiary Society. I will also write a little companion piece this winter with more information and some topiary techniques, so watch out for that on this website. Boxwood Lure & Nematodes – my preferred option for dealing with the caterpillar. Discount code for 10% off is EBTSBOX29GBZ …