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.
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 …
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 …
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.