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.
If you have a subscription, you can check out an article about bespoke ideas for your garden in the Telegraph. There are some great crafts people there, so check it out. Click Here To See The Article About my Topiary Work In The Telegraph
Lockdown has given me a chance to look through old notebooks and begin, gently, to piece together some sort of narrative about Modern Mint and how it has grown over the last six years. And it has changed massively in that time! Modern Mint Now, June Lockdown 2020 I currently make and maintain topiary all over the UK for clients who love well-pruned hedges and sculptures. I love this job – it is a beautiful art. In the winter I prune wisteria, roses and fruit trees in orchards. Much colder, shorter work days… but equally satisfying work. I give talks …
During lockdown I went through a number of old notebooks. I found a note about Gilles Clement and The Garden In Motion – Le Jardin En Mouvement. Underneath my note I had written: “To be researched more! Something to definitely think over!” Now, five years later I have looked again… and am thrilled by this idea. The Garden In Motion is about taking a piece of unused land, and then as the gardener you make choices to do ‘as much as possible for the land and as little as possible against’ it. You are talking about limited input – watering, …