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.
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …