THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jul08

Mess

“What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

This is the best advice we can give to anyone starting there first garden – don’t worry if it is a mess.

It is so easy, when you move into a new house and suddenly have all this space to deal with (space that doesn’t stand still and let you catch up with it!) to begin planning for beautiful lawns, lots of roses, or a style that is easy to maintain.

Don’t move too fast. Don’t seek the ultimate perfection on day one.

Your job is to watch this landscape, let it exist with you and find out if you are going to be suited… and if you aren’t, if you have taken the time and found out a little more of who you are and why you are here… you may be better prepared in finding a way to get by together.

It may look a mess to begin with, but with time and a more relaxed attitude to the garden, you will learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

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. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

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.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

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 …

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