THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug07

Native Trees

Native trees, if you need help deciding what you might like to plant…

1) Native Trees, Evergreen

– Box (Buxus Semperivens)

Dense wood, good in dry conditions, used for topiary.

– Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)

Dark green foliage, beautiful bark and trunk. Prize tree in winter. Male to female mix for berries.

– Yew (Taxus Baccata)

Topiary, trim once in August, thick hedge, grows faster than you think.

– Juniper (Juniperus Communis)

Dry and eat the berries, smell good or bad depending on your taste, slow growing.

– Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)

Conical, red bark, needle leaves.

2) Native Trees, Deciduous

– Hawthorn (Crataegeus Monogyna)

Blossom in May, can eat the haws in Autumn (if eaten with the leaves, it is known as ‘bread and cheese…’)

– Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus)

Trunk twists with age, great on clay soils, fresh green leaf.

– Elm (Ulmus Glabra)

Not often seen due to disease.

– Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)

Good near water, catkins in spring.

– Whitebeam (Sorbus Aria)

Fruits in autumn, leaves furry and silver below – which you notice when they are blowing in the wind.

– Service Tree (Sorbus Torminalis)

Rich red Autumn colours, smaller tree, fruits were used for brewing beer.

– Poplar (Populus Alba)

White underside of leaf, quick grower.

– Lime (Tilia Cordata, Tilia Platyphyllos)

Scented flowers in July, small, hard fruit.

– Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula, Rhamnus Cathartica)

Wet sites, red fruits in autumn, R. Cathartica is a smaller tree.

– Crab Apple (Malus Sylvestris)

Flowers in spring, fruits for jam in autumn, tough trees.

– Hazel (Corylus Avellana)

Fast growing, catkins and nuts.

– Oak (Quercus Rober, Quercus Petrea)

Good for wildlife, long-lived, acorns.

– Maple (Acer campestre)

Fast growing, good autumn colour.

– Birch (Betula Pubescens, Betula Pendula)

Silver and reddish bark, catkins, roots near the surface of the soil.

– Aspen (Populus Tremula)

Fluttering leaves, moist conditions, good autumn colour.

– Spindle (Euonymus Europaeus)

Great in Autumn for fruit and leaf, slightly ugly habit.

– Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia)

Orange leaf in autumn, great berries!

– Dogwood (Cornus Sanguinea)

Dark red twigs in winter!

– Elder (Sambucus Nigra)

Fast growing, flowers for cordial or champagne, then berries later in the year.

– Ash (Fraxinus Excelsior)

Light airy canopy good for growing bulbs below.

– Cherry (Prunus Padus, Prunus Avium)

Blossom, liable to get diseased – we would rather grow cherry trees for their fruit.

– Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa)

Massive thorns! Great berries for sloe gin.

Willow (Salix Caprea, Salix Alba, Salix Fragilis, Salix Triandra, Salix Pentandra)

Moist soils, pollard in spring, shiny foliage.

– Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo)

Red, peeling bark, found in Ireland, deep red fruits.

We hope this list of native trees helps. Although ‘native’ is open to debate… Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species

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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