THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Earlier in the year we visited Sissinghurst, when they opened for the NGS scheme at 6am on a Sunday morning. It was brilliant to be there so early and we had the chance to talk with new(ish) head gardener Troy Scott Smith about how they are trying to ‘revitalise Vita’.
The garden has changed a lot over the years, which is a good thing, but has lost a little of the ‘fine carelessness’ that drove the making of the garden. It is now the job of Troy and his team to bring a little of that chaos and looseness back to the planting, while also catering for the vast amount of visitors that go each year (around 200,000.)
We went to Sissinghurst for 6am in order to miss those crowds of people – we perhaps overestimated the appeal – not one other person arrived that early in the morning. You missed out. It was beautiful.
Do please visit on Monday 15th September and support the NGS.
Also, if you live in Essex and want to visit a garden, we recommend:
Ulting Wick on the 14th and 19th September.
Furzelea on the 10th September.
Woodpeckers on the 26th & 27th September.
They are, like Sissinghurst, all fantastic gardens.
To find out more about Sissinghurst, Sarah Raven recently released a book which we reviewed here – Vita Sackville-West: Creation of a Garden.
Happy garden visiting!
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022