THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Sep05

NGS Sissinghurst

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!

 

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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