THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb28

Open Garden Charlotte Molesworth 2019

Balmoral Cottage is the garden of my topiary mentor Charlotte Molesworth. She will be opening her garden in 2019 on the following dates:

  • April 7th
  • May 5th
  • September 22nd
  • September 29th

For the NGS Yellow Book. Highly recommend you visit as it is a fantastic garden, grown over 34 years and completely organic.

Dates are still to be confirmed for the South East Open Studios. But they will be open sometime in late spring to showcase Charlotte paintings, as well as sculptural work for the garden by other artists local to this part of Kent.

The Potting Shed Holiday Let, Benenden

You can also stay in The Potting Shed at her lovely garden, and discover from her first hand how it was made and is maintained. It is a brilliant little bolthole for a long weekend or week away, close to Great Dixter, Sissinghurst, Hole Park and of course – the sea!

Visit The Potting Shed Benenden for more details.


Charlotte is keen to be as green as possible, reducing her carbon footprint and making sure we allow garden life to survive and thrive. At Modern Mint, we have a similar ethos and have used a green energy supplier for a long time now.

Buying green energy is the simplest way to make a difference – almost as good as having a compost heap!

We use Bulb as out green energy supplier. We recommend you do too – if you sign up, we both get a financial benefit (alongside the moral one) and they do all the paperwork for you. They even pay any fees you may be charged for leaving your current supplier.

Find out more about using Green Energy and making a difference to the world in the simplest way possible.

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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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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