THE MODERN MINT BLOG
For the Chelsea Fringe 2016 Modern Mint are asking you a simple question:
What is your Desert Island Plant?
We know, we know – it is a tough question to answer! Out of all the plants out there, all the wonderful flowers you could choose – which could you not live without?
We thought long and hard about our choice. A few of the also-rans were:
Wild primrose. The ‘first rose’ of the year, a simple flower with a beautiful soft colour. Looks as great en-masse as it does when you peer closely at just a single specimen. Love it!
Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’. Got to know this well when we grew cut flowers for florists, it look like a giant apple blossom and makes an incredible display in the garden or in the vase. The fragrance is to die for too.
Stipa gigantea. Anything with ‘gigantic’ in its name is going to be exciting, and this plant offers the most wonderful flower heads on long thin stems. Easy to grow, it can stand above shorter flowers in a border but never crowd them out or steal all the light. Reflects the sunshine from its beautiful flower.
But the plant we have chosen, as our desert island plant, has got to be….
Buxus sempervirens. Green, used in just about every garden, it is our desert island plant because of the way it can be clipped. Grabbing a pair of shears and spending time cutting buxus into formal, tight shapes is a lovely way to spend a morning.
Even better is to cut it into something a little less formal!
It took a lot of thinking about, but there you have it – our Desert Island Plant would be the beautiful and useful Buxus sempervirens. But we are interested in you –
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …