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 –
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. …
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.
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 …