THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb01

Plants for Topiary

Want to know the best plants to use for topiary? Here is the common palette, and included are a few trees that love to be pollarded, or espaliered, or can take being cut to the ground or have their leaves stripped from the stem…

… not all of these plants will give you the classic topiary forms, but they may be worth experimenting on and discovering how they can be pruned and what impression they leave you with when they are!

Box

Yew

Holm Oak

Holly

Azalea

Ilex crenata

Bay

Thuja

Hebe

Portugese laurel

Pines (including Scots pine)

Robinia

Olive

Osmanthus

Fig

Lime

Privet

Rosemary

Eleagnus x ebbingei

Eucalyptus

Hazel

Willow

Plane

Myrtus apiculata

Alder

Cornus

Gingko

Pittosporum

Rhamnus

Beech

Hornbeam

Berberis

Lonicera

Phillyrea

Pyracantha

Photinia

Cupressus

Chestnut

Pyrus

Ash

Rhododendron

Podocarpus

Cinnamomum

Juniper

Aucuba

Acer

Hawthorn

Viburnum

Prunus – lots of fruit trees take to being espaliered!

Elder

Buddleia

Conifer

Laurel

Abies

Cedar

Chaemycyparis

Oak

Pieris

Camellia

Cryptomeiria

Choisya

Tree ferns

Bananas

Bamboos

Yuccas

Lyonothamnus

Magnolia

Oleander

Euonymous

Choisya

Palms

What to clip with?

Okatsune hedge shears

We hope you can add to the topiary palette with your own experiments – happy clipping!

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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