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!

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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