THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May29

Roses

Madame Alfred Carriere
Madame Alfred Carriere

Most garden designers have a palette of plants they trust, know and use. This repetition gives a certain style to their work and helps them build a consistent client base, although a planting style can change rapidly and distinctly.

Tom Stuart-Smith wrote, “Initially we went through quite a fluffy pink rose stage, clipped box, cranesbills and great swags of blousy pink Ispahan and purplish crimson Charles de Mill… this initial blousy pinkness overlapped with something of orange Kniphofia moment (which now seems a little improbable) then followed by a more wild Verbascum and opium poppy explosion in the early 90’s and an increasingly grassy evolution over the last ten years… I have gradually excluded the flagrantly exotic and cultivated. There is now not a single Kniphofia in the garden or an old fashioned rose or a delphinium.”

One of the most important portfolios to have is of roses, a plant 99% of clients ask for in a garden and 99% of clients will have a favourite of. So we feel it is time to update our portfolio.

First stop will be Cants of Colchester to have a look what they have growing in their fields.

Second, we will be asking what other people like. Speaking to Troy Scott Smith (Head Gardener at Sissinghurst) he pointed out to us that Rosa rugosa ‘Blanche double de Coubert’ was the favourite rose of Vita Sackville-West. (That’s good to know, because it already sits in our portfolio!)

If you have a favourite rose, do get in touch with us via Twitter or by email.

Here are a few roses from our current portfolio…

Ferdinand Pichard

Graham Thomas

Winchester Cathedral

Darcey Bussell

Madame Hardy

… oh, how we are excited to be reappraising this lovely group of plants!

For further rose related reading, try:

The Rose

The English Roses

Alan Titchmarsh How to Garden: Growing Roses

Or for the book by Tom Stuart-Smith quoted above…

The Barn Garden: Making a Place

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

READ MORE

May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

READ MORE

Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.