THE MODERN MINT BLOG
We have often been cited Sissinghurst and its White Garden as the ideal look a client wants.
It is easy to see why this is – being easy on the eye, having plants people can recognise and encapsulating a fullness, a romantic notion, that can be easily described by clients who may otherwise struggle to express themselves.
Originally the concept for Vita Sackville-West’s white garden was for it to be a ‘Grey’ garden…
“I am trying to make a grey, green, and white garden… I visualize the white trumpets of dozens of Regale lilies, grown three years ago from seed, coming up through the grey of southernwood and artemisia and cotton-lavender, with grey-and-white edging plants such as Dianthus Mrs. Sinkins and the silvery mats of Stachys Lanata, more familiar and so much nicer under its English names of Rabbits’ Ears or Saviour’s Flannel. There will be white pansies, and white peonies, and white irises with their grey leaves… at least, I hope there will be all these things. I don’t want to boost in advance about my grey, green and white garden. It may be a terrible failure. I wanted only to suggest that such experiments are worth trying, and that you can adapt them to your own taste and your own opportunities.
All the same, I cannot help hoping that the great ghostly barn-owl will sweep silently across a pale garden, next summer, in the twilight – the pale garden that I am now planting, under the first flakes of snow.”
Vita was right – such experiments are worth trying. But a white garden nowadays is not an experiment, it is an ideal or a fashion statement a garden designer is expected to achieve.
So what can be used? We found this list of plants from a Gardens Illustrated article as a starting point to move you in the right direction…
But what we encourage most, if you are inspired by Vita, is not to try and reproduce a white garden – but take the spirit in which it was made – an experiment worth trying. And adapt it to your own taste and needs.
… and as an antidote to all that white and pastel…
You can get a ticket for this new talk I’m giving at the European Boxwood And Topiary Society here – TALK TICKETS It is on the 25th August at 6pm. It should be great fun and I’m very excited to be sharing some recent thoughts about topiary with people – and how it might work in a modern garden.
If you have a subscription, you can check out an article about bespoke ideas for your garden in the Telegraph. There are some great crafts people there, so check it out. Click Here To See The Article About my Topiary Work In The Telegraph
Lockdown has given me a chance to look through old notebooks and begin, gently, to piece together some sort of narrative about Modern Mint and how it has grown over the last six years. And it has changed massively in that time! Modern Mint Now, June Lockdown 2020 I currently make and maintain topiary all over the UK for clients who love well-pruned hedges and sculptures. I love this job – it is a beautiful art. In the winter I prune wisteria, roses and fruit trees in orchards. Much colder, shorter work days… but equally satisfying work. I give talks …