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…
I will be bringing a show about gardening to the Faversham Fringe on Wednesday, August 28th at 8.30pm. More details and tickets here – Faversham Fringe, The Grinning Gardener.
I recently wrote a piece for Topiarius magazine, the flagship publication of the European Boxwood & Topiary Society – of which Modern Mint is both a member and big supporter. Check out the EBTS here. They frequently run courses and talks too, so worth keeping an eye on. Below is the piece I wrote about the tools I use when making topiary and pruning trees…. Darren’s Piece In Topiarius Magazine I use Okatsune Secateurs, which I started pruning with when working on a large orchard in Hampshire. My Felco’s were too difficult to open with cold hands, but the chunky …
Just inc are you are free in the following dates in June, you can visit my mentor Charlotte Molesworth’s topiary garden… Check out the dates the garden is open here. And you can of course join both Charlotte and I for a topiary workshop in the garden in July, as well as September. Hope to see you there!