7 Rules For Modern Topiary: A Manifesto
Darren Lerigo's topiary reminders
- Deploy 4 simple tools – shears, secateurs, a pruning saw and string
- Experiment with native plants – oak, hawthorn, birch all make fine topiaries…
- Seek friction – limit yourself to clipping for no longer than 10 minutes, or just once a year, or only crafting a topiary as tall as you can reach…
- Make for the next generation – give them a landscape to enjoy
- Compost arisings – or pile them up to capture carbon
- Don’t design on paper – surprise yourself by working with your hands
- The form is a suggestion – individual imagination labels the shape
I wrote this manifesto to remind myself of the values I cherish when composing topiary.
To work lightly, by instinct and in 4-D so that when I retire I will have left behind a body of work that has brought joy to people and improved the expectation we have of our ‘green architecture’.
I encourage you to bend and break these rules, of course. But perhaps they will give you a framework from which to begin composing a new shape on an old shrub in your garden.
Written by Darren Lerigo a topiary artist, owner of Modern Mint and a member of the EBTS UK Council.