THE MODERN MINT BLOG
The question most asked of us at our markets and fairs…
It is a good question. Cheekily, we refuse to answer straight away and instead question them back – what do you think it is?
Take a look again…
What is it? We have been told it is:
An avocado de-stoner.
A dog brush.
A boot scraper.
A boiled egg de-sheller. (Big egg…)
A hairbrush for a teddy boy quiff.
A dog lead holder.
A target for practising your golf chip.
A body exfoliating tool.
A nail clipper.
A scone or cookie cutter.
A zombie electrifier.
A huge earring…
You get the idea, right? This is an unusual tool for a gardener to use. Not everyone has an idea about what it does…
Shall we tell you?
It is, very simply, a hand held hoe. It has a sharpened bronze blade, curved so that it can dip into cultivated soil and cut roots as well as drag back to your bucket or pail blanket weeds like chickweed or the clovers.
The handle is beech and oiled with linseed and the product not only speeds up weeding and cultivating the soil – just a few quick sweeps across the surface of the flower or vegetable bed should do the trick – but it also has an heirloom quality about it that we love. (So do all of our copper tools, to be fair.)
We regularly get people taking a chance and buying one of these either as a gift or for themselves, trying it out, then coming back and buying another one for a friend, or emailing us to say how amazing this ‘hand held hoe’ is. It is a lovely job, selling these wonderful and unique weeding tools.
For example, at Salisbury Christmas market this year we had a lovely lady buy one for her sister, who was a keen gardener. She came back two days later, pushed through the crowd around our stall and said – my sister is blown away by it, it is brilliant! Absolutely blown away! Thank you. Everybody – buy one!
I went red in the face, as this kind of praise is amazing and gratifying, but also not something you ask for and was totally unexpected. The lady then walked off, back to whatever she was up to that day, and the crowd around our stall laughed and giggled, and then of course wanted to try the hoe and see why she thought it was so great…
It gives us great pleasure to sell this hoe, as well as earn a reputation for inviting you to try products that are useful as well as beautiful. We do hope you will give our unusual ‘hand held hoe’ a go in 2016. We know you will love it.
Topiary Service Modern Mint now offers a topiary service. So if you get stuck with an old tree or hedge that you aren’t sure what to do with – but know you don’t want to cut it down – then contact us and we will give you a helping hand. This bay tree use to be an overgrown mess, with no real presence. It felt unloved, unnecessary and out of place, taking up space right by the path as you enter the back garden. We lifted the bottom branches to show off the trunks, reduced the height and width and …
Ivo Graham is a comedian. We met him, and some of his family, last year at a Christmas Fair. He bought a gift for his father (a log gobbler, which he thought his dad would find funny….) and in the process of buying it also supported the charity the Christmas Fair was raising money for. He was a lovely chap and laughed a lot. We like that in our customers….! Then lo and behold, here he is, providing 30 minutes of funny on the BBC – check it out: Ivo Graham – Live from the BBC He will also be …
We are currently writing a book about plants that do a great job of Helping The Honeybee. This means we are always on the lookout for flowers that are attractive to our little, honey making friends. This week we have heard plenty of buzzing coming from: Dead nettle Helenium Alliums Veronicastrum Escallonia Plus we glanced in a magazine and saw a note about bees preferring dark flowers when they forage in the shade. We will research this a little more for you, but worth making a note of and thinking about right now if you have a dark patch of …