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.
Our favourite, peat free compost can be seen on BBC 2 – just watch Back To The Land With Kate Humble. Dalefoot Composts are made with wool from Herdwick’s, a traditional Lake District sheep. They then mix it with bracken harvested as a crop on their land, as well as from other farmers in the Lakes. It makes a compost that holds water for longer, reducing the need for you to water, and slowly feeds your plants with nitrogen. We love it, and have spoken about it before at our garden club talks…. So do click the link and watch where …
Estudio Caruncho is the garden design studio of one of our favourite garden designers, the Spaniard Fernando Caruncho. Minimalist rather than maximalist, he has made some of the most iconic gardens of the last 20 years. Recently his own garden has taken something of a transformation too, as a plague wiped out the vast plantings of evergreen boxwoods and escallonia. Reduced as the evergreen components were, it allowed him to replace it with masses of the annual white cosmos – you can read and see photos here of Caruncho’s Temporal Cosmic Garden. But it is his work space we concentrate …
A few years back now we wrote about Fernando Caruncho, the Madrid based garden designer known for his minimalist, evergreen planting designs and spaces shaped by geometry. His work has always fascinated us, the sense of calm and unity that pervades the gardens he creates. He speaks poetically about his work too, at times almost in riddles, philosophising about gardens as landscapes of paradise, that purvey atmospheres of stillness that seem at odds with our contemporary ‘constantly on’ lifestyle. Caruncho’s Contrast Between Words and Garden Style It is a strange contrast in his work – expressing himself through plants and …