THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jul10

Verbena Bonariensis

Verbena Bonariensis

We know we know – Verbena bonariensis is so well known, planted in so many gardens, that it has become uncool to use it these days. Its ubiquitiousness means it gets judged in harsher tones than other plants, as if its popularity has made it offensive.

This is not the Verbena’s fault. It became popular for a reason – it weaves its way around the garden but doesn’t out compete other plants, it provides height and structure, encourages wildlife, is a gorgeous purple, looks good with other plants and fits into schemes as diverse as a country meadow to urban minimalism. Who wouldn’t want a plant like that? (Possibly the people of Buenos Aires, where this Verbena was discovered and given its name ‘bonariensis’… we’ve not noticed it around the city recently. Time for a trip and take a better look? See if the Argentines are enjoying one of their own…?)

At Modern Mint we refuse to let this lack of love for the plant deter us – a heinous crime against the arbitrarial zeitgeist of good taste it currently may be, but it is a plant with wonderful qualities (for an example of how it is currently viewed, note that it didn’t make it into Dan Pearson’s list.)

The wheels will keep turning and it will come back into fashion, hopefully this time considered the great garden plant it is.

Where and how do you use it?

Plant it in full sun or part shade.

Don’t cut it down before winter, let it stand (and seed.)

It looks great alongside shrub roses, or Miscanthus…

It prefers a damper soil. Really, it does. Henk Gerritsen told us, and observations we made from our own experiments lead us to agree…

“I sometimes made deadful miscalculations. For example, I assumed that due to their lanky growth Verbena bonariensis  and Verbena hastata loved aridity, but in practise I noticed that they wilted away in dry places. Only later did I read that in the wild both species grow in moist places, in South and North America respectively.”

That concludes our ode to Verbena bonariensis. We hope you dismiss the current vogue of not using Verbena, and enjoy it as the brilliant garden plant it is.

(And click on the link below to take you to the wonderful Henk Gerritsen book we quoted from above…)

Nov21

Nose Tickler

Laptop brush

What the hell is a nose tickler??!!??!! Don’t panic. Let Modern Mint explain….   A nose tickler is a brand new product we are now showcasing at Modern Mint. It is hand made in the UK and each and every single one is different – different woods are used, as well as different finishes (some are with bark, some are without.) The only part that stays the same is that the tickling part of the nose tickler is made of pure bristle. All natural baby…   We found out about the nose tickler a little while ago, when we did …

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Nov14

Kapok Pillow

Kapok pillow

  The Kapok Pillow at Modern Mint Our pillows are made from natural kapok. Kapok fibre is cotton-like and is known as silk cotton, or Java cotton. You will find the kapok tree in rainforests in Asia, but is a native of Central America. It is important to know this, as the harvesting of the fibre – labour-intensive as it is – becomes vital for local economies and provides work for communities in countries where it is needed. No only that, but because the trees have a purpose – e.g. money can be made from them – it means the …

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Nov09

Gifts for Difficult People

Modern_Mint_Products Gardeners Hand Cream Gallery

Need a gift for someone and they are just so difficult to buy for? We all have a family member, friend or colleague like it – they give you no clues as to what they might like, no ideas for what they might need and appreciate, no signs for something that might just make them smile come Christmas. They are, all in all, a difficult one to buy for. This is where Modern Mint can come in and help you. Gifts for Difficult People – wildlife/outdoorsy types If they love nature and being outside, we definitely have ideas to help …

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