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…)

Jul21

Garden Club Speaker

Darren-1

  Garden club looking for a speaker? You’ve come to the right place, as Darren Lerigo of Modern Mint is our resident garden club speaker. About Darren A former award-winning playwright, radio scriptwriter and stand-up comedian, Darren is now a garden designer with a true love of plants and an interest in how the landscape affects the way we live. Mentored by Kew Gardens Philip Turvil, Darren began his career as a speaker in 2014 and quickly got booked out for the following summer, the highlights of which were appearing at the National Flower Show alongside Joe Swift of Gardeners World and …

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Jul14

Clippings

clippings blog featured image

That’s right, late spring is the time for clipping and pruning those box hedges, balls, cones and other weird and wonderful shapes you have in your garden. So here is a small selection of photos from our work this year… … we have written before about topiary, so please do delve deeper into our blog to discover more about what the heck it is we are trying to achieve when we get out the shears and secateurs, and why creating a piece of ‘live sculpture’ in your garden may well be the best thing you could do this year… The …

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Jul10

Copper Tools

Copper Tools Blog Featured Image

Why do we sell copper tools at Modern Mint? You are probably reading this post because you have either just bought, or just received as a gift, a copper gardening tool. Or perhaps you have seen them somewhere and want to find out more about the benefits of copper gardening tools. We first saw them at a biodynamic farm in Berkshire a few years ago – they were using them in the most wonderful vegetable and fruit garden we have ever seen. There were some plants that had damage from pests, the odd crop that wasn’t cropping, even a few …

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