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…)

Jun22

Notes from Blenheim Palace Flower Show

ian mckellen

After a wonderful weekend at Blenheim Palace Flower Show, where Darren of Modern Mint gave a number of garden talks alongside a few famous faces, we thought we would share some more information about what he spoke of in the talk.     The talk was called ‘Tips for Tomatoes’ and was based on research you can find in a new book by James Wong, who suggested watering your tomatoes with aspirin will increase the vitamin C content in the fruit. Take a look at this excellent book… Darren also talked about: The best plants for bees (Helenium is the very …

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Jun13

Oak Nordeck Chair

Nordeck Chair Lifestyle Gallery Image

  As people keep asking what is our favourite Nordeck chair, we thought we would let you know in no uncertain terms – the oak. Take a closer look at the Oak Nordeck Chair The wood is strong, the colour is beautiful and it just looks right in the garden (or conservatory, or beach hut… or wherever!) The larch is another chair we think is beautiful. Larch is an underused wood, lighter in colour than the oak, but with that ability to fit in seemingly anywhere. The larch chair would be our second choice. The two most popular chairs and …

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Jun07

Wealden Fair

Hat Gallery Image

This week, from Thursday to Saturday, you will be able to find Modern Mint at the Wealden Summer Fair! It is a really fantastic show, with a hand-picked variety of stalls that will mean you have a great chance of finding something amazing for your home (and garden) as well as gifts for people in your life. We get a lot of our shopping done there! Modern Mint will be taking our latest product, an eco-friendly gardening hat that is guaranteed to keep off the sun and rain! See more of our new eco-friendly gardening hat. The Wealden Summer Fair …

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