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…)

May23

Our Desert Island Plant

For the Chelsea Fringe 2016 Modern Mint are asking you a simple question: What is your Desert Island Plant? We know, we know – it is a tough question to answer! Out of all the plants out there, all the wonderful flowers you could choose – which could you not live without? See what other people have chosen. We thought long and hard about our choice. A few of the also-rans were: Wild primrose. The ‘first rose’ of the year, a simple flower with a beautiful soft colour. Looks as great en-masse as it does when you peer closely at …

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May15

Which Copper Trowel Is For Me?

castor trowel

Which Copper Trowel is Best for Me? At Modern Mint we offer three copper trowels – the Mira, the Musca and the Castor. Each has a uniqueness in shape and feel, as well as how they can be best utilised by the gardener. As we often get asked what is the difference between them too, we have written a short, handy guide on the different places in the garden we use them. Hope this helps you decide which copper trowel is best for you! 1) Musca – our favourite at the moment, we have been using this non-stop in the …

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May11

How To Choose A Gardener

Gardener

As a gardener for many years, we feel well-placed to suggest what you might look for when employing one. There are a few major facets to consider, but the first question to ask is – what help do I need in the garden? “Skilled gardeners who can prune and stake and keep a border looking lively all year are the hardest people to find.” Mary Keen, Garden Designer If all you want is the lawn to be cut – then you can find a gardener easily. Cost, if they are bringing their own mower and petrol, can be around £12-18 …

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