THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr27

Beekeepers – Quick Notes On Plants For Bees

Fine news for beekeepers today – a total ban on bee-harming pesticides has been announced!

To celebrate, here is a list of plants we recommend as being brilliant for the bees:

  1. Helenium
  2. Sedum
  3. Echium vulgare
  4. Marjoram or Oregano
  5. Eupatorium (common name? Joe Pye-Weed. But don’t let that put you off!)
  6. Borage
  7. Nepeta
  8. Veronicastrum
  9. Teucrium

Bonus plants for shady spots? Try hellebore, lamium and pulmonaria.

Looking for a shrub to plant near your apiary? Phillyrea ought to do it. Although it is difficult to get hold of…. we are working on making it more available though, so check back with Modern Mint sometime….

Somebody asked me about tulips – are these good for bees?

tulips for bees

They certainly work hard to get the pollen. I guess the common sense approach is to make sure the tulips are as open and easy to access as possible.

The BBKA offer this top ten list of plants for bees.

My favourite nursery for bee friendly plants is Rosybee Nursery. You should all check out her plants and her brilliant research!

Her recommendations for bee friendly plants for summer baskets are:

  1. Trailing lobelia
  2. Lavender
  3. Echium
  4. Salvia
  5. Campanula
  6. Scabious

I would probably add Cleome and Fuchsia. But any other suggestions, please send them through!

Finally, are Dahlias good for bees? Again, I imagine single flowers are the best. But would love people to let me know what they see this summer….

Thank you and lets hope for a long, warm season for the bees!

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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