THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Sep03

Best Logs for a Woodfire

 

What are the best logs for a fire? This poem should tell you more about what wood to look for…

Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn
the proper kind of logs to burn.

OAK logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry.
LARCH logs of pine wood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
BEECH logs for Christmas time,
YEW logs heat well.
SCOTCH logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.

BIRCH logs will burn too fast,
CHESTNUT scarce at all.
HAWTHORN logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall.
HOLLY logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green
ELM logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen

PEAR logs and APPLE logs,
They will scent your room.
CHERRY logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ASH logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold.

There you have it – 14 woods with their various properties, Ash logs getting the biggest cheer (four lines of the poem all to themselves! Wow!)

Note too that the fruit trees all get lauded for having a beautiful scent. We also recommend fig as log wood, which runs along the same lines of good fragrance… I wonder if damson, mulberry, medlar and quince are the same?

Why though are beech logs for Christmas time? Googling, we discovered this poem… similar to the one above, but with a little more information about using beech as firewood…

Beechwood fires burn  bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Store your beech for Christmas time
With new holly laid beside
Chestnuts only good they say
If for years tis stored away
Birch and firewood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high
Dangerously the sparks will fly
But Ashwood green and Ashwood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown

Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames burn cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said
Applewood will scent the room
Pears wood smells like a flower in bloom
But Ashwood wet and Ashwood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.

Ash logs get another great review (good enough for the Queen as well as the King!) while the beech is to be burnt with the holly which, as the first poem said, burns fast…

Where else can you learn what you need to about the best logs to use when having a fire? This book by Piers Warren ‘British Native Trees’ should be useful. As should what you learn if you were to become a Tree Warden (like we have for a ward here in Chelmsford.)

If you only want a few logs, you can of course get some here from Amazon…

Or if you live in Essex or London then contact us for our price list and delivery cost – for seasoned logs to keep you warm this winter!

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.