THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb05

BIG WORDS

When a client trusts us with their garden we immediately begin thinking and puzzling over how we can improve that space, how we can make it relate to the world in a way that encourages wildlife and diversity while being something the client values too.

It is an important question – what do we do with this space?

But it doesn’t seem enough, to only look at these tiny patches of land that we garden. What about the materials we bring in and add to the space? What about the materials we take away? We are connected to so many processes that to focus only on the end product seems daft – and so we have widened our focus and added to Modern Mint this – the Modern Mint Shop.

It is a platform for us to explore values of sustainability, waste reduction, ecology, artisan craftsmanship and biodiversity. These are BIG WORDS and, used off-hand, can fail to reflect the true nuances entailed within their meanings. For example, we may feel like an eco-warrior for putting our empty tin of tuna into the recycling bin, but if we do it without reflecting on the issues surrounding overfishing what good have we actually done?

It means we are on a journey – to redefine how we work as garden designers, to ask more questions of the products we sell and discover how we can (in a gentle way) educate clients about the role their garden has to play in our present, but also our future.

We have a lot to learn, a lot of questions to ask – we certainly aren’t perfect right now, but we hope that you will join us in finding out the answers to our questions about how to tread lightly in a modern world, and unearth the subtle differences in each of the BIG WORDS – and as such, finding out how far we can change, how far we can go.

Individual acts will help this world – but businesses and the communities that surround them have the opportunity to help it faster.

Perhaps we will start by studying this…?

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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