THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Oct20

Boring Plants Are Great

Rudbeckia

You will probably see these plants in quite a few gardens, they are well-known and a bit old hat. Only today we spoke with a gardener who complained about Verbena bonariensis being too common, too over-used, too tall and too boring.

Geez! We were overwhelmed by the anger. It hasn’t done that much wrong and we must say, we don’t think that of Verbena bonariensis.

Which is why we want to give a shout out in this blog to plants that are given a bad deal by people, just because everyone has them or knows them. They may be boring in the garden media, little seen at Chelsea, but they are hard-working, fabulous plants that deserve their status as popular garden plants – just checkout the image above from the park in Chelmsford – the yellow of the Rudbeckia have been flowering for what seems like months, without having to do any work to keep them that way – and now, on a dull Autumn day, they shine like a lamp calling the weary traveller home.

Here then, raise a glass, to these boring plants!

Salvia

Stipa

Kniphofia

Sarcococca

Hellebore

Buxus

Helenium

Sedum

Lavender

Poppy

Miscanthus

Geranium

Eupatorium

Alcea

Peony

Alchemilla

Euphorbia

Nepeta

Epimedium

Perovskia

Geum

Sanguisorba

Primrose

Cyclamen

Foxglove

Hemerocallis

Liriope

Hosta

These are boring and ubiquitous plants – but if you were to plant your garden with the above list, the above pictures, you would have a wonderful and wildlife friendly garden.

And that is not boring at all.

 

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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