THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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!
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.
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.
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 …
Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …