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.

 

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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