THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Oct11

Bring On Spring

Bring on spring, we hear you cry! As the light of the day lessens and we head, inexorably, unto the darkness of autumn and winter….

What a dramatic cry!

Garden Work in the Autumn

But we do worry, at this time of year, because the days get so much shorter and working outside becomes a race against the clock. Often the work is harder at this time of year, because we are digging up and dividing perennials for replanting in a better position, digging up and tracing the roots of brambles or bindweed, digging up and harvesting the subterranean vegetables – so much digging to do!

Then for a break, we stand up straight and rake leaves into piles. Then bend again, to pick them up and take them to the compost….

The work is almost a rage against the dying of the light, a sweaty maelstrom of preparation for… winter? No. It is not a preparation for winter. It is a preparation for spring.

So goes the life of the garden lover….

Black Parrot

How Else Can You Prepare for Spring?

There is yet one more job that is important to do – and that is bulb planting.

If you don’t get your spring bulbs in the ground (to the correct depth, of course) then how can you expect to have a light and wonderful garden come March and April? Yes, there are other plants in the garden that can thrill, those lovely woodland plants like primroses for example, but to make the garden really special it will need daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and tulips. For us, especially tulips….

Groenland

Plant Tulips

Don’t be stingy when you buy bulbs, any bulbs. Advice we stole from the wonderful garden designer Dan Pearson is to add a zero to the number you think you need. Yes, that might make it sound scary. Understood. But can you imagine how the garden will sing when spring arrives with that many tulips poking their stems up from the borders and pots?

Tulips are divas, for sure, and probably won’t flower as well again the next year. With that in mind, when they have finished flowering you can just pull them out and plant them in a bit of ground you don’t do much with, a wild patch at the bottom of the garden.

That way, if they do come up and flower, you get a little bonus of colour.

Prins Willem Alexander

Abba

Which Tulips?

Which tulips you ask? Now, that really is easy to answer….

Organically grown bulbs is a must, to start with. You know why they should be organically grown already, I’m sure – we have written about bee friendly bulbs for a couple of years now.

But for which tulips you can light up your garden with next spring, our catalogue of bulbs should give you plenty to inspire you…

Check out the tulips for your garden right now!

Jan Seignette

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

When do you prune? Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits …

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Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

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Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies? I did a similar meet-up with garden designers in spring 2021. Here is where you can read the Topiary Provocation Spring …

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