THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun01

Chelse Fringe, Week 2

Our Chelsea Fringe project ‘You Should Have Seen It Last Week…’ has now reached its second week and material gathered is now starting to look really good. If you haven’t been to a Chelsea Fringe project yet – what are you doing with your time?!?

The contrast between the plants in the southern hemisphere (which enters Autumn) and the project participants from Europe cannot be more marked – all that seems to change each day in Amalia Robredo’s photos is the sea, although if you look closely the fruits on the Cereus uruguayanus (cacti at the front) are being eaten by the birds.

The peonies from Willow in Italy and Oana in the UK have taken a slow evolution from flower bud to flower, but have now passed the stage of promise and are showing us their marvellous blooms, while the Essex garden started with a few tiny green shoots that now appear to be proper seedlings.

Anthea Harrison gave us a ‘ta-da’ moment last week, while Sophie seems to have a new flower everyday depending on when the sun hits the garden. Maja and Andrew Thorne’s garden in Germany is a beautiful contribution, forget-me-nots turning from blue to grey, daisies in the lawn coming and going depending on when they are mowed and flashes of colour from the roses as they open up in the garden…

Artist Gloria Sanvicente Amor chose to work with cut flowers. We watch in the knowledge they exist on borrowed time, losing a little more vitality and warmth each day – it reminds us of a family member coming to the end of a long illness, the urgency to share gracefully what time is left – these photos have been a soft reminder of these times.

We hope you are enjoying this project so far, please do keep coming back for its final week!

Thank you, Modern Mint and the Chelsea Fringe…

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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