THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May15

Chelsea Fringe – The Alternative Garden Festival

Saturday marks the start of this years Chelsea Fringe. Here are just a few of the fascinating events you can go and see…

Chelsea Fringe

Making Meadows, Strawberry Hill House

Walks, talks and free entry to the garden as a wildflower meadow is planted on the visitor centre roof.

Operation Deep Freeze

The culinary fantasies of Willy Wonka are explored in this edible garden project, where your home produce will be turned into ice-cream… let’s hope for warm weather and weird flavours!

The Pansy Project, London, Brighton and Bristol

Marking the International day against Homophobia and Transphobia, a single pansy will be placed where hate crimes have been committed. An incredibly moving symbol highlighting support for the LGBT community.

Dry Stone Walling Days in Islington

We met John, who will be teaching the dry stone walling, last night at the Garden Museum… and we can assure you that an afternoon dry stone walling with him will be a fantastic experience. He thinks the physical and mental health benefits are enormous, that everyone should give it a go, and that women are far better at it than men…

This is just a small selection of the many events taking place, please do look up what else is on – from poetry to peepshows, to Bristol to Brighton to Vienna to Ljubljana, to living walls to elm trees – the Chelsea Fringe is a major event now in the gardening year. It would feel wrong without it…

And don’t forget we have our own online project at Modern Mint, a little number titled ‘You Should Have Seen It Last Week…’

Recommended Reading:

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: The First 100 years: 1913-2013

The Urban Kitchen Gardener: Growing & Cooking in the City

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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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

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 …

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