THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr27

Chelsea Fringe – “You Should Have Seen It Last Week…”

"You Should Have Seen It Last Week..."

 

Modern Mint are running a project for the Chelsea Fringe.

The project is called “You Should Have Seen It Last Week…” a phrase you will often hear a gardener say when they show someone around their garden. It seems wherever you go, the garden always had less weeds and more flowers back then…!

What is the Chelsea Fringe?

If the Chelsea flower show is the spectacular, trendy, stunning starlet of the horticultural world, the Chelsea fringe is the anarchic, homemade, anything goes fun lover that won’t be home until dawn.

Now in its 3rd year, it is a platform for artists and gardeners to express themselves, to club together for three weeks and encourage gardening in all its forms. If it is interesting, related to horticulture and legal, it’s in.

A real positive for London, as urban space gets ‘greened-up’, there is also great virtue in not spending a lot of money, being imaginative and sharing in the goodwill out there as spring begins turning into summer.

What is the project?

A group of willing photographers, including Tower Hamlets Cemetery and garden designers Amalia Robredo and Anthea Harrison, will be taking photographs of a plant or landscape everyday for three weeks, from May 17th to June 8th.

These pictures will then be placed on the Chelsea Fringe page of the Modern Mint website, and as material builds we will be able to see a gallery of what the plant or plants did actually look like last week!

Where did the idea come from?

The phrase “… you should have seen it last week…” is a normal part of the gardener’s armoury, and worth poking a little fun at. We also tried to get people from all over the world, not just the UK, to take part (and we managed it, with two gardens from the southern hemisphere and several more from across Europe) as we thought it would be great fun to see and compare a peony in Kent just coming into flower, while a cherry blossom from Kyoto begins to pale and fade… while someone in Northern Scandinavia photos the snow melting from the petals of a crocus.

Taking a photo everyday for the whole duration of the Chelsea Fringe also gives us a chance to see how it changes, a flowery version of this, basically… http://everyday.noahkalina.com/

We hope you enjoy and look forward to hearing what you think!

Happy 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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