THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Dec04

Christmas Presents For Gardeners

Struggling to find a gift that is actually decent, for the gardener or garden lover in your life?

Here are some ideas that, I hope, tap into what a gardener really will appreciate… rather than the tut you might get in M & S (I’m looking with angry, disappointed eyes at you, M & S copper plated trowel that you can purchase for not much money that looks good but lasts for no time and is a pile of dog mess to use…. to put it lightly….)

  1. Our tools – snips, secateurs, Diggy Diggy trowel, slug-repellant trowel, shears. Okay, okay – now we’ve got that over with. We sell stuff we stand by, that we use in the garden. We’re done now ok? You can carry on down the list and find something else that we don’t have a hand in on this website.
  2. Boots – got to have a good pair of boots in the garden. We wear these from Portuguese Treasures. The working boot. Soles are recycled from old car tyres. This wonderful nod towards recycling something useful to lower the carbon footprint is offset somewhat by the plane journey they send the boots on to reach you in the UK. But it is a start…. and the boots will last you.
  3. Books – Henk Gerritsen wrote ‘Essay On Gardening’ and it is a masterpiece. Tough to get hold of though, admittedly. We also love this one by Barn The Spoon, or this book about ‘Late Summer Flowers’ by the wonderful nurserywoman Marina Christopher. You can also try ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot.
  4. Rapanui shirts – organic cotton. Sustainable fashion is good for the planet, these shirts are thick and well-made. Perfect for the garden.
  5. Trees For Life – give the gift of a future.
  6. Truffle Hunting In Dorset – this one is a little bit special! Truffle hunting with dogs, here in the UK. Bit more expensive, but hey, make a weekend of it!
  7. Organic wine – we recommend… drinking. =)
  8. Riverford Organic Vegetable Box – if you don’t have time or space to grow all your own vegetables, then get a delivery every week. We love Riverford and we know that by eating organic food, we are also supporting a landscape that enhances life.
  9. Trip to a brilliant nursery – like this one, Marchant’s Hardy Plants, perhaps in the New Year when you can enjoy their Snowdrop Day.
  10. Bokashi – oh? You don’t know Bokashi? Me either, at least, I’ve never tried it yet. But I do know people who love to Bokashi their food waste and it all looks good. You basically pickle your leftover dinner and unused vegetables, then chuck it on the garden where it helps improve the soil. Something that will be massive in years to come. We hope.

So there you go, ten ideas for Christmas presents for the gardener in your life. (And as a bonus, try this if you know a beekeeper…. Hive Tool for Beekeepers.)

 

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.