THE MODERN MINT BLOG
If you don’t want to grow veg, grow flowers. A cut flower garden is a brilliant way to use your bit of the world.
This is not a post about how to set it up – to do that, read these books…
Nor is this a rant about the cut flower industry (no need to rant, just read this book by Amy Stewart Gilding the Lily: Inside the Cut Flower Industry it is a well-researched, readable and informative book that asks questions and then leaves you to answer them…)
This is a blog about using the land you have in a way that might just thrill you.
(For those of you just starting out and in need of tools and plants, the advert below takes you to the best source for beginners – the Sarah Raven website. They also normally have a sale on, so make use of it!)
Like this client cut flower garden, growing your own blooms is a beautiful job.
What makes it beautiful is that it is not easy. You are required to think logically (if I plant this now, here, I can harvest then, and replace it with this…) and creatively (I don’t have the space for that much stock, unless… unless I grow them in gutters pinned to the wall…) and, as with anything rewarding, you must be able to balance the two extremes.
Going gung-ho is fine, but nuance, subtlety and thinking smart will lead you to inspiration.
It’s not just mental but physical too. A great benefit of growing your own flowers is that you get exercise. This is not exercise for competition (who can be faster, stronger, bendier, tougher.) This is not shoddy, ‘I’m running on a treadmill with the aircon on’ exercise, but legitimate and worthwhile movement that stretches and strengthens your muscles.
It is exercising for health.
The final great reason for having a cut flower garden is that you become a creator. You are weaving together a number of different materials and turning them into somethng even more valuable. That is a fantastic way to spend your time.
Think more widely (nationally, at least) and imagine if every household in the country had a cut flower garden. That a view of the UK from the sky would be a picture of highly productive, intensely flower packed gardens. A bee haven and a butterfly paradise? Of course.
It is a job that makes you an artist, a maker of gifts.
You may not get rich from working your own cut flower garden (well, you might if you try these 9 ideas), but you will be the richer for it.
(Don’t forget, check out the books above for more advice on the actual doing, or visit the Sarah Raven website by clicking the logo below for step by step guides…!)
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 …
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 …
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.