THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan03

David Austin, Roses

David Austin, the Rose breeder and nurseryman, passed away the week before Christmas.

You can read his obituary in the Guardian and I am sure there will be many more words about him published across the internet. Many of us have his English roses in our gardens, or have given them as presents to friends.

We met him briefly in Shropshire during 2017, at his home, when afforded a tour behind the scenes of the David Austin Nursery. I have written about that visit here. The nursery itself is worth a visit in June for the collection of wild roses alone.

A sad start to the year. But also a reminder (for me at least) to stop and take time to smell the roses. Or the peonies, my own favourite, which you can find at the nursery of Claire Austin, his daughter.

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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