THE MODERN MINT BLOG
This weekend, August 22nd-24th, you can visit Flowers at Oxford. It is hosted by Lady Margaret Hall, a beautiful Oxford college, and is being used as a showcase for the best in floral design.
We heard about it through Flowers from the Farm, who will be there promoting British flowers over the weekend. We support Flowers from the Farm because they “want to see a new generation of florists inspired by seasonal, local, sustainable British flowers.”
As a former flower grower ourselves, we recognise how great it is to get fresh blooms from your own garden. We try very hard to get our clients to grow their own flowers too.
Don’t be shy, head over to Flowers at Oxford this weekend, watch the demonstrations, see (and smell) the difference between British grown cut flowers and those imported from the equator, fall in love with the vast range of colours and textures seasonal flowers can provide – and spread the word!
Where better to spend a weekend smelling the flowers than Oxford?
(For more on growing your own flowers, try Sarah Raven – there is lots of information here!)
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 …
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 …
Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …