THE MODERN MINT BLOG
How do you grow Cassia in the UK? You have to make it up as you go along….
We have found a lovely, short interview about growing the botanicals for Bombay Sapphire Gin in 2 glasshouses in Hampshire (near where we learnt to garden just outside Basingstoke!)
According to the gardener Chris Cottrell, who runs the glasshouses at Laverstoke Mill, the only other place in the country that is growing cassia is Kew, so when it starts to look unhealthy there are not a lot of places to turn for advice.
It is the bark of the cassia tree that is used to flavour Bombay Sapphire Gin.
Read the article here.
Grab a bottle of Bombay Sapphire here.
Or discover more about UK Gin, the artisans that make it and the range of botanicals used in one of our most popular blog posts at Modern Mint – Best Gin 2017 – The Most Useful Guide To UK Gin.
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 …