THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr11

The Alternative Guide To Things To Do In The Garden This Month

We are constantly encouraged to do a guide on ‘what to do in the garden in this month’ and, though valuable, you can find a list of jobs in just about any garden magazine or website you care to look at. They all say the same thing too, pretty much, so here at Modern Mint we wonder why we should bother adding to the vast sea of same old same old advice.

The baying for us to do a guide to jobs for the month continues to grow though, so we have bitten the bullet and decided to do it – our way…

Welcome then, to the Alternative Guide to Things to do in the Garden this Month:

1) Deadhead nothing.

Your new and shiny secateurs can wait a little longer for an outing, if you refuse to deadhead daffodils. It is a nice job, we admit, but ‘nice’ is the best way to describe it. It is ‘nice’ – not a WONDERFUL job.

2) Forget about putting plant supports in the borders.

This job can be tedious and is easily done badly. Let the plants go and do their thing! You might find your peonies prefer it… (our note: probably not though.)

3) Don’t mow your lawn.

Leave the mower in the shed, dusty and covered in cobwebs, and allow the grass to do what it really wants to do – grow up up up and flower! You never know, you might like the effect – or at least appreciate you don’t have to put so much work into the garden…

4) Release a lynx to stop deer eating your plants.

These deer eating cats will help reduce the population of ungulates that nibble on your garden plants. And what a romantic course of action to take, bringing something that wild back to the UK – just think how it will feel as you walk through the woods, knowing out there somewhere is an animal that can remind you humans are a part of the food chain too.

5) Sow a well-spaced row of seeds in your vegetable patch, to save thinning later on.

These alternative jobs do seem to be about reducing work, don’t they? Still, tally-ho! Perhaps it is because we once heard a Lithuanian theatre director say to his nervous young assistant – ‘Take it easy…. But take it all.’ Not sure what affect it had on the assistant but maybe it has influenced the way we garden more than we could ever have imagined…

6) Use an organic fertiliser to help your plants.

Leave the tubs you get from the garden centre alone, and try a liquid seaweed – it smells amazing (you can imagine it right?) and it gives a wonderful boost to plants, lawns and crops. We couldn’t live without it these days…

Seaweed fertiliser

7) Have a cup of coffee in the warm, spring morning sunshine.

A pearler of an alternative, don’t you agree?

Hope these little nuggets of information from our alternative guide will help you in the garden this month.

Ciao for now!

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 …

READ MORE

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 …

READ MORE

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 …

READ MORE