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!

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits and flowers of your …

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Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

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Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies?