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!

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.