THE MODERN MINT BLOG

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 these extremes are so weird are they now to become the norm? If, like me, you care about your carbon footprint and the effect it is having on the climate, then you can start trying to reduce it by taking one simple action – switching to a green energy supplier now! I am pushing this a lot at the moment for two reasons – we need to do more to reduce the impact of carbon released into the atmosphere, and because we both get a financial benefit from the supplier if you sign up. They are a good company and I back what they do and like to be a part of it. Join now and make a difference in the easiest way possible.)

Hardy Orchids For Your Garden

Which orchids does James Wong suggest we grow?

  • Habenaria radiata – known as the Egret Orchid. Which if you know the bird, gives you a pretty good idea of what the flower looks like! Hardy down to -5.
  • Cypripedium ‘Emil’ – slipper orchid, hardy down to -20.
  • Calanthe ‘Takane’ – taller than the others, with flowers 50cm high. Generous in flower.

He also recommends, as an extra bonus, Bletilla and Pleione.

What a kind man to point us in the hardy orchid direction!

Orchids in Southend

A few years ago the Council forgot, or were late, cutting the verges on the road into Southend-on-Sea. Bee orchids came up, and looked amazing. Especially as it was such a surprise to see them, no-on heaven planted them in the first place.

The Council then got caught up with work and cut them down, but that is what can happen when you do things by the book. You tick a box and don’t see what is in front of you, looking beautiful.

I’m pretty sure there is a lesson in that. A not very subtle one either!

Do make sure you check out the article and explore these hardy orchids. I know I will…. and who knows, they may become the subject of other talk for the future. Much like my plant experiments from the last few years went into my latest talk ‘A Very British Garden’.

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.