THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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!
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’.
I recently wrote a piece for Topiarius magazine, the flagship publication of the European Boxwood & Topiary Society – of which Modern Mint is both a member and big supporter. Check out the EBTS here. They frequently run courses and talks too, so worth keeping an eye on. Below is the piece I wrote about the tools I use when making topiary and pruning trees…. Darren’s Piece In Topiarius Magazine I use Okatsune Secateurs, which I started pruning with when working on a large orchard in Hampshire. My Felco’s were too difficult to open with cold hands, but the chunky …
Just inc are you are free in the following dates in June, you can visit my mentor Charlotte Molesworth’s topiary garden… Check out the dates the garden is open here. And you can of course join both Charlotte and I for a topiary workshop in the garden in July, as well as September. Hope to see you there!
The Nunki weeder has been talked about by Jane Perrone in the newspaper (the Guardian, if you are interested. At the weekend.) She said this about our lovely weeding tool… “Getting on top of annual weeds such as hairy bittercress and speedwell can be tedious. The Nunki weeder has a curved blade that allows for precision work around plants….” There you go – a weeder for precision work, not an avocado destoner as someone once said to me. Take a closer look at the Nunki weeder now.