THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Mar30

Helping The Honeybee, Southend On Sea Beekeepers

This week I gave a talk – Helping The Honeybee – to the lovely beekeeping group at Southend on Sea.

Here are some notes for those who didn’t have a chance to write down some of the ideas we spoke about and shared….

The Top Plants For Bees

  • Helenium
  • Sedum
  • Echium
  • Marjoram (which you will find in your seedballs)
  • Oregano
  • Eupatorium, also known as Joe Pye-Weed
  • Borage
  • Nepeta
  • Veronicaastrum
  • Teucrium

Phillyrea

If you want a hedge for around your apiary, you will not go too far wrong with planting the amazing, tough as old boots, Phillyrea.

Read plenty more about this shrub here.

Rosybee Nurseries

To stay up to date with the latest research on the best plants for bees, speak to Rosi Rollings at Rosybee Nurseries.

We interviewed her a few years ago now. But her nursery has grown plenty since then….!

Helping The Honeybee

I am currently researching and writing a book on plants for bees for Northern Bee Books. It is already late to the publisher (whoops!) but would love to hear from anyone who can suggest to me the most valuable bee friendly plants in their garden.

Please do contact us if you have any thoughts about this!

Finally….

I was asked about rabbit proof planting. Take a look at these, but… good luck with that!

And the nurseries I recommend you look for plants from, would be:

  1. Great Dixter Gardens
  2. Beth Chatto Gardens
  3. Marchants Hardy Plants
  4. Knoll Gardens
  5. Phoenix Perennial Plants, Marina Christopher’s nursery

Thank you everyone at Southend on Sea Beekeepers – enjoy your summer of helping the honeybee!

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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