THE MODERN MINT BLOG
The question most asked of us at our markets and fairs…
It is a good question. Cheekily, we refuse to answer straight away and instead question them back – what do you think it is?
Take a look again…
What is it? We have been told it is:
An avocado de-stoner.
A dog brush.
A boot scraper.
A boiled egg de-sheller. (Big egg…)
A hairbrush for a teddy boy quiff.
A dog lead holder.
A target for practising your golf chip.
A body exfoliating tool.
A nail clipper.
A scone or cookie cutter.
A zombie electrifier.
A huge earring…
You get the idea, right? This is an unusual tool for a gardener to use. Not everyone has an idea about what it does…
Shall we tell you?
It is, very simply, a hand held hoe. It has a sharpened bronze blade, curved so that it can dip into cultivated soil and cut roots as well as drag back to your bucket or pail blanket weeds like chickweed or the clovers.
The handle is beech and oiled with linseed and the product not only speeds up weeding and cultivating the soil – just a few quick sweeps across the surface of the flower or vegetable bed should do the trick – but it also has an heirloom quality about it that we love. (So do all of our copper tools, to be fair.)
We regularly get people taking a chance and buying one of these either as a gift or for themselves, trying it out, then coming back and buying another one for a friend, or emailing us to say how amazing this ‘hand held hoe’ is. It is a lovely job, selling these wonderful and unique weeding tools.
For example, at Salisbury Christmas market this year we had a lovely lady buy one for her sister, who was a keen gardener. She came back two days later, pushed through the crowd around our stall and said – my sister is blown away by it, it is brilliant! Absolutely blown away! Thank you. Everybody – buy one!
I went red in the face, as this kind of praise is amazing and gratifying, but also not something you ask for and was totally unexpected. The lady then walked off, back to whatever she was up to that day, and the crowd around our stall laughed and giggled, and then of course wanted to try the hoe and see why she thought it was so great…
It gives us great pleasure to sell this hoe, as well as earn a reputation for inviting you to try products that are useful as well as beautiful. We do hope you will give our unusual ‘hand held hoe’ a go in 2016. We know you will love it.
We are fans of effective microbes, and use the in our topiary work. They help keep plants healthy, meaning the plants have more tools in their toolbox and energy in their lives to stave off any diseases. Here is a lovely article that tells you how to make your own microbes. Right at the end. Make Your Own Microbes
Boxwood is one of our absolute favourite plants. The evergreen leaf that shines in winter, the smell as you clip it, the brilliant shapes you can make from it… but it is suffering somewhat from two major problems: Box Blight Boxwood Caterpillar and Moth None of this is the be all and end all for boxwood, but it helps to be aware of it and know a little about what you can do should either of these problems arise. Boxwood Caterpillar & Moth I hadn’t seen this in a garden I worked on until this spring, when a client I …
Last weekend I visited the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, to take part in an orchard design course they were running. Beautiful place and a warm day, I recommend a visit. I came home with 3 bottles of cider. Drank them all. Then realised they were weighing in at 8%. I don’t recover that quickly (no longer being 20 years old) and so had something of a musty head the next morning. The power of apples I say! Below are some notes I made from the day. They may be of use to you, although really they are there for …