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.
Lovely to see the RHS have a small article in the latest Garden Magazine telling people about reducing their gardening carbon footprint. We were banging on about this ages ago…. we even did a whole project about it for the Chelsea Fringe 2017…. Capture Carbon In Your Garden. The RHS notes: Plant anything green to capture carbon Mulch soils and avoid digging to make sure carbon stays in the soil Don’t use labour and carbon intensive nitrogen-based fertilisers – instead use natural alternatives like seaweed, comfrey (yes, it is stinky!) or mulching with well-rotted horse manure or homemade garden compost…. which …
Just a quick note to share these choices of roses for their hips, from the RHS magazine. The rose choices were… Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ – yes, lovely. choice Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ (not sure who has the space to grow this one!) Rosa ‘Francis E Lester’ Rosa ‘Generous Gardener’ (though the article noted if you leave the hips on you will get fewer flowers later in the season) Rosa ‘Morning Mist’ Rosa ‘Cupid’ Rosa sericea subspecies omeiensis f. pteracantha (not just a mouthful of a name, but the hips drop off quickly too, within a few weeks) Rosa ‘Geranium’ Rosa californica …
We are, as those keen followers of Modern Mint will know, a little bit excited about British gin. One of our longest and best blog posts is all about it – Best UK Gin 2017. To help you choose a great gin, we have (unselfishly) been trying lots of new ones during the year. Here is one, Botanist Gin, that we think is excellent…. Do take a closer look at other recommendations though – they have been well-tested!