THE MODERN MINT BLOG
A few weeks ago Modern Mint took a trip to Goldhanger in Essex, to see Spencer Christie who farms Lauriston Farm.
Lauriston Farm is run biodynamically – which in simple terms (in incredibly simple terms!) means the gardener or farmer takes account of an intricate web of relationships that can influence life on earth and tries to work with or guide it in a beneficial way. Beneficial for the soil, the animals, the plants and ourselves.
We have come across biodynamic growers before, most notably Beatrice Krehl the head gardener at Waltham Place, began to tend the vegetable garden biodynamically for Strilli Oppenheimer and her family.
It is easy to dismiss it as nonsense, or something hippies do… but visiting Lauriston Farm you get the sense of a place that is cared for. The sense of a place that is genuinely loved. If working biodynamically is the stimulus that encourages the gardener to make such beautiful places, then the concept should not be disregarded.
You can book a walk, free of charge, around the farm with Spencer as part of the environmental stewardship agreement. We encourage you to do so, to experience the wonderful views (the farm is right next to the sea) as well as the philosophical views (Spencer is a gentle, engaging storyteller) that the farm can offer.
Or look for Demeter certified food. Try it, and see if you can taste the difference. This may be the future…?
For more on Biodynamic growing, get these books…!
Topiary Provocation? What is this about? Topiary Provocation, Darren Lerigo, Spring 2021 This spring of 2021 I invited a number of garden designers to a series of meetings via Zoom, to discuss how topiary can be used effectively in modern gardens. I wanted to discover how both clients and designers felt about topiary, whether it was a part of the garden that got as much thought as, say, the choice of stone for a patio…. and if certain plants and shapes tended to trend in designs or if it truly was a mish-mash of different topiary styles. The provocation and talks …
Waltham Place in Maidenhead is one of my favourite gardens of all time. The philosophy is to garden with nature, rather than against, so improving the soil and growing a diverse range of plants is placed at the heart of how to manage the space. Through the European Boxwood and Topiary Society I arranged a talk by the garden team at Waltham Place. It has been recorded and put on Youtube so if you missed it live, you can watch it there and get a feel for what they are doing. There are some extraordinary photos of the garden …
I am running a ‘Topiary Provocation’ for garden designers, via Zoom, over the next few weeks. Dates are: Tuesday 23rd March, 10am Wednesday 24th March 7.30pm Thursday 8th April, 7.30pm The ‘provocation’ is for garden designers anywhere in the world, is free to join and will last about 45 minutes. Places are limited to 12 per session, as I want to make sure we can share ideas about topiary and how it can be used (and managed) in a modern garden – especially if skill level and maintenance time is low. I hope that I can provoke a discussion around …