THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Nov02

Modern Mint at 300

 

Modern Mint Reaches 300 Blog Posts!

Less than 3 years since we started blogging at Modern Mint, we have reached our 300th blog post today, with this one! 300!

It has been a monumental effort by a few different people (Darren, quite a lot, Chloe, a fair bit, then some other fantastic garden writers too…)

There have been some amazing and incredibly useful posts along the way. Some awful ones too (hands up again Darren!) But it goes without saying that you need to throw yourself out there and do it, in order to find your voice.

And after 300 blog posts we think Modern Mint really has got its voice.

The First Blog at Modern Mint was a short little number. We started our days as a garden design outfit here in Chelmsford, Essex and that is reflected in the blog. The website was 5 pages wide. These pages consisted of:

  1. homepage
  2. about page
  3. contact page
  4. blog
  5. portfolio

The Modern Mint green was a lighter shade, rather than the little olive number we have now. Even the logo had a different tag line…

logo_02

The second stage of the Modern Mint blog was a call to arms for gardeners. We wrote extensively about best gardening practise and interviewed lots of wonderful people in the horticultural industry, who spoke passionately and with great clarity on their specialist subjects.

For example, we wondered where the herbicide loving gardeners had gone? John Walker told us about earth friendly gardening. Flower grower Carole Patilla shared her thoughts on growing flowers. And we met a cycling gardener from Liverpool who inspired us immensely with his new business.

Our most popular blog of this time, one still linked to often and helping people get out and garden is this one…

9 Ideas for a Cut Flower Business

We also ran several projects at the Chelsea Fringe, one year curating an ebook of 100 word essays on gardening, by gardeners. You can read ‘Contemporary Green’ here, for FREE.

The third stage of the Modern Mint blog is when we really came into our own. We updated the website, taking out the portfolio and turning it into a full-time shop – because that is what you wanted from us!

We kept being asked what we thought the best tools were for use in the garden, or the best garden furniture or if this product could really be of use…. or did we have anything to give a difficult family member at Christmas, as a gift?

We knew from the queries that we were curating some remarkable products that people would appreciate. Rooting them in the garden, or the natural world, or giving them an air of the earth friendly (check out this brilliant book, for example!) helped us forge our identity as an online shop with a grand following.

“Thank you for sending me my lovely Nunki a few weeks ago. I loved the kind and simple way it was packed – with bits of wool. I have recommended your site to another friend who will be buying a Nunki from you very soon.”

A satisfied customer, recently… who then bought our last Nunki weeder. We hope to have some back in stock soon…! Keep checking back!

The Modern Mint blog now tells you about why we have certain products on here. Why we use them. How you can get the best from them.

That really is where we are at – Modern Mint at 300 – an online (and Christmas Fairs) shop with a love of the natural.

Do check out the rest of the blog – we have been 300 posts in getting here!

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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