THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May07

National Nurseries Week, Final Day, May 2014

Today brings to an end National Nurseries Week, a week showcasing some of the best British nurseries.

Dahlias, May

(The picture above is from another business we ran, growing cut flowers for florists… we loved growing these dahlias, but if you’re a florist go to Withypitts if you want the best dahlias in the country…)

It is good to support your local nurseries, as it creates a positive cycle – the better they do, the more they can offer you – leading to us all becoming better gardeners (and in a crazy dream world we like to live in, the better this countries gardeners, the more they will demand from their landscapes… until we all reap the health benefits of living in a riot of natural beauty… ahh, a crazy and lovely dream…)

To end the week, here are three more nurseries we recommend:

1) Bluebell Cottage

Run by former winner of Gardener of the Year Sue Beesley, all plants are grown in peat free compost and pots from plants purchased at the nursery can be returned.

2) Claire Austin Hardy Plants

A leading British nursery and specialists in Iris and Peonies. Fantastic source to use!

3) Collyers Nurseries

A large retail nursery celebrating its 75th year right now. Visit their Japanese Maple House to choose an acer, or find a clematis from their extensive choice.

Further Reading:

1001 Perennials

Iris: The Classic Bearded Varieties

Irises: A Gardener’s Encyclopedia

Peonies: The Imperial Flower

Mar19

Wasting Water

Well worth a read in the BBC today – a note on how wasting water in the UK “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby.” Read the report here. I have written a talk about how we use water in the  garden. It was written when I moved from Hampshire to Essex and found out for myself just how dry this area of the UK is. It completely changed the way I garden. The lack of such a precious resource as water made me question what we can do to save it, store it and …

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Mar14

The Foie Gras That Tastes Like Nature

Ethical Foie Gras? Is That A Real Thing?   Foie gras – can it be ‘grown’ ethically? The video showing how this farmer works suggests it can… We first read about this in a book called The Third Plate by Dan Barber. I loved it and I love how Eduardo the farmer, who farms on the Dehesa in Spain, has a ‘take half leave half rule’. When talking about how the geese eat his olives… “They’re always quite fair. If you make sure the geese are relaxed and happy, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of fatty livers. That is God’s …

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Mar04

Hardy Orchids Via James Wong

Hardy orchids – here is a subject I would love to know more about – so lo and behold, James Wong has written about it in the Guardian! Read the article about hardy orchids here. I love having orchids in the house, just your usual run of the mill buy them in any shop orchids, but it is a pleasure to read about the plants that will grow outside and cope with this weather. (This insane weather! From the hottest days of February on record to Storm Freya, all within a week. Weather is always such a factor in gardening, but …

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