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

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation 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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