THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug07

Native Trees

Native trees, if you need help deciding what you might like to plant…

1) Native Trees, Evergreen

– Box (Buxus Semperivens)

Dense wood, good in dry conditions, used for topiary.

– Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)

Dark green foliage, beautiful bark and trunk. Prize tree in winter. Male to female mix for berries.

– Yew (Taxus Baccata)

Topiary, trim once in August, thick hedge, grows faster than you think.

– Juniper (Juniperus Communis)

Dry and eat the berries, smell good or bad depending on your taste, slow growing.

– Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)

Conical, red bark, needle leaves.

2) Native Trees, Deciduous

– Hawthorn (Crataegeus Monogyna)

Blossom in May, can eat the haws in Autumn (if eaten with the leaves, it is known as ‘bread and cheese…’)

– Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus)

Trunk twists with age, great on clay soils, fresh green leaf.

– Elm (Ulmus Glabra)

Not often seen due to disease.

– Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)

Good near water, catkins in spring.

– Whitebeam (Sorbus Aria)

Fruits in autumn, leaves furry and silver below – which you notice when they are blowing in the wind.

– Service Tree (Sorbus Torminalis)

Rich red Autumn colours, smaller tree, fruits were used for brewing beer.

– Poplar (Populus Alba)

White underside of leaf, quick grower.

– Lime (Tilia Cordata, Tilia Platyphyllos)

Scented flowers in July, small, hard fruit.

– Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula, Rhamnus Cathartica)

Wet sites, red fruits in autumn, R. Cathartica is a smaller tree.

– Crab Apple (Malus Sylvestris)

Flowers in spring, fruits for jam in autumn, tough trees.

– Hazel (Corylus Avellana)

Fast growing, catkins and nuts.

– Oak (Quercus Rober, Quercus Petrea)

Good for wildlife, long-lived, acorns.

– Maple (Acer campestre)

Fast growing, good autumn colour.

– Birch (Betula Pubescens, Betula Pendula)

Silver and reddish bark, catkins, roots near the surface of the soil.

– Aspen (Populus Tremula)

Fluttering leaves, moist conditions, good autumn colour.

– Spindle (Euonymus Europaeus)

Great in Autumn for fruit and leaf, slightly ugly habit.

– Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia)

Orange leaf in autumn, great berries!

– Dogwood (Cornus Sanguinea)

Dark red twigs in winter!

– Elder (Sambucus Nigra)

Fast growing, flowers for cordial or champagne, then berries later in the year.

– Ash (Fraxinus Excelsior)

Light airy canopy good for growing bulbs below.

– Cherry (Prunus Padus, Prunus Avium)

Blossom, liable to get diseased – we would rather grow cherry trees for their fruit.

– Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa)

Massive thorns! Great berries for sloe gin.

Willow (Salix Caprea, Salix Alba, Salix Fragilis, Salix Triandra, Salix Pentandra)

Moist soils, pollard in spring, shiny foliage.

– Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo)

Red, peeling bark, found in Ireland, deep red fruits.

We hope this list of native trees helps. Although ‘native’ is open to debate… Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species

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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