THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun20

Do We Need Pandas? by Ken Thompson

This is one of our favourite Ken Thompson books (the other? No Nettles Required: The Reassuring Truth About Wildlife Gardening)

It is witty and light enough in style that the depressing information you are given does not prevent you from reading it… or making notes with a marker pen… or even lifting your head from the pages and telling anyone within earshot, “oh gosh did you know…”

Did you know something like this?

“…only one strategy has any long-term hope of getting every endangered species off the sick list: to conserve the fabric of whole eco-systems, and let the rare species look after themselves.”

Or his completely logical argument to help preserve (currently) untouched wilderness…

“Great works of art should be protected and conserved, and I find it hard to see why wild nature should not be cherished for much the same reasons. No-one argues that we can afford to lose the odd Matisse because there are still some left.”

We have long been fans of Ken Thompson because you always come away from reading him with more knowledge about the world. He is constantly asking questions and challenging current conventions. This is important! Not every new idea is worthy of spreading through the horticultural world, but there are many outdated practises. So if you want to get your teeth into something new, start with Ken Thompson’s books… they will delight and teach in equal measure!

These are the best 3 to buy!

Nov13

Learn To Clip Topiary Workshop 2020

topiary artists

I am running a topiary workshop in 2020 with the wonderful topiary artist Charlotte Molesworth at her spectacular topiary garden in Kent. This is a topiary workshop where you will learn to clip, so be prepared to do some cutting. We start with a tour of the garden, which Charlotte and her husband Donald have been cultivating for 34 years. It is organic, full of wildlife and has the most extraordinary pruned shapes made from yew and boxwood. You can see more photos of the garden in an article in the Guardian here: Topiary Garden In Kent What Else Will …

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Oct09

Hardy Plant Society Middlesex Talk Notes

On Monday night I gave a talk to the Hardy Plant Society Middlesex. Below are a few links for further information based on some of the ideas discussed in the talk: Real Seeds – a fantastic supplier of fruit and vegetable seeds for growers. Boxwood Caterpillar Advice – from the European Boxwood & Topiary Society. I will also write a little companion piece this winter with more information and some topiary techniques, so watch out for that on this website. Boxwood Lure & Nematodes – my preferred option for dealing with the caterpillar. Discount code for 10% off is EBTSBOX29GBZ …

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