THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jun20

Do We Need Pandas? by Ken Thompson

This book – Do We Need Pandas – is one of our favourite Ken Thompson books (the other is No Nettles Required: The Reassuring Truth About Wildlife Gardening).

Do We Need Pandas 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…”

The Joy To Be Found In ‘Do We Need Pandas’

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 Not every new idea is worthy of spreading through the horticultural world, but there are many outdated practises.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!

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits and flowers of your …

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Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

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Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies?