THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Sep05

NGS Sissinghurst

Earlier in the year we visited Sissinghurst, when they opened for the NGS scheme at 6am on a Sunday morning. It was brilliant to be there so early and we had the chance to talk with new(ish) head gardener Troy Scott Smith about how they are trying to ‘revitalise Vita’.

The garden has changed a lot over the years, which is a good thing, but has lost a little of the ‘fine carelessness’ that drove the making of the garden. It is now the job of Troy and his team to bring a little of that chaos and looseness back to the planting, while also catering for the vast amount of visitors that go each year (around 200,000.)

We went to Sissinghurst for 6am in order to miss those crowds of people – we perhaps overestimated the appeal – not one other person arrived that early in the morning. You missed out. It was beautiful.

Do please visit on Monday 15th September and support the NGS.

Also, if you live in Essex and want to visit a garden, we recommend:

Ulting Wick on the 14th and 19th September.

Furzelea on the 10th September.

Woodpeckers on the 26th & 27th September.

They are, like Sissinghurst, all fantastic gardens.

To find out more about Sissinghurst, Sarah Raven recently released a book which we reviewed here – Vita Sackville-West: Creation of a Garden.

Happy garden visiting!

 

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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