THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb28

Notes From ‘A Very British Garden’

My new talk for 2019 ‘A Very British Garden’ has now been given to a few garden clubs in the UK. If you wish to book me for another talk, then you can find my talk subjects here – Garden Club Speaker.

A Very British Garden

Is about what I see when I work on gardens in the UK, the problems that I am consistently asked to solve – like bare fences, smelly compost, why boxwood plants are being defoliated and how come slugs are eating all the lettuce….

It has been great fun to write and I hope you will book it soon.

Below are notes for those who have heard it and wish to learn more….

The Alternative Plant List

  • Baptisia
  • Chamaenerion
  • Rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’
  • Jasmine ‘Clotted Cream’
  • Trachelospermum jasminoides
  • Campsis radicans
  • Carpenteria californica
  • Abeliophyllum distichum
  • Osmanthus
  • Magnolia wilsonii
  • Stewartia pseudocamellia
  • Trillium

I realise that, to those who have not seen the talk, this will sound like an odd list. In the talk, all is explained. Honest.

You can read about a few more plants that garden designer Dan Pearson recommends here.

Plant Nurseries

  • Phoenix Perennial Plants
  • Marchants Hardy Plants
  • Hards Cottage Garden Plants
  • Crug Farm
  • Great Dixter

There are loads more independent nurseries out there, sharing great garden plants. Go seek them out!

Real Seeds

Great seeds, great tasting vegetables, all to be saved and shared. Growing fantastic vegetables is a brilliant way to make a British garden something special. Use them!

Boxwood Caterpillar

Find out more here how to cope with the devastating caterpillar and moth. And check your boxwood plants this spring for the webbing! It is up to those of us who garden to be on the lookout for this caterpillar that is defoliating both gardening wild boxwood all over the UK and Europe. It has no natural predators – except the keen-eyed gardener who wants to make a difference.

So please do check your boxwood plants!

Balmoral Cottage, The Garden Of Charlotte Molesworth

My topiary mentor is opening her garden in Kent through 2019. Dates can be seen here, as well as details for how to stay in the Potting Shed in the garden.

Charles Dowding – No Dig Gardening

You can read more about Charles Dowding and his no-dig gardening technique in this blog about my visit to his garden here.

Fascinating reading, as are his books, especially – The No Dig Home & Garden.

He also uses copper tools…

Finally, Use A Green Energy Supplier

This is surely a no brainer (along with going peat free on your compost!) The simplest and easiest change you can make to help reduce your carbon footprint and keep the earth from becoming a terrible place. We use Bulb and recommend you do too. There are financial benefits for us both, as well as the moral one.

And they make it simple to switch, even paying your fees if you have any for leaving your current energy supplier early.

Check out how you (and the planet) can benefit from using Green Energy now.

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.