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.

Beneficial Microbes

Use these on your garden soil, on your plant leaves and in your compost heap. They strengthen plant immune systems and bring life to your garden. Find out more about beneficial microbes (and even give them a try for your own health… not the garden ones, obviously, the ones you can drink everyday for more energy!)

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.

 

 

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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