THE MODERN MINT BLOG
This is the third year we have been selling Organic Bulbs here at Modern Mint.
We have always been a fan of using daffodils, tulips and crocus to provide colour to the garden early in the year, but it was only upon reading research done by the ‘Earth Friendly Gardener’ John Walker that we realised we may have been causing problems.
Organic Bulbs Are Better For Bees
It turns out that bulbs grown with chemicals can store the poison in the heart of the bulb. When the variety you have chosen pushes its stem up through the cold, spring earth and gets its head into the sun, it will flower.
But as the sap rises through the stem, with it comes the toxins, so that for every bee and every insect that visits the flower looking for pollen and nectar, they also get a little dose of poison. This is disorientating and, if they visit enough flowers, incredibly harmful.
Now bees are damn fine workers, so they will be visiting a lot of flowers. That is a lot of insecticide they will be getting hit with.
Organic bulbs are grown without chemicals, on chemical free land reclaimed from the sea in the Netherlands. They provide a flower for the bee and other pollinators to visit, they offer nectar and early season pollen, but they don’t poison anything.
This makes organic bulbs bee safe bulbs. The kind of plants you want in your garden.
Planting Organic, Bee Friendly Bulbs
We have a few recommendations for planting organic bulbs, to make your life as simple as possible:
- Whatever number you think you need, add a ‘0’ to the end of it. So if you think 10 bulbs is enough for your garden, plant 100. It will make a fantastic display in the spring and your heart will be warmed….
- Plant fewer varieties, to bring a consistency to your planting. Small, scented flowers near the house in pots gives you the chance to appreciate them, wilder, tougher varieties can be naturalised in grass.
- As a general rule, the depth you plant it will be to twice the height of the bulb.
- Daffodils go in the ground as early as possible in the Autumn (say, September) while tulips go in during the colder month of November.
Dan Pearson On Planting Bulbs
“Bulbs provide a guaranteed flash of drama to herald the passing of one season into the next….”
That should of course read “Organic bulbs provide a flash of drama….”
Buy Organic, Bee Friendly Bulbs
We have a few varieties in sock this year, including, for the first ever time, Crocus. Plant crocus to provide much needed pollen for the bees early in the year.
Shop for organic bulbs now.
Or read this if you need more information on Organic Bulbs.
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …