THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jul29

Organic Bulbs – A Simple Way To Help The Honeybee

This is the third year we have been selling Organic Bulbs here at Modern Mint.

Recurvus

 

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.

Nov14

Reduce Your Gardening Carbon Footprint – From The RHS

Lovely to see the RHS have a small article in the latest Garden Magazine telling people about reducing their gardening carbon footprint. We were banging on about this ages ago…. we even did a whole project about it for the Chelsea Fringe 2017…. Capture Carbon In Your Garden. The RHS notes: Plant anything green to capture carbon Mulch soils and avoid digging to make sure carbon stays in the soil Don’t use labour and carbon intensive nitrogen-based fertilisers – instead use natural alternatives like seaweed, comfrey (yes, it is stinky!) or mulching with well-rotted horse manure or homemade garden compost…. which …

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Nov14

Roses for Hips

Just a quick note to share these choices of roses for their hips, from the RHS magazine. The rose choices were… Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ – yes, lovely. choice Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ (not sure who has the space to grow this one!) Rosa ‘Francis E Lester’ Rosa ‘Generous Gardener’ (though the article noted if you leave the hips on you will get fewer flowers later in the season) Rosa ‘Morning Mist’ Rosa ‘Cupid’ Rosa sericea subspecies omeiensis f. pteracantha (not just a mouthful of a name, but the hips drop off quickly too, within a few weeks) Rosa ‘Geranium’ Rosa californica …

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Nov08

Botanist Gin

We are, as those keen followers of Modern Mint will know, a little bit excited about British gin. One of our longest and best blog posts is all about it – Best UK Gin 2017. To help you choose a great gin, we have (unselfishly) been trying lots of new ones during the year. Here is one, Botanist Gin, that we think is excellent…. Do take a closer look at other recommendations though – they have been well-tested!