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.

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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