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.
Just inc are you are free in the following dates in June, you can visit my mentor Charlotte Molesworth’s topiary garden… Check out the dates the garden is open here. And you can of course join both Charlotte and I for a topiary workshop in the garden in July, as well as September. Hope to see you there!
The Nunki weeder has been talked about by Jane Perrone in the newspaper (the Guardian, if you are interested. At the weekend.) She said this about our lovely weeding tool… “Getting on top of annual weeds such as hairy bittercress and speedwell can be tedious. The Nunki weeder has a curved blade that allows for precision work around plants….” There you go – a weeder for precision work, not an avocado destoner as someone once said to me. Take a closer look at the Nunki weeder now.
There has been some great articles around recently, what with the gardening season upon us and the Extinction Rebellion happening. I particularly liked this from Alys Fowler – Turn Your Lawn Into A Meadow “(Most lawns) are biodiversity deserts… and worse still, we pursue this. There are aisles in garden centres promising ever-greener sward, with no moss and weeds. Let there be no misunderstanding; these are chemicals that silence the soil.” Raise your mower height. Don’t cut until June. Then just once a month afterwards. Love that advice. And it is saving petrol for your mower too! This article also …