THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May23

Our Desert Island Plant

For the Chelsea Fringe 2016 Modern Mint are asking you a simple question:

What is your Desert Island Plant?

We know, we know – it is a tough question to answer! Out of all the plants out there, all the wonderful flowers you could choose – which could you not live without?

See what other people have chosen.

We thought long and hard about our choice. A few of the also-rans were:

Wild primrose. The ‘first rose’ of the year, a simple flower with a beautiful soft colour. Looks as great en-masse as it does when you peer closely at just a single specimen. Love it!

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’. Got to know this well when we grew cut flowers for florists, it look like a giant apple blossom and makes an incredible display in the garden or in the vase. The fragrance is to die for too.

Stipa gigantea. Anything with ‘gigantic’ in its name is going to be exciting, and this plant offers the most wonderful flower heads on long thin stems. Easy to grow, it can stand above shorter flowers in a border but never crowd them out or steal all the light. Reflects the sunshine from its beautiful flower.

Tell Us Your Desert Island Plant!

But the plant we have chosen, as our desert island plant, has got to be….

Buxus sempervirens. Green, used in just about every garden, it is our desert island plant because of the way it can be clipped. Grabbing a pair of shears and spending time cutting buxus into formal, tight shapes is a lovely way to spend a morning.

Box 4

Even better is to cut it into something a little less formal!

It took a lot of thinking about, but there you have it – our Desert Island Plant would be the beautiful and useful Buxus sempervirens. But we are interested in you –

What Is Your Desert Island Plant?

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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