THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jul27

Pesticide Free City

What do Paris, Seattle, Tokyo, Toronto and Portland all have in common?

They are pesticide free cities.

This is an amazing idea, one supported by River of Flowers in the UK. Basically, it wants people to stop deliberately putting poisons and toxins into our environment.

To see what happens when you stop using pesticides, take a look at the Opera House roof in Paris where Jean Paucton, a prop man now in his 70’s, began keeping bees. In the pesticide free city of Paris he received twice the yield of honey than he did from his hives in the countryside.

Perhaps it will take longer to stop people using pesticides in agriculture, but our cities can stop right now.

Go to River of Flowers for more information about how you can help – we can add London to the list of pesticide free cities above!

Or to see pictures of Jean Paucton, visit Modern Mint’s Pinterest site and check out the Bees board.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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Apr27

Robinia – Pruning A Beautiful Tree For Small Gardens

topiary Robinia

Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …

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