THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jul03

Roses – Another One For People Who Plant For Bees

We are currently writing a book about plants that do a great job of Helping The Honeybee. This means we are always on the lookout for flowers that are attractive to our little, honey making friends.

This week we have heard plenty of buzzing coming from:

Dead nettle

Helenium

Alliums

Veronicastrum

Escallonia

Plus we glanced in a magazine and saw a note about bees preferring dark flowers when they forage in the shade. We will research this a little more for you, but worth making a note of and thinking about right now if you have a dark patch of the garden that you wish to make more pollinator friendly.

Roses

But the bee friendly plant we really wanted to tell you about was this one – the rose. Last week we visited David Austin Roses and got chatting to the Senior Rosarian there, who (we were told) knows more about roses than anyone else in the world.

Quite some feat.

But he said that roses do not produce nectar, only pollen.

Walking around all of the stunning roses in bloom, it was the species roses and rosa rugosa that had the most bees on the flowers – you could HEAR THEM THERE WERE SO MANY. All of them visiting purely for the pollen.

So now you know – if you want a bee friendly garden, add the wilder roses… because the bees will appreciate the pollen.

For more about planting for bees, you don;t have to wait for us to finish writing the book. You can learn more right now as we do the research by booking our new talk for your group – Helping The Honeybee.

Or explore our website further, as we have lots of information about what you can do create an amazing garden space to enjoy, with planting for pollinators that really does help them!

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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