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!

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.

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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