THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May29

Roses

Madame Alfred Carriere
Madame Alfred Carriere

Most garden designers have a palette of plants they trust, know and use. This repetition gives a certain style to their work and helps them build a consistent client base, although a planting style can change rapidly and distinctly.

Tom Stuart-Smith wrote, “Initially we went through quite a fluffy pink rose stage, clipped box, cranesbills and great swags of blousy pink Ispahan and purplish crimson Charles de Mill… this initial blousy pinkness overlapped with something of orange Kniphofia moment (which now seems a little improbable) then followed by a more wild Verbascum and opium poppy explosion in the early 90’s and an increasingly grassy evolution over the last ten years… I have gradually excluded the flagrantly exotic and cultivated. There is now not a single Kniphofia in the garden or an old fashioned rose or a delphinium.”

One of the most important portfolios to have is of roses, a plant 99% of clients ask for in a garden and 99% of clients will have a favourite of. So we feel it is time to update our portfolio.

First stop will be Cants of Colchester to have a look what they have growing in their fields.

Second, we will be asking what other people like. Speaking to Troy Scott Smith (Head Gardener at Sissinghurst) he pointed out to us that Rosa rugosa ‘Blanche double de Coubert’ was the favourite rose of Vita Sackville-West. (That’s good to know, because it already sits in our portfolio!)

If you have a favourite rose, do get in touch with us via Twitter or by email.

Here are a few roses from our current portfolio…

Ferdinand Pichard

Graham Thomas

Winchester Cathedral

Darcey Bussell

Madame Hardy

… oh, how we are excited to be reappraising this lovely group of plants!

For further rose related reading, try:

The Rose

The English Roses

Alan Titchmarsh How to Garden: Growing Roses

Or for the book by Tom Stuart-Smith quoted above…

The Barn Garden: Making a Place

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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