THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Mar01

Soil Is Vital To Life

The Soil Association, founded 70 years ago by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists, are a charity dedicated to promoting organic food and sustainable land use.

They aim to tackle climate change, work with farmers to improve their growing practises, support high standards of animal welfare and give everyone access to food that is healthy and organically grown.

What is not to like about a charity that does this?

Some of the Soil Association’s past campaigns have included:

Not In Our Bread – a movement to stop weedkiller being used on wheat crops. We have previously worked in the sales arm of a bakery and know just how important it is to eat the best bread you can get your hands on. Using organic flour is just one way to make that loaf great to toast!

Seven Ways To Save Our Soil – a movement to increase organic matter in our UK soils by 20% over the next 20 years. They list a number of ways to do this – but growing organic crops, not digging your soil and using green manures are three easy ways for you to help in your own garden. (Read more about ways to save our soil on the Soil Association website.)

Cottoned On – a fantastic drive to get more people thinking about one of the world’s major industries – the clothing industry – and how the apparel we buy and wear can damage the environment if not shopped for responsibly. We learnt long ago at Modern Mint that buying clothes made from organic cotton is a brilliant choice to make – organic cotton feels softer, stronger and is just so easy to wash. We recently started buying bamboo and hemp clothes too.

As you can see, the Soil Association does a great job in educating people on environmental matters. They have even teamed up with Aardman Animations (you know them – the people behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep!) to produce this short film about our soils.

It is called ‘From Potato To Planet’ and is an easy way to get up to speed on why our soil is vital to life, and what we need to do to help protect it. Take a quick look for yourself…

Last week Modern Mint shared our thoughts on organic gardening. Soil health was one of the key factors we spoke about in that blog post.

Please do your bit for the world and think about growing organic, about looking after your land without weedkillers… by refraining from using toxins, you will see a benefit in your soil.

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. …

READ MORE

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 …

READ MORE