THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Apr24

Talking Grass

The Rough Lawn

Talking Grass is a blog by writer Sara Gregson. We recommend you take a look as it pulls together the many functions grass plays in our lives – from providing food for the animals we eat, to providing the surface we kick a ball on – making us stop and think about something we so often take for granted. We like that kind of writing…

Her post ‘Lawns are Far from Pointless’ has several highlights, including telling us about the Salisbury Lawns, five and a half acres of lawn at Chatsworth house that is full of wild flowers. Delightful! Could we all have a lawn like that please…?

Or if you have the time, why not check out the Cricklade North Meadow? It is an undisturbed hay meadow near Swindon, a registered Site of Special Scientific Interest and filled with Fritillaria meleagris. We hope it inspires you as much as us!

And if you want a book about traditional lawncare (though we aren’t sure why you would…)

But this book… well, now you’re talking…

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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