THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May15

Which Copper Trowel Is For Me?

Copper trowels. There are three of them. Too much choice? Can’t decide:

Which Copper Trowel is Best for Me?

MIRA gallery image

At Modern Mint we offer three copper trowels. They are…

  1. The Mira
  2. The Musca
  3. And the Castor

Each trowel has a uniqueness in both shape and feel when you use it. How you are as a gardener and the style with which you garden will also affect which one is best for you.

As we get asked so often what is the difference between each copper trowel, we have written a short, handy guide on the different places in the garden we use them.

Hope this helps you decide which copper trowel is best for you and the gardening you love to do!

The Musca Trowel

1) Musca – our favourite trowel at the moment. No scratch that!  Our favourite copper trowel of all time! I have been using this non-stop in the garden since forever…!

Why?

Because it is a great all-rounder. Because the blade is deeper you can use it for potting up and moving compost from the bag (or barrow) into seed trays. But it is also sharp enough and has a long enough blade  to use in the garden whichever job you happen to be doing too.

One moment this summer I used it for putting out cosmos into the borders, clearing goose grass from the vegetable patch and scratching as much root of the dandelions as I could get from between the paving.

My ‘Musca’ gets well used…!

MUSCA featured image

The Mira Trowel

2) Mira – this is slim, sharp and long and we really like it because you can use the strong, pointed tip to trace back roots of perennial weeds in the flower beds.
If you have bindweed, ground elder, nettles… all those pernicious weeds, then this is a really great and wonderful tool to use. It is so sharp it also works well slicing into perennials that may have got stuck in pots. Handy to get into that pot-bound plant.
We like using this particular copper trowel to divide hostas, daylillies and sedums, as the tip of the Mira is easy to place into the section you want to divide the plant at. This was our original copper trowel, the copper tool that got us onto using this metal around the garden and it still holds a firm place in our tool bag – for us, it is also the most beautiful.
MIRA featured image

The Castor Trowel

3) Castor – if you do a lot of potting up and growing from seed, this wider, much shallower trowel is best for you. It can scoop a lot of compost into pots. This one is the classic copper trowel, the original and also the most widely sold and well-known.
It is a favourite of the brilliant market gardener Charles Dowding (we have tasted the food he grows – he knows what he is doing!) but we think this trowel is better for use in the greenhouse than in the garden.
Stefano, our funky and cool Italian friend and style icon (yep, I said it… no testimonial needed, you just got to imagine how ‘on point’ he is….) thinks of this as a design classic.
100 Castor 300 dpi pksbronze new size

What Else Must You Know About Copper Trowels?

They are all sharp, light and great to use. So you can’t go far wrong.
For most people the Musca will probably be the best choice to buy, as its versatility means it can be used anywhere in the garden.
Of course, different people will like different styles and what suits one will not have the balance and tactility enjoyed by another.
So don’t just take our word for it, get yourself a copper trowel and see how much easier gardening is with a sharp, beautiful tool to use!
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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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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