THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug21

Who Can Help With My Garden?

This is an odd question, but we get the impression it is one a lot of people ask. They must do, judging by the enormous amount of media coverage gardening gets – the books, the tv series, the radio programmes, the magazines, the blogs, the designers, the available courses and the websites…

We are pleased about this. We love being out in the garden, for the health benefits as much as the testing of our ideas and understanding of the world – does this plant go with that one? Why does a robin sit on the fence watching us? Has the lack of sunshine over the last ten days been the cause of my beans not producing the great harvest they could…? Who were the first people to realise you could eat the flowers of a daylilly, or is it just us who forgot what we knew?

Gardening gives us a wonderful excuse and physical rhythm to ask questions of the world, so it is encouraging to see so many people want to garden. But we think there is a lack of confidence in how to do it, culturally, as if we are afraid to get something wrong.

Hear this keen gardeners – in the garden, every year, you will always get something wrong. (If not 100 things…)

The key to gardening is to get out there and do it. To be outside, to engage, to try. It is the reason we started Modern Mint – we wanted a vehicle that could help people answer the question ‘what do I do with my garden?’ We wanted to be the people who could say – we will help!

That is still the same now we have added the shop. We don’t stand on our market stall surrounded by these fantastic products that are well made, or hand crafted, or beautifully designed, and ignore people who come to look. We tell them why the seedballs will help bees, the copper tools are an aid to stop the slugs and the fertilisers are organic for your health as much as the plants.

It is a system that allows us to spread the message that gardening is good for you, that the world outside of your door is one you should be interested in. As we said above, most people are interested in it – and we hope beyond hope they look at Modern Mint and know they will get great advice from us.

We currently have two new garden design jobs just beginning, but here is a photo from a design we worked on last year… it took awhile to settle, but now it really is taking root…

Garden Design Upminster

 

The red is helenium, an amazing plant for bees because it replenishes its nectar source by the afternoon – so bees can come back and fill up again after the morning hunt.

Just a little tip their from Modern Mint, who CAN help with your garden…

 

 

 

 

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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