THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan14

Why I Started Modern Mint

Why I Started Modern Mint

I always loved working outside and especially working with trees. I still get a thrill, even now, when planting them.

But it was only in 2014 when I moved from Hampshire to Essex that I began to shape and express the values I thought important enough to garden by – the ‘no chemicals’ rule, the recycling of resources, the increasing of life…

My move to garden here in Essex, in the driest part of the UK, became the perfect opportunity to start again and share these ideas with people interested in the spaces and landscapes they live in.

Modern Mint. The Place For Tools, Topiary & Talks

Now I spend my time:

Making and maintaining topiary all over the UK, with the brilliant Charlotte Molesworth.

You may have seen some of this work in The Guardian, Country Living Magazine, or perhaps on the television programme ‘All Gardens Great & Small’?

Topiary Make

Speaking to garden clubs, WI’s, U3A’s, at fairs, shows, in theatres and for groups of people who want to know more about gardening.

I opened for Mary Berry at Blenheim Palace once. Disappointingly, she didn’t give away any secret tips for making scones….

Selling tools, the same ones I use in the garden. They are a small selection, but embody the values of Modern Mint.

“I am all over your site like a rash, just realised I cannot live another moment without a copper trowel…” Helen

What We Believe At Modern Mint

The name Modern Mint was decided upon after, well, not that much deliberation really. I wanted to look at gardening in a contemporary way, trying to answer questions about how our space can be used in the life as we know it. So I chose the word Modern. Then I added the ‘Mint’ because I wanted to garden in a fresh way, using materials that might not have been thought about or plants that needed a new lease of life and better press.

What I soon realised is that this need for fresh, contemporary garden thinking doesn’t quite add up. Garden trends and changes happen slowly, much like the rhythm of growing a garden. The garden ideas I was drawn to in my reading and research were actually, when you took a step back, classic ones. Techniques used by just about every gardener who has ever grown anything, ever.

So this began to influence our philosophy again – meaning at Modern Mint, work in the garden is done without chemicals.

Setting this rule means the garden will always be increasing life.

A garden should help the honeybee.

Without the bees, the choice of tasty organic vegetables and fruit would be a lot slimmer. So best to have them in mind when planting!

A clients garden is a carbon sink.

We help plant trees and make compost for mulching the flower borders and any bare soil.

After all, a good mulch not only reduces weeding (hurrah!) but keeps carbon in the ground, which in turn improves the soil, which in turn helps you grow healthier plants.

And if all of this work in the garden can be done using well-made, beautifully balanced and sharp tools….

Then life does not get much better.

Who Wrote This? Who Is Modern Mint?

I wrote this, me, Darren.

The one who gives the talks, clips the topiary and uses the tools you can buy.

Hello!

This is me in the photo below. I smile a lot, and regret not doing up that extra button when this particular photo was taken….

Darren Lerigo Modern Mint

Still, too late to worry much about that now…

If you want to ask a question about any of our products, find out more about a talk or get some topiary clipped in your garden, feel free to get in touch.

Otherwise, enjoy the blog (I also write that and am a member of the Garden Media Guild) and have some long, happy, happy days in the garden!

“We checked out Modern Mint, and we would honestly buy everything on there if we could.” Aleksa

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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