THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug03

3 Things Your Garden Should Have If…

This blog post looks at the essentials required in your garden from a few different perspectives. These perspectives are…

The Wildlife Lover

The Garden Hater

The House Renter

This should give you a good idea about how, when designing your garden, what you need MUST be the driving force behind what your garden eventually ends up looking like… so without any further ado, let us start with our first list from the perspective of someone who cares about the planet…

3 Things Your Garden Should Have If…

You Love Wildlife

1) A compost heap. Gives a lovely home to lots of insects and becomes a feeding ground for the birds, as well as recycling all the goodness from your garden as a mulch whenever your garden most needs it…

2) A tree. This helps bring birds into your garden, as well as providing shade from the sun, leaf mould from the leaves that can be collected up in autumn, and flowers and fruit through the year – especially if the tree is wisely chosen. For a small garden, a hard-working tree that offers fruit as well as blossom is a crab apple. The common hawthorn is pretty good too.

3) A herb patch. You will probably not get around to using absolutely every herb you have, meaning those you have left uncut will flower – and guess who loves those chives, hyssop, lavender and oregano that didn’t make it into your pot? The bees do!

If you have a little space in which to add any of these 3 things you will immediately be making the world a better place. Add a pond and a few old logs left in a pile to rot down and you become Mrs Eco-Happy. A good name in our eyes…

(See Digging Deep by the Earth Friendly Gardener for more on what you can do for wildlife in your garden…)

3 Things Your Garden Should Have If…

You Hate Gardening

1) A wall covered with ivy. Ivy is great for wildlife, providing a habitat and food. It also gets on with life so it won’t bother you or ask anything of you. Lastly, most people hate ivy and think it is ugly (we think it is pretty, but we all have different tastes) so, by having it in your garden, you can use it as a focal point for your anger at how rubbish gardening is, and a constant reminder of how pointless you see it as an activity. Not that the ivy will bat an eyelid…

2) A piece of organic topiary.

3) A shrub border instead of grass. Grass takes effort, time and money to stay on top of, so if you really do hate your garden then get rid of the lawn – it means you won’t have 32-33 visits outside during the year just to cut some of the ‘green’ away. A shrub border will (once settled) give you lots of pleasure and need hardly any looking after (except for a bit of a weed, an occasional prune, maybe a feed or two… okay, this doesn’t make it maintenance free but it will cut down the mowing you have to do… and you may even enjoy the different textures and shapes the shrubs provide you with.)

3 Things Your Garden Should Have If…

You Rent a House

1) A fruit bush (or several). They can be kept in pots and move with you, giving you an instant harvest every year without having to leave anything behind. Figs are the most generous fruiters if kept in a pot for a long time…

2) A spot to sow annuals. If you want a plant that comes up quick because you might not be around long, look no further than annuals like cosmos, sweetpeas and poppies. They will give you colour and scent within months!

3) A shed. This will help you store your boxes of possessions that you don’t need straight away, or you don’t want to unpack until you know you will be staying somewhere for good. It is nothing if not a practical solution from us here at Modern Mint… so do you get that landlords? Give your tenants a shed that keeps out the rain!

There you have it then, a few short lists of what you can add to your garden that will make it a better place – whether you are a wildlife gardener (like us) or a garden hater, or just chained to a garden that won’t be yours for very long…

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.