THE MODERN MINT BLOG
When a client trusts us with their garden we immediately begin thinking and puzzling over how we can improve that space, how we can make it relate to the world in a way that encourages wildlife and diversity while being something the client values too.
It is an important question – what do we do with this space?
But it doesn’t seem enough, to only look at these tiny patches of land that we garden. What about the materials we bring in and add to the space? What about the materials we take away? We are connected to so many processes that to focus only on the end product seems daft – and so we have widened our focus and added to Modern Mint this – the Modern Mint Shop.
It is a platform for us to explore values of sustainability, waste reduction, ecology, artisan craftsmanship and biodiversity. These are BIG WORDS and, used off-hand, can fail to reflect the true nuances entailed within their meanings. For example, we may feel like an eco-warrior for putting our empty tin of tuna into the recycling bin, but if we do it without reflecting on the issues surrounding overfishing what good have we actually done?
It means we are on a journey – to redefine how we work as garden designers, to ask more questions of the products we sell and discover how we can (in a gentle way) educate clients about the role their garden has to play in our present, but also our future.
We have a lot to learn, a lot of questions to ask – we certainly aren’t perfect right now, but we hope that you will join us in finding out the answers to our questions about how to tread lightly in a modern world, and unearth the subtle differences in each of the BIG WORDS – and as such, finding out how far we can change, how far we can go.
Individual acts will help this world – but businesses and the communities that surround them have the opportunity to help it faster.
Perhaps we will start by studying this…?
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022