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…?
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 …
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 …
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.