THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug24

If You Want To Meet Some Brilliant People…

If you want to meet some brilliant people, we recommend you get stuck into reading this list below.

It outlines five of the people Modern Mint have interviewed in the last year and a half about what they do, why they do it and what we can learn from them.

They are brilliant.

1) Rosy Bee – Plants for Bees

“There is a lot written – particularly by the wildlife trusts – about native plants being best. This never made any sense to me as many of the bees are not really native.”

2) Essex Bees

“My brother, Dan, used to be a high-flying bank executive working around the world on credit card fraud and IT systems. I used to be a partner in a successful marketing services group in London.

For different reasons we both decided there was more to life and ‘downshifted’ about 10 years ago. I got an allotment, Dan bought a smallholding in France to live the ‘good life’ and learnt how to keep bees from an ancient French beekeeper!”

3) Earth Friendly Gardener – John Walker

“The only way that the more destructive parts of the ‘gardening industry’ can operate is by creating a false divide, backed up by poor and frequently misleading garden journalism. Why else are so many gardeners still using peat-based composts, when mining peat is a direct cause of the destruction of wild nature?”

4) The Cycling Gardener

“When I first started out I found that pulling a trailer full of tools (and on occasion, with bags of sand and cement) quite hard going – especially the hillier routes I used to take. I was quite fit anyway as at the time I was used to being on my feet all day in the kitchen and trained weekly with a local running club. Even so it took a few months of pulling the trailer around till my legs got used to it.”

5) Seedballs!

“It’s easy to overlook the impact that our gardens (or even window boxes and patio pots) can have to help wildlife (and their own well being). In the UK alone the area our gardens cover combined is more than the combined area of all our national nature reserves.”

We have had a fantastic time interviewing these wonderful folk and we would really love to do some more – we are especially interested in talking with vegan or stock free gardeners – but no matter who you are, if you’re out there and want to teach us or share something, please get in touch!

For now though, please enjoy these brilliant people and what they are doing with their lives…

Apr22

Topiary Provocation Spring 2021

organic topiary snow

Topiary Provocation? What is this about? Topiary Provocation, Darren Lerigo, Spring 2021 This spring of 2021 I invited a number of garden designers to a series of meetings via Zoom, to discuss how topiary can be used effectively in modern gardens. I wanted to discover how both clients and designers felt about topiary, whether it was a part of the garden that got as much thought as, say, the choice of stone for a patio…. and if certain plants and shapes tended to trend in designs or if it truly was a mish-mash of different topiary styles. The provocation and talks …

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Apr22

Waltham Place Talk – Watch On Youtube

waltham place talk

Waltham Place in Maidenhead is one of my favourite gardens of all time. The philosophy is to garden with nature, rather than against, so improving the soil and growing a diverse range of plants is placed at the heart of how to manage the space.   Through the European Boxwood and Topiary Society I arranged a talk by the garden team at Waltham Place. It has been recorded and put on Youtube so if you missed it live, you can watch it there and get a feel for what they are doing. There are some extraordinary photos of the garden …

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Mar15

Topiary Provocation For Garden Designers

snow topiary

I am running a ‘Topiary Provocation’ for garden designers, via Zoom, over the next few weeks. Dates are: Tuesday 23rd March, 10am Wednesday 24th March 7.30pm Thursday 8th April, 7.30pm The ‘provocation’ is for garden designers anywhere in the world, is free to join and will last about 45 minutes. Places are limited to 12 per session, as I want to make sure we can share ideas about topiary and how it can be used (and managed) in a modern garden – especially if skill level and maintenance time is low. I hope that I can provoke a discussion around …

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