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…

Sep29

New Topiary In South London Out Of Yew

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 …

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Sep27

Topiary Teacher – Put on The Spot!

topiary teacher

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 …

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Sep27

Book Yourself A Topiary Workshop 2022

organic topiary snow

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