THE MODERN MINT BLOG
A brand new garden talk for 2019? My, what exciting news!
Having had a busy summer, with the topiary work exploding after the Guardian article, I have plans to write a new garden talk for next year.
So far I have written 6 different talks in the 4 years I have been running Modern Mint, 4 of which are still available for you to book. They are:
What Do I Do With This Space?
A garden talk that looks at how other cultures treat their outdoor spaces. A mixture of funny stories and practical advice, it shares techniques people from all over the world use to stop weeds taking over your borders and deer nibbling your plants. My most popular talk and a good starter booking for your group as it can be enjoyed by beginners as well as experts.
When I moved to Essex from Hampshire, I realised the climate in the East of England really was vastly different from what had been use to. I began asking questions about how we use water in the garden and where it could be best used. It became the second talk I offered to gardening groups and, after the heatwave we have had this year, an incredibly important topic for discussion.
Like what you hear so far? Contact me now to make a booking for your group.
I often use a small but brilliant selection of tools in my topiary work. Unusual as most of them are, it turns out other people were interested in where they come from, how they are made and why I settled on these as my gardening tools of choice. A practical talk where everyone gets to try out the tools and really feel the difference. You can buy some pruning tools from us at Modern Mint, or just browse longingly at our handmade and shiny bronze tools.
Helping The Honeybee
As a gardener, it felt right to acknowledge we should plant for the bees. Many clients were also asking for a bee friendly garden. But when I started thinking about it, I quickly realised I had no idea what were the actual most valuable plants for honeybees – after al, the garden centre label will tell you they are all perfect for pollinators! This talk is based on research conducted here in the UK and will shortly be followed up by a book I am writing for the publisher Northern Bee Books.
Those 4 garden talks are what I currently offer and I am very proud of the subjects I can share with your group, so please do get in touch if you want a talk on any of these 4 subjects:
- Garden Design Ideas From Around The World
- The Best Tools
- Plants For Bees
The New Garden Talk For 2019
I want to spend this winter writing a new garden talk for 2019. It is tentatively titled ‘A Very British Garden’ and will explore the subjects of pruning, carbon capture, weed control, planting, food growing and the effect of gardening on the British landscape.
That sounds quite wide-ranging I know, but it will be focussed and wonderful (I think! I hope!) by the time I have written it and shared it a few times with different groups.
If you think you would like to hear this new talk, then I am taking bookings for it now – and actually booking ahead to 2020 already, so please do send me an email with potential dates you have available and we can get it confirmed in the diary.
If we have not met, I have given hundreds of talks to groups in the last few years. I have also spoken at Blenheim Palace and the National Flower Show alongside Jo Swift, Alan Titchmarsh, Mary Berry, Val Bourne and many more excellent garden folk.
I am also a member of the Garden Media Guild.
“We like speakers who are both entertaining and informative. You were certainly that!” Greenfingers Garden Club
“I would like to thank you once again… your talk was very well-received and the members enjoyed your enthusiastic approach to improving our borders. We hope you will visit us again some time.” Shenfield Garden Society
“I have had 26 emails today asking me to forward your website and saying how much they enjoyed your talk. So pleased. Look forward to seeing you again…” Colchester Beekeepers
The price for a garden talk will be £95 (rising from £90) for 2019. If your group is small however, say 20 people or less, a concessionary rate is available.
I have spoken at garden clubs, societies, charity groups, U3A’s, WI’s, festivals and many more places.
I also travel all over the country to give talks and try to keep travel expenses to a minimum, often by working for a client local to your group (many clients who need topiary pruning are often close to a garden club or similar.)
So please do not let distance stop you from asking about a talk, as I am more than happy to discuss a way to make it work that suits us both.
I hope the 4 topics I offer are exciting for you and that the new talk will also be something you are interested in. I hope we can speak soon about booking a talk in for your group.
Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …
Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.
Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …