THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Aug15

Have You Tried A Cycling Gardener?

The idea of a cycling gardener keeps cropping up in our thinking here at Modern Mint, as we would like to explore more ‘green’ avenues in the landscape industry. Is this a better way to get to work than driving around in a van – especially in a city?

Cycling Shorts
Perfect for cycling, too hot for gardening?

If you google ‘cycling gardener’ there are a number of people out there who are already doing it. They all seem pretty happy too! We even found a courier company in Brighton who do all of their work on bikes, and in London you can find a florist who brings people flowers on two wheels, with her dog alongside her.

Other than the positives of reducing your carbon footprint and getting exceptionally fit, being a cycling gardener also means you have got to do the best job you possibly can, everyday. You really do have to care for your work, because being so local word will quickly spread if you don’t care about your job. We love this enforced restriction – that it is hard to fly by night when all you have is pedal power.

What else is unique about being a cycling gardener?

1) You will probably only work within 3 miles.

2) Power tools are likely to be out. So, with no breaking down there is no having to stop to fix things… and you don’t need ear defenders, hurray!

3) Organic is probably the way to go.

4) Minimal tools. Or even use a clients?

5) You will develop a garden over a long time.

6) You will likely supply seeds and nurture them to grow, rather than mature plants.

7) You will have to compost waste on-site.

8) You’ll source other products locally too?

9) You will probably want to stay in a garden longer as time and energy taken between jobs may be longer – at least 4 hours, if not a full day?

10) You can leverage other businesses to deliver for you or pick things up – say, a compost delivery?

The Brighton Cycling Gardener has a useful website and lists his kit on there. But briefly he uses a trailer base and hitch from Carry Freedom. A storage trunk of L 97 x W 50 x H 51cm – make it waterproof. Hand tools, spade, fork, shears, pruning saw, secateurs, a trug, leaf rake, patio brush and scraper, folding ladder and even a lawnmower…

We would probably substitute a hessian cloth for the trug (though the trug would be useful for watering) and an Azada instead of fork and spade.

Or, if we were close to a client already, we could of course just get a really nice wheelbarrow?

Please do contact us if you are or have ever used a cycling gardener. We love the idea and hope to test some ‘green’ ideas like this soon!

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