THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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?
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!
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …