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!

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.