THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May15

Garden Talks Via Zoom

I do lots of garden talks to clubs and societies all over the UK.

You can see my subjects and how to book here – How to Book A Garden Talk.

But obviously life has changed hugely, with Covid-19 and the fact we are all in isolation. This has not stopped a few intrepid garden clubs from asking me if we can still meet and discuss gardening – this time via Zoom.

To Zoom Or Not to Zoom?

I have weighed up doing talks via video link before.

In the ‘for’ category, it would reduce my carbon footprint. I do try to off-set my travel to talks in far flung clubs around the UK by planting trees for each and very talk I give – you can join me by planting a tree too!

But I believe the passion with which you speak can be lost via a screen, negating the impact you can have on people and the way they garden. Often, people remember the feeling, the atmosphere around the evening, more than they remember what has actually been said.

It is that feeling they are left with that inspires action.

I’ve Tried Zoom Now, & I Like It…

Seven weeks into lockdown, with the loveliest spring imaginable outside my window, garden club bookers emailing wanting talks and my actual use of Zoom to partake in quizzes with friends and chats to the family, means I am starting to change my mind on this technology.

Yes. Luddite as I am, I realise what a fantastic opportunity it is to still be in touch with people and to come together as a group in exploration of a shared passion.

What I need to do is make a talk work WITH this new form.

That probably means:

  • Shorter talks – no-one wants to listen to someone speak on a screen for an hour!
  • Interaction – via polls, quiz questions before and during the talk, music and the sharing of screens for information.
  • Community – finding ways for everyone to be involved, as they would at a ‘live’ talk… either by getting a chance to ask a question, share something about their garden, or just to hear them laugh and react as they would normally, adding to the bonhomie of the evening.

I love the idea of these new style of garden talks becoming something laced with anarchy, everyone placed in gallery view and wanting to get in on the action. Perhaps making them something like this…

Any takers?

Shall We Zoom Then?

As and when Covid-19 is put back in its box, then certainly I am keen to visit garden clubs to give talks as normal.

But until then, if you are a garden club or society and want a talk, and are willing to experiment with using Zoom, then please get in touch.

It would be a pleasure to talk gardening with you.

Contact Me About A Talk Via Zoom

Jun14

The Telegraph Wrote About My Topiary Work Yesterday

If you have a subscription, you can check out an article about bespoke ideas for your garden in the Telegraph. There are some great crafts people there, so check it out. Click Here To See The Article About my Topiary Work In The Telegraph

Jun06

Lockdown Thinking, Changes A-Coming…

Topiary Modern Mint

Lockdown has given me a chance to look through old notebooks and begin, gently, to piece together some sort of narrative about Modern Mint and how it has grown over the last six years. And it has changed massively in that time! Modern Mint Now, June Lockdown 2020 I currently make and maintain topiary all over the UK for clients who love well-pruned hedges and sculptures. I love this job – it is a beautiful art. In the winter I prune wisteria, roses and fruit trees in orchards. Much colder, shorter work days… but equally satisfying work. I give talks …

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Jun06

The Garden In Motion

During lockdown I went through a number of old notebooks. I found a note about Gilles Clement and The Garden In Motion – Le Jardin En Mouvement. Underneath my note I had written: “To be researched more! Something to definitely think over!” Now, five years later I have looked again… and am thrilled by this idea. The Garden In Motion is about taking a piece of unused land, and then as the gardener you make choices to do ‘as much as possible for the land and as little as possible against’ it. You are talking about limited input – watering, …

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