THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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…
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.
Need a talk for your garden club? Via Zoom because of Covid-restrictions this winter? Then I can help! It is great you are trying to keep your club going, and though Zoom is not the same as getting a group together and talking about gardening live, of the moment, right now it is the best alternative we have got. How I Do A Zoom Talk For Your Garden Club I’m very happy to do Zoom talks and have moved about 20% online so far (from end of March 2020 to the start of October 2020) – although that number is …
Just a quick message from a garden club last night after I gave a talk for them via Zoom… Hi Darren, We would just like to thank you for a very enjoyable and fun talk this evening for our first Zoom meeting! Think we can say that everyone enjoyed it, we have already had positive feedback from some of the members, obviously the way forward at the moment! We were certainly very pleased with the turn out for the first virtual meeting! If you are a garden club speaker and want to give it a try, then please do …
I was asked by the European Boxwood & Topiary Society to help out with answering a common question – How to sharpen your shears? So we spent a fun day making a video, that hopefully will help you make sure you have sharp, shiny blades to do your topiary pruning with. And you can find here more examples of the topiary I make with my sharp blades.