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

Apr16

The Impact Of Not Clipping

not clipping

The Impact Of Not Clipping Your Topiary Or Hedges This question has been on my mind recently, as we appear to be heading into a fourth week of lockdown due to Covid-19 (how extraordinary I hope this blog post reads, in a few months time, as we look back and remember what sad and strange happenings these were… at least I hope that this will read strange, as soon as possible, as if almost like a bad dream…) It is early spring and so there is no need right now to be clipping hedges. Leave them for the common UK birds …

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Apr15

Capture Carbon In Your Front Garden

residential front garden

I was asked recently whether I could give advice on how to use a small front garden to capture carbon. A great question and certainly one worth answering. So if you are keen to reduce your environmental impact, and have a little front garden space that you can transform, read on below for a few bits of advice – I hope it helps you make a beautiful front garden that improves the landscape, the air quality, the planet and the joy in the lives of everyone who walks past it! Carbon Capture In The Front Garden Using your front garden as a carbon sink …

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Apr14

Top Tips For Topiary – Writing For The EBTS

work of a topiary artist

Top Tips For Topiary – my blog about pruning for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society, is now up on their website and ready to be absorbed by you wonderful pruners! I’ve also written them a long piece on the Best Plants for Topiary. Wow. I have been busy in lockdown…. And as if that isn’t enough (it is more than enough really, but somehow I’m going to force more down you…) here below are more top tips for topiary. Bonus tips, if you like… Go visit the EBTS website for the original post, or read on below to get …

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