THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Dec03

Modern Mint: What We Value

Knowing what we value is a good way of setting boundaries, whether in your personal life or your business. I realised I needed to simplify things here at Modern Mint. We will have been running for 5 years (where did the time go!) in February 2019, but for the first 3 years Chloe, Stefano and I literally ran around doing everything. We were all things to all people.

And we weren’t happy.

It was exhausting!

So we stopped. Took a step back and listened to the advice we gave others who asked what it was like to run a business for yourself. We worked out what we valued and then said what we would and would not do. Since then, the work we have mad has been better, we have had much more fun and been a lot less stressed.

We know where we stand. So do clients. And it turns out that everything works out, because people are far better at adapting and problem solving than we could ever realise when caught up in the madness of trying to get things done.

Go read more about what we value in our ‘About Us‘ page.

Thrill yourself by checking out the joyful work we now do – there are more photos in this Guardian article than you’d get in a spread with Hello Magazine!

And I shall now recap below what exactly we cherish, what exactly we are happy to do… and not do. Just so you know.

What We Value At Modern Mint

Enhance life in the garden. Plant trees to attract birds, grow flowers that provide for bees, have water for pond life and improve soil for worms. That is a simplification of the process, yes, but we want to help you make gardens that improve life all the way down the food chain.

Use simple tools that work. Check out something like our Japanese secateurs.

Sell products that are not ‘throw-away’ items, but potentially heirloom pieces. Our mark on the earth should be light.

Offer consultancy, not design. I can’t draw. I don’t want to sit on a computer all day (hence we don’t check out social media much). I want to be outside gardening, or walking around a garden with you working out how to make your garden suit your life. Contact me if you think a great value garden consultancy will help you.

Plant gardens for people who need an experienced plantsman. Maintain gardens if you have an interesting project and it is close to where I live in Essex. Prune shrubs, small trees, fruit and topiary to give your garden a real face lift. Happy to speak to you about new topiary projects too.

Darren Guardian Topiary

Speak anywhere, to anyone. I offer a number of garden talks and love to visit new clubs, whether they are WI’s, charities, U3A’s or whomever. It may not be the best paid use of my time, but I feel gathering a community of people who are interested in gardening, together in a room, then sharing your passion with them is just the best way to make sure people want to go out into their garden and make the best of it.

I try to make my talks fun, interesting and packed with tips and advice for a gardener of any expertise. I may even try and provoke, on the odd days, to get people questioning their current practises! I am currently booking into 2020 so do get in touch, even if you are based a long way from me in Essex – I will do my best to work with you so that we get a speaker fee together that suits us both.

See my garden talks here.

These are simple boundaries to run our business by, but we feel the value we can give lays in being as clear as possible in what do offer, and what we don’t. Speak soon I hope and happy gardening!

Apr22

Topiary Provocation Spring 2021

organic topiary snow

Topiary Provocation? What is this about? Topiary Provocation, Darren Lerigo, Spring 2021 This spring of 2021 I invited a number of garden designers to a series of meetings via Zoom, to discuss how topiary can be used effectively in modern gardens. I wanted to discover how both clients and designers felt about topiary, whether it was a part of the garden that got as much thought as, say, the choice of stone for a patio…. and if certain plants and shapes tended to trend in designs or if it truly was a mish-mash of different topiary styles. The provocation and talks …

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Apr22

Waltham Place Talk – Watch On Youtube

waltham place talk

Waltham Place in Maidenhead is one of my favourite gardens of all time. The philosophy is to garden with nature, rather than against, so improving the soil and growing a diverse range of plants is placed at the heart of how to manage the space.   Through the European Boxwood and Topiary Society I arranged a talk by the garden team at Waltham Place. It has been recorded and put on Youtube so if you missed it live, you can watch it there and get a feel for what they are doing. There are some extraordinary photos of the garden …

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Mar15

Topiary Provocation For Garden Designers

snow topiary

I am running a ‘Topiary Provocation’ for garden designers, via Zoom, over the next few weeks. Dates are: Tuesday 23rd March, 10am Wednesday 24th March 7.30pm Thursday 8th April, 7.30pm The ‘provocation’ is for garden designers anywhere in the world, is free to join and will last about 45 minutes. Places are limited to 12 per session, as I want to make sure we can share ideas about topiary and how it can be used (and managed) in a modern garden – especially if skill level and maintenance time is low. I hope that I can provoke a discussion around …

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