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!

Mar24

Shears Or Power Tools?

Shears or power tools? What is best to use? The Joy Of Shears I love my Okatsune shears, the beautifully balanced red and white handled pruning shears from Japan. They do everything you need, whether giving a little extra detail to a topiary piece or bashing their way through a hawthorn or beech hedge that boundaries a garden. Another pair of shears you may wish for, that are far sharper than any power tool ever needs to be, is this Tobisho made pair of curved, steel blades… They are basically two samurai swords bolted together. So sharp they could cut …

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Mar21

Bite Size History Of Running A Small Business

small business talks

A potted history of my small business, inspired by the wonderful bite size blog posts of how Charles Boyle has run CB Editions, so I thought I would do something similar for Modern Mint. Well, with Coronoavirus hitting I have the time to get all nostalgic…. Moved to Essex from Hampshire, going from a list of relentlessly busy garden maintenance jobs in huge gardens whilst spending evenings and weekends doing project planting and lawn care work to… nothing. Went to Japan for two weeks, a gift to myself for making the move away from a job where I was such a …

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Mar20

Second Hand Tobisho Topiary Shears

tobisho topiary shears

My Tobisho Topiary Shears are up for sale! Browse Here If you are a tool nerd, or a boxwood geek or just a fan of beautiful, handmade items then these are for you! I am refreshing my tool bag and, as these wonderful shears are so rare, thought I would offer to someone with a lust for this kind of thing. Check them out – Tobisho Topiary Shears.