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!

May03

Selection Of Topiary Videos To Help You Clip

Over the last two years I have been involved with a couple of projects that have ended up being recorded, then placed on Youtube or Instagram. I’m hoping they will be useful to you, so I have decided this morning to pop them together in one handy blog post so that you can bookmark the page and revisit when you need some inspiration for your topiary. See below then, a few videos about topiary I have recently been involved with… Garden Masterclass – Provocations of a Modern Topiarist Transforming Topiary Topiary Teacher Put On The Spot https://www.instagram.com/p/CTj-EfOKRL6/ In the above …

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May03

Mark Zlotsky – Topiary Tango In New York

Mark Zlotsky is an artist based in New York, and today I just wanted to share his project ‘Topiary Tango’. In his introduction to the project he talks of topiary being a forgiving art, which I love and is soooooo true…..! For proof, just take a look at some projects I have made with a sharp pair of shears, a hedgetrimmer and a pruning saw. Do check out Mark Zlotsky’s project, because although his interest began by looking at topiary through the prism of architecture and the relationship of one building to another, he touches directly onto a way of …

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Apr27

Gardenista Interview – I Talk About Modern Topiary

Gardenista, the online magazine about gardens and design, have interviewed me about topiary. The article is called ‘Rethinking Topiary: A Garden Tradition Loosened Up’ and was published this morning. Written by the excellent garden writer Clare Coulson, I share some thoughts on using deciduous plants, how to clip (name-dropping Anne Lamott and her book on writing at one stage… oh, how I wander off subject sometimes!) and how to improve topiary by what you plant around it. Do take a look at the article in Gardenista. Or for more about my topiary work, check out the topiary page.