THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Dec31

Best Moments of 2014 – Modern Mint

What have been the best moments of 2014 for Modern Mint? Here goes….

1) Starting the Modern Mint Shop

It was started on a whim because we wanted a way to share the products, artisans and companies we thought were fab – and it now looks like being the most exciting part of the business (as well as being capable of reaching the people out there who love the products we do.)

We are focusing on products that are unique, made with great care, and have a focus on reducing waste and lasting a long time. Meeting the people who make products like this leaves our jaws on the floor – they are weird, wonderful souls who believe wholeheartedly in what they are doing, and being around these people is inspiring – they seem to celebrate life, rather than complain about it.

Not everyone wants to pay more money for a product that they can get cheaper from the high street, but some people do – some people understand that paying that bit more supports the maker as well as the planet – and that little bit extra is worth every penny. The gentle voice of change on our high streets, on the way we make, use and recycle our products, is getting louder all the time, and we are thrilled to be a member of this choir.

Next year there will be plenty of changes and additions but if you want to see what we have right now, visit the Modern Mint shop here…

2) Organic Topiary

Learning the name and the culture of this type of contemporary topiary, as well as having several clients (wise?) receptive enough to go for it in their garden has been a real boost. We write here about organic topiary…

Cloud pruning 1

3) National Gardens Scheme, Essex

Having moved to Essex this time last year we spent early spring exploring some of the gardens in the county, and meeting some of the wonderful women who create them. We had a great time looking around and filling ourselves up with new ideas for our clients gardens…

You can see and read a little about the NGS Gardens of Essex here, here and here…

4) Ten Meadows

Our Ten Meadows project is our way of creating ten spaces in Essex that are flower rich, wildlife friendly and easy to maintain. Two meadows have already been put into motion and we can’t wait to see them begin to bloom next year. For more details on how you can get involved with a free design, check out the Ten Meadows page…

5) Discovering Sarah Kay, Poet

It was difficult to choose a fifth option. It could have been a grateful thank you to the people who have booked us to give our new talk ‘What Do I Do With This Space?’, or it could have been a note about our Chelsea Fringe project for 2014 ‘You Should Have Seen It Last Week…’

… or the clients who have made our first year in Essex such an extraordinarily fun one.

Or the people who have guest blogged for us about cut flowers… or child-friendly gardens…

Or the brilliance of David Hedges-Gower’s new lawn care book ‘Modern Lawn Care’.

But we think it is important to let yourself be influenced by people and ideas not necessarily related to gardening, at least directly, so one of our favourite moments of 2014 must be the discovery of the poet Sarah Kay. She is just so full of life you can’t help smiling, and being swept up by her energy and passion.

So below, for you, is her Ted Talk, opening with her poem ‘If I Should Have A Daughter…’

“… there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the wind in winsome, lose some. You will put the star in starting over, and over. And no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute, be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

Happy New Year everyone! Here is to your great moments for 2015!

Sep29

New Topiary In South London Out Of Yew

Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …

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Sep27

Topiary Teacher – Put on The Spot!

topiary teacher

Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …

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Sep27

Book Yourself A Topiary Workshop 2022

organic topiary snow

Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022