THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb11

Pets As Therapy

Modern Mint are ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to announce the new charity we will be supporting in 2016 –

Pets As Therapy.

 

Pets as Therapy are a fabulous charity using pets to change lives. We first came across them last year during a garden talk we were doing. Whilst sheltering from the rain we got to meet and chat with the charities Chair of the Board Anne Clilverd and her Pets as Therapy dog Cesc, a beautiful and calm whippet.

(Cesc has the softest fur coat you will ever come across, should you meet him and Anne at a Pets as Therapy event. Check here to find out where the charity will be next!)

AD1A7177Pets as Therapy has been running for 33 years and offers something quite unique – animals that help humans. Volunteers take their pets on therapeutic visits to a range of venues across the UK – hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, care homes and schools – where the pets can provide companionship, friendship, confidence and enjoyment to the people who need it. Pets as Therapy is about improving lives.   AD1A4713-Edit

One of Pets as Therapies big projects is called Read 2 Dogs. It is a way to encourage children to gain confidence, reduce stress and become less self-conscious when reading to others in a group. If young people lack confidence, perhaps because they have difficulty with reading, the Pets as Therapy dog provides a focal point that relieves them of this pressure.

Dogs, as we all know, are non-judgemental.

A volunteer and their Pets as Therapy dog will go into a school classroom and introduce who they are and a little about what they enjoy, before telling the class how much the dog enjoys hearing stories. The children, who sit close to the dog, are encouraged to read the chosen story out loud and explain any difficult words. At the end of the session the children have the opportunity to stroke the dog.

Anne told us:

My volunteer work has now extended to our Read2dogs scheme and Cesc and I listen to Primary school children with their reading.  The teachers have been delighted with the difference this makes to the children’s reading and behavior.  I am privileged to see every week the difference PAT dogs make to peoples lives.

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Pets as Therapy also do amazing work with people suffering from debilitating mental and physical health conditions, including dementia and autism.

It really is a charity with people at its heart.

What can you do for Pets as Therapy?

You can volunteer your time. Find out if you and your dog or cat can become part of the Pets as Therapy team.

You can donate or shop to help raise vital funds.

Or you can learn more about the work of a Pets as Therapy dog by reading the tale of Doug The Pug – Doug the Pug: A Working Dog’s Tale.

Modern Mint are proud to be supporting Pets as Therapy through 2016. Will you?

 

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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.