THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Want to give you a heads up on a magazine we read a lot – Positive News.
They provide some wonderful articles, that are great quality and full of interesting ideas you may not have come across before. It is similar to how we feel about the writing of the Earth Friendly Gardener, that of giving voice to notions the would otherwise remain hidden.
Unlike the US administrations ‘alternative facts’, at Positive News you are told what is, in context, meaning you can then use your own brain to decide what you feel is right or wrong.
Our favourite writer at the magazine is Lucy Purdy, who consistently comes up with article topics that, upon reading them, you realise is exactly the sort of thing you wanted to read. It takes some skill (and passion) to lead your audience somewhere they felt they needed to go….
Here is an excerpt from an interview Lucy made with George Monbiot, author of Feral.
They are talking about combating loneliness and how to achieve connection. George is not saying ‘get on Twitter’, but presents us with two alternatives – making music and harvesting and creating food:
“The human spirit and desire to come together overcome almost all attempts to prevent it from happening. In early factory life, silence was imposed on the workers and so the folk tradition in England almost died because people were prevented from singing while they worked. But they found subversive ways of getting back together and strong factory communities formed and remain today. When the dictatorship in North Korea eventually ends, people there will come back together again.
Music is a really great way of facilitating and accelerating that. I think the harvesting and processing of food is greatly underestimated too. My and other families are involved in a communal apple pressing each year. We pool the apples from our trees then turn them into juice and cider. I realised that we’re reinventing thousands of years of hunting and gathering tradition. Finding and processing food together is a critical part of human existence and a great way of reconnecting people.”
How fantastic is that? To use food as a way to build communities. We have read books about places like Campodimele where the tradition is for the village to spend a day, together, creating the cherry jam that will be such a heavenly food treat for the rest of the year. Or a friend of ours at South East Essex Organic Gardeners, who visits Italy each year to help harvest olives – he links up again with old friends who also go every year, works hard,, then gets his supply of olive oil as payment.
We suggest you connect with some other, like-minded folk, by reading some Positive News.
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …