THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May01

Ron Finley, Guerilla Gardener

This video is a Ted Talk by Ron Finley, a guerilla gardener in LA. (For those of you who want to know more about guerilla gardening, try this blog post we wrote last year about Richard Reynolds, London’s own guerilla gardener…!)

A friend sent it to us to watch (we had never heard of Ron Finley before but he is a lovely speaker to watch and listen to) and, in the email our friend sent the link in, he described his favourite part of this video. It was Ron Finley saying this:

“Gardening is the most therapeautic and defiant act you can do. Plus you get strawberries.”

Brilliant yes?

For us, the most important part of his speech is this:

“I’m an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art.”

We love this idea, to make your work a piece of art, so that you do it with attention and love. This is a fantastic Ted Talk, with many standout moments… do take ten minutes to watch, enjoy… and make your garden your art.

May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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Apr27

Kites And Strings Podcast – Topiary In The Garden

kites and strings podcast

Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …

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