THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May14

Ryoan-ji

Modern Mint director Darren Lerigo at Ryoan-ji, Kyoto
Modern Mint director Darren Lerigo at Ryoan-ji, Kyoto

Last November the Modern Mint team went to view the gardens of Japan (and eat sushi, in vast quantities.)

This picture, at the famous Zen garden of Ryoan-ji, was taken at 7.50am on a Monday morning. Hence the privacy. There are 15 stones in the garden, but only 14 can be viewed at any one time from the platform. It is said that if you gain enlightenment the fifteenth stone will be revealed to you. We didn’t find enlightenment, but we did have to get up early, take three buses and then knock on the temple door asking to be allowed in in order to get any time alone to view the garden.

How long did we get before the masses (schoolchildren/tourists) arrived? How long did we get to spend, the only people in the world at that particular moment on that particular rainy Monday morning at the temple garden of Ryoan-ji? We got to soak in its wonderful atmosphere, completely undisturbed, for a whole eight minutes.

It was absolutely worth it.

Recommended Reading:

Around The World In 80 Gardens

Japanese Zen Gardens

Japanese Gardens: Tranquility, Simplicity, Harmony

The Gardens of Japan

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.