THE MODERN MINT BLOG
I have visited two new clubs this week to present a garden talk. They were in different parts of the country and so a lot of driving, but worth every hour sat on the motorway in traffic!
The talks went well and I have had some lovely feedback…
“Thank you so much for providing a presentation which was an almost impossible mix of enthusiasm, joy, entertainment, education and inspiration.
They say that laughter is the best medicine and there was certainly plenty of that, and everyone left with a smile on their face, but just as important is that it helps those bits of new knowledge slip in and take root as well.”
Rosie, Welwyn Garden City Gardening Club
When I first started doing the talks to clubs 4 years ago I was a nervous wreck beforehand, wanting it to go well and be entertaining as much as informative. If people are kind enough to give up an evening to listen to you, they must get something in return right?
I still get nervous, but have worked hard and spent time and money trying to improve my presentation skills, so that I can do as clear and light a talk to a group as I can. To get these skills I have worked with Logan Murray, who taught stand-up comedians Rhod Gilbert and Greg Davies, as well as John Gordillo who directed the likes of Reginald D Hunter (this video of him contains swearing), Ross Noble, Dylan Moran, Sean Lock and Eddie Izzard.
“We all thought your talk was superb last night; you are undoubtedly our best speaker. I think it was your calm manner that put me at ease, and for once, I was able to be a spectator, and enjoy the evening too.
We will definitely invite you again and I’ll bear in mind contacting you first if a speaker drops out, rather than heading straight to the Sloe Gin cupboard.”
Sheila, Bishopstone Garden Club
Though I will say there is nothing wrong with a visit to the sloe gin cupboard!
Please do take a look at this page – Garden Club Speaker – for details about my talks. I am happy to travel and do my utmost to make the evening as good as possible for your club.
I compiled a list of books using Bookshop, a new online shop to rival Amazon. I like it because it is supporting independent bookshops, helping them out by giving them an audience whilst their own physical premises are closed. The books I’ve listed are not all about gardening, but worth a look through and an order anyway as they are wonderful and have seen me through lockdown – and I hope they bring you some joy too! Check out the books I recommend here.
Hedge laying is something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time, a type of pruning that can bring huge benefits to wildlife as well as looking amazing. So last year I went down to Dorset/the edge of Devon, to spend a day learning to lay a hedge. Hedge laying is a way of building a stock proof fence. It does take time, and some practical and physical skill, but once you get the hang of it I would think developing your instinct about what to prune and where to lay the branches is where the true proficiency arises… …
Fernando Caruncho is a garden designer from Madrid. I am always inspired by his work – his clean lines, ‘green architecture’, sense of proportion, balance and minimal plant palette. This seems to bring out the atmosphere of the garden, the space, intensifying its… spirit. I have written about him a lot – here, for example… and here. But recently I have discovered a few more interviews with him, so thought I would link to his words as he always has something interesting to say, the opposite of prosaic. This first interview from the Society of Garden Designers will give you …