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.
Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …
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.
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 …