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.
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022