THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Mar24

The Alternative to Mowing

Over the weekend we saw an advert for Artificial Lawn that claimed it was the ‘only alternative to mowing!’

Let us be serious – that is no more than marketing hype, and a lie.

The first alternative to mowing that springs to our mind is… don’t mow. Really, keep it that simple, and don’t mow. Let the grass grow longer, flower and set seed… and see how the garden looks.

You might be surprised by what grows when a lawnmower is not cutting the heads off a plant every week through the growing season – orchids have even been known to make an appearance – and all that spare time you now have because you are not mowing for hours on end every weekend will mean you can study what these plants, now allowed to perform, actually are.

What happens though, when it gets to the end of summer, and you want to tidy up? It’s not a difficult question to answer, though we find it often falls on deaf ears because the answer is not what people want to hear. We suggest hiring a scythe mower for the day, to get all the work done at once. This solution is shrugged off as too much hard work (the people doing the shrugging conveniently forgetting the work saved over the previous 6 months.)

What about hiring someone with a strimmer? No.

Facetiously, we then suggest bringing in sheep. This answer also gets shrugged off (and it probably deserves it too – although we’d love to see a sheperd bringing his flock into the back garden for a few days – the neighbours perhaps wouldn’t.)

You could always dig up and start your lawn again, this time sowing a grass seed that either grows slowly or doesn’t get very tall.

Or better still, make the lawn area into a pond – there will be a huge increase in wildlife in your garden and it will also give you the same calming view to look out on as a lawn provides.

It takes a brave person to give up their lawn. But doing so really will give you more time to do something more interesting than mow. And if you hear someone say there is no alternative to a lawn, or that artificial lawn is the only alternative to grass – send them to us – we don’t mind telling them straight.

(Yep, someone really wrote this book…)

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.