THE MODERN MINT BLOG
Topiary workshop? For us?
For a garden club who wants a topiary or pruning workshop, as a change from a talk! Read on below for all the details about how you can book a workshop that gives you the skills you need to prune the plants in your garden with confidence…
Darren Lerigo – Pruning Workshop For Your Group
Since 2014 I have given nearly 400 talks and workshops, regularly visiting:
- Garden Clubs
- Lunch Clubs
- Beekeeping Societies
- Probus Groups
- Flower Festivals
- County Shows and more to give talks on gardening
“I don’t think I’ve ever had so many positive comments about a speaker, thank you for making my job a success.” Speaker Finder, Garden Club In Essex
I am a practical, hands-on gardener who specialises in topiary. My topiary practise takes me all over the country clipping plants from late spring to autumn.
You can view some of my work here in The Guardian.
“Thank you for a truly inspiring day, and trusting us with your precious plants. I hope to see you again in the future!” Workshop Participant, In Kent
Workshop On Topiary & Pruning
I can offer you a workshop on topiary and pruning on all the usual plants in your garden:
- Fruit Trees
- Flowering Shrubs
How Does It Work?
You choose a location, a garden belonging to a member of your group. The key is that they won’t mind people clipping in the garden.
Ideal gardens include hedges and a range of shrubs and fruit trees.
We arrange a time to start. The workshop will last 2 hours (I have found this to be about the right length of time for a group.)
You gather up to 10 people to arrive with their shears and secateurs.
What You Learn On The Pruning Workshop
- The value of good tools, kept clean
- How to sharpen the tools
- Technique for topiary
- The best plants to use, growing them, when to clip them and their pros and cons for use as topiary (this is done with lots of interaction and I am happy to answer questions as I go!)
- We then move onto the practical side, pruning in the chosen garden. I will offer advice and help as we work
- Style and an instinct for design will be encouraged
Depending on the plants available to clip, we may get a chance to focus on different plants and styles during the workshop.
We finish with a round-up of what we have learnt, answering any questions and discussing what we found worked and what may have been difficult.
This part is best done with refreshments if possible!
Fee For Your Group
For 1 session I charge £200, plus travel where appropriate.
For 2 sessions on the same day the charge is £300, plus travel where appropriate.
The same garden does not have to be used, I am happy to move somewhere nearby for the second session.
I hope to make the cost to you as good value as possible, while not having too large a group where the learning may get lost.
A two session booking will cover 20 people in your group, costing them just £7.50 per hour each.
Payment can be made on the day in the following ways:
BACS – details can be provided and is my preferred method of payment
Cheque – made payable to Modern Mint
“Everyone loved your talk, your sense of humour hit the spot, besides being informative and practical. Hopefully I can get you back!” Speaker Finder, U3A
FAQ’S About A Topiary & Pruning Workshop
Do you bring any of the tools you have on your website?
I do. People can try them and even buy if they wish.
Do you travel anywhere
Again, I do! I try my best to make the cost as reasonable as possible, so please let me know where you are based so I can work out how much it will cost to get to you from Chelmsford, Essex.
Can I tell other people about your talks and workshops?
Yes please, that would be incredibly kind. Thank you!
Contact Me To Discuss A Workshop For Your Group
There are several ways to contact me:
T: 01245 357654
M: 077686 39388
I may be in a garden somewhere clipping, so if you phone and I don’t pick up just leave a message and I will get back to you.
Look forward to speaking soon, please do get in touch with me if you think a topiary and pruning workshop would be useful to you.
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 …