THE MODERN MINT BLOG

May06

Vulnerability

We have spoken of how gardening can teach us about having the confidence to fail, and we would like to continue to explore these themes. Because gardening can be the catalyst for something even stronger – the ability to be vulnerable.

Every time a designer expresses their idea to a client, they open themselves to ridicule. But this is the job of the professional designer, to express what could be. Or those people who work so hard to open up their gardens to visitors in order to raise money for charity. They are doing the same thing, expressing the ideas they have about the world. And they use this incredibly clunky method to do it, called ‘gardening’, where so much is out of their control. You wander what makes them do it this way – when they could craft a book or go to a studio and record a song, spending hours chasing perfection and making sure it is just right before anyone gets to read or hear it.

But the best work doesn’t happen that way. The best work is done be people who allow themselves to be vulnerable, who have ‘the courage to be imperfect’ as Brene Brown told us in her Ted talk (see below.)

And with gardening, you have to learn the art of imperfection. You have to learn to let go, to allow nature to take its own course. So perhaps it is easier for gardeners to produce great gardens – with a book or a recording an artist can search forever to discover the tools to get it right, but built within the very fabric of this clunky method of expression called ‘gardening’ is an out – perfection is impossible, so go for it knowing you will always come up short. It becomes a releasing technique, a move towards freedom. Maybe that is why so many artists become gardeners…?

They cannot be judged by the same parameters as within their other craft?

We hope you will embrace vulnerability, whatever it is you do – whether you create works of art, love someone, kick a football, speak up when all is quiet, or grow dahlias as gifts for your friends and the friends of friends. As Brene Brown says about the people she researched…

“…the other thing that they had in common was this: They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating… they just talked about it being necessary.”

 

 

 

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.