THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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.”
If you have a subscription, you can check out an article about bespoke ideas for your garden in the Telegraph. There are some great crafts people there, so check it out. Click Here To See The Article About my Topiary Work In The Telegraph
Lockdown has given me a chance to look through old notebooks and begin, gently, to piece together some sort of narrative about Modern Mint and how it has grown over the last six years. And it has changed massively in that time! Modern Mint Now, June Lockdown 2020 I currently make and maintain topiary all over the UK for clients who love well-pruned hedges and sculptures. I love this job – it is a beautiful art. In the winter I prune wisteria, roses and fruit trees in orchards. Much colder, shorter work days… but equally satisfying work. I give talks …
During lockdown I went through a number of old notebooks. I found a note about Gilles Clement and The Garden In Motion – Le Jardin En Mouvement. Underneath my note I had written: “To be researched more! Something to definitely think over!” Now, five years later I have looked again… and am thrilled by this idea. The Garden In Motion is about taking a piece of unused land, and then as the gardener you make choices to do ‘as much as possible for the land and as little as possible against’ it. You are talking about limited input – watering, …