THE MODERN MINT BLOG
What do I do with this space? A question clients often ask us, a question we often ask ourselves.
So it became the title of our new talk for winter 2014/2015… but to answer this question, we have realised, is a huge undertaking.
Exploring potential answers left us delving deeper and deeper into new ideas, unpacking thoughts and contemplating the words of garden philosophers, and feeling ever more entangled by the question we had set out to explore. How could such a simple question become so complex? Or as Clarice Lispector puts it in The Passion According to G.H.:
“I don’t know what to do with the horrifying freedom that can destroy me.”
And doesn’t that sum it up well – what do I do with this space? Really, you can do anything.
The art or science or whatever you want to call it is left to you, the way you think and feel and what you know and don’t know… and of course, the ‘don’t-knows’ you are willing to explore.
The talk takes in the work of people from all over the world – starting in Japan, then ending in a dream garden via Scandinavia, Spain, Uruguay, Sheffield and the kitchen of a Parisian chef. It also quotes Motehr Teresa and Jack Gilbert, just to keep the audience on its toes!
It is a fascinating question we have set ourselves and we have had a riot exploring potential answers. Please do come along to the premiere of this new garden talk on Wednesday in Chignall, 7.30pm start.
You can find all the details here on our Talks page.
We hope to see you soon, to share this discussion with us as we ask the question:
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