Tuesday, January 12, 2021

QUICK Free Garden Design Class: Putting Together Patio Table & Chairs For Lunch

 At first glance, below, knew something 'off' about the dining spot.

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Beautiful, yet its layers are a mere simulacrum of beauty, below.

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Did you notice quickly too?

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The garden takes your heart and mind.  You go into it thinking, your body doing.  The garden is not telling you what to think but letting you think.  Thoughts being worked on by living organically, from before the dawn of time.  A wisdom, coming at your thinking, in partnership with your garden.

 

 Paolo Moschinos English Country Cottage - Real Homes | House & Garden 

Pic, above, here. 

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Joy to have the millstone, base, chairs, urn, above.  Yet, you don't want to put them together like this for a lunch, or dinner.

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Looking closer, do you see why?

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Gorgeous urn, above, at center of table, is too large for everyone to see each other.  Conversations affected. 

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Fabulous chairs, above, are improperly scaled to the table, chair seats too low.  Chair backs are too low, and chairs have no arms.  Comfort for all your family & friends adds to lingering conversations.  Their depth, their connection, their life.  Your life.

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Garden chairs, especially at your Garden Table must have arms for comfort.  And, the backs of your chairs should be tall enough to lean your head back, onto the chair, and fall asleep, if desired.

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Your chairs could be field gathered, aka don't match each other.  They'll blend beautifully if you paint them all the same color.


In defense of the photo, above, it looks like a quickly conceived shot for the photo spread it was a part of.  Perhaps the photographer's assistant was asked to put it together with what was on hand.  No issue with that.  Excepting, if you're new to Garden Design, you're not looking at Garden Design, yet think you are.

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Hope you liked your Quick Free Garden Design Class.  See it Do it ! 

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Yes, it's a big deal, your table in the garden.  Your table to eat a quick bite alone, take a phone call, have family, friends gathered round.  Life happens, your life, better.   

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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

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"Teaching is a sacred profession.  Art is a form of teaching."  Merely creating your best table & chairs in your garden,  inviting friends for a meal, teaches your art to others.  It's how I learned, not in a classroom.  Women who cared enough to mentor me, you are receiving my favorite women, lunches & dinners, and conversation......

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 Best in 2021.  Good health, good thoughts, good actions.   

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"Bad Times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good, we are the times: such as we are, such are the times."  St. Augustine ca. AD 354-430, Sermons to the people, 80:8.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

2 Surprising Christmas Decorations

Pop from the inbox a few days ago, below.  Brilliant.     

More than style, are the Christmas colors.  Along with the Constance Spry silhouette, & choice of vase. 

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Jenny, my mother-in-law has been gone for 25 years, age 57, breast cancer.  This Christmas arrangement spoke.  First time, in a quarter century, I wanted to text Jenny a pic, and say, 'I'll do 2 of these for the Christmas table.'  Holidays were always at her home.  Her beautiful dining room filled with her children, their spouses, grandchildren, maybe an elderly aunt or grandmother.  The full monty of a true Southern matriarch.  

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I couldn't text Jenny, so it's for you.  Hope you put this in your visual file for a Christmas or Winter meal with friends, family.  If you truly love it, list, below, of ingredients and their designer. 

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"Poinsettia, paperwhites, and amaryllis bring Christmas cheer to a lovely crowd of blooms and greenery in a masterful mix by Kiana Underwood of Tulipina."


 christmas flowers 

Pic, above, Flower Magazine.

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These flowers, above, are Chekov, The Cherry Orchard, in far too many ways.  Hint of heartbreak, sinking into the poetry of their beauty.  Sifting both, into, now.  Trusting the beauty.  "Stories are carried in the body.", thankful of living this story.  The honesty of beauty, its victory.

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Pic, above, here .

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Of course, so simple, above.  First thought, "All those Christmas trees seen at thrift stores for nothing.", passing them by for years.  'Hubris of ignorance.', much?

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Our ca. 1900 home has a front porch and back deck needing a bit of lit forestry.  Plenty of time to hunt/gather trees, next year, and figure out how to weight the trees on the back deck from often brutal winds.  

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Ah, next year.  "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the nose." Mike Tyson.  Epitaph, 2020.

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"How we see a tree is how we see the world, and in the act of seeing we reveal what we are: "The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way."  Maria Popova.

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Two gifts, above, surprising Christmas decorations. 

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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, December 7, 2020

How To Think Like A Farmer

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson..

After an appointment late this summer, gardeners are essential workers in Georgia, so far, during the pandemic, I stopped by a friend's home.  We had lunch on the veranda before walking the garden.  Fruit trees to site, and a decision about a pair of dying maples to be made.  
  
Pic, above, here.
As lunch was ending, she began a sentence, stopped, and said, "I must remember to think like a farmer."
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A thought giving statement.  No time to take it further, we had the garden to walk-talk-choices, then schedules separating us.
 
Pic, above, here.  Thrift stores have glass containers, above, and roadsides have plenty of stems.  For your new year or to close out this year, give yourself this bit of happiness, glass pot/stems.  Brought inside, you'll know why.  Trust me.  You'll know.
I don't agree with Emerson's quote, at top.  Nature's secret is deeper/wider than patience.  Nature is a constellation of acts, with myriad more parts, each pivotal, changing by the minute.  Parts needing attention, on Nature's timeline, not ours.  This-Is-How-It's-Done, teaches Nature.  Not an aspect of this, separate from Love.
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As a tree is fully known, across centuries, it is thought sentient by some.  Certainly, wiser, kinder and more productive than people you have known.   With a few instances you'll admit to being in their category too, I do.  No worries, gardens seek, and receive forgiveness.  
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Pic, above, here.   Don't have the vista, above?  Easy, site a hedge behind the bench.  The road, your neighbor's fence, whatever, poof pouf, gone.
Nature goes about her business.  You can partake, on her timeline, but not control.  More, another layer of Nature may take out your every effort, though you've thought-like-a-farmer.
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Siting, How to Think like A Farmer to your career/retirement/parenting/grieving/friendships/etc, "1. Prepare the soil.  2. Intentionally plant seeds.  3. Once you've planted the seeds, let them grow.  4. Remove any weeds.  5. Learn from previous harvests."  Full article in Forbes, by Amy Blaschka, here.
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Pic, above, here.  Showed this pot table, last year this time.  Have you brought any plants inside for winter?  Choose a table to 'ruin'.  No guilt.  Thrift stores have plenty.  For centuries pots brought inside to overwinter, for their useful flowers/foliage/cooking/medicinal, too tender to over winter. 
Nature gives you her pace, if you accept.  Nature's pace gives your thoughts space to percolate, or answers.  Nature's pace will zing you plenty of epiphanies.  Nature's pace will change you more than you change your garden.  Nature's pace is sacred.  Your garden, Nature, gives you all of this in joy, and earnestness of life.
  
Pic, above, here. Garden beyond the windows/doors, above, makes the room.  Makes a life.  A friend's home always has a good balance of live and fake plants/stems inside.  This could be one of her rooms, above.  Can't wait to show her. (GOOD fakes.)

Who's really thinking like a farmer?  After decades gardening, you will realize, if you're fortunate, it is your garden that has been farming you.  Your garden thinking about you.  When you have years of Gardening, your conclusion will be the same.
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Pic, above, here.  Garden, above, is a modern Garden Design course.  Better, this garden is maximum pollinator habitat.  Trees + Shrubs + Meadow = Beautiful Garden
No, I don't just think all this stuff up.  The garden does.  For me.  For you.
A favorite epiphany from across all the decades in my garden, You choose the plants to put in your garden, choose the people to put in your life.
Templates in gardens, abound across centuries, cultures.        
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Thinking like a farmer, carts with it, modesty.  Layers unseen in Nature, layers unseen you've been in your garden.  
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Pic, above, here.  Tasha Tudor, perhaps the best combination of modesty and gardening.  You do want her book, Tasha Tudor's Garden, here.
"For my part, I don't think that modesty has much to do with what you do or don't know......Instead, modesty is about what you care about, and how that changes your experience of the world......Modesty is more like a way of breaking out of the blinders that experiencing life in a self-regarding way can impose." Nicholas Bommarito.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Simple Gardens: Love, Relationship, Poyeema

 Garden Design was settled in method centuries before Christ's birth.

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Whether we think so, or not.

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'There are places we can walk the road to ourselves, Nature is one of those roads, rare, meant for all.'

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God first created a garden.  His poyeema.  Sustenance, beauty, teacher, partner to our body microbiomes.  Gardens so love us, we're given the same poyeema to partake, or not.

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Garden Design, below, using Nature's residential Garden Design.  Stay with this.  It is for you, even if your home is atop a high-rise in NYC or you've just downsized to an apartment.  Gardens are a belief system.  A manner of living.  No matter the era or where you live.

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Decades of studying historic gardens across Europe, a pattern emerged early.  Trees, meadow, hedges.  Trinity of abundance.  

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 Trees, meadow, hedges, below.

 Georgian Grandeur - Acres Wild 

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Our era, we go for flowers, I did, ca. early 80's.  Showy flowers.  Never considering whether native, invasive, or food for wildlife & soil.  That was me.  You'll never get judgment here, how could I?

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"With unexpected turns and a wicked humor, a meandering narrative that nevertheless knows where it's headed......The practicalities mere scaffolding for the good stuff." Aysegul Savas.  Hope you're already  smiling at this.  Putting together your first garden design is a gift of Providence.  Smiling Providence.

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Take the poyeema for your own to wield, see what you get, and what it does.  That's why you're here.  Trying to get there, or you're there, and enjoy the companionship.

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Know what's in the Garden Design, above?  Tree allee, low meadow, tall meadow, house on axis as focal point from gravel drive directly to front door, color trinity green-brown-white.  If oak trees, above, they're a top pollinator habitat, food for other animals, home to beneficial wildlife/fungi.  

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Two layered meadow, above, is another maximum pollinator habitat for wildlife.  A playground for your, viewshed too.  Welcome, is inherent.  No pokey, 'Welcome' sign needed.  Welcome is spoken in the Garden Design.  God's language.    

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"...only the ego can blind an artist to the recognition that all creative work begins with imitation before fermenting into originality under the dual forces of time and consecrating effort." Maria Popova.

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'Surprise', is your tool.  A layer of good Garden Design.  Below, a detailed garden room appears, passing from the tree allee.

Acres Wild Georgian Grandeur View 

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Surprise, works at all price points AND size properties.  Share-croppers cottage, mid-century modern, or, above.  Notice the pair of evergreen rounded shrub balls, above, at the entry to the right?  You want that shot too?

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Selfishly, I want this garden, above, shot again in a decade.  Instead, it's in my head, 10 years ahead.  In my head, quite a few plants have been removed.  What remains, maturing beautifully, beyond anticipation.

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"In the course of creative endeavors, artists & scientists join fragments of knowledge into a new unity of understanding."  Vera John-Steiner, Psycholinguist.

Acres Wild Georgian Grandeur Hydrangeas 

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Acres Wild Topiary in Lawn 

Cone shaped conifer, above, if grown into a solid hedge, will create Surprise, and a pair of garden rooms, instead of a single garden room without surprise.

 Acres Wild Turkeys in the Garden 

Same conifers, above.  Excellent shot, explaining why low hedges enclose precious plantings.  For centuries low hedges have kept chickens and turkeys from eating the family vegetables, herbs, pollinating flowers.

Acres Wild Georgian Grandeur Front

This garden needs no npk fertilizers, chemicals, or irrigation once established.  Less mowing than traditional lawns.

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Trees + Hedges + Meadows + flowers/herbs = Good Garden Design across thousands of years.

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Site layers of the equation on axis from views inside your home.  Place drives & paths on axis from doors, entries from property line, and meeting each other as needed.

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Why does it matter?  We're running out of bees.  There are few bugs of any type killed on our windshields.  Fertilizers are sterilizing soil and toxic to groundwater.  We don't need chemicals in our gardens, we need Natives and near natives  You can bring back what we've killed.

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"Peterson - as did Jung & Hillman - warns that failing to dialogue with Time leads to a forgetting of adaptive modes of human living & thriving: a loss of values or what keepers of indigenous shamanistic traditions call a "Loss of Soul".  

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You've come looking for your Garden.  Instead you've found more.  Congratulations !  It's the result of Nature giving you a personal poyeema.

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' Logoi  =  Codes of an Age '

Acres Wild Driveway to Georgian Grandeur 

Later in the season, above, the tall meadow has grown.  Not the decade shoot I want to see, but better already in a few weeks.  Imagine a decade.

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These gardens, above, are not about ego.  This garden is about Love, Relationship, Poyeema.  Trinity given to each, from Providence.   Will you trust, and take?

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How does it relate to living in an apartment?  Love, Relationship, Poyeema follow you all the days of your life.  Whether you partake, or not.

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Garden Design is this simple.  Always has been.

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Using Natives...................Trees + Hedges + Meadows + Flowers/Herbs  = Good Garden Design 

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Garden & Be Well,   XO T 

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More, about poyeema.

 

All pics, above, here

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

How to Have Beautiful Easy Winter Pots in Your Garden

 The identity I brought to my garden is not the one my garden wanted.  Creating what the garden desires is slow joyful work.  Somewhere along the way my garden brought into me, with a fullness of intent, my identity.

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Amusing to remember that earlier time, thinking I was the potter.

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Humbled at a skill taking me from being the potter, to being the clay.  Thankful for the journey, blessed by the lesson.

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Certainly I knew potted plants.  Everywhere to see.  Follow their methods with tweeks of intent and what's available.

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Decades of recreating those type pots.  No more.  A few years ago I discovered Deborah Silver's pots.  Deborah's heart & eye those of a florist.  Hilarious how obvious her art.  That's the magic.  Simple.  Deborah put florist and garden together, in her pots.  More, she does it in horrendous weather, bitter winters, strong winds.     

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Deborah's pots, below, copy how she creates them, and they're yours forevermore.  Each pot you create, your heart and hands, and what's available.

  

Pot plantings, above/below, are cut greenery, fake stems, real stems.  Hope pics/words have already expanded your horizons.  Well beyond my own. 

 

 "Sometimes it takes darkness & the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you."  David Whyte.

   

Deborah's pics are your visual curriculum, all above/below.  Adore visual curricula, from childhood.

  

Without words my best conversations are in the garden.  Life abounds where it is pastured.  My garden pastures my body, my soul.  I haven't the knowledge or wisdom from within to gain what my garden provides, nurturing & ripe.

 

 More fake and real greenery, above/below.

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"Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness."  Alain de Bottom.  Art is a tool.  Without art we live in the depths of unwisdom.  

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Oh my the horror of a garden labeled, mundane, or ubiquitous.  This is your garden to fill.  

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Full post from Deborah Silver, here, about putting together Winter Garden Pots.

  


"The quality of her dreaming, its interior abstraction, is exquisite.  Its wonder lies in how closed its shutters are to any mundane world."  Renee Gladman.

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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

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For your continued prayers I thank you.  Beloved has more liver cancer tumors.  Back to the hospital for full anesthesia, again again again, this year.  This time in December.  Aside from the macro drama, Beloved rises each day and goes to work.  In the micro we speak of it little.  Choosing our lives instead.  

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This time, alert siren heard differently.  Two short conversations, life without blinders.  We go to sleep, I await his steady breathing.  I go into the living room.  To cry.  To pray.  It passes, I go back to bed.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Landscape Ethics: What Are Yours? Where Do You Apply Them?

 With your garden, has a choice been made?  Your approach, is it: physical, joyful, literary, moral, and ethical?  Had you already put all of this to words?  From tricycle days, I knew without words, primal abiding is outside. 

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Landscape ethics, what are yours?  Can you list 3, now, in the order of importance to you?  Are you living your landscape ethics in the fullness of your heart? Which layers elude you?  What can you change to get there?  For you.

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No one gets their beautiful garden without redemption.  In the beginning, you go into your garden to change it.  Visions of a paradise.  With good fortune, a few years pass, many unforeseen changes made, and, finally beauty, paradise formed.  Along the way, you realize, the garden changed you.   

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'Your paradise is a quality of life; but, deeper than that, it's your life.'  P. O'Tuama

  

Pic, above, here

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Tell me again, above, how important foundation plantings are.  What is the safety clinging to them?  Will foundation plantings get you paradise? 

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"Paradise", comes into Latin & Greek & English, through an early Iranian language, Avestan, which is the language of the scriptures, of Zoroastrian, and, it means, "an enclosed garden."  P. O'Tuama. 

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Pic, above, here

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" This poem isn't sentimental.  This poem is saying, here is what it's like to hold  paradise, when you know you live in a reality that people would want to steal your paradise, steal your life."  P. O'Tuama

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'Steal your life', for too many, is literal, and for too many, metaphor.  

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"...and sometimes a poet, if they want to make a serious point about politics, will enter into that serious point thru a side door, and they might describe something of landscape or something of memory or something of joy, but there's a line in it that strikes home, because that line is telling a deep political truth around which everything else gathers."  P. O'Tuama.

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Pic, above, here.

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At the front end, planning/planting your landscape is thrilling.  You are in charge.  You have the control.

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 "To know what is coming is to perceive control; and the mind is all about control, particularly in the cerebral, capitalist, goal-oriented global north.  We want to control, or, in neuroscientific terms, we want to exercise cognitive control, our mysterious ability to behave in accord with the goals we set.  ....for, ultimately, humans want to control the future, or to believe that they can."  Anna Badkhen

 Discover what inspires landscape designer Charlie Harpur - young gardeners on HOUSE - design, food and travel by House & Garden. 

Pic, above, here.

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Walls of trees, walls of hedges, stone hallway to the door, above, Tara Turf lawn, art against the wall (properly plinthed), completing the room.  Simplicity.  Yet not.  Pollinator habitat, fruiting orchard, a room with layers of ethics and meaning.  Something else about these types of landscapes, above.  They're the most likely to survive for centuries.  

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Tara Test Questions: What are the layers of ethics?  What are the layers of meaning?  How is this orchard generating maximum production?  At its most basic level, Landscape Ethics spill upward throughout our lives.  We're gifted the joyful beginning, more, grace.

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Pic, above, here.

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Your life, above/below, is the focal point of your Landscape Ethics.  From the fungi in the soil, lizard on the wall, blossoms, bees, birds, your home and how it's situated in your garden, how you see your garden while sitting inside your home.

 Ceramic Plates as Wall Decoration | House & Garden 

Pic, above, here.

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Did a double take at this garden, above.  Created same Landscape for a client.  She'll be sending me a note after seeing the pic.  Proud to have created a landscape to survive centuries.  Yet, no worries if it's paved over in 20 years for a road.  I've done my duty.  

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"A lot of problems happen because of your internal state.  When you're calm, happy, and fulfilled you don't pick fights, create drama, or keep score."  S. Parrish.

 Habitually Chic® » Jasper Conran’s 17th-century Retreat 

Pic, above, here.

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Since those tricycle days, pure joy taking hold of Landscape Ethics.  Didn't know at the outset the Landscape was putting Ethics into me.  Nor how many years the process.  The ride has given a primal challenge, primal effort, primal abiding, and a primal redemption.

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A lot, yes.  Yet not the biggest Landscape Ethics gift discovered.  Do you know?

 

  

Pic, above, here.

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From the start, while I was fiddling with control, my garden had already set its mission.

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Do you know?  Took a few decades for me.

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Love.  In the garden, it is this simple.  Whether you think so or not. 

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Abiding love.  The type of love given to all.  Agape love.     

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This precious child, above, knows.

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"...an older writer friend tells me that the role of a writer in America today is to help the readers be less affraid." A. Badkhen.  In the garden I can better articulate my sorrow or fear,  and it's diminished.

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"The sages interpret the fable thusly: to truly pray we must first achieve a state of exultation, which means that joy, not sorrow, brings man closer to God.  Poets help us make our prayers heard." A. Badkhen.

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In the garden, is your poetry.  Your prayers.  Joy.  Love.

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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Monday, November 2, 2020

How to Take Charge of Your Garden: Foundation Hedges

 At first glance, below, 'in love'.  Those hedges !  The dining room.  The furniture.  The Color choices: historic, Green-Brown-White.

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Imagine, in your mind's eye, removing the hedges, below.  What do you see?  You see a mess.  Next, keep the hedges, and remove all the perennials planted behind them.  What do you see?  You see a tidy, more open version: neater.

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You start gardening with your own  stamp and heroics, a decided idea of what will be new & best.  Best ever.  A season passes, and you see every effort, every dollar, your divine master piece, is all a sham.  Worse, it's the most heroic sham ever.  Did you out perform me in this arena?  I adore you.

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Worse, you go back to those 'ridiculous' Garden Design Rules, realizing they aren't there to constrict you.  They liberate you.  Interesting.  What you thought shackles, you learn is freedom.

 Smith and Payne Gardens 

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Keeping the hedges, above, remove the perennials, and add a few cone shaped evergreens and pleached trees.  Pleached trees and shaped evergreens, below.

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