Friday, May 27, 2016

Monty Don: Kent-Brown-Repton TV Show

A great wheelbarrow path, below.  Single wheel of course.  Double wheeled wheelbarrows are easier, less weight to balance, and my preference.

Monty has suffered a stroke in recent years and Nigel severed his spinal cord in 2008

Pic, above, here.

Discovered Monty Don, above, when his, The Prickotty Bush, arrived on my doorstep in the early 90's.  Read many times, loaned, never returned, had to buy again.
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Of course he's on my google word search list, and of course I will not loan the book again.
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Yesterday, a Monty feast arrived into my inbox.  Too much not to share.
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Monty Don has produced a TV show about Kent, Brown, Repton.  Personal takeaways studying across England for decades, all, from that trinity.  Their style changed the course of international gardening.  And me.
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The TV show is within this article about Monty Don.
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I watched the show on my phone, will watch it again on laptop, then finally figure out the chrome-stick-thingy and watch it in glorious large screen.  One particular segment is shot from a helicopter over a Brown garden.  Now I want my own drone.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Completing my horticulture degree I could not, to my mind/heart, design a garden to save my soul.  Off to historic European gardens for decades of study.  Ironically, yesterday too, came across an expensive seminar teaching how to draw gardens to scale, and how to design a garden.  Taught by former instructors from my college.  OMG.  All that mow-blow-go, incurves, outcurves, drifts, foundation plantings, design- it- from- the- street- view, still being taught.  With all the giddy-up-&-go verbage of sustainability....
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Note from the universe, teach-what-YOU-know.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Touch of Black

Every garden needs an exterior color trinity.  Subsidiary colors allowed.  Green-brown-white the classic for centuries.  Black, below, boldly, tossed in instead of green.  Yet the green is there, in plantings hung on the black, and in the garden.  Blue/white, below, subsidiary to the main color trinity.
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Tell me you noticed, below, the enfilade !

outdoor dining at its best:

Pic, above, here.
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Quick glance, appreciate the porch enfilade, with closer attention, garden enfilade travels much deeper.  Well done.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vertical Lawn

Vertical lawn, below.  Vine or espalier woody shrub, no worries, either can be your vertical lawn.

image:

Pic, above, here.
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Plenty of lush, above, without a traditional USA foundation planting.
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Instead, gravel to the house.
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First time I saw this style of Landscape Design I was moth to a flame, still am.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls', below, is a diminutive wisteria, purple, fragrant, won't eat your house, blooms 1st year.
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Pic, above, taken in my previous garden.  Dug no plants when I moved, merely took the ones in pots.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Designing the Faux Path

Many times I've used a bit of woodland, buffer between neighbors, as a faux focal point. Occasionally, space allows for this much meandering path, below.  Most of the time, the path is a few steps leading to a faux gate.  In each interpretation the path is 'real'.
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In the moment, below, Nature's yearly leaf fall.  Took me an ancient amount of time to realize, the trees are fed and enriched by letting go.  And the same is true for us, if we'll let go.  During senescens the color of photosynthesis is lost, and the true leaf colors appear.  Another story written in plain view, by Nature, another metaphor.  Beauty in letting go.  

Василий Поленов - Женщина, идущая по лесной тропинке:
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Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Layer Garden Design

An excursion, below, that should be a destination in Garden Design.

Tuinontwerp - tuinontwerpen door tuinarchitect tuinontwerper Zuid-Limburg Brabant:

Pic, above, here.
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Using the 3 elements, above, of garden design, plan your garden.  A serious landscape, in vanishing threshold with interiors of your home, expanding lifestyle, all with ease, beauty, joy while amplifying your personal aesthetic.
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Don't know the 3 elements, above?
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Ceilings, walls, floors.  Put another way, trees, shrubs, groundcovers.  Another description, foyer, dining room, living room.  Yes, now you are seeing the trinity of elements in the design, above.
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Two types of ceiling, above.  Can you label both?  Sky & trees.  Three types of flooring, above, low meadow, gravel, a chevron pattern.  Three types of walls, tall shrubs, medium shrubs, contrasting texture shrubs.
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Pond is a nice focal point viewed from the foyer, yet equal in use to both living room & dining room.  .
Focal point on plinth, on axis with don't-know-from-this-pic.
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Never thought about a garden like this for your home?  This garden will take your further, faster, lasting longer, than most other types of gardens.
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Starting and ending points for this garden remain 180 from a garden beginning, "I want hydrangeas, peonies and..."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, May 20, 2016

Window View is Your Life View

“The Soul selects her own Society.” 
― Emily DickinsonThe Complete Poems
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Inside/outside narrative.  Vanishing Threshold, below.
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Recognize her window?  Emily Dickinson.  A recreation at New York Botanical Garden.

This is the view from the Homestead, the poet Emily Dickinson's home, recreated as part of an exhibit about her gardens at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It's a lovely exhibit, interspersing her poetry, much of which was inspired by nature, with flowers and plants.:
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Pic, above, here.
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A salesman called, about 15 years ago, selling vinyl double paned windows.  "How could Emily Dickinson have written her poetry with those windows?", I asked.
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Now, the science & math are available for keeping historic windows vs. replacing with new double paned windows.  Adding storm windows to historic windows creates less energy loss.  Greater money savings.
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Alas, the divide of souls knowing this inherently in their DNA vs. those who will never get it, is well beyond to the moon & back.
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Young man selling the vinyl double paned windows?  He did pause.  Then resumed his scripted sales pitch.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

Vanishing Threshold, below.  Interior & exterior, married.  The full monty.

The Devoted Classicist:

When a client hires me for the garden, if needed & it's within my scope, I design interior spaces too.  What does that mean?  I know my scope.  Outside, my scope has no restrictions.  Inside, my scope is sourced off-the-shelf, antique shops, thrift stores.  Inside, if special order stone, textiles, furnishings, removing/adding walls, are the playing field, I have an incredible interior decorator on my team.
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Yesterday's jobsite, 60 of the most beautiful acres, streams, meadows, woodlands, gracious sloping views, in the last of the Piedmont before turning into Coastal Plain, are not a challenge in the least to Garden Design.  Thorn on the acreage?  The house.  A ca. 1980's ode the Bee Gee's named aptly, Stayin Alive.  Who wants to merely stay alive?  Thriving is the choice.
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Working with the interior decorator on this project and the homeowner has been quite a team.  There was an obvious wall removed inside, then magic, the interior decorator added a wall to an area I would have never 'seen', yet once designed, of-course-the-wall-must-be-added.  In return, I knew the front porch had to wrap the house, creating a new heart to the home.  Interior decorator never 'saw' wrapping the porch.  Indeed, we are a happy team of cheerleaders for each other.  In addition to giving/teaching each other a new 'eye'.
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Drawing, above, sums up having a home.  Vanishing threshold.  House & Garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic, above, drawn by John Tackett.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Let It Touch

From the 80's, I've noticed, this focal point conceit, below, used in magazines & books.
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Just let it touch.

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Pic, above, Here.
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If you can't just-let-it-touch, perhaps add a small leafed ivy to clamber your focal point a bit.  Though it could easily be a clematis too.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interior: A Reverence for Nature


"A reverence for Nature...", is how the caption begins in Architectural Digest, for the pic, below.

Edie Parker accessories designer Brett Heyman and her family tapped decorator Mark Cunningham for their Connecticut home. In the white-washed entrance hall, a table helps to center the space. | archdigest.com:

Pic, above, here.
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So true.

Pic, above, here.
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People only see small glances of us throughout the day and then make judgments off of that. Stay true to yourself and be proud. #life:

Pic, above, here.
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Stewards of Nature seem to be sprinkled lightly across continents, and eras.  How odd to be finding each other through this thing named, Social Media.
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Happiness is not external, but internal:


Pic, above, here.
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Adore how they think, top pic.  Their foyer a full narrative.  Their garden a vanishing threshold with the foyer, more pics here.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mix Matched Outdoor Furnishings?

Layers of narrative, below.  Color echoes a home run, for starters.  White to silvers, very nice.
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Curiosity too.  Hydrangeas, below, at left in foreground, then further back, to the right.  A photographer's styling?  Perhaps a stylist guiding a photographer?
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Did your mind go there at all?  The white hydrangeas merely props?
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Hardly the 1st thing I saw in this delightful pic.
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First thing?  Field gathered furniture, all painted same color.  Voila !
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Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades it was France teaching me that trick.  No worries about field gathering garden furnishings.  Paint them all the same color.
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Huge arrow in your quiver.

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Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Almost a complete garden design course in this pic.  Canopy/understory trees, high/low density, scale, flow, focal point, simplicity, color, contrasts, repetition, ceiling/walls/floors, seasonal interest, winter structure, invitation, comfort, myriad uses, no chemicals, low maintenance.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Porch Furniture

Met with a client yesterday, we did their backyard 2 years ago, and she needed a quick hour.  Several topics.
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Last topic, her small front porch.  Garden catalog in hand, tape measure pulled to dimension, blue tape marking chairs/sofa feet.  Where exactly should the sofa/2 chairs be placed?  About to answer, she quickly said where her 11 year old daughter told her, "Mom, they have to go like this."  Great moment, exactly what I was about to answer.  Not the 1st time this child has said intuitive things about the garden.  We've got our eyes on her !
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Perhaps the most surprising & delightful outdoor seating, below.  Those scallop topped barrels, the folding screen, the hard-packed dirt flooring.  Is it a private home?  A small hotel?  What kind of trees are in the barrels?  Why is the screen there?  Is there anything behind the screen?
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Woman, front left, seems to be texting.

Portrait of a family on a terrace, 1901, Library of Toulouse:flickr:

Pic, above, here.
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When I worked at a garden center in the 80's we would get an order of 1/2 whiskey barrels 1/year, sold for $11.99 ea.  Unloading them from the truck, fumes so strong, we felt like we could get drunk by osmosis.
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I was a total snob about those whiskey 1/2 barrels until I saw George Washington had used them at Mt. Vernon, and a pic of Rudyard Kipling in India standing on a gorgeous porch, several 1/2 whiskey barrels planted.  Now, these full whiskey barrels.  Yep, suitable for our ca. 1900 farmhouse.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Needing my Tribe

In our ca. 1900 American farmhouse for almost a year.  Mostly a slow year excepting it was mostly a fast year.  Haven't found the new normal yet.
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Have begun finding my 'tribe'.
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Don't know if you really want to know this 'tribe'.  We garden as answer to anything life throws.  Anything.  It's the garden.
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"  Work hard in silence, do what you have to do, and ignore the drama and negativity surrounding you.  Let your success be your noise. ", from Marc & Angel.

Bernadette den Bieman Tuinontwerp:
Pic, above, here.
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My vocation is creating gardens, contracting their installation, lecturing, writing books, my avocation is my garden.
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The tribe of women, I'm gratefully joining, locally, already deeply humbling me.   People have real lives, and this means roses with sharp thorns.  Lightly, they share those thorns, as air.  They mentor by living.  They live by digging.
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Hope you've already discovered Marc & Angel, and of course, your tribe.
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Garden & Be XO T