Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Makes a Garden: Vanishing Threshold

Studying the best historic gardens in Italy, decades ago, it was obvious their gardens are in relationship to the home/villa.
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USA landscapes, I was taught in college, are to be designed from the street, looking at the house.  Preferably by testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch.  (Zillion situations where this is fine, too.)
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Easy to understand the joy/love getting my horticulture degree, yet agony in its belief system.  Hence, trotting off to Europe for decades,  truly learning about gardens.

Yesterday, on Pinterest, I saw both homes, above/below.
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Zero school needed, to decipher which garden is European or USA style.
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One garden is in relationship with its house, the other, tacked-on quite adequately.  
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Yet, both gardens have the same ingredients.

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When a garden is not in relationship to the house, aside from it likely being the builder's special du jour, I call them Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey gardens.
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2 pics, all you need to become an expert at deciphering a garden in relationship to its house or a pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey garden.
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I adore learning thru pictures.
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Vanishing threshold gardens are first designed from inside the home, not the street.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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The thing about 'judging' anonymous gardens is unfair.  Please don't think I'm doing it here.
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Too many reasons a garden cannot be judged.  One never knows if it's a job loss, elderly widowed owner, alcoholism or other addiction may live inside, major health issues, working too many hours with travel included, some people are happily oblivious with deep interests elsewhere, & etc,
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  For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Design: Defining Space with Paths


Garden paths are ahead of plantings in the garden design process.
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Lawns & Tara Turf are paths too.
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Paths are dictated by the house, function, patio, driveway, shade, trees, existing plantings, new features, etc.
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Shot yesterday, below, this new path follows a well trod dirt path my client created during 2+ decades in his home.
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Stepping stones, and edging stones were chosen to copy the type of stone put in by the builder originally.
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Gray cobblestone edging is more common, but not for this site.  I needed to flow with the history already created, aka keep it simple sweetie.
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This project should be completed by the end of the week.  Can't wait to do the walk thru with the owners.


Foot path location, below, used to create new formal stone path.  Many garden paths would be complete, with just stones in dirt, below.  This home is formal French architecture, the garden is not large, the entire garden is treated as a courtyard.


His original dirt path, below.


Stone edging piled, below, are called rubles.  By us !   I think they are correctly named stone rubble.
Brown/beige/white gravel was chosen, too, to copy the existing stone color on site.
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Owner enlarged the scope of the project once we began.  Always happens.  Always.  I think it's because owners 'see', once the paper design becomes 3-D.  Of course there is great humor in knowing a few days earlier only a certain amount of money was available.  Then, poof, voila, money landed from space to enlarge their garden project.


Paths are instant in a garden.  Compare top/bottom pics.  This project is incomplete but the changes are 180.
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Human nature, aka untrained garden design brain, thinks plants will create an instant landscape.  I think of this as job security.  
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Garden & Be Well,     XO T

For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Historic Combination

Boxwoods in the ground, in little pots, in big pots, edging a bed, lining a path, sentinel at the gate, backbone of a classic color trinity, below.


Boxwoods in big pots, little pots, pot clusters, wrapping a patio, on multiple axis views from the house, backbone of a classic color trinity, below. 


Recently, a client was adamant an evergreen hedge at her potager be removed.  Elsewhere, terra cotta pots were empty, awaiting funding.  Of course I said, "Let's put the boxwood hedge in your empty pots."
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She loved it, has already done it, and told me I was, 'wonderful'.  Amusing, but I know where 'wonderful' truly resides, boxwoods in pots.
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When an idea has worked fabulously for centuries in other gardens, it will work in yours.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Top pic I shot in Susanne Hudson's garden earlier this year, bottom pic, Bunny Williams garden via Pinterest.  Client dug up the large boxwoods herself & potted them, Tawaaaaaaanda !  Never tire of seeing Susanne's boxwoods in pots, nor seeing her in a state- of- zen watering them.  
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Design Rule for Cute

One is not in control of which pictures will grasp the heart.
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Did owner of the apartment or building decide life could go no further without a bee skep at its corner?
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Totally sexist, was it a man or woman who originated this idea?
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What inspired, specifically, the bee skep and its placement?
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How was the artist chosen to create the bee skep?
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What is the bee skep made of?
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How was the scale of the bee skep chosen?
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4 bees, is there significance with '4' bees?
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How is the bee skep attached?
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How many people did it take to attach the bee skep?
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How much did the bee skep cost, how much was the labor to attach the bee skep?
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What era & country of origin is this particular bee skep based upon?
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What type of bees were chosen for the bee skep, what are they made of?

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Cute?
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Hardly.
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Whimsical. 
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Totally.
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Beyond whimsical, a statement.
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What statement does the owner intend?  Literal, metaphor, reality, spiritual, a mix...
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Remember, the more you go inward, the more you outwardly connect.
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Garden design rule for cute,  
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Cute Kills.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Have enjoyed the shrinking of the aisles of cute garden resin products at Wal-Mart as the economy readjusts.  
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Banishing Frustration with the Design Process

There is nothing you will do in your garden, that has never been done before.
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Embrace the spirit of friends you didn't know you had.
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Their thoughts & choices are waiting for you to partake.
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Architecture, site, Nature, resources each play a role too.
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Resist any of the above, and I promise, you will not like the garden you create.
Some of the people I like to work with?  Russell Page, Christopher Lloyd, Rosemary Verey,  Harold Nicholson/Vita Sackville-West, Arne Maynard, Deborah Silver, Arabella Lennox Boyd, Julia Trevelyan Oman/Sir Roy Strong, Cecil Beaton, Beatrix Farrand, Sir Edward Lutyens, Gertrude Jekyll, Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, Wendell Berry, Penelope Bianchi, William Morris, and more.


Especially endearing, and important, are gardens developed over time.  Perhaps a wheelbarrow path, above, evolved because the wheel of the wheelbarrow spoke !  Saw one in England, and have enjoyed designing several since then.


One impertinence I never commit, is to quickly, without thoughtful consideration & props, design any garden space.  None.  No matter how small or how many times I've done it before.
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The the left of the brick path, above, grass is dying due to shade,  In addition, with grown children & a flock of grandchildren, the entry to the path is too narrow.
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Flags were placed, then adjusted, looked at from myriad angles, adjusted again, conversation back/forth with client & stone mason, and lastly, agreed upon.
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Most often, an inch or two in a garden design will not matter.  Sometimes, an inch or two in a garden design is the difference between a beautiful functional delight or 'I can't stand this but it's paid for and I will put up with it for the next 2 decades.'
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Do not rush the process of designing/installing your garden.  Know that it is a process.  A pleasure to be partaken with your new friends, above.
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Don't want you to be frustrated trying to create your beautiful easy landscape.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken yesterday on the job, top pic via Pinterest.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Monday, December 8, 2014

When It's Time to Enlarge Your Deck

Perfect newish home, below.
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Single flaw.
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Open deck, below, with grill, was too narrow for social gatherings.


Keeping the original steps, below, and reusing the rails, and adding 6 floor boards, is a small enlargement. Yet, huge difference.  'Work' space is transformed into a place to grill & chill with family, pets, friends.
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(Under the covered porch, above, # 89 granite gravel added and soon, lattice panels, for family storage of garden tools & kids yard toys.)
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A flagstone terrace, at the steps was enlarged too.
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Garden Design is not about plants 'first', it's form/function, then plants.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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pics taken last week.  Thought it would be helpful for you to see how 'little' needs to be added to transform a space.  See my handmade Amish basket on the steps?  Sat there and had a scrumptious BBQ sandwich, coleslaw & Brunswick stew with my team.  I was there to walk the existing tapestry hedge at the back property line and tell my GC which plants stay & go.  Notice how the guys were clothed on a fine December day !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Best Design Adds Depth to Walls


Homes in subdivisions, at all price points & eras, commonly lack 'depth' with exterior walls.
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Another garden design fact/rule learned studying the best historic gardens across the globe for decades.
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A few examples from my Pinterest Board, Focal Points.








Garden Design: Adding Depth to Your Walls, should be my next book title.
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Never a dull moment designing your garden.  Layers of beauty, and epiphany.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.