Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Zen of Formal

"...the ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms, not to mention the further and more fulfilling gift of getting started all over again --- never resting upon the oars of success or in the doldrums of disappointment....Getting started, keeping going, getting started again --- in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm..."
--- Seamus Heaney
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Most common phrase customers say when we meet, "Oh, I don't want anything formal."  Then proceed to describe what they want and show photos.  You know what's coming next.
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Every description, every photo of their dream garden, FORMAL.
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Pic, above, here.
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Classically formal dining room, above.  Graveled rectangle, focal point on axis, canopy/understory bushes/trees, walls, floor, flow, function, contrast, texture, seasons, sound. 
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Easily decorated for mid-century modern, or any style, zone, theme you desire.
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"Small change, small wonders --- these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately of my life." --- Barbara Kingsolver
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Show me your outdoor dining room.  Better, invite your friends to a meal.  Not there yet?  Want to be?  There lies your small change, small wonders. 
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No budget for outdoor furnishings for a bit?   Pair of saw horses with planks, as Martha Washington served myriad guests in their garden at Mount Vernon.  Better, improvise, rescue 'saw horses', and 'planks'.  With this mission, your outdoor dining room will be unique, though the garden design technique has been in use long BCE. 
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What is an outdoor dining room to you, if you don't have one now?  "The opportunity to experience yourself differently..." --- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
 Greensmart Decor Artificial Ivy Panel Set of 4 - Green
Pic, above, here.
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"All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible." --- William Faulkner
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Yes, you can do the impossible.  In the garden of your heart.  Sure it's impossible.  That's why it's there for you to do.  "We go on.  Because it is the hard thing to do.  And we owe ourselves the difficulty." --- Nikki Giovanni
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Touring a beautiful garden, with our British historic gardens expert and guide, after he had described a garden compost area feature we were standing in, a woman said, "That's inconvenient."  Quickly he responded, "Making love is work, but we do it."
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It is the difficulty of creating our garden, bringing its blessing.  Most often your 'difficulty' will be mental.  Seeing.  Seeing rightly, is the work.  And gift.
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Pic, above, here.
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"Clear your mind of 'can't." --- Samuel Johnson.
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 Reception Court: walled garden
Pic, above, here.
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Thrilling.  Beyond thrilling, above.  So little there, yet it's a garden.  Living in a ca. 1938 starter home or 1990 cluster home?  Garden Design, above, is for you too.
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 snowy garden- really illustrates the importance of structure in the garden
Pic, above, here.
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Trees as total Garden Design, above.  You cannot go wrong choosing this path.  More, choose a tough native pollinator tree.  Choose to pollard, prune them to shape. 
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"And so we turn the page over/To think of starting.  This is all there is." --- John Ashbery
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Pic, above, here.
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How many times has this Garden Design been done across centuries.  This one leaves no gardener or garden or home behind.
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Works every time. 
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In a typical USA subdivision, this is a good Garden Design, above, to copy, and site a hedge of evergreens at the front of your lawn.  Tall enough to hide the road & cars, for sure, maybe tall enough to hide your first story.  Depends on your location, views, noise.
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 An English country garden, - Cornwall, UK - Clive Nichols, photographer,  #Clive #Cornwall #C...#clive #cornwall #country #english #garden #nichols #photographer
Pic, above, here.
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The Well Placed Chair, above.  You know you've designed a good garden, when, in season, Nature takes over all your efforts.  Laughing at you.  And you like it. 
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Pic, above, here.
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Use pots that won't break, trees tolerating your zone, and drip irrigation, above.
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Adore how little is in the garden, above.  It's Tara Turf, green ball, hedge, canopy tree, house as backdrop, color theme, textures, flow.  Did you already see all those things, above, and name them to yourself?
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 blue
Pic, above, here.
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Hiding the pool.  Especially good, if you must put in a fence, yet have acreage.  Make your pool the surprise in a Faberge Egg.
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"You have neat tight expectations of what life ought to give you, but you won't get it.  That isn't what life does.  Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you.  Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition." --- Florida Pier Scott-Maxwell, Playwright, Jungian analyst.
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 The Noble Home
Pic, above, here.
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This garden, above, uses the same Formal Garden Design as the top photo: rectangle, focal point, flow, canopy, understory, floor, texture, color, shapes.
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Just because epiphanies arrive doesn't mean changes will arrive effortlessly or soon.
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Choosing to have a garden, the one in your head, is as simple as Dorothy learning how to go home.
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Choose.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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A few  more from Florida Pier Scott-Maxwell.
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"You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.  When you truly possess all you have been and done ... you are fierce with reality."
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"Making those we love happy sounds innocent as a dove, but it can be as destructive as a lion."
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&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
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"If we begin with certainties we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient with them, we shall end with certainties." --- Francis Bacon
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&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
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You realize this is a complete Garden Design course?  The important parts anyway.
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It's all important.  The Zen of Formal?  Easy to maintain, beautiful in all seasons, pollinators, lowers HVAC, raises property value. 
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&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
5 years, this summer, in our ca. 1900 home.  Began gardening this month, finally.  No clue gardening would not begin for 5 years.  Repairing the pond, drilling a well, renovating sheds, moving sheds, building sheds, creating roads, clearing invasives, and clearing more invasives.  Life, my mom, caretaking, death, then major illnesses with Beloved.
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Starting wasn't something chosen or thought about or anticipated.  Apparently I had been at the bottom of the ocean, and shot up for air about 5am three weeks ago.  Could not breath, live, another day, without starting my garden.
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Quick phone call to Susanne Hudson, sourcing Conservatory parts, windows/French doors, Conservatory seating, somehow buying a honking huge antique library case too,  Honker.   Honk-er.
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Hedges, Conservatories, Tara Turf, Potting Table, Trees, and my library.  Leaving my 30 year garden, missed most, my built-in Library, and Conservatory.  Can't make this stuff up, the soul speaks.
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Did you notice, 'Conservatories', plural?  Life is good.  One of our tiny historic sheds, has a pair of shed roofs, each side, Beloved already built.  Soon, the East Conservatory will be completed, and hopefully, this year, we'll also build the West Conservatory.
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Their views wildly different.  The new potting table was sited at this shed, already I'm potting up and crazy happy.  Thankful of my years as a professional propagator at a nursery with 7 hoop houses, each with a different type of use; forcing, cuttings, plugs, annuals, perennials, herbs.
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Found living without a garden & library......untenable a moment more.  Getting a potting table, 3rd potting table across my adult life, previous 2 were wood.  This potting table, ca. 1940, is custom made, 2 shelves, backsplash, and stainless steel, from a sorority house at University of Georgia. 
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Have never felt so at home here.  Literally.  I'm home.  Garden, Conservatories, Potting Table, Library.  Every bit of air I shot upward for.  Whole again.
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 Pin by ARACH Trilogy on Pictures that we love! | Book quotes ...
Pic, above, here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Conservatory, Pandemic, Gardening: How Do You Want to Live?

"I understand that to move close to God is to move close to everything that human beings have ever experienced.  And that, of course, includes a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of joy."  Parker Palmer
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"But from time to time, back in the woods that primitive wildness was there, and if that's all God is, I'll settle for it....easily and thankfully."  Parker Palmer.
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"And so I now see the soul as that wild creature way back there in the woods that knows how to survive in very hard places, knows how to survive in places the intellect doesn't, where the feelings don't, and where the will cannot."  Parker Palmer
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Emma Courtney: Patios & Gardens
Conservatory built for Penny McHenry Hydrangea festival, above, by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson, Better Homes & Gardens magazine shoot.
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Too long without a garden, 5 years since moving rural, my body/brain/spirit has shot up from the ocean with 2 thoughts, evergreen hedges and a conservatory.
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"The point of being an artist is that you may live....you won't arrive.  It is an endless search."  Sherwood Anderson.
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Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above, from Country Living magazine.
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"Vocation is a gift not a goal."  Parker Palmer
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Old Quaker adage, "Let your life speak."
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How did I get 5 years, without starting my garden?
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A life wants to live in me.  My garden let it grow.  As my garden spoke, it taught my soul to speak. 
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Then I moved away from my 30 year garden.
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greenhouse by Whoopi
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above,.
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Gardening is walking the talk of thinking.
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
Conservatory, above, my previous garden.
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This she shed is the perfect spot to relax between planting different seeds in your garden.
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above.
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What should your garden aspire to?  The best in you.  Do you have that clarity?
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Take from the Greats....they will never leave you once you've taken them.  TAKE.
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Garden of Susanne Hudson garden room/green house made from old windows
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above.
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The irony of my gardening is how much non-ironic work my garden does  on me.
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Moving from my 30 year garden, I miss most, my Conservatory.  It had only been there my last 3 years.  Go figure.
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Garden Room by Tara Dillard and Susanne Hudson
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
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"Design at its core, thrives when a human being cares enough to do work that touches another --- it doesn't thrive when it gets more efficient."  Seth Godin
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Yes, I do believe my garden is me touching another.
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TARA DILLARD: Details of a Garden Room
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
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With, 'conviction, commitment and conscience', plan your garden.  Each will return greater in forms you've never known, but always knew.
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Plantings and flowerings in feed/water containers (butler).  Green house gazebo...
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
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"(Iris) Murdoch begins by reflecting on the fundamental difference between the function of philosophy and that of art --- one being to clarify and concretize, the other to mystify and expand." Maria Popova
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Friday, June 5, 2009  GROW A ROOM   Why build an arbor room in the garden when all it takes is 8 trees? I would choose more comfortable furniture.   .  Easy to do this with 6' trees. Perhaps fruit trees, or redbuds, from Wal-Mart when they go on sale? Sooooooo much cheaper than building a wooden structure, which will never bloom. Flagstone terrace, comfy furniture and DONE.  .
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
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Beloved renovated a small historic shed on our property and moved it exactly where I indicated.  Smart man, things go south, my fault.  How did I know where to place it?  The GREATS.  Moved shed to a new garden room, and pulled strings from the main house, making sure the shed/Conservatory 100% parallel to main house. 
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One side of the shed will become my new Conservatory.  The open shed roof, and back wall are dimensions for the new Conservatory.  Drew a picture, with measurements, texted pic to Susanne Hudson, "Do you have any windows for me to buy for my new  Conservatory?"
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My previous Conservatory was over a decade of dumpster diving old windows and doors, literally.  This Conservatory has no luxury of time.  Instead, fitting what Susanne has, to my dimensions.
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No text in reply, instead, a PHONE CALL.  "How would you like 2 pairs of French Doors at the front of your new Conservatory?"  Best phone call of 2020 so far.
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"Bad writing is almost always full of the fumes of personality."  Iris Murdoch.
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Bad gardening is almost always full of the fumes of personality.  Tara Dillard
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Taking from the Greats, has its purposes.  Fumes of personality?  I adore gardens, photographed, hinting nothing toward what continent or era of the garden. 
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"The epic side of truth, Wisdom, is dying out."  Walter Benjamin
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"Wisdom in the age of information."  Maria Popova
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TARA DILLARD: Garden Room: 101, designed this conservatory with ...
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.   
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Building my new Conservatory is a freedom, of knowing what I want, knowing how to get it, knowing what it will give me.  Back to the Greats. 
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
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At the front end of building Gardens, and Conservatories, I thought it was all architecture, engineering and labor. 
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It's still all those things, yet they're layered by greater gifts.  More important.
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"Knowledge hinges on an act of correlation and interpretation.  At the top is wisdom, which has a moral component, it is the application of information worth remembering and knowledge that matters to understanding not only how the world works, but also how it should work and that requires a moral framework of what should and shouldn't matter, as well as an ideal of the world at its highest potentiality."  Maria Popova
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
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The Complete Guide to Growing French Hydrangeas | SouthernLiving.com
Client Conservatory, above, I put into a Garden Design.  They hired me to brighten up a 'Dark Corner'.  Muse reigns.
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory Dreamtime
Conservatory, above, my previous garden.
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TARA DILLARD: Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
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Your Home and Garden must have a name, a color trinity, and garden rooms, each with a name.
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TARA DILLARD: Decorating Your Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
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Sending pic of measurements for my new Conservatory, quickly named it, East Conservatory.  Easiest garden name ever.  Sometimes naming can take over a year. 
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TARA DILLARD: Decorating Your Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
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The shed has 2 nice sides, both with metal roofs Beloved built.  First moment the shed was moved to its new location, I knew, there will be 2 Conservatories.  Cannot wait for the West Conservatory.  It faces mostly wooded shade, acres of view, including a pond and fading lake.  East Conservatory faces a hedged garden I'm planting now.  Lots of good sun, some shade, a bit 'formal' easy to maintain.
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Hiding a fence in a dark corner with a new Conservatory !  Gravel, color, furniture.
Client's Conservatory, everything you see, above, is rescued.  My Garden design put the shape of the conservatory into the plan, we had a great conversation, poof.  This is 'their' detailed design, not mine.  Fabulous.
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"Information is increasingly cheap and wisdom increasingly expensive...."  Maria Popova.
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Gardening, Pandemics, Conservatories, we're each seeking the same gifts, of those gifts with no price tag.  Grace, transcendence, beauty, a knowing of who we are, what we stand for, how to live in that grace everyday.  No matter what each day brings.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Asked Beloved yesterday if I could borrow his old work truck for a few days, to pick up Conservatory parts with Susanne.  LIFE entered this story.  Alas.
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A much loved gardening friend, we've roomed several times across Europe and USA Eastern Seaboard studying historic gardens, and miscellaneous symposiums attended, flower shows, etc.  She's 77.  Had a chunk of breast cancer removed, feels great, gardening, busy.  She made the choice for no chemo/radiation. 
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Oh the things of life we've already shared.  More than that, blessedly, laughter always far greater than tears.
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Susanne knows her well, we 3 beautifully scarred, dusty, matriarchal elephants, each with our own continent, are slowly converging.  Soon, we'll all be in the far off garden of our friend.  Road trip.... 
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"I understand that to move close to God is to move close to everything that human beings have ever experienced.  And that, of course, includes a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of joy."  Parker Palmer

Monday, April 13, 2020

Best Mental Model Ever: What Does This Mean To Me?

Mental Models, how to think about things, schema.
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Began, January 2020, a new Sunday School class, Pastor is instructor, reading the Bible in a year.  Never done it.  No clue how to 'think' about Bible passages, stories.
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With assigned workbook, study bible inherited from my dad, educated/wise instructor, a small start, for my new Mental Model: What Does This Mean To Me?.  Ha ha ha, sick with flu for weeks, slow recovery, Sunday School classes/Church Covid cancelled, behind in reading. 
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Before the world stopped for Covid, in bed on Sunday nites, I would think, What Does This Mean To Me? 
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Best Mental Model ever, this lone question, What Does This Mean To Me?  Any topic, combined with serious inquiry.
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Did you already know to ask this question?     
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Gardening.  Why didn't I know this Mental Model at the front end of Gardening?  Instead, it was full passion for all that was loved, disdain for gardens whose style I did not like.  Taking everything, in the order passions reigned.  No regrets for those decades, blessed they passed away, and, like Elaine Stritch, I'm Still Here.
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At the front end, I did not like this style Garden Design, below.
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Now?  Understand its layers of being.  Contrasting shapes bring drama, romance, interest.  Cone shapes draw eyes to the sky.  Wise choices within the shapes give year round interest, deer proof, no disease, drought tolerance, wet tolerant, no chemicals, less maintenance, lowered HVAC bills, higher property values, more pollinators, scent, backdrop to your life, with your family, friends, pets.
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When love has run out.  When energy is lost for anger.  When fear topples away.  When you'll never get what you've most wanted and the moment of realization is clear.  You know your story, the inner dialogue, was too small.
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Aren't those the best moments ever?  Freedom.  How many times, being Icarus, do we each have?
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Pic, above, here.
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I began gardening with Top Down thinking.  A small Mental Model to bring into adulthood.
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Bottom Up thinking.  "The most vivid part of the mind bubbles up through sensation and new experience when unencumbered by analytical thought."  Daniel Siegal. 
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 Harvest Moon by Hand: White Pine Tree - Outdoor Nature Hour Challenge #32
Pic, above, here.
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Shapes not just of plants, are important, below.  Shape of your entire property, home, Garden Design.  Mount Vernon, below, a painting done not long after Washington died.  This shape, low meadow with wild wood, creates maximum pollinator habitat.  Important why?  Increase crop yields by 80%
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Food to survive, and thrive.
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 Early Euro/American Gardens & Farms
Pic, above, here.
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Shapes creating architecture, below.  Rooms, doorway, enfilade, hallway, walls, ceiling, floor, thresholds, art on the walls.
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Pic, above, here.
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Bottom up thinking, is new thinking, gifting grace, beauty, and transcendence.
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"I know the world is bruised and bleeding and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence."  Toni Morrison
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After the grand you-do-you, what then?  What plinths to use, mental models for the most serious journey of your life?  Tilting at windmills is the gift.  Choose your windmills wisely, What Does This Mean To Me?, then, tilt with everything in you.  There be your transcendence.
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Fortunately, John Muir asked, What Does This Mean To Me?  And wrote his answers.  "“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.” Muir, who came to California seeking the solitude of nature, decided to stay—dabbling as a glaciologist, a wilderness activist, and a writer who published persuasive ecological articles with a quill made from a golden eagle feather found on Yosemite’s Mount Hoffmann."  From National Park Service, here.
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For every person reading, "Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.", asking themselves, What Does This Mean To Me?, will be unique answers, no matter the millions asking.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

You Just Think You Don't Want: Stick Trees, Hedges, Balls

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, Power and grace."  Goethe
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"...which may possibly be my very favorite story of all time, is early and essential (Grace)Paley.  It is a story of love, and of mistakes and missteps that take years to correct themselves, and the story itself is, like the love affair, ardent, charming, wise, knowing.  The story requires that the reader bear heartbreak, without ever renouncing either love or the world.  I think that is what grace is, and I think that is what Grace means: Bear the world, without giving in, and love the people in it, without hesitation."  Amy Bloom
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This garden, above/below, made me laugh at its rich depth, using centuries old technique, and piling on simplicity.  Pure drama, with balls, sticks, hedges.  Who knew simplicity could do this?
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A Garden Design Trinity: Stick Trees, Hedges, Balls.
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Within the trinity, Stick Trees/Hedges/Balls, the agrarian ode to Providence, pollinators, & self are present.
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"One way to isolate a good design from fashion or fad is to evaluate an object as you would a person.  Is it interesting and exciting?  Is it honest and sincere?  Or is it banal, insipid, cute, stupid, or even silly?  Or just dull and boring, destined to be forgotten?"  Walter Hoving, Chairman Tiffany & Co., 1973
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February 2020 began my personal hunt for 'the' stick tree, need an allee.  Type of tree chosen must be deciduous, easily pollarded, fast growing, affordable at decent size wholesale, thrives in sun, preferably native, available.  Since 2008 wholesale landscape growers have little diversity.
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Phoned my Tree Man, in the business for decades.  Told him constraints, first thing he said, "You need a WEED tree."  Great answer.  Which ones are you thinking?, I asked.  Native Catalpa, he replied.
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Never had a Catalpa.  Interesting.  Something new to get to know, learn, love.  No matter, a different tree may be chosen do to size, cost, availability, and meeting other constraints.
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After talking with him, the first garden I saw online, below.  The pollarded trees?  Catalpa.  Wish photo had been taken later in the season when the Catalpa had grown a bit more, the silhouette, then, perfect.
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Image may contain Plant Hedge Fence and Outdoors
Pic, above, here.

"The success of a room depends largely on what it does not contain."  House Beautiful, 1905.
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If your elevation is the same, pic below, no worries your home is a 3 bedroom lapboard on small lot, or a mid-century brick ranch on an acre, this style garden design, meant for all architecture, and price ranges.
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Taller grasses in the distance, pic below, canopy trees beyond, balls and stick trees in low meadow.  Easy to maintain, and, maximum pollinator habitat.
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God's Word is written in the Bible.  In the Garden you "feel that you have overheard it rather than read it."
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Once the Stick Trees, Balls, Hedges are decided, and planted, it's time for your life to take over.  Roux of Design: Stick Trees, Hedges, Balls are your stage.  Your life, becomes the magic, joy, grace of home & garden, flowing into each other.
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Your dog, children, friends, seasons, and etc, are the focal point.
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"John Ruskin, the elegant writer on art & ethics told the teachers of humanity -- "all other efforts in education are futile till you have taught your people to love fields, birds, and flowers."  George West, Hereford Rocks.
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Great table placement, color, shape, pic above.  Depending on life, the table is for lunch, staging a potted plant, a place to bring a letter from the mailbox, a glass of wine before dinner, a place to set basket and clippings when gathering for the house.
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"Mr. Head awakened to discover that the room was full of moonlight.  He sat up and stared at the floor boards -- the color of silver -- and then at the ticking on his pillow; which might have been brocade, and after a second, he saw half of the moon five feet away in his shaving mirror, paused as if it were waiting for his permission to enter.  It rolled forward and cast a dignifying light on everything.  The straight chair against the wall looked still and attentive as if it were awaiting an order and Mr. Head's trousers, hanging to the back of it, had an almost noble air, like the garment some great man had just flung to his servant..."  Flannery O'Connor
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"The above opening to a short story, by Flannery O'Connor is, to readers content with grasping information, straight forward enough.  It introduces a character, Mr. Head, waking up at night and noticing moonlight.  To readers who enjoy the practice of reading, the opening is much, much more.
     Two approaches seem to me the difference between reading as a skill and reading as an art.  The first is quite enough.  From knowing what STOP means through understanding a scholarly essay or a legal brief, the necessary skill varies greatly, can always be refined, and lets us negotiate life with some measure of control.  Reading as art, not ART (Once depressingly called "critical" reading) is another matter.  Like the avid devotion to other arts, it develops over time in any number of ways takes all sorts of routes, and has many origins."  Toni Morrison.
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'The plants in your garden are only half the story.  The rest is what you bring to the party.' , paraphrasing Toni Morrison.
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Live in a subdivision?  Little changes using Stick Trees, Hedges, Balls.  Past the balls, pic above, site an evergreen hedge, 4'-5', street views and neighbor's homes hidden, excepting their roofs.
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Inside your home, is where your Garden Design begins.  You'll live both directions with your garden, and home.
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The harder I garden, literally or metaphorically, the more comfort I receive.
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Low meadow, pic below, and pair of old trees, with woodland in distance.  Age.  Time.  More than content, time of year, time of day, weather, geography, are age and time.
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You may live to a nice 87 years old, the conifer tree, pic below, will live hundreds of years.  Eating, drinking, growing, communicating thru its roots with the same electrical current we have in our bodies, to other trees, and plants, photosynthesizing, taking light from the sun, turning it into food, growing, exhaling oxygen.  More than a bit humbling.
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Wish Walt Whitman could read about the science of trees now.  He knew their lives, without the science, in the 19th century.
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Gardens are sacred mandalas, beauty & impermanence.
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Gate in the hedge, above.  Flow, as needed.
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It is your life, and loves, putting perspective to garden & home.  Suddenly, pic above, precious arrives, and owns the entire home/garden.  As she should.
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"When viewed in deep time, things come alive that seemed inert....  The world becomes eerily various and vibrant again.  Ice breaths.  Rock has tides.  Mountains ebb and flow.  Stone pulses.  We live on a restless Earth."  Underland, Robert Macfarlane.
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The calm you design into your garden.  Is not truly calm.  It's a manner of choosing how you will live.
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At first, my mind knew to take charge in the garden, I did, that's when the garden spoke back and told me what it wanted.  Once that dance finally began, I understood what the garden had been doing all along, feeding my soul.
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From the garden we're taught how to feed our soul.  Meadows parched, then rains, growth, gracious & grateful.  Trees, such courage, yet joy & purpose are their life force.  Nurturing a spiritual life, gardens nurture ours.
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"How do you teach your soul?  How do you put experiences of the sacred in your life?  What are the layers you choose to be wrapped in the sacred?"  Sandy Sasso, Rabbi
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We are descendant & ancestor to the garden.  Have you learned responsibilities of ancestors?  Are you legacy making now, to be an ancestor?  Descendant & ancestor are a loop, nurturing their connection is grace.
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Wine & cell phone on the table, above.  One should not be ubiquitous.  I'm guilty.
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Instead of using several gardens with the simplicity of Stick Trees, Balls, Hedges, I chose one.  Moving this garden thru seasons and their life.  Metaphor for yours.
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This is Lesley Cooke's garden, pics above, on Instagram, here.  When you can, take time to peruse her home/garden in depth.  She's able to travel a bit, entertain a bit, have a family, friends, cook, enjoy her dog, yet no stress over the garden, keeping it fabulous.  Simple has rewards.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Off Topic.  Have been away for a bit.  Had the flu flu, 2 weeks, hi fever, evil cough.  My doctor, Beloved's doctor, hospital nurse, each said, Not Corona, at the front end.  Reading a journalists story last Saturday, testing positive for Corona, symptoms were a blueprint for mine.  What to think?  Been a slow recovery.  Will get tested for antibodies later this year at physical.
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I'm healthy, no underlying health conditions, take no medications.  Biggest concern has been Beloved getting Corona, with his major health issues.  He's fine, still working, Georgia considers landscaping to be Essential Services.  But, there's a strategy if Beloved becomes ill, knowing I cannot visit/stay in hospital with him.  Only mention this, in case it helps someone else.
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If Beloved does get Corona, he will go into hospital with Sharpie Marker written on his upper chest, 4 printed rows, with each major health issue, and the name/number of his primary care doctor, my name/number too.
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Thru the years I've spent many nites in hospitals with Beloved.  Every time things do go wrong.  No one specifically at fault.  Wonderful staff at each layer, the mistakes are of the 'system'.  Hence, the Sharpie Marker.
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Told Beloved my plan.  He hates it.  Told him if he gives me any trouble I'll Sharpie Marker his forehead too.  He knew to choose his battle, done.
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So many friends are prevented from seeing their parent/s in the hospital or skilled nursing.  Cannot imagine this life changing hardship, along with worries about survival.
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More sorrows, stresses, greater than this across continents.  Hoping you find moments of transcendence every day, to take care of yourself, as you steward those around you.
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Oddly, it is my chicken coop, giving transcendence every time I walk in.  Walking out, every time, it's, Oh....back to reality.  My chickens turned 8 years old last week. 
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Thank you to everyone on the front lines of any layer of Corona, reading.  Hope my little stories of gardening, and how to get the garden in your head, into your life, take you away for a few minutes.  Better, help you create your own action plan.