Friday, November 16, 2018

An Interior Design Trick To Use In Your Garden Design

Garden Designs are Interior Designs.  I cannot do a Garden Design without seeing a home's interiors.  Table & chest & mantle surfaces dictate, happily, how I will design particular spaces in a client's garden.  Obviously, more in a home inform a good Garden Design, but only using the table/chest/mantle surface feast, below, for now.
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My grandmother, Laura, could play the piano from newspaper/magazine/book writing.  When you're Appalachian poor, you figure it out.  Using interior surfaces for Garden Design 'playing' comes from my grandmother Laura, I assume, and glad of it.
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Garden Design, below, is a backdrop hedge, pair of evergreen large shrubs or a pair of trees, and a drift of 2 shrubs, with a single accent shrub modestly sited as focal point from the drift of shrubs.
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Easy, yes?  Now you understand my grandmother Laura too. 

This beautiful southern Ontario holiday home is decorated by designer Alison Habermehl for a young family. To complement the home's elegant...
Pic, above, here.
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This Garden Design, below, a bit more challenging without seeing the rest of the house.  A backdrop hedge, pair of understory trees, evergreen groundcover carpeting the space, and a focal point  subtle in scale at center. 

 An antique dresser & mirror paired with vintage ticking fabric on the chair.
Pic, above, here.
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Now you are good at table/chest/mantle top Garden Designs too, yes?
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Been doing this so long it's an amusement to peruse a home the first time, looking for copied echoes.  Have not had a home with different brain wave surface decorating between rooms yet, they all flow.  Interesting.
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Many times a client hires me because they've become 'stuck', not knowing what to do next in their landscape.  Historic Garden design is so modern in its templates there is never a reason to truly be 'stuck' for Garden Design ideas.
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With good gardens on tour it's enjoyable noting the interior shapes/forms moving from inside to outside.  The best gardens never display their true genesis.  Inside & outside are one, Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Interesting New Garden Design for Mid-Century Ranch Homes

Furniture in the garden has always intrigued me, since becoming aware of furniture in the garden as 'a thing' watching an episode of Miss Marple on PBS in my early 20's.  Furniture set upon the lawn for tea?  Really?  Move it there?  Move it away? Never meant to stay in place......  Are you stupid?  It's obvious I was raised in a once-and-done family landscape culture. 
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This isn't technically about specifics of garden furniture, instead, Garden Designing with garden furniture. 
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Perhaps this garden, below, is in France.  Perhaps it's quite 'fine', aka expensive.  No worries, Garden Design isn't about expensive, can be, but it's not. 
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Garden, below, makes me see mid-century USA brick ranch homes in a new way.  Do you see it now too?

It's Only Natural.
Pic, above, here.
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Imagine this home, above, as a USA mid-century ranch burger, take away some of its original foundation plantings, leave 1-3, and espalier them flat against the house.  Add gravel, furniture, almost done.  What's left?  Do you see it clearly too? 
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Exterior color trinity, above.  Historic gardens are designed with an exterior color trinity.  Green/gray/black, above. 
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More.  Add a hedge, 3.5'-4', evergreen, toward the street.  Why sit in your garden, above, and look at traffic, worse, breath in traffic's toxic particulates?
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For the mid-century ranch I would also get the next size larger, of the pots, above, and place them on a subtle plinth.  Do you know the importance of this?  Huge.  May seem a bit 'off' yet it's brilliant.  With a bit larger pot, they can be left empty all year, or planted at whim.  Your life, you decide.  No wrong answer.
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Do consider, strongly, drip irrigation if you plan on having containers planted.   
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Too much lawn/space for all gravel?  Keep the lawn, Tara Turf, hopefully you already have some trees, if not.....you'll want an interesting tree, or more....  More than the simplicity of this new Garden Design it's also less maintenance, zero chemicals/fertilizers, and maximum pollinator habitat, greater use of a new garden room, higher property value, lower HVAC  expenses if HVAC considered with plant placement. 
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It's humbling how many mid-century ranch USA homes still have their original builder installed landscapes.  Pruning of hollies wanting to be trees, kept for over half a century at green meatball size.  Humbling?  Deeply.
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Seeing the inertia of human foible, keeping something because it's already there.  Harmful, but there.  Easier to keep, than change.  As if I see all life layers this easy !

Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Make Your Landscape MORE YOU

What is the first rule of Garden Design?  Excellent question, knowing rules are not for me.  Excepting, when rules make me, MORE me.  Same template for the well-heeded mantra, Less-Is-More, yet occasionally that mantra best completed with, More-Is-Less.  Perhaps knowing when Faux Geometry is more geometric than true geometry.
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Get the point?  Good.  The best life points have no clear words.
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Back to you, and making you More you with Garden Design rules.  First rule of Garden Design, COPY.
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Garden Design, below, has been created at all price points and throughout recorded history, thousands of years.
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Vanishing Threshold, simplicity, sky, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal point, color, texture, flow, seasons, scent, sound & etc.
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What brings this Garden Design alive?  In the moment, it is dogs playing.  Perhaps your permutation of this Garden Design, below, would have a sundial, about where the dogs are playing, maybe your grandchildren, perhaps a harvest table and dear friends for dinner.....

Imagem relacionada
Pic, above, here.
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Writing this post I 'see' the portrait, history, and a memory.  Studying historic gardens in  England, we were on a ferry and our teacher pointed to a stately home on shore, large, pretty, extensive gardens, old, "The man who built that home was in the slave trade, international slave trade."
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Visceral knowledge, no words.
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Gardens & politics are often combined.  Not going there, today.  Excepting the pairing of gardens as refuge from the evils of politics.
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Amazingly, Gardens as refuge, is the same as, the-more-we-go-inward-the-more-we-outwardly-connect.
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Odd but true, use Garden Design rules to be more YOU, delve deep into your garden lifestyle, and connect more to the World.  Would believe none of this, excepting the living of it.  Was not seeking any of this, merely, a pretty garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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All Garden Design Rules are in previous posts....I know...must do that ebook, finally.  Ironic, 5 books written with real publishers, set on the coffee table, yet no ebook.  Saw my childhood piano teacher last week.  She shared with Beloved how I was a hard student to teach because I wanted to be in charge of what I played, so she worked in that framework, and the rest, is music, and a pupil taught well.  Receiving my horticulture degree, knew it was junk, and that was the start of decades across Europe studying historic gardens.  Only mention these odd things because I was certainly not the personality to follow ANY rules.  Kept digging, and what did I find?  RULES.  Providence laughs.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Auricula Theatre: Small Scale

Gardening?  Which sort are you?  Me?  Fun, little care, gorgeous, you-must-come-to-lunch-in-my-conservatory, fragrant, a proscenium for life, of the ages perfections, etc.  Demand much?  No?  You should. 
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Primula Auricula Theatre, below.

Auricula Theatre. Hand embroidered silk raised work by Janet Haigh #gardentheatre
Pic, above, here.
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Working in a nursery, decades ago, I had the privilege of ordering plants, and unloading the 18-wheeler trucks they arrived in.  Primula Auricula were some of those plants. Hard work?  Understatement.  Great joy in the work?  Understatement.   

 Auricula Theatre
Pic, above, here.
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Discovering Auricula Theatre recently had me in a swoon & pout.  Why hadn't I known about Auricula Theatre sooner?  In addition to 100's of Auriculas I had a dozen plus display scapes.  Could have done several over-the-top Auricula Theatre's.  Photos submitted to all the big & local papers, of course.

 Potted Auriculas in a Sun Porch
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps just a tray for Auricula Theatre, above, or cupcake stand, below.

Sarah Raven's #pot stand for #auriculas or whatever plants you want. Tried and tested by The English Garden magazine.  www.theenglishgarden.co.uk #garden
Pic, above, here.
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Mixed Auriculas, below, more than pretty, they make a statement about the state of nurseries now, vs. 'my era', decades ago.  Purchasing a nice mix of Auriculas, below, to pot-up, rather difficult in the sourcing department now.  My era?  Family owned independent garden centers were plentiful across USA with myriad specialty plants readily/easily available.  2008 broke that business model.   

 primula auricula
Pic, above, here.
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 Garden Mason Jar Labels  //  The Graphics Fairy
Pic, above, here.
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Another demand I make from my garden?  Being the gardener, above, some spring soon, with 10-15 little pots of mixed Auriculas grown from seed. 

Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Truth?  I have an unmatched pair of old wall clocks in the attic, innards long gone, both a prime theatre for a single plant,  Primula Auricula Theatre.  A sense of the ridiculous?  Yes, another demand for my garden.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pruning: When Formal IS Naturalistic

This is the pruning era, below, capturing my heart, and centuries of other hearts too.  Ironically, decades passed before understanding this type of pruning. 

Wonderful topiary ~ Barnsley House Gardens - originally the home of Rosemary…
Pic, above, here.
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Pruning styles, above/below, polar opposites, formal/naturalistic, yet both historic for centuries.  With garden, above, having far more centuries of existence.  Garden, below, though centuries old in style, equates quite easily to commodified landscapes ca. 1980-present.

Quincy Hammond | Tempo da Delicadeza
Pic, above, here.
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Having fun with the Garden Design, above, in the Garden Design, below.  Clipped doesn't have to mean 'formal'.  

Now I know how they get them so even!!! It's time to hedge the parterre. Hopefully the heat will stay away long enough so the box doesn't burn. #paulbangay #stonefields #parterre
Pic, above, here.
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Clipped Garden Design, below, yet far more 'natural' than, above.  Would love to see the garden, below, during all its months/weeks/days/hours as it approaches needing another pruning.  

 Tilia (leilinde)
Pic, above, here.
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For centuries gardeners have purchased plants already framed with proper pruning, below.  Why is this fact so rare now?
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 Pleached Hornbeams ready for installation.
Pic, above, here.
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Before USA levied income taxes, private gardeners were not uncommon, below.  Private gardeners, in Europe, mostly ended with WWI.  Men went to war, no more proper pruning or caretaking conservatories & potagers properly, and certainly not repointing stone terraces on schedule.  A threadbare history, but you understand the threads.  

 hedge trimming
Pic, above, here.
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Few have the man, below, but we can easily have his method for pruning.  

 hedge measuring
Pic, above, here.
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Naturalistic pruning is the prized pruning Nature thrives upon.  Not merely me.  Naturalistic pruning attracts pollinators, increasing crop yields by up to 80%.  Combine naturalistic pruning with naturalistic planting methods, natural soil enrichments, and you've created maximum habitat for your health and myriad microbiomes needed for survival.  In addition to less maintenance and not poisoning groundwater with fertilizers or other chemicals.
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Beyond the wisdom of using Nature, instead of killing Nature, there is the metaphor of what you want attracted into your Garden, and life, below.  Perhaps, build-it-and-they-will-come, Field of Dreams, is more relevant.   

 
Pic, above, here.
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TARA DILLARD: Focal Points in the Landscape
Pic, above, shot in my garden.
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Towards the end of the season, above, in my Naturalistic garden, doesn't look clipped/pruned in the least, does it?  It is.  But you're seeing the fullness of its decadence.  Change thru the seasons, with good pruning.  Once a year pruning, above.  
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In addition to good Garden Design, above, contrasting textures, focal point, flow, walls, ceiling, floor, color, you're seeing good pruning.
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If the first rule of Garden Design is to copy, know what you are copying.  If you're copying a good garden, I know it has good pruning.  You must copy that layer/element into your finished product.   
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Formal is Naturalistic, with historic Garden Design.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Go deep with me a moment, into, historic Garden Design.  Merely using the pics, above, it's obvious historic Garden Design is Modern Garden Design.  Again, thread bare, but you understand these threads too.    
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Another deep dive, imagine your garden with you having no income tax, skilled gardeners are available affordably.....  What does that garden look like?  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Questions You Ask: Are They The Right Ones?

What type of landscape is best for you?  What type of landscape are you best for?  What type of landscape do you need?  What type of landscape do you want?  What type of landscape do you have?  What kind of landscape do you have time for?  What type of landscape do you want to have in 5 years?  What will your life be like in 5 years?  What plants do you want in your landscape?  What are the best plants for your landscape?  Describe your perfect landscape.  Describe the landscape best for you.
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Accidentally losing my hair this summer continues to elucidate.  Worse, or is it better, the results are humbling, unexpected, and pure Rolling Stones, It's not what you want.....

ɢᴀʀᴅᴇɴs • ᴘᴀᴛɪᴏs
Pic, above, here.
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This table, above, is quite dear, and multi-functional.  Used most often for florist staging, it's also a quick lone-lunch destination, and with little more effort, a dinner table.  Table, below, is ready for its florist staging.  Can't know what that should look like florist staged without seeing the interior of their home.
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Both venues, above/below, lean heavily upon simplicity, form, function.

 trees, yard, patio
Pic, above, here.
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More of the same, below, merely a different proscenium.  What is your proscenium for your outdoor table to have meals, and florist stage with simplicity, form, function?
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Hopefully I've already veered off your path for how you've been thinking about your outdoor eating area, especially if it's not what you want.  Not meaning, you should lean completely in to what you do want.  Outside, spaces want simplicity, form, function.  Nature is giving, yet capricious.  Not the same mandate when designing your interior spaces.
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How do I know these things for exterior dining, yet not my own hair?  It's not often I feel like Providence has treated me to a life lesson using..........  humor?
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Long, fine, Jan Brady blond hair for over 50 years, by choice.  What I know for sure about my newly short hair?  More complements in the past few weeks than all previous decades, combined.  Worse, most complements are from people I don't know.  People I do know pass by, zero recognition.  Both spectrums fascinating.
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More, the new hair meets the outside trinity of simplicity, form, function.       
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Outdoor – ombiaiinterijeri
Pic, above, here.
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Out to dinner, below, Beloved shot the slick backed hair.  Fun having the choice of slick backed, then loosened, all in the same day, or not.  Behind my head, there is no pony tail, bun, braid, twist, nothing.  And it feels good, no plans to let my hair grow.  After the initial week of drama, who knew that could or would be my consensus?
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At the front end of gardening, in my 20's, this landscape, below, would have been 'off' my radar.  It's on my radar now.  Why?  Easy to maintain, deer proof, accentuates the architecture, structure all year, can easily be dolled up for a party yet doesn't need to be, classic thru several centuries, puts the focus on you and your lifestyle with family/pets/friends, not creating a lifestyle of garden to-do lists each season.
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Pic, above, here.
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These landscapes, above/below, too stark for you?  No worries, start simple, add more later, if you wish.
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Pic, above, here.
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Simpler landscape choices amplify your relationship to Nature.  Not stuff.

 Quem é dorminhoco não come!
Pic, above, here.
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Simpler landscape choices let you have more of this, below, than worrying about garden chores.  Whether doing them yourself, or finding the right person to handle the chores.

 
Pic, above, here.
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In Garden Design less is more, yet exceptions exist, sometimes more is less.
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Read those Garden Design questions at the top again, you've already intuited they are about you getting the landscape you need.
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You Can't Always Get What You Want by Tomos Wilding, via Behance
Pic, above, here.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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How I lost my hair, the great debacle, here.
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Carolina Herrera Cross Pendant - Carolina Herrera Jewelry Looks - StyleBistro
Pic, above, here.
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Carolina Herrera, my new hair template, with her combined necklaces.  Adored her hair/clothes/jewels at 1st site.  A freshwater multi-strand pearl with semi-precious stones necklace mom gave me decades ago, lay unworn, until I saw this pic.  Have added several new crosses to my collection and have worn that pearl necklace many times, with various crosses, since the hair debacle.  How did mom know it was the perfect pearl necklace for me?  How did I not know?   And, what a cross Mick Jagger is wearing, above.
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    Meghan Markle attends day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on June 28
Pic, above, here.
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Another, fashion copy, above, learned during time of hair debacle.  Beloved bought me similar hat, above, in the Yucatan and my college Ray Ban aviators were 'somewhere'.  Have worn hat & Ray Bans dozens of times this summer.  Ray Bans hadn't been worn since college.  The hat, not at all.
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Miss long hair?  No.  Whew.  Why does that get-what-you-need have to arrive, most often, with such drama/trauma?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Why Table Top Plants Have Centuries of Fans

Hurricane Michael came for us, middle rural Georgia, yesterday/last night.

Cloche Call  A cool, shady retreat is the perfect spot for this tabletop grouping of a fern and moss enclosed in cloches. The glass covering keeps the moss moist and makes it a low-maintenance choice.  Test Garden Tip: Keep the cloches out of direct sun to prevent plants from overheating.
Pic, above, here.
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Hurricane Irma, not long ago, took half our roof, and tons of branches crashed to the ground.


 A charming array of miniature clipped Myrtle topiary (Myrtus communis) at a stunning nursery @zetastradgard in Stockholme in Sweden. Love the assortment of aged terracotta pots 📷pinterest #myrtletopiary #topiary #miniaturetopiary #pottedplants #nursery #florist #indoorgarden #topiarycollection
Pic, above, here.
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Getting generator placed/ready, check.  Front/back porches ready, check.

 11 Classic Decor Elements Every English Country Home Should Have Photos | Architectural Digest
Pic, above, here.
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Setting potted plants from their table top outside, onto the ground, a few demanded to be brought inside, for the duration of Hurricane Michael.
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Oddly, setting those few terra cotta pots on their table top, inside, supplied quite a few moments of sharing with centuries of cultural ancestors, and my choice, only last year, to throw my lot in with them.
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"I don't know how you people who haven't learned our language do not learn it, because without it you are not a whole person."  Alutiiq Elder 
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"We all have a moral responsibility to carry forward ancestral wisdom & honor our connections to the Earth, wherever our place may be for the sake of community & individual wellness."  Alutiiq Elder
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"....our very well being is interdependent with Nature & each other."  Alisha Drabek
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"Take care of the elder you will become."  Mary Peterson, Alutiiq Elder
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"I am in part the result of ancestral soil communities being unearthed as if they were already dead, as if they were never alive."  Alutiiq Elder.  Since we've lost being agrarian/pastoral in our lives, we've lost more than the perceived drudgery & hardships of that life.  A garden whisperer, I've known where real joy resides, Nature.  Walt Whitman certainly knew, here, and, here. Science is catching up.  Some cultures have never had the need for science to catch up.
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For the Alutiiq the word for 'old' breaks down in meaning to, 'in front'.  Their "cultural metaphor of the past is 'in front', where we can see it, not behind us as in English."  Past forward.   Setting plants inside, on the old mahogany drop leaf table, sharing those moments in community, and communion.  A surprise moment of benediction, felt as strongly as if in the pew with pastor and community, across centuries.  All, not sought, instead, a simple choice made, for what is important, to me.  Bringing a few plants inside for winter.  That was all, nothing more. 
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" The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.  Heaven is not the place to have the experience: here is the place to have the experience."  Joseph Campbell     "
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Preparing for Hurricane Michael, receiving moments of eternity & kindred community, merely moving plants from a table top outside, to a table top inside.  More than mundane, insignificant.  Yet, not insignificant, in the least, to Providence.  

 Garden Design Rule: The Tablescape | LANDSCAPE DESIGN Decorating Styling | Bloglovin’
Pic, above, here.
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Adding science to this equation of plants moved to a table top & moments of eternity and community received, "Mycobacterium vaccae is a harmless microbe found in healthy soil.  When inhaled it increases the release of serotonin in the brain, boosting mood and decreasing anxiety.  That's one of the reasons gardening is good for you -- it's Nature's antidepressant."  Nicky Kyle.
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Drawn to the beauty of plants on a table top, inside & outside, how could I have known my garden would give me another gift of Providence?
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Resources, E.M. Forster writes of, resources not in the realm of lucre, there lies fortune.  Mine, and yours.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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A couple of hours  without power, and at most 25 pounds fallen tree branches with Hurricane Michael.  Mexico Beach, Fl, where Hurricane Michael made USA landfall, was a honey pot for Beloved & me.  A tiny city time forgot, too small to grow, it retained most layers Beloved & I remember well growing up in the 60's.  We always stayed at the elderly El Governor hotel, all rooms on the beach and with kitchens, zero flash.  Recently we decided to plan a trip to Mexico Beach with our 5th wheel.  Lifting up in prayer all those affected by Hurricane Michael, and especially our sweetest of honey pots, Mexico Beach, FL. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Is Your Landscape Who You Are Now?

Can you come to lunch this weekend?  We can eat at the Tea Olive Terrace, or if the weather is cold/wet, we can eat in the conservatory with a fire. 
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To get this life, true questions, above, I was mentored by the best, studied for a 2nd college degree, horticulture, then studied historic gardens across Europe for decades, and on the side went to symposiums, filled a library with books, and more. 
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"A woman who has a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear, doesn't know herself very well.", said Bill Blass.  Looking at your landscape, from inside your home, does it paint who you are now, and make your life better?
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This landscape, below, makes me smile at its wisdom, history, function, simplicity, & beauty.  Invited to lunch in the garden, below, intuition whispers clearly, the camaraderie & food will both be superb.
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Lunch ministry in my garden has been a joy for years.  I target the seemingly un-gardened, those with a soul hearing Nature, but not living it, perhaps having had zero opportunity to experience it.  Casting bread upon the waters, washing the servants feet type of stuff. 
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A few good recipes, especially a killer chicken salad, fresh fruit, etc, a joy assembling dishes/silverware/glasses,  all set/done ahead of my guest/s arrival.  Conversation/laughter and sharing the garden is the goal.  Beware, one of my mentor's had us going on a garden rescue mission after lunch in her garden, somehow a police chopper became involved.  Ladies who lunch?  No, ladies who do-do-do.           
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Chic Nature
Pic, above, here.
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Time passes, daylight burns, events happen.  I'm in a new landscape, ca. 1900 home, 3 years now.  Much done in the garden, yet not a Conservatory, especially a Conservatory.  Miss it for lunches, alone or with friends, a place to work, read, nap.  Once necessities completed, Conservatory tops the list.
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Quickly, this summer, without request, pure happenstance disaster, my hair was shorn.  Long hair since grade school, hair gone, who was in the mirror?  Worse, the bits of jagged, erratic hair remaining belonged to a pitiful junk yard dog with mange, unhappy eyes and tail curled under hugging her stomach.   My hair needed another cut, but what style? 
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From Garden Design I knew the first rule to choosing a new haircut/style, Copy.  A life of long fine blond hair had turned to thinning blond hair a few years ago.  Whatever, deal with it, boring, move on.  Excepting now I had to find hairstyles with my same fine/thinning hair.  Haircut scheduled for early morning following my shearing.  Was up till 1am on Pinterest.  Carolina Herrera, Sharon Stone, Michele Williams, perfect trinity of short, fine, thin hair. 
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Mostly, my hair is now Carolina with Sharon.  Collaterally, more than hair was involved with the hair fiasco.  Living with the new 'hairstyle' a few days, still not knowing who I was anymore, realized clothes/makeup did not match head/hair.
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Lucky with the hair choices of Carolina and Sharon, especially.  Their clothing style easy to copy.  Knowing, in Garden Design, dinky-is-stinky, I did a head-to-toe clothing renovation.  Bags to the thrift store, and boxes from Nordstrom arriving on my front porch.  Along with a huge bag bought at the thrift store, shorts/t-shirts (all Ann Taylor) and you're not believing the belts I found.     
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Had already made mental notes thru the years to 'consider' cutting my hair shorter, hitting 60.  Now 58, my hair is shorter than ever would have been considered.  A friend said, "Now you know what you'll look like at 60!"  Best humor ever, adore her more.   
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 Classic pieces with a statement necklace for the office.
Pic, above, here.
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Now my hair is slicked back in the morning, above, getting looser by late afternoon, below.
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Living like a V.I.P! Of course, the Basic Instinct star wasn't treated like your average sight-seer as she enjoyed a swanky lunch at La Societe restaurant before heading on to the Picasso Museum for a private visit
Pic, above, here.
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Sharon Stone is convinced the stroke she suffered in 2001 changed her personality. Description from blog.seattlepi.com. I searched for this on bing.com/images
Pic, above, here.
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Hair typically down, above, by dinner.  Though some days I leave it Carolina Herrera slicked back all day.
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Why tell you all this?  Is your landscape who you are now?  It's important to share how lost I was, shorn of hair.  Forced to see I hadn't had hair/clothes that were me, even before the accidental hair shearing.  Moments of epiphany brought about sideways.  Did I like the process of getting here?  NO.  Glad my life is in a new chapter?  YES. 
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This is where your Garden Design, below, begins.  Inside your home. 


 'The Drawing Room in Summer' by English painter Herbert Davis Richter (1874-1955).
Pic, above, here.
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There was a secondary reason for buying a new wardrobe, beyond the new hairstyle.  After my 30 year marriage I gained a bit of weight.  This year, 6 years later, I accidentally lost my divorce weight.  With the new hair, new clothes & weight loss, you can imagine the biggest response, weight loss.  How?
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Long story short, pickled refrigerator mixed vegetables.  My own recipes.   

 Spicy Pickled Pineapple. A great salad or sandwich topper with the perfect sweet & tangy bite. Ready in just 1 day!
Pic, above, here
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Excepting this refrigerator pickled ripe pineapple with fresh jalepenos and fresh cilantro.  OMG.  Knew the recipe was a winner first time reading it.  Eating it, beyond sublime.  A great relish, or to mix in with my refrigerator pickled black bean salad.......
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Will write soon about the refrigerator pickled mixed vegetable (accidental) diet in detail.  Yes, getting that many questions/requests for it.  No, I was never hungry.  No, it's not for everyone, I've always loved lemons, limes, pickles, vinegar.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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No, there are zero photos of original hair disaster shearing.  Why would I do that?  Will get pics of clothes/hair now with pics copied from.  Cannot imagine not having my Garden Design background for this life chapter, there was zero time to hire an image consultant.  Beloved was out-of-state working during the worst of this story, surprisingly, he likes the short hair.  Beloved is the original, Let your hair grow longer, type of man.  I did ask him later, "Do you really like my short hair, or are you being a good man?" 

Monday, July 2, 2018

3 Ways to Stage Your Table

Garden where you're at.  Be who you are.  Fake it till you make it.  Good enough, will stop at that trinity.  Already know not to force a solution. 
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Three years after moving into our ca. 1900 home on 5 acres we're still doing Daniel Boone gardening.  What does that mean?  Ornamental gardening is something for another day, probably another year, or two.
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ET-phone-home, exactly how I've felt.  And that little potted plant, wilting throughout the movie, until the end, when ET does go home, the plant returns to lush vigor. 
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Two years into no-ornamental-garden I began to sense something larger, Life.  The Life memo this time, Your field is being enriched, trust.  A stinker, feels like sinking, trusting this particular fallow field.  Excepting the creeping in of major new garden passions. 
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Go past many decades of US government intervention with farmers and their definition for fallow fields, you'll arrive at my fallow field, laying fallow to gather strength.  Trusting this 'gathering strength' feels woozy, the frenetic desire to phone-home-my-plant-is-wilting has been strong & enduring.  Thrust by Providence into a new life chapter.  Great sense of humor, dear Providence, considering who freely & with intention made the move from their beloved 30 year garden. 
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Another take on Dante's Inferno, finding myself lost in the woods, trying to get out, can't find my way out of the woods, yet it was me, taking the fullness of my days, years, walking into woods.  Not my first Rodeo.  Two questions to ask when you're stuck in the woods, looking at paths out, "Does this path enrich me, or diminish me?"     
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Odd new garden passion, staging garden tables in the florist style, below. 
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Staging this harvest table, below, is a twofer.  Aesthetics, and function.  Smart/witty siting huge pots/vases with greenery at zones unable to seat anyone due to chunky table legs.  More, the vignette of plants highlights those chunky legs as desirable, instead of a hindrance. 

focus-damnit: “http://www.mennokroon.nl/locatie-cothen ”
Pic, above, here.
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Why not have a table, below, in the garden 'always' staged in Florist style?  Florist style, beauty with huge impact, little input. 

 My Indoor Garden | from  This Ivy House
Pic, above, here.
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Finally, a table in the garden, below, staged as your life needs.  Not a fixed Florist vignette, above, nor the fixed tableau in the top photo,

 Picturesque Outdoor Dining
Pic, above, here.
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Harvest tables, above, staged 3 ways.  Which staging is yours?
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Me?  All 3.  At 5 acres there is room.  One of the tables is merely laying about, at present, in pieces.  A large old wood gate from a shed we renovated, and old galvanized garbage cans, for legs, awaiting in the materials yard. 
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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Edgar Allan Poe (American author, poet, editor, and literary critic)
Pic, above, here.

 Bukowski (@bukowski_lives) | Twitter
Pic, above, here.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Backward Method of Design for Your Backyard Dining Table

Nothing in your backyard?  Want a pretty backyard?  Begin backwards.  Install function first, do not consider overall form, nor a single plant.  Seriously, this is a zero plant Garden Design first round.
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Consider this your backward backyard Garden Design Mini Course.  Free.
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Site first your table/chairs/umbrella & brick pad, similar to, below.   Siting near house, sited near a door of the home.  Ease of use.  Rectangular or square tables are best, they have multiple uses beyond dining, and for dining, can be placed end-to-end for larger groups.
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Choose table/chairs/umbrella hardy to life, and aesthetics to your interior.  Aesthetics includes style & color.  Little funding?  No excuse.  To me.  At a minimum copy Martha Washington's strategy at Mount Vernon.  It was expected she would host/entertain whoever showed up at her doorstep.  Many did.  Martha Washington used saw horses with planks atop, and a tablecloth.  Done.  More than economical, functional, pretty, easy to set up, easy to remove.
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If you are field gathering table/chairs for your backyard, aka thrifting, garage sales, curbside garbage collection days, & online no worries about their scavenged appearance.  None.
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Choose your exterior color trinity, Green-Brown-White, is the historic exterior color trinity, and paint/stain table/chairs, all, one of the colors from your trinity.  Poof, scavenged becomes curated. 



Pic, above, here.
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Once your table/chairs/umbrella/pad are in place, at least a year, you're ready to think about phase 2.
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Phase 2 considers shapes, not plants.

 Linear hedge rows and lines of trees in lawn space create elegant and simple modern landscape with a lot of interest.
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps, above, a hedge of evergreens and an allee of trees for shade?  Scaled to your site/needs.  Considerations are mature tree height, speed of growth, how you will prune your trees (pleached/natural/etc.), how tall do you need your hedge, how many openings do you need in your hedge, and etc.

  A new build with old charm. Like the look of the exterior of this house.
Pic, above, here.
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Maybe you don't want a rectangle of hardscape for your table/chairs/umbrella.  All gravel, above, hardscape connected to other backyard hardscape, below.

 Klinkers
Pic, above, here.
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Plants in containers, below, create super fast plant scale.  Add drip irrigation to your pots, easy caretaking.  Skip planters with drama, go classic with evergreen button tops, below.

 Donvale project
Pic, above, here.
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All gravel, below, for your backyard table/chairs/umbrella and allee of trees with square green boxes at base.  Scaled appropriately for your site.
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Lighting.  If you have spotlights, put them on dimmer switches, first making sure light bulbs used can be used with dimmer switches.  Strands of LED lights needed.
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 French. Gravel courtyard. Symmetry. Exterior.
Pic, above, here.
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If you've been in your home awhile and still don't have a pretty & functional backyard, no excuses now.  None.
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Almost off topic, plants.  Consider only plants that are drought tolerant, deer proof, disease/insect resistant, and speed of growth for ease of maintenance.  Consider your age, and the size of plants you purchase.
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Hope you already have meal ideas swirling in mind for serving al fresco.  And the fun of assembling plates/glasses/silver/napkins/candles...
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Backyard is public-speak for the garden behind your home.  A sacred space.  If it's not, to you, why not?  If you've read this far, it's obviously in your heart to 'do' something to make it so.  Life is short, daylight's burning.