Monday, May 22, 2017

Garden Design: Double Axis

"The Complete Book of Garden Magic", by Roy Biles is quite dear to my heart.  Discovered before internet cell phones it was a book I would hunt/gather from used book stores wherever I traveled.  Gifting them to the 'right' new owners.  Take the link, above, it can be at your front door in a few days.  Font, line drawings, earnestness, pacing, a man's soul, love it all.
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No other word for it Roy, Magic.
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Double axis, below, in 2 pics.
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Walking along the path, below.

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

Walking along the same path, below, in the opposite direction.

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

Same path, 2 different gardens, double axis.  Magic.
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How else to explain walking a path, yet it becomes a new path, merely walking it in the opposite direction?
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Came upon this double axis path, above, last week.  Think it thrilled me?
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How many of you notice these things?  More, how many of you does it excite?
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Pics, above, from Ben Pentreath's blog.
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Double Axis, another of my garden design 'inventions'.  Name it to claim it.  Once I had the garden path epiphany, it had to have a name.  Have not heard/read about this particular Garden Design technique in a class, symposium, book.  Why?
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A lot going on in the Garden Design, above.  My life doesn't lend itself to so much 'tending' nor do I want so much down time as the garden, above.  Deer are also an issue in my garden.  Would definitely keep the gravel and hedging, perennials would be swapped for flowering shrubs.  Done.  Maybe 2-5 easy perennials kept.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When Nature is the Grander Focal Point

No matter the grandness of a Garden Design, below, Nature always outshines.
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More than fall color, the trees bathe the grand statue, owning it.  Makes me smile.
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Recognize the garden, below?  Versailles.
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Went to Versailles summer 1976 with my parents.  For dad just another NASA business trip, a bit more exotic than Huntsville, AL to work with Wernher von Braun, or at a base in California with the Department of Defense.  This trip was with the European Space Agency, ESA, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France for this trip.  ESA was working with NASA on the Space Shuttle payload avionics systems.  NASA, boring, but it was interesting to see the scaled mock-up of the Space Shuttle payload while in France.  With personal tour by its director, and the man dad was there to meet with.  We had been to dinner & a show at the Lido in Paris the night before, where the French Director of ESA sat across from me at the table.  A sexy man, very George C. Scott in Patton, he spoke perfect English, and kept my champagne glass full, every time he saw my parents heads turned.  Yes, liked this man.  I was 16, my first champagne.  George C. Scott wanted me to meet his son, Please come to our home tomorrow for dinner.  A little more to the story, but it was obvious my parents were out of their element.  They made 'excuses' and we exited Paris, without their hospitality.
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Those excuses made at the mock-up of the Space Shuttle payload.  George C. Scott trying his best to get me to his son.  Damn.  My experiences with NASA different from most.  My 1st job was at NASA, won't go into the rabbit hole now.

VERSAILLES Gardens:
Pic, above, here.


 Image result for trianon palace versailles
Pic, above, here.

We stayed a couple of nites, while dad was working with ESA in Paris , within walking distance of Versailles, at the Trianon Palace hotel, above/below.


Image result for trianon palace versailles
Pic, above, here.

After my daylong visit to Versailles, palace & gardens, I was exhausted.  Something happened to me in the gardens of Versailles.  Walking back to the Trianon, above,  there was a cool patch of woods, at right in photo, with a few wood framed chairs strapped with canvas.  No air-conditioning in the hotel, mom/me decided to sit/rest in the woods for a bit.  I sat, and next thing I remember is waking up about an hour later.  Sixteen years old, I was wildly embarrassed, napping in front of mom.


 Trianon palace versailles Westin
Pic, above, here.

We had a corner room at the Trianon, with views of the courtyard, and woods.  Our room had large windows facing the courtyard, not the tiny window, above.  The bathroom in our room, as Toddy in Victor/Victoria so well described was, A religious experience.
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Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
Pic, above, me, Tara Lee Sayers, shot by my mom, summer 1976, in garden at Versailles.
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During my day, above, in the palace/gardens of  Versailles.  Until that day, had never experienced such moments of Being Alive.  Too young to know what the feelings were didn't stop me from their thrill.  Who knew, creating a garden, such as Versailles, was something one could do?
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There isn't a layer of Garden Design that isn't Alive to me, after several decades.  Never, to this day, once I'm within the 'work' of designing a garden do I not get lost to being on this Earth.
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When Joseph Campbell says those types of moments are Eternity here.  I know it to be true.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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“Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't even a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now that all thinking in temporal terms cuts off.... the experience of eternity right here and now, in all things, whether thought of as good or as evil, is the function of life.”


― Joseph CampbellThe Power of Myth

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prune an Arch Into It


Prune an arch into it, below.
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Pruned arches were a take away from all my historic garden design study tours across Europe for decades.  Especially nice is using the 'pruned arch', not only 'saving' an existing 'bad' landscape, but saving the plant too.
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Often, mid-century, & newer, subdivision homes are completed with a front foundation planting of green meatballs, and a larger 'something' at left/right corners.  Those corner 'somethings' lend themselves for pruning an arch into.  Not always, but often enough.
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Whether designing on site, or long distance, the moment pruning an arch is mentioned, the light bulb moment with my client is pure joy to experience.  What had been a problem, gains an easy, pretty, functional solution, and likely saving the plant/s from execution.  

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic,above, here.
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More than the pruned arch, above, this lone garden pic is a Garden Design class.
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Ceiling, walls, floor, stone set into gravel, furniture in the garden, contrasting foliage color/texture, pot cluster subsidiary focal point at the focal point of the door, pruning, flow, mystery. scale, timelessness, invitation, simplicity,
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Am designing a family cemetery plot now.  At its entry a pair of Japanese maples 'Bloodgood', pruned into an arch.    'Pruning', a layer of the design.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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First putting pencil to paper with the cemetery plot, tougher than expected.  I know the family, designed their backyard.  Surviving spouse wants the plot to look like their backyard.  Much.  Tougher.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Southern Living Magazine: A Garden

For 20 years of my career, Southern Living magazine was 'the' resource for clients.  Most had pages dog-eared or torn out ready to show the garden of their dreams.  In return, equally, it was gratifying to reproduce those beautiful images.  Aside from reading Southern Living myself, for pleasure, I 'had' to read it because it was an expectation of clients.  
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Then came John Floyd's retirement in 2008, the editor for those glory years my clients adored.
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After John Floyd, Southern Living became a magazine for Southerners written through the prism of those outside the South.  Dropped my subscription after an article that can only be described as snarky & demeaning, lacking in inspiration, choosing the trite & hackneyed, without intellect or stewardship, time enriched became time wasted.  How could they.  Get John back.
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Oddly, another magazine had just been founded a year prior to John Floyd's retirement, Garden & Gun.  What a title.  It sputtered, as all businesses did during the debacle of 2008.  Time passed, about 5 years ago clients would start a sentence, "Did you see the latest Garden & Gun"?  Never was it about a garden, but someplace to eat, travel, or an article richly configured splaying open an epiphany, or two.  Three years ago, after buying a few copies on news stands, knew I had to get a subscription.  Zero disappointment.  However, the 'garden' part of Garden & Gun seems shallowly formulated, still in its infancy.  Don't care.  The rest of the magazine gives more than enough.
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Saw a garden picture, below, recently and love it.  Enough love, had to discover its source.  Well, go team, Southern Living magazine.  Hope this spark turns into a fire and I get 2-3 clients saying, "I saw this in Southern Living...."


Front Porch with Green Rocking Chairs

Just wow, above/below, simple, comfortable, easy to maintain, leveraging life, not sucking the life out of you trying to keep it up, and historically accurate.
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Monteagle, Tennessee Cottage

The story gets better with this garden, above.  The Southern Living article includes the interior.  This is a second home for the owners, and part of their joy in this home is sharing it with others, whether they are there, or not.
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Yeah, Southern Living magazine is back on the radar.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Oh irony.  Garden & Gun hired a lot of staff from NYCity, relocating them to the South at its founding.

Monday, May 15, 2017

What Fuels Your Life?

"The problem with the world is that we draw our family circle too small."  Mother Teresa. 

At some point the layers of my gardening life, vocation & avocation, became my-life.  Collateral layers included.  For at least 2 decades I've known the joy of birthdays almost daily.  Akebia comes into bloom, its fragrance wafting?  My dear friend Akebia coming into bloom again, letting me know in the best dramatic performance ever, I've survived another year, happy birthday.  Oakleaf hydrangea blowing into full bloom as if snow has fallen in early summer, another birthday, Azalea 'George Tabor' opening his large pink gramophone horn shaped flowers, birthday greetings.  Trees dropping their leaves in fall, ahead of brutal winter, yet growing stronger from the humus of those leaves, what-they-let-go-of, a birthday epiphany each fall.  You get the idea.  Oddly, the date of my arrival on Earth?  Feels insignificant compared to all the other birthdays given.
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Books.  How many books have taught me more than 2 college degrees, and been kind/nurturing in the lessons? The learning & kindnesses alone, mark them as family.
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My dogs & cats.  Sure too many are already gone, but their loving memory still nurtures as family along with those still here.  Those in memory?  Sure, my grandma has been gone since early 1983, yet daily she's apart of my life.
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Nature, the one I work with, play with, even earn my living from.  Another member of my family.
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Finally, getting to my inner circle of friends.  Family.
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Unable to have children, tried-tried-tried, do I feel like I'm missing out on life, or even a full life?  No.  A well meaning 'friend' recently told me his children were his legacy.  My reaction was to feel sorry for him, yet he went on to say he felt sorry for me.  Seeing Mother Teresa's quote, gave me the spiritual science behind why I felt sorry for my friend.  His family circle is too small.
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Smiled seeing picture, below.  Nature wins, always.  Designing landscapes, I know who I am truly designing for, and where my 'work' will eventually be, with Nature.          
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“If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”


― Karen Blixen
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Karen Blixen's quote, above, beautiful.  Yet for so long, a beautiful enigma.  Now, answer to her question, obvious.  Africa was Karen Blixen's family.  She went further, drawing an even larger circle, writing a book about her family, sharing with anyone willing to accept her gift.
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"Science in its beginnings was due to men who were in love with the world. They perceived the beauty of the stars and the sea, of the winds and the mountains. Because they loved them their thoughts dwelt upon them, and they wished to understand them more intimately than a mere outward contemplation made possible. “The world,” said Heraclitus, “is an ever living fire, with measures kindling and measures going out.” Heraclitus and the other Ionian philosophers, from whom came the first impulse to scientific knowledge, felt the strange beauty of the world almost like a madness in the blood. They were men of Titanic passionate intellect, and from the intensity of their intellectual passion the whole movement of the modern world has sprung. But step by step, as science has developed, the impulse of love which gave it birth has been increasingly thwarted, while the impulse of power, which was at first a mere camp-follower, has gradually usurped command in virtue of its unforeseen success. The lover of nature has been baffled, the tyrant over nature has been rewarded."  Bertrand Russell
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"In the conscious desires of the man who seeks power for its own sake there is something dusty: when he has it he wants only more power, and does not find rest in contemplation of what he has. The lover, the poet and the mystic find a fuller satisfaction than the seeker after power can ever know, since they can rest in the object of their love, whereas the seeker after power must be perpetually engaged in some fresh manipulation if he is not to suffer from a sense of emptiness. I think therefore that the satisfactions of the lover, using the word in its broadest sense, exceed the satisfactions of the tyrant, and deserve a higher place among the ends of life." Bertrand Russell
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Old forgotten house taken over by a tree! Micoley's picks for #AbandonedProperties www.Micoley.com:
Pic, above, here.
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Gardening, gardening historically, understanding the myriad birthdays my garden gives, led to an epiphany about time.  It's all I have.  Time.
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At a meeting Lois started, a 12-step meeting, I remember well these sharings, "Yesterday is as old as the pyramids.", "Keep your head where your butt is.", and "What I say and do reflects on me, what another says/does reflects on them."  Of course, "Do the next right thing." stays at the top of the list.
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Much goes thru the funnel, and we are merely left with time, and how we wish to fill it.  Time, a day at a time.  It's obvious where I go for joy, love, meaning, answers.
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"The supply of time is truly a daily miracle. You wake up in the morning and lo! your purse is magically filled with 24 hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours.


....You cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow, it is kept from you.
....You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use…is a matter of the highest urgency.  
....We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is."  Arnold Bennett, 1867-1931, How To Live On 24 Hours A Day.
Seeing the pic, above, now you know a few of the reasons it makes me smile.  And some of the types of fuel used in my work/life.  Almost daily, acquiring new fuel, just as Mother Teresa's quote was in a note arriving this morning.  Fuel.  
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Gardening, personally/professionally, never intuited as a few plants here/there.    
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why It's a Necessity to Follow Your Passion

A lot of clients hire me because they've moved into a new home, the youngest child has started 1st grade, finally graduated their last child from college, they're about to have their first baby or they're about to have their 1st grandchild, a child is about to be married.  Those are the most-common triggers for hiring me, mostly.
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Interesting, yes?  
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Then, there is the group of people who were born with the love of gardening in their soul.  Oddly Providence decided not to sprinkle those souls liberally.  More odd, many of the souls born with a love of gardening only discover it, for its true 'Being', decades after trodding Earth.
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If you've read this far, you are one of us, a Garden Whisperer.
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A woman from Canada, Betty, contacted me for Online Garden Design last year.  Betty and her husband had just bought the best house on a tiny lot with views of mountains, valleys, & ocean ever conceived.  Minuscule lot.
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Betty is in the installation phase now.  We used Facebook to see/speak to each other, Pinterest boards, plat, texts, emails, phone calls.  Had a live Facebook video/voice appointment with her contractor prior to his work commencing, wish he could be cloned dozens of times over he's so good.
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Text from Betty yesterday, "I try to explain my garden to friends.  They really don't get it. ' Why bother?  Your garden looks fine Blah Blah.'  Exhausting.  Fortunately husband gets that I need this garden, he just walks past it everyday briefcase in hand, golf clubs in his car.  We know US".  Journaling last weekend included this exact topic, the wild urge to garden told thru the metaphors of the Light of the universe.  Again, if you've read this far, what follows is for you too, not just Betty.  More than gardening, quotes below cover all noble passions that drive our souls towards activities that feed more than our own needs, but the needs of Earth and other souls treading their journey.

French Country Living; Graceful Interiors; Fresh & Traditional Design:
Pic, above, here.

"Looking so, across the centuries and the millennia, toward the animal men of the past, one can see a faint light, like a patch of sunlight moving over the dark shadows on a forest floor.  It sifts and widens, it winks out, it come again but it persists.  It is the human spirit, the human soul, however transient, however faulty men may claim it to be.  In its coming man had no part.  It merely came, that curious light, and man, the animal, sought to be something that no animal had been before.  Cruel he might be, vengeful he might be, but there had entered into his nature a curious wistful gentleness and courage  It seemed to have little to with survival, for such men died over and over.  They did not value life compared to what they saw in themselves --- that strange inner light which has com from no man knows where, and which was not made by us.  It has followed us all the way from the age of ice, from the dark borders of the ancient forest into which our footprints vanish...Man may grow until he towers to the skies, but without this light he is nothing, and his place is nothing.  Even as we try to deny the light, we know that it has made us, and what we are without it remains meaningless."
Loren Eiseley.
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 Childe Hassam Bowl of goldfish:
Pic, above, here.
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"Let it be admitted that the world's problems are many and wearing, and that the whirlpool runs fast.  If we are to build a stable cultural structure above that which threatens to engulf us by changing our lives more rapidly than we can adjust our habits, it will only be by flinging over the torrent a structure as taut and flexible as a spider's web, a human society deeply self-conscious and undeceived by the waters that race beneath it, a society more literate, more appreciative of human worth than any society that has previously existed.  That is the sole prescription, not for survival --- which is meaningless --- but for a society worthy to survive.  It should be, in the end, a society more interested in the cultivation of noble minds than in change.  Loren Eiseley.


 ...this could be my grandmother...how I still miss her even after all these years.....:
Pic, above, here.
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More than a garden, Betty is paying for her garden with money inherited after her mother died.  The feeling of honor, being asked to design a garden has never left me, 3 decades on.  Adding to it, a mother's inheritance.  Whew.  Always prayerful about the work I do for others, now, praying the garden I create for Betty allows her mother's love to continue to surround and infuse her.  Wanting my role in the garden to diminish quickly, leaving Betty, and her husband, in their new chapter.  It's Betty's garden created from her mother's love.


  Dog's Life, Bruges, Belgium This guy was there too when I was there in October...guide says he is there all the time!  Loved him!:
Pic, above, here.
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"If we are to live and have something to live for, let us remember, all of us, that we are the servants as well as the masters of our fields."  Henry Beston.
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"Every man for himself" is a doctrine for a feeding frenzy or for a panic in a burning nightclub, appropriate for sharks or hogs or perhaps a cascade of lemmings.  A society wishing to endure must speak the language of care-taking, faith-keeping, kindness, neighborliness, and peace.  That language is another precious resource that cannot be "privatized."  Wendell Berry

TARA DILLARD: Life Demands Simplicity:
Pic, above, I shot in a client's garden.
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"To be sure, Berry's "rugged individualism" is simply a more poetic term for our common complaint of "entitlement" --- an accusation usually aimed at the young, which upon closer inspection reveals itself as a major undercurrent of capitalist society itself.  Contemplating how we got there, Berry points to the aberrant evolution of property rights --- something that originated as protection of the private individual and mutated into the destruction of the public good." Maria Popova.
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Quotes, above, are in the macro for everyone, we are each given myriad avenues to come upon the light.  My tiny wedge is the micro of gardening.  Bearing witness, thru the gift of clients hiring me, to changed lives, watching more than a garden take shape, new lives being born, rippling upon others & Earth in stewardship.
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"The more we go inward, the more we outwardly connect.", New York Times, about 2 decades ago.  Came to a dead stop, reading it the first time.  Seemed so selfish.  Deeply myopic.
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Instead, its depth can never be known.  Blessedly it can be lived.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Why is it a necessity to follow your passion?  Earth needs you to.  Have learned the 'selfishness' of going inward to outwardly connect, is grace.
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Met a woman, Donna, sideways recently thru Beloved, she's been hired to do his books.  Love her.  More than doing Quick Books, this woman is having a relationship with it.  I watch her in her chair, leaning into the computer screen, talking with it, laughing with it, cheering it, and see the same interaction others have in their gardens.  She knows she's in stewardship with her client's livelihood and Quick Books is her partner, while working her own livelihood.  Joy watching her grace in action.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anticipation vs. Attainment

One of the things we bought with our ca. 1900 home?  The Milky Way.
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Sunsets, waxing/waning moons, storm clouds, puffy white clouds dotted & dashing across blue skies.
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At our backdoor a stoop is now a deck stretching full, left to right.  Grand conversations of roofing a portion and screening it in.  All was easy, at the front end.  Then came enjoying the deck, and Milky Way.
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Yet, we'd truly like a portion saved from rains.  And sun.  How our home came to be 117 years old without a shade tree at back.  Really?

Tangier, revisited - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic, above, here.

Addressing the sun issue are brainwaves of a vine, above/below.

 rebar and wire mesh instead of plastic lattice or wood. Will look wonderful once it's covered in vines!!:
Pic, above, here.
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Enjoying playing with my friend, Vision Questing.  Found the iron vine supports, top, this morning.  Knowing the iron monger on our team could do them exactly.  Better, the arches easily removed from the posts.  Rendering them temporary if desired, and other choices made later.  Yet perfect if that's as far as we go.
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This phase of gardening, anticipation, I adore.
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Saves money/time down the road.  More, I don't want to pull the trigger too fast, only to think, "Wish we had....."
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Deck still needs staining, to protect from all the sun, furniture is bare bones.  Eating dinner on the deck feels a bit like camping.  Especially when we linger, and the Milky Way appears.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Would obviously need a deciduous vine.  Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' a leading contender.  Shady in summer, warm in winter.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Choosing Color: Garden Furniture

Take from the best, leave the rest.  One of the best small gardens I've seen in awhile.  Formal & rustic, pretty all year, layers of interest atop layers of interest, functional, welcoming.  Myriad ways to copy this garden, at every price point.
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Yet one layer leaves me with a question mark.  Furniture color?  White is a hard color in small spaces, white jumps forward.  Without knowing the owners, seeing their interiors, I have to trust this 'white' furniture.  For you, take-the-best to translate into your own space, perhaps 'gray' furniture would be the better choice.  Copying the stone color, blending into its space, enlarging the space.
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Want furniture on the stone?  White.  But you knew that, right?


Pic, above, here.

Wanting to know more about the garden I found it on Lucy Sommers website.  Had to smile, seeing more photos, below.  Gray pots, gray fence.  White house trim, large swath of white flowers.



Pic, above,

Seems the white furniture is carefully considered, above.  Minutely, considered.


Pic, above, here.
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More than a garden to 'be in', it's a garden to be viewed from several heights.  Wins at each level.
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Instead of the classic exterior color trinity, green-brown-white, here it's, green-white-yellow.  The most common subsidiary color I've seen with the classic green-brown-white?  Yellow.
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Minute considerations cost nothing, yet live rich, wisely chosen.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Friday, May 5, 2017

Aerin Lauder: Old Soul

Many times thru the years I'll see a pretty garden photo, below, not knowing who the garden belongs to, and it is Aerin Lauder's.  Instead of thinking, 'Of course she has the money.....', I know something different about her garden/s.  Studying historic gardens across Europe it is not uncommon for gardeners to inherit their parents/grandparents home/garden.
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What I see with Aerin Lauder's gardening is someone who's a smart cookie, and an old soul.  She's not recreating the wheel, she's making the wheel better.  Her ego isn't about tossing the baby out with the bath water, to create her own 'original' garden.  No, she's wise.  Trusting what's been given, and adding her unique stewardship with every fiber of her talents.
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Refreshing furniture arrangement, below.  Myriad historic garden design rules followed in the pic, below.  Canopy & understory trees, ceiling/floor, hi/low density, focal point on axis, choosing a color theme & overdosing it, contrasting textures, use-what-you-have, flow, mystery, scale, maximum pollinator habitat and more.   This lone pic, below, could be used for a Garden Design course.


Pic, above, here.


Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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So, do you know why the top pic is a garden space creating maximum pollinator habitat?  Majority of How-To-Attract-Butterfly seminars never mention this singular facet, merely plant-these-plants.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Chicken Intuitive

Chickens arrived in my life, 5 birthdays ago.  Eight heirloom girls.  Green, blue, white, & brown eggs.
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Before their 1st month of life, it was obvious, I'm good with my chickens.  Intuitive.  Oddly, understanding their commands.  Until getting my girls I was a chicken virgin.
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If you understand dog/cat commands, you should probably understand chickens.  Maybe not.
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My chickens give me pleasure, daily.  Entertaining, never boring.  They're beautiful too.  Calming, like watching ocean waves.
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More, I've discovered chicken people, such as myself, overlap much in our DNA, becoming quick friends.
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It hasn't been lost on Beloved how much better I am with chickens & gardens, than a man.


BALLERINA~MOM~BLOGGER:
Pic, above, here.

After we had lunch today near our home, I did the ubiquitous, cleared Beloved's plate into napkins.  For some reason, my pleasure with his tasty crumbs, irks him no end.  "Oh, the girls love a biscuit.  Pizza is their fav, but cantaloupe....", I got the-look.  Quickly I mentioned his homemade biscuits I dole out 1/morning.  My girls truly love Beloved's homemade biscuits best, "Crumb Pecking Good", were my exact words.


chick's work is never fone.:
Pic, above, here.

Chicken, above, beautiful, and the one, below, loved well, just like my girls.

I want somebody to love me like this boy loves his chicken:
Pic, above, here.


 ....worth noting that you can get them for free from a farm i bet (they don't wait for them to molt anymore, they just get new ones):
Pic, above, here.

I don't write about 'how-to' with chickens.  Not that kind of expert.  My chickens are for my soul, teaching me all sorts of bible metaphors, in addition to their comedy routines, and pure joy.

this is exactly how I would dress to feed chickens.:

Pic, above, here.
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Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, above.  I went to Chatsworth, historic garden design study, years before having chickens.  Now, thinking, How could I not have made sure to see her chickens?
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After getting home, and giving the girls Beloved's scraps, including a bit of biscuit, proof again, Beloved's homemade biscuits are crumb pecking good.  Store bought biscuit crumbs, ignored.
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If you're thinking of getting chickens for the 1st time, my Pinterest Chicken Board has a lot of good links.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Hope you already know, The Vintage Contessa, from the top pic.  She's gardens & chickens too, along with junking, vintage clothes, Italy, her sons, her husband, etc.  From her latest post, "Then YOU have me in my CONTESSA CURTAIN COATS who at almost 57 would LOVE TO OWN a full length LEOPARD PRINT COAT!!!INstead,I have had coats made out of old curtains!!!I had the POCKETS MADE BIG to GATHER the HENS EGGS.I did not want to go down to the coop and scold myself for forgetting the basket……..you see I wander the garden in the cool summer mornings and enjoy visiting with THE GIRLS.They are always happy to see me!"

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Show Me Your Garden Tools

Only one arena, during my formal Garden Design education included the 'work area' for a garden.  A shed, barn or garage, most with an outdoor space for compost, wheelbarrows, ladders, etc.
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Gardens I studied across Europe, had work areas.  Got the memo.
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Low maintenance gardens, aside from their design, include work areas.  Further, I've added, 2 sets of your go-to tools.  One at the front of your home, another at the back.  Get an odd gift of 30 minutes ?  Go into the garden, get a few easy things done.  Won't happen if you have to hunt for your pruners &tc.  "Show me where you keep your garden tools.", I ask for my garden design work.  
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Almost 2 years moved from my 30 year home/garden I'm still missing my organized garage.  Our ca. 1900 home has no garage, a couple of sheds, both utilized with Beloved's 'stuff', and a graveled basement.  He's sourcing the perfect pole barn now, once built, and a bay enclosed, the sheds become 'mine'.
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Ironically, I tease Beloved he did not fall in love with me, but my garage.  In all sincerity, about every 2 weeks Beloved asks me for some 'tool', Where is, Get me, I need, Can you find, blahblahblah.  You know I want him to have his pole barn.  Knew my garage was important, now I know too well its outsized importance.  
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Jokes collected by Bear … Hope you had a laugh. https://beartales.me/2017/05/03/great-jokes-3-may-2017/:
Pic, above, here.
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Yard work is a breeze when your garage is organized! Get this wall unit from #MarthaStewartLiving and more ideas to store your homekeeping essentials.:
Pic, above, here.
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Nice start, above, but a lot of wasted space.  Condense tools, add a table, staged to hold pruners, nails, screws, twine, wire, &tc
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A pretty table, a lamp, you know the drill.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Vanishing Threshold: Bunny Mellon

From the garden, below, a view of the terrace.  Exactly the photographic style of the 80's.  Each piece, every layer, in alignment to the Narrative.  This story a trinity between owner, beauty, happiness.
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Vanishing Threshold, inside/outside have no boundary.
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How do I know this?  Before her, below, and a tiny contingent of other 'hers', I was writing the same story at my home/garden.
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Seeing this pic, below, the 1st time, I knew who it belonged to.  Linking backwards, discovering I was not wrong, Bunny Mellon.  Originating in the pages of Architectural Digest, its caption, "Antigua Residence: A terrace features an Henri Rousseau landscape."
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A great laugh, the painting.  My 1st urge, wanting to call my client/friend/mentor Mary Kistner, we needed one of our trademark meandering lunches for me to divulge this rich tidbit.  Mary was creating her Vanishing Threshold trinity decades before I was born.  This, merely another delight we will share once we are in the same place again.  Mary died over a decade ago.

Tour the Exquisite Homes and Gardens of Late Design Legend Bunny Mellon Photos | Architectural Digest:
Pic, above, here.
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Oil paintings I've put on terraces & porches, for decades, for myself/clients have all been from thrift/junk shops.
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Of course Bunny put a Rousseau painting on her terrace.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Mary Kistner was a collage artist in the style of Kurt Schwitters, she installed art shows for other artists at several museums across USA, her memorial service was in a museum, standing room only.  Perhaps you can see those layers in the pic, above.  A few weeks after Mary died I received a call from her estate attorney, Mary left me something & an appointment needed to be made for pick-up.
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In my office, just above my laptop, is her bequest, an already framed piece of her collage art.  Titled, "Feuillage IX", MKistner 2000.  Receiving her bequest, and a few times since, has brought happy & grieving tears.  Mary had, I know, a wicked glint in her eyes & trademark smile, putting "Feuillage IX" into her will to me.  At one of our lunches, it had to be in fall, I shared with her my epiphany about falling leaves, while I was driving along Hugh Howell Road in Tucker, GA.  Decades of seeing falling leaves, I finally got the biblical narrative.  Trees drop their leaves, and are fed by them, every year of their life.          
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More, trees drop their leaves ahead of the brutal season, winter.  Vigorously showing off their lacy branching beauty against the sky, richly taking in strength from what they let go of.  The bible, inspired word of G*d written by man.  Nature, inspired writing of G*d.