Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR LANDSCAPE

Climbing Rose 'New Dawn' on my garage. RIP. Dead, last year, of drought. Wow. Coming across this picture made me 'lose' the rose again. Remembering when I planted the rose, after Hurricane Opal blew thru Atlanta killing my mature 'Lady Banks' rose. Too much drama!
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Still in the fantasizing phase on what to plant now. Happy I've got this picture. Take pictures of your landscape. I promise you they will become little gifts to yourself.
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Off to Texas visiting family for a week............
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

STAINING PATIO FURNITURE: BEFORE + AFTER

Why did I resist Adirondack chairs for decades? Ubiquity? Who cares when a chair is this comfortable while holding a wine glass on one arm and a dinner plate on the other. Thank you dearest PINK for many lovely evenings & opening my eyes, and body, to the pleasures of your Adirondack chairs. Found at TJMaxx, below, it was automatic to stain my Adirondack chair faded green, matching all the other wood in my garden.
My 6' teak Lutyens bench, below, arrived when a client of COLLEGE BOY couldn't afford to pay. (Client owned a furniture store.)


It arrived with a strong reddish stain, above, and I waited years for it to fade.

Finished staining it yesterday. Would like to say it was a breeze. Ha. Need some distance from the project before describing it.
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Though I will say it fell under the cliched heading, Tell God Your Plans.......
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

DUMPSTER DIVING FOR THE LANDSCAPE

Dumpster Diving, whether piles along the road or literal dumpsters, they're the same to me. Metal stool, above, scored on trash day years ago. Used in the garden as a plinth for the sprinkler. A delight finding the exact stool in swankier digs.
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I've had thoughts of painting mine Robin's egg blue to match all the metal in my garden. Seeing someone else loving it plain keeps me hesitating.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Picture via La Dolce Vita.

Monday, July 27, 2009

LANDSCAPE DESIGN: ARBOR & PATIENCE & NO MONEY

A Victorian woodcut print of a conifer arbor dazzled my thoughts. A pair of evergreens neatly bottom trimmed & grown wild on top. A pair of 1 gallon Leyland cypress, above, would have to do. And time. Thru the arbor a cherry tree in full bloom with petals strewing the path.

A subtle focal point, my conifer arbor, is hidden near the pink dogwood, above. Gardens are about mystery & surprise. A sense of, What's around the corner?
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Conifers, $1.99 ea., bought at a big box store, can't remember which. Patience? Ugh. They looked stupid for years. But that Victorian woodcut wouldn't leave me.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Sunday, July 26, 2009

NOT PLANTING CONTAINERS

Serious about low maintenance landscaping? Soil & flowers require watering. I adore Susanne Hudson's visual pun, below.


My birdhouse, below, went up when I tired of watering the wall planter. One year of the wall planter darlings. More than 10 years of the birdhouse. Lots of chirping & many fledglings later it still makes me happy.
My covered container, below, connects me to centuries of gardeners tired of planting.

A category I own, The Queen's Pot, below. Discovered at Glamis Castle.


Every pot you own should be so fabulous it can remain empty. Because, of course, you will eventually want your pots empty.
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How will you not plant a garden container?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CUSTOM STAIN COLOR: FADED GREEN

Chosen from a House & Garden magazine picture decades ago, the faded green, below, continues to delight. Dear Carolyn wrote saying Lowe's couldn't match the stain color from my numbers in a blog post earlier.
Lowe's did match my color, above, recently, 6-10-09. If the numbers are too small, Tinter #1, Manual Dispense, gallon size, 113-5Y40.5 115-2Y1.5 114-2Y47 102-1Y8.5



Now using drop cloths, aka, sheets Grandma sent me to college with. One rain in a month and it landed upon newspapers while staining furniture. What a pulpy mess.

Faded green, above, color matched as paint. A bit different from the same color match for stain.


New teak planter, above, stained last week. TJMaxx, $29.99, unbelievable. Have no idea where I'll use it. Though I know a large mophead hydrangea will grace its lines. A charming clematis weaving thru it and the lattice. Well, those are nice starters. I have years, decades, to play with this planter.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara



Friday, July 24, 2009

LANDSCAPE DESIGN: DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS

Almost a century and its architecture survives. Can you tell this home was enlarged? Of course not, URBAN PLANNER loves the history of her home. Ochre-with-hints-of-chartreuse paint matches a brick selection. Light fixture? Original.
Door, above, & all the hardware? Original.

Vanishing Threshold with the curtains. Broad sweep at one and traditional at another. Why Vanishing Threshold? Because those curtains make me want to go inside.


Pots, above, are diversions.


I don't even want to know the thought processes, above, placing the meter.

Path & driveway were redone. Path to the front door was chosen to match stones on the home. A loose-gravel-look for the drive. Lending character & age vs. a disgusting bright white plain concrete drive.
Along the drive, above, pressure washed stone/brick. Don't you think this looks like a home in Europe?


Simple gas lantern. Not large or fancy. Perfection. In character & integrity with the home.
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Want a surprise? This is the front of the house, posted yesterday, with the urban chicken coop & honey bees.
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URBAN PLANNER called me to consult about their new mailbox. Original stones & bricks are available. She found art glass to create a mosaic for the numbers. We discussed placement of the mailbox (driveway-utility pole-fire hydrant-sidewalk are petty tyrants, ugh) and style.
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Constraints made mailbox placement easy. Architecture & era of the house made a style choice easy. Choose a cross of Mission, Art & Crafts, Art Nouveau.
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Can't wait to see the results.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Thursday, July 23, 2009

URBAN LANDSCAPE: CHICKENS & HONEY BEES

A dozen years ago LAWYER didn't know herbaceous from deciduous. Now, he's an urban pioneer in his landscape.
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LAWYER designed his chicken coop, it uses new & reclaimed materials.
URBAN PLANNER chose the colors.
The chickens make a sweet cooing sound. Their neighborhood, nearly a century old, is intown Atlanta.

The bees pelted me as I took pics. Hadn't the slightest worry of stings. And there were none.


Yes, the little door, above, is the egg door.



View, below, from the driveway.
URBAN PLANNER said LAWYER lets his chickens out, first thing, arriving home from work. They free range until the sun informs them, Back to the coop.


You knew I was sent home with eggs. Brown, white, blue. Delicious.
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I met LAWYER & URBAN PLANNER a dozen years ago when they took my class at The Atlanta Botanical Garden. Their (then) baby just had his Bar Mitzvah and now has 2 siblings. Can it be?
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Back then they knew little about gardening, now, LAWYER can teach me about chickens & honey bees. Isn't that the best type of story about teacher & student?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

LANDSCAPE DESIGN: CONTRAST

Levens Hall, England, is where I learned to contrast formal with informal in landscape design. It's one of the most potent tools you'll use.
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Formality, below, whimsical, not cute, overdosing on its theme.
Not far away, below, Susanne Hudson kept her dead tree, called a snag, romanticising it with a rescued ladder. Monet did something similar at Giverny.
Melted candles, below, and wishing I had been there for whatever the event was.

Nearby, below, the Wild Wood. OMG. Candles in a formal garden room overlooking fireflies in a Wild Wood. Really wishing I had been there.

Inches, below, separate formal from informal. Outside the garden cottage, stone. Inside the garden cottage, cinder block. So practical.

Who says steps in a garden are expensive?
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Cinder blocks were rescued from a neighbor's garbage last Monday. They'll be used near my potting table, with a board, to hold new cuttings. The board was rescued too. Will stain it my famous faded Monet green.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FRONT PORCH IN A SUBDIVISION, FAST

Rare people implement landscape design quickly. What is quick? One year is a blink of the eye in the landscape realm. Jeri Farmer, retired marketing guru, moved in a year ago. In retirement? She owns, Le Jardin Blanc, with Susanne Hudson.
Jeri is hooked on white. With some blue. Susanne designed Jeri's garden overdosing Jeri's theme.

Jeri did something shocking. She implemented the plan, without wavering. And in a year has a garden life.


Landscapes, like people, are more defined by what they say no to.

"Men come to build sooner than to garden finely as if gardening were the greater art." Alexander Pope 17th century
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Monday, July 20, 2009

HEDGE ENTRY + ENFILADE

How's this, below, for a holly hedge? (Note, proper pruning, top slightly narrower than bottom.)Mystery, backdrop, entry, evergreen, drought tolerant, bug proof. Hitching posts are all antique. Now you see, below, what the hedge is embracing. Does it matter, anymore, the parking court is a mere 4' from the pool decking?
A fabulous ENFILADE, above.

Leading to another ENFILADE, above.


You like?
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This private garden is in Douglasville, GA where it, and the home's interior, are under the guidance of designer Susanne Hudson.
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Shooting this garden with its owner & Susanne was an incredible hour of power. You'll be seeing more of it.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara



Sunday, July 19, 2009

STREET VISIT WITH A CLIENT LANDSCAPE

SHIPMEN invited me to a picnic yesterday. Thought you would like a few street views of their landscape. Path & perennial border, below, led them to hire me. Years ago.Don't you love this hint of entry, below, luring you further? SHIPMEN purchased their neighbor's backyard and extended their garden beyond the entry, above. A few steps further, below, and you see their gate.
A few steps more, below, and you realize the entry is an ENFILADE.Entering the gate, above, but before arriving at the 2nd gate, welcoming urns of geraniums. Notice the lattice walls, below, painted black. Perfect.

Sneaking thru their garden, because I could, and I knew you would want to peak into their conservatory, below. A hint of one FETISH.
SHIPMEN adore antique chandeliers. They're shipped home from across the globe.SHIPMEN use their conservatory for dining & plant propagation. It's not for show.


Leaving thru the same gate, above. These were only street views. Tempted to see more?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara