Saturday, October 31, 2009

HALLOWEEN IN THE LANDSCAPE

I spent the night with Susanne Hudson this week. Her house & garden are Halloween. Below, her tin roofed potting shed.
Susanne, photographer Joe Descoise, and I are working on a book project.

It's about Susanne's interior/exterior design. Wednesday was a full day of shooting & discussions.


Thursday morning Susanne & I were in the library drinking coffee when I 'found' the book's title.

It was in an old stack of 3x5 note cards Susanne has used for eons with lectures.


It's obvious these are my pics. Aaaaah, you should have seen Joe's.
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We began shooting this summer, and of course we need a full year of shots. It's amazing, this is work? Each time, leaving Susanne, I feel energized, full of peace, and creative.
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Exactly why I've taken on this project.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Friday, October 30, 2009

LIVING AS STILL LIFE

Setting your tools down, do they look this good? I saw the gardener, as he was working, set these down as I was meandering Great Dixter in England.
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EPIPHANY.
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My gardening, without effort, should look like a still life. Just like Great Dixter.
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Now, mostly, it does.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SUPPORTING BEAUTY

Books, calendars, magazines, TV often don't show the whole story. It's the whole story I adore, above.
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Seeing the gardener's loving hands.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Hmm, can't remember where I took the pic, England?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LIGHT BULB MOMENT

Her entire house, guest bath below, is filled with beautiful, and interesting, things. Decades in the house, the landscape was well maintained, functional, good. Not beautiful and interesting. After I lectured at her garden club she hired me. A small phase was installed. Her light bulb went on! With confidence she's been buying terra cotta and iron pieces, significant pieces, beautiful & interesting. Sending me pics from her phone while shopping.
A place she's found incredible things for her garden, above, Englishman's. Their website, unfortunately, doesn't have pics of all their landscape merchandise. They also sell lots of interior items.
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Now her house & garden are a Vanishing Threshold.
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Always fun to see the birth of a GARDENISTA!!!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic, above, from the Englishman's site.
And of course her garden is more than about buying 'stuff', the plantings are gorgeous. Will post her again this spring.

Monday, October 26, 2009

HOW TO GET LOVELY HIPS

Athletic hips. Sexy hips.

Subtle hips.
Have you ever seen such rose hips?
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Fall is the season for rose hips.
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Wish I could tell you which roses they're from but I didn't write down their names. Pics taken while studying in France.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WHAT'S MISSING IN THIS PICTURE?

Centuries of landscape design & garden maintenance lessons in France, where I took this pic. What is wrong in this pic?
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The gardener has increased his gardening time by 10-15X's. Why? Don't we all want low maintenance?
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Fallen prunings, with thorns, have to be picked up by hand. Leaves & petals will have to be blown.
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A sheet under the prunings, dahlings. A sheet. All is picked up, no thorn worries, no blower.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Other gardeners at this public park outside Paris were using sheets.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

HGTV & TARA DILLARD?

HGTV contacted me last Monday. They are scouting, across America, talent for new shows. I interviewed on tape, yesterday. They asked, Bring what's exciting you in the landscape.
Having hosted a CBS TV show & author of several books I thought that's how HGTV found me. NOT.
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Good news Blogland, you are being heard-seen-read. HGTV knew none of my past. They found me thru this little blog.
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Exciting. HGTV carefully choosing new show concepts. Of course, more exciting if they CHOOSE ME!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Friday, October 23, 2009

INSIDE TO OUTSIDE LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Style inside is directly related to style outside. What? Often I copy arrangements atop mantels, chests & tables. What? Easy!! Above & below, painting is evergreen hedge or side of your house, lamp is an understory tree, clock is a 4'-5' evergreen shrub, books/box are hellebores, and the porcelains are cinnamon fern,
the platter is dwarf sarcoccoca and the nosegay is a stunning pieris cultivar.
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Took these pics at a client's this week while installing a new phase. I love it when clients have a strong sense of style. A challenge to be on top of my game.
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What do you see in your interiors, to use outside?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FRONT PORCH

Wreaths on doors are difficult. Scale, color, quality. Oh no, The 'Cute' Factor. CUTE KILLS. Ha, another Tara rule. Wit, whimsy, humor. YES. Last week BOOK GIRL's door had it right.
Looking to the right of the door, above. Reality garden photography, I styled nothing.

Looking to the left of the front door, above, more reality garden photography. Nothing styled for the pics. BOOK GIRL does her own decorating.
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Landscapes should be designed and decorated for the impromptu photo shoot.
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Think of your landscape as it is, this moment, can I meander and take several shots to steal your heart?
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When you look out the windows of your home, at your garden (Vanishing Threshold), does it steal your heart?
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When your garden melts your heart you've got an endless stream of energy, joy, beauty, wit, serenity, peace to draw from for daily living.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RANCHBURGER: Before & After

Contouring of the land, below. What to do, what to do?
The most important thing you can do to a Ranchburger? Let It Out Of Jail.

Remove the rails, and those ratty (Rattus rattus) evergreen meatball shrubs, which are naked at the bottom and chopped at the top, the builder planted decades ago. Shall I wax poetic about builders landscape design? Hmm, PUPPET BARBUDA is too busy today.

Aaaaaaah, the brick was liberated too. This ranch is going country French.

Furnishings & Pots aren't 'done' yet. But the Ranchburger is done. Done gone!!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Thank you for sharing your Ranchburger before/after pics Krystol. Love the dogs & your intuitive landscape design. Fabulous.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MONTY DON: Around the World in 80 Gardens

Monty Don wrote, The Prickotty Bush, years ago. Each January I reread it.

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Garden writing as literature by someone passionate about doing his own gardening. He's done a little TV too. Enjoy.

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Teza's Garden, has more YouTube of Monty Don, and you'll like the blog.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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Amazon has 3 copies of The Prickotty Bush, today, all used, at 50, 72, 92 POUNDS. Not dollars dahlings.

Monday, October 19, 2009

FEEDING THE MUSE

Designing landscapes is science & art. With a degree in engineering & horticulture the science is easy. The art? I've learned it's something to be nurtured & honored.
Speed walking 5miles, 3-5x's/week, at Stone Mountain, GA, feeds my muse. Doing my best thinking while sweating.

Being in nature to feed the left brain/right brain thing.

A potager? Perennial border? Choosing paint colors for a house & patio furnishings? Nature, consistently enriching my creative muse.

Understanding forms, patterns, silhouettes, plant drifts? Color? Nature has it all, and more.

How a body relates in scale to its surroundings?

Creating enfilades thru paths, rectangular stone terraces edged with brick, over a fountain, between pairs of boxwood, caressed by flowering shrub borders sprinkled with a few tough perennials, and finally landing the eye/foot on a bench. Nature? Hardly.
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But it's nature feeding the creative muse, a tool box for designing landscapes.
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What else feeds my creative muse? Music, pets, books, friends, movies...
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What feeds your creative muse?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at Stone Mountain Park, 2.96 miles from my garden.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DESIGNED TO LOOK UNDESIGNED

Bits of this landscape look UNDESIGNED, yet nothing was left to chance.
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A potent landscape design tool:
CONTRAST FORMAL VS. INFORMAL.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Thanks Krystol for your pic.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A LITTLE COLOR

A few days ago in Oregon, below. What I like most, above? Remove flowers & pumpkins, and the design holds together.
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Your pots must be so wonderful they can be empty.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Love your porch pic Trina, thanks !

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ROOFSCAPE

In your garden, looking back at your home, how does your roof look? Please tell me you don't have white pvc pipes sticking up from your roof.
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My real ROOF FETISH is about finials. But, that's another post.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Thank you Krystol for this pic.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

KISS: Keep It Simple Sweetie

How little can you do in your landscape and have it evoke in picaresque who you are? Splendiferous you.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Thank you Krystol for this pic

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PATH & PATIO

PATH GIRL, born 1935, hired me early summer. She was stuck in her backyard. One glance, I knew. First, stain patio furnishings a shade from inside.

More important, paths. PATH GIRL created a beautiful garden but the paths weren't 'done'. A roundabout, below, radiates paths.

Gravel to the rescue. PATH GIRL shoveled her own. Edging garden beds with stone found on-site & fallen tree limbs. Not quite finished yet. Yes, dearies, part of the design, use what's at hand.
An alcove of path with an antique marble bench &, while sitting on the bench, a pineapple, symbol of welcome, at your feet.
And the pre-built potting shed, Magnolia Hall, is steeped in gravel too.

Up to its side, adding a new sitting area.

Many weeks of shoveling then an invitation to lunch.


Crabcakes & conversation. Hours of connection.

In the dining room a 2nd, smaller, table for games, reading or dining with a view.

Vanishing Threshold views, above & below.

NOTES & RESOURCES:

* Edge gravel path, with stone or brick, closer to the house.

* Edge gravel path with fallen tree limbs farther away from the house.

* Transitioning edging materials creates another layer of interest.

* Paint Colors for deck furniture: Behr Ultra Exterior Satin [primer & paint all in one] at Home Depot. Antique Red UL 170, Native Soil 179-22 [taupe].

* Powder Coating of wrought iron table/chairs: http://www.millerpowdercoating.com/. 4251 Wayside Ct. #B, Lilburn, GA, 770-931-1505.

* Rug for deck, not shown, http://www.rugsusa.com/

* Shot pea gravel: Atlanta Landscape Materials, 5996 Buford Hwy., Doraville, GA 770-936-8462

* Lantern, not shown, http://www.nadeauimports.com/, Buckhead Store.

* PATH GIRL had the shot pea gravel delivered to her driveway. It took her several weeks to shovel from the pile to a wheelbarrow then dump into place. A neighbor, seeing her shovel, offered help. With a smile of appreciation she happily declined. Enjoying her gardening too much to let others in on her fun. Remember PATH GIRL, born 1935, is DIY.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Monday, October 12, 2009

CECIL BEATON & CELIA THAXTER

Dear Cecil photographed his conservatory, below. At first glance I thought it was an 'illumination' by Childe Hassam.
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Then I locked eyes on the Blue/White mixed with terra cotta & wicker. A trinity that will never go out of style. A trinity I've used consistently, Ha, thinking it was original.
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Childe Hassam has pictures and illuminations throughout, An Island Garden, by Celia Thaxter.
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"He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world with a passion for flowers in his soul." Celia Thaxter.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic from Architectural Digest Celebrity Home, 1977, via, Mrs. Blandings.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TRIPLE AXIS FROM THIS BENCH

A landscape where you might see a, "disheveled wood nymph after a night carousing with satyrs." as N. Singer wrote. Oops, digressing. Sitting in the bench, above, you'll see the house, below, a double axis.
Sitting in the bench, and looking right,you'll see this axis, above.
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The more axis a focal point has the better a focal point is.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Krystol, thanks for your pics.