Sunday, February 28, 2010

SOURCE

KARL LAGERFELD is a source for landscape design inspiration. (No, dahlings, I don't ask the gods why. I simply accept the gift.)
Cathy Horyn, New York Times fashion writer, equally inspires my landscapes.
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She wrote of Lagerfeld's work, yesterday, "But at its best, it means a wonderful sense of composition with random bits of history."
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Should any landscape aspire to less?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics via Luxist

Saturday, February 27, 2010

SASSY ATTRACTION

PUPPET BARBUDA adores sassy. Especially these poodle-puff-on-a-tail topiaries. Though plinths would be nice. Antique cobblestones, dear ones? The evergreen hedge? ODG. Improper pruning & voila a scraggly hideous dreadful ugly ridiculous base.
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Perhaps the pruner wears a polyester white leisure suit, a lightening bolt & TCB symbol on its back? PUPPET BARBUDA hears Elvis...."we're caught in a trap...." Exactly, the hedge is trapping this gorgous home.
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PUPPET BARBUDA would keep the hedge, moving it of course, pruning it properly creating dense evergreen lushness top to bottom.
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It's one thing to prune your own hedge, and screw it up, but PUPPET BARBUDA holds great contempt for anyone paid to prune this badly. It harms the reputation of her BELOVED LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY.
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Of course more but gotta go, PUPPET BARBUDA is busy this morning.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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ODG? Unbidden from the soul. PUPPET BARBUDA loves this house, in fact wants to live in it, yet the hedge, oh dear God.

Friday, February 26, 2010

4 ENFILADES + 4 AXIS

Simple at 1st glance, below, looking at the sundial on axis with the frontdoor.

From the frontdoor, below, looking at the sundial.

From the side of the house, below, looking at the sundial.


From the other side of the house, below, looking at the sundial.


At first glance simple. Haaaaaaaaaaa. Can you use 1 sundial & create 4 enfilades + 4 axis?





Elizabeth Barnhill Clarkson, a childless matriarch, makes it seem easy. Her garden, Wing Haven, is now a public garden in Charlotte, NC.
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I lectured at Wing Haven yesterday morning. Elizabeth Lawrence, another childless matriarch, wrote, A Southern Garden, lived a few houses away from Wing Haven. Wing Haven acquired Elizabeth Lawrence's garden & it's open to the public.
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Katie Mullen is in charge of restoring Elizabeth Lawrence's garden & is blogging, Elizabeth Lawrence Garden, about it.
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Oooooooh yes, dahlings, more about these 2 women, their gardens, their homes......
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I took the pics yesterday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

THE GARDEN IN WINTER

Design your landscape for winter & it will be pretty all year. Design for May & you're apt to have only May be beautiful. Peonies, foxglove, clematis, roses, hydrangea, verbena are fabulous but they don't pay the rent.
2 weeks ago, above, in my sweet little garden. A sideyard exposed to a cul de sac of neighbors.
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A reality I've chosen to obliterate. A tiny garden rich in garden rooms. Yet it lives big.
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Why? Look closely at the top pic. I own the sky.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THIS OFFICE CAUGHT MY EYE

Don't you adore something attracting your eyes like this?Once a single car garage, below, this office indeed caught my eyes.
With sooooo many antique chandeliers the flourescent tubes became stage props.

No, the cloche, below, wasn't old, old. But pretty, yes?



Soooooo much stuff, nothing in the wrong spot.



Objects taking your mind thru trips to France,



Italy. More.
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This office is the headquarters of, The Garage.
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Salvaged architectural & landscape artifacts from across the globe.
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Go. Your landscape will thank you.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Top pic from the movie, Marie Antoinette. The rest I took earlier this month.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HUMBLED

Until I walked my garden for snow pics, below, who knew the witchazel was blooming?
Daphne buds, below, fat. Snow/ice, no problem, they always open in fragrant perfection.

Providence laughs in gardens.
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Designing fabulous landscapes is all about letting Providence laugh.
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HOW? Use plants for your area & plan for something new to begin bloom every 2 weeks. It's the backdoor to birds, butterflies & more. Without effort.
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You'll discover your garden is a hobbit hole of grace & atonement.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Isn't atonement a great word? At one with. In my garden, sometimes, I'm in atonement with nature, time, loved ones & friends & pets who are gone, problems I can't solve, joy, beauty, new ideas, a good book, acceptance, not forcing solutions, placing hope in God's hands, the richness of solitude, forgiveness, meandering thoughts, discarding old ideas no longer serving my life, & mostly, the grace I seek.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

IRON: Ugly to Fabulous

Lost my head in envy seeing ugly Ranch Burger iron welded (why didn't I think of this?) into fabulous gates, below.


AND they are flanked with a pair of heterosexual

statues.





Gates, statues? Where do they lead?
DAHhhhhhhhhhhLINGS, last week

I entered the gates to the promised land, above. In Birmingham, AL.
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Each piece sourced from around the globe........more later. Ta ta, tootles. Must draw a landscape design this morning.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in Birmingham, AL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DOUBLE AXIS

Looking east, below. Looking west, below.
Double axis with an Italian cypress.
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My wicked invention after an epiphany in mentor/friend Margaret Moseley's garden.
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A focal point fabulous in one direction must be fabulous in the opposite direction.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Don't despair dahlings, it takes years to get to double axis. Start with your single axis & the double will come. Example: Place bench on view from your bedroom window. Sitting on the bench you see the air-conditioner? NOT ALLOWED. Ha, put your intellect to it and create a fabulous view from the bench.
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Pics taken last Friday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CONE IN EACH ROOM

Each garden room should have a cone shaped evergreen. Bringing eyes to the sky.
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Honestly, dahlings, I don't make this stuff up.
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More honestly. It was the hardest rule to get right. Done correctly cone shaped evergreens appear serendipitous. Lagniappes.
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Ha.................! Anything but.
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Cone shapes, mostly, are inherent in what you've already designed. If not, they're balanced symmetrically/asymmetrically with house or trees or garden room or, or, or.
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They will feel right.
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Study pics of landscapes using cone shaped evergreens correctly. Study-study-study. It took me years to get this right.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in my garden last Thursday. The cone? 2 Italian cypress planted with rootballs touching, beginning in 1 gallon pots. (Proof I'm patient, ha.) Songbirds love nesting in these cypress.
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Studying cone use in Italy it's obvious their style won't work in USA. Why? Don't know. Whenever I see a USA landscape copying an Italian landscape with lots of cones they look stupid. Hmm? Anyone know why?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

NAMING ROOMS

My desk, below, last week in Birmingham, AL. GARDEN COURT & I sat here discussing the list of action items

for each room of her landscape.
The original names were



gruesome & won't be repeated here.

Lest GARDEN COURT accidentally use them again.



Without the names I couldn't structure lists of action items for each part of the garden.


With the old names


GARDEN COURT couldn't move forward with her garden.



Now, in conversation with MR. GARDEN COURT, family, friends, Ralph (her gardener), & me there is no confusion about which garden room is being discussed.
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Tara, the woodland walk is being installed.
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Ralph, prune the hollies in the Summer House Garden.
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Tara, I need more help with the Lavender Gate Garden.
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Darling, we're eating on the Fountain Terrace tonight.
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You are invited to lunch in the Conservatory.
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Yes, name your garden rooms!!!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Ironically, GARDEN COURT's garden reminded me I have 2 new garden rooms to name. Two new gravel terraces were installed late-late last year. Hmm. Fun. Pics taken last week with GARDEN COURT.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

MORE THAN ANDY WARHOL

Landscape classicism, below. Landscape designed to obscure era, continent, neighbors, reality.

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Looking at my house, above,
looking out my windows, above. I choose to live amongst eras, continents & the moat of grace my garden gives my interiors, and life.
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About New York City restaurants in the 60's Andy Warhol said, "They caught on that what people really care about is changing their atmosphere for a couple of hours."
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Lame, indeed.
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Design choices for interior & landscape create a Vanishing Threshold of changing atmosphere for each moment of life.
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Why settle for a couple of hours?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Cell phone pic from my car taken 5pm yesterday. I live in a small cluster home subdivision in a city of millions. Houses are freestanding on tiny lots. Tiny. Ha, myriad homes engulf mine but I've opted out of that reality. And I did it with a tight budget of time & money.

Friday, February 12, 2010

WOMEN'S KNOCKERS

A century ago, in Turkey, these hands were the women's knockers of a household. Attached to a door possessing a much larger knocker. You know, the man's knocker.
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Knocker sounds let a household know who should answer the door.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in Birmingham, AL this week. Stay tuned, more from this delicious location, above, soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SPECIAL FURNITURE

Unless I told you, you wouldn't know. This chair?
It's outdoor furniture. Fabric? Outdoor frabric. Cushions? Rain drains in 20 minutes.

Outdoor coffee table, above.


As Anne of Green Gables would say, "...scope for the imagination.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took the pics last week at a To The Trade Only showroom.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HOW TO GIVE & KEEP

On axis with your favorite view, from inside your home, plant a fabulous tree. Beauty for yourself, lifestyle for birds, food for butterflies, increased property value, lower heating/cooling costs. Trees are gifts to future generations.
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Sandra Jonas, Recreating Eden Landscape Design, planted Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume), above, it blooms in winter lasting a month. Growing to zone 6 this tree ranges wide.
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Plant flowers for a lifetime with Japanese Flowering Apricot.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic by Sandra Jonas & posted in Gadabout Media with a lovely article. Private note: Sandra dahling, please get your blog going.

Monday, February 8, 2010

COLOR + FORM = DRAMA

Horizontal form & burgundy foliage Japanese maple at right, below. Light green foliage, weeping willow at left, above.
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Contrast colors & contrast forms for fabulous tree combinations.
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Imagine a purple leaf plum with a burgundy Japanese maple. Yawn.
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Go for the DRAMA!!! Use contrast.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I took the pic in Mr. Jim's (Jim Gibbs) garden.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

MAKING CHOICES

Design is the oldest profession. If everything began in a garden someone had to plan it. Did you know 'garden' is derived from 'paradise'?


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Several times a year I refer to THE HOUSE OF BOUGHS, by E. Wilkinson & M. Henderson, to make a choice.

This week I had to make a choice about fencing for a home approaching its century mark.

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There are 2 books I like to gift. This is one.

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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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Top pic taken from House Of Boughs, bottom pic, from Amazon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

PRICING

Once, this house had the grandest view of Stone Mountain. Owning most of the land in the view too. Recently sold, its estate sale is on now. Multi-colored marble, below.
Iron security gating INSIDE the mansion, below.


Grand rooms, multiple bars, this house was built for entertaining. Now, carpets pulled up, tables

loaded with trinkets, the good stuff was leaving in several trucks as I arrived.

In the garden, above, a mailbox post completely grown thru a tree.
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Hunting old garden tools finding few. Bought 2 old swing blades. $3 each, a common price for the average old tool. Was hoping to get a better deal. Will be creating tool bouquets for my interior & exterior.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken Thursday.
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A clam rake I found in Hogansville, GA last summer set me back $12. But it's hardly average!