Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BAD CHAIR & GOOD CHAIR

Bad chair, below. Why? Though new, it's Dated. Acceptable color, clean lines. Hmm. Nice for a hotel at an exit ramp off I-85 in mid-North Carolina, or South Carolina. Good chair, below. Why? Though new, undated. Timelessness.
Hints of 30's Deco, 50's mid-century modern. 8 of these jewels around an old harvest table in your garden? Or inside your house. Done! Comfort, classic, timeless. And, only $32.
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Would you EVER think of putting the chair, top pic, inside your home? NEVER.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took pic while Hunting/Gathering at Lowe's this week.
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NOTE: Not bashing the Carolina's. If you've driven the route you can't help asking , "Why so many new hotels at exit ramps? How did they get the loans? Is all of America overdosed with new hotels at exit ramps along the interstate system?" Seen during my road trip to lecture in Virginia last February. At that lecture, dahlings, I met Eddie Ross & JAITHAN. Good food, good wine & stories to tell. Fell in crush with both of them. But, alas, this is a garden blog. Tootles.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FABRIC IN THE LANDSCAPE

Beware patterned fabric in your landscape. Patterns tend to hijack the eye & own the space. If you want pattern in the landscape relate it in color & style to your interior decor.
Umbrellas, above/below, at Lowe's yesterday. Love the classic stripe, for the right garden of course.

Patterned umbrellas are the worste offenders. A joy to see the collection yesterday.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


Monday, March 29, 2010

LINE SILHOUETTE FORM

Takes your breath away, yes? Why? Hardly ubiquitous.
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Lines of the house are repetitive horizontal & perpendicular.
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Good landscape design KNOWS what to contrast.
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This isn't a STUPID swing, aka uncomfortable. Deep. Sink into those cushions dahlings.
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The cushions are already telling you about inside the house aren't they? Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Found pic via Limestone & Boxwoods who found it via Things That Inspire when she was posting about Ray Goins furniture.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

JOHN SALADINO

Saladino's work is in full measure. Garden & house. Vanishing Threshold. The pruning of his canopy & understory trees, above, tell me more about the man than his interiors.
His VERTICAL LAWN (vine on wall) & lidded urn on the shelf melt my heart.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Found the pics yesterday via Period Homes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

IN A CLOCHE.....

Everything looks better! A cloche protects seedlings from frost.
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Hand-blown in Mexico, above. Came from the late Smith/Hawken. Found others, made in China or Poland, at TJMaxx.
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Did you notice? My antique French bistro table has moved inside. And my garden? Love/adore looking out ALL my windows into a garden view.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Friday, March 26, 2010

MAGIC from the MUNDANE

Meeting a client yesterday, below. Why the Christmas wreath? Upon inspection, below.
GARDENING: Magic from the Mundane
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LIBRARY: BEFORE & AFTER

Before, Library, below. Ceiling white, walls botanical green, taupe wall is balcony overlooking great room. Almost 'before', painters had begun bringing their stuff in & moving my things. Library: After, below. Walls & Ceiling BMoore, Rockport Gray. Rattan from the garden center replacing mini-blinds. Artwork by Jenny, my late mother-in-law.
This corner of the library is finished, more to do. Pics as it's done.
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Today is Flannery O'Connor's birthday. She lived the last part of her life with her mother in Milledgeville, GA. Did you know Milledgeville was the capitol of Georgia during the Civil War? Don't worry, dahling, not many people do.
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Milledgeville, more famously, is where my GRANDMOTHER lived. I lived summers with GRANDMOTHER, spring breaks & Chistmas too. This relates to my library before/after?
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I remember clearly, as a girl, GRANDMOTHER, "Would you like to drive out and meet Flannery O'Connor?" GRANDMOTHER was a friend of her mother. "No", walking, bored, out of the kitchen. "She has peacocks.", to my back. A hot-humid, only as Milledgeville can be, day. Why would I want to go to someone's stupid farm and meet a couple of old ladies on a day like that? Ah, childhood yes?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I should remember, To Hot For Peacocks, while making choices!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CURB APPEAL

CURB APPEAL --- House Exterior: paint historic yellow-ochre, replace rails with Chippendale pattern, place oval shutter at oval window, trim + Chippendale rails + picket fence painted 1 tone darker of the same yellow-ochre. A new owner, above, in this youngish neighborhood.
Though youngish the neighborhood looks OLD. Why?
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Sheared, circa 1982 style, green meatball builder's plantings. Homes colored in timid builder's whites.
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Sheared green meatballs are pustules on the face of neighborhoods; lowering property value.
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Happily, this small neighborhood understands. As homes are painted owners are choosing colors suited to their bricks & interiors. Overplanted green meatballs are being removed. Upgraded gardens installed.
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Note: Color & Chippendale were easy to choose for this home. Interior walls are yellow-ochre and beautiful antiques fill their rooms. Floors were being refinished while I was there, alas, no pics.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OUT OF THE CLOSET

A pic from her dinner party, below, last Saturday. Dinner for 8.
Designing landscapes I must see inside your home. Lucky me, SHE had just finished reorganizing her china closet and let me peek.
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I know the backstory of all the china & silver, above. A beautiful table. But there's more; the pic tells me SHE had fun putting it together. It shows yes?
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We haven't talked yet of what she cooked, the occasion, where she got the whirligigs. Pitterpatter of the conversations. (The table, by the conservatory windows, overlooks the garden.)
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This is another thing I adore about Vanishing Threshold. It creates a Jane Austen life. Small details lived big.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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SHE sent me the pic Sunday. It would be fun creating an herbaceous border with flowering shrubs to match her table setting from Saturday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A NEW GARDEN ROOM: ROSE TERRACE

ROSE TERRACE, unfinished & already a dowager, hosted me Saturday. Shirt sleeves, wine, book.

Incomplete, ha, the charms of ROSE TERRACE are prodigeous.

ROSE TERRACE is under the crape myrtles, below, and my office window.

ROSE TERRACE, below, last month. Delightful, the potency of shirt sleeves Saturday.


Of course, below, I was in the chaise, circa 1930, taking pic of the teak adirondack with fallen camellia blossoms, C. 'White By The Gate'.


Antique roses weave into crape myrtles shading house & ROSE TERRACE. That idea came in Claude Monet's garden, circa 1990. Couldn't get home fast enough to order the roses. Today's era? Order via cell phone from Claude's garden. "Claude', one of the dead men I have a THING for.
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Prior to being the ROSE TERRACE this was a hydrangea patch.
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Prior to being a hydrangea patch this was an herbaceous border.
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Prior to being an herbaceous border this was ---can't believe I'm admitting to this --- otto luyken laurels I planted before I knew a thing about gardening.

Hydrangeas repurposed, below, at the border of ROSE TERRACE. Shot pea gravel, 3" deep -- no landscape fabric, with stone & brick for edging.
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New Camellias, Tea Olives & Gardenias are espaliered against the wall of ROSE TERRACE.
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Lanterns + Candles await to be hung from the Crape Myrtles.
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Terra cotta pots await my luncheon appointment with a topiary wholesale nursery next week. Honestly, it would be impossible to make this stuff up. AND it's work. My career.
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(Of course no one wants my job when it's hot/humid & blood is trickling down my neck from mosquito bites or I'm picking up dog s---t in a client's garden so they'll only see my contractor's beautiful installation of my design. Oh, lest I forget, falling off the second story of my home before a winter open garden & getting up and working more while it's still dark outside so the 10am start time is EFFORTLESS. Ha!!!!!!!!!)


Dowager? Incomplete, ROSE TERRACE is already gorgeous & functioning.
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NOTE: Adirondack on flagstones, prevents irratic sinking. For proper photography & when guests are present hide flagstones under shot pea gravel.
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Inspiration? Enjoying wine/canapes at a girlfriend's, realizing I didn't have a similar spot.
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Can't wait for warmer days ahead, girlfriends & ROSE TERRACE.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BAY WINDOW: BEFORE & AFTER

Desk & Petunia, below, at my bay window. Paint 20 years old. Note, horror, mini-blinds. After, below, this morning. Painting complete. Note, delight, curtains. A soft 100% cotton burlap.
Bookcase from top pic now in Garden Room, aka kitchen, below. And it's sitting on a different base.


Yes, I liked the 'before' in my home. After 20+ years it was time. CHANGE!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Paint Color was a taupe. Now it's Benjamin Moore HC-105 Rockport Gray with HC-174 Lancaster Whitewash trim. Did you notice my Christmas cactus decided to become an Easter cactus? Aren't the daffodils happy? Tulipiers are fabulous; 18 seconds to toss daffodils in. Tulipier, thrift store, $1.99.
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NOTE: This is THE bay window overlooking the new Bay Terrace in my garden.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

EYEBROW WINDOW

Who knew you could fall in love with an EYEBROW WINDOW? Dating COLLEGE BOY I fell hard for his family lake house, above-below. EYEBROW WINDOWs front/back. Tiny. Both in the same room.
Look closely, above, the EYEBROW WINDOW is tiny, but it's there!

The French Touch posted this pic, above, recently. Ha, I totally understand the love of roofing & EYEBROW WINDOWs.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Couldn't find the web address for The French Touch & pic above. If anyone knows let me know I'll place the link. Thanks.


Friday, March 19, 2010

JULIA CHILD & RACHEL RAY

Cookbooks. None by Rachel Ray. Not surprising PECAN ORCHARD isn't hesitant to begin her landscape with its bones. Evergreen hedges near the house, working outward. Ah, yes, Julia Child. Truck & outbuildings, below, viewed from the kitchen, above. Soon, hedges. Poof Gone!
PECAN ORCHARD returned from 2 decades of expat living recently. Determined to live a gardening lifestyle with chickens, honeybees, potager, fruitery, nuttery, & more.

Around the corner from her kitchen, above, a guest alcove. PECAN ORCHARD is already hosting events for honeybee & chicken groups.
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A few Garden Ingredients: Hollies, camellias, Pee Gee hydrangea, red bud, crape myrtles, abelia, forsythia, viburnum, boxwood, meadows, bulbs, branch wattles, urns, plinths, paths, gravel, flagstones.
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When PECAN ORCHARD is over 90, decades away, she wants a landscape grown more beautiful AND easier to maintain.
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Combining Rachel Ray ease & Julia Child delectability.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took pics yesterday at PECAN ORCHARD'S home.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TAKE JOY

Rosemary Verey wrote of removing foliage off winter blooming Lenten Rose. I copied, below. In Sir Walter Scott's garden I saw a 'well placed chair'. I copied, below.
Pamela Harper wrote of every garden needing a tall cone shape taking the eyes to the sky. I copied, below.
Joy is always present. Always.
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Take.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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"Take joy" was a favorite of Tasha Tudor, from the book, Tasha Tudor's Garden, pics by Richard W. Brown & text by Tovah Martin. Don't have this book yet? Take joy, buy it.
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Stephen Holden recently reviewed, "Gershwin...Here to Stay", performing at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, for the NYTimes. In it he wrote, "When Gershwin's friend Kay Swift observed him playing "dark, doom-laden chords" and asked him what he was composing, he said: "Oh, nothing. I was just working off some of the dreary music that lies near the top of a composer's mind. Then I"ll dig down to the happiness stuff, with any luck."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CLIENT CAT & MOUSE

MR. TENNIS adores to ace me. Lovely family, home, garden. I design a fabulous garden, within budget, he ace's back, "Let's put in a stone wall & level the frontyard." Fine. Ha, I was supposed to do that in the 1st budget?
MR. TENNIS, a disciplined man, below, but not rigid. Competitive & athletic.

MR. TENNIS aced me again, he thinks, in his backyard. Yes, "Let's add a stone wall & level the backyard." Ha, that was in this budget?
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(Private note: MR. TENNIS I won the district singles 4a championship 2 years in a row. Would have been 3 if I hadn't skipped my senior year of high school. My backhand down the line is wickedly untouchable. If it can't be done I'll aim for your stomach as you approach the net. And I know you will. Tennis is a contact sport for me. I made plenty of girls cry. Ask my sister. It's still amusing visualizing hitting her in the stomach, knocking the air out of her. She rarely played with me afterward.)
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MR. TENNIS I notice how you make changes to your landscape plans. Thinking, as I drove to meet MRS. TENNIS yesterday afternoon, he's playing cat & mouse with me. Again.
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I first heard of your stone wall last week from my contractor. Of course I asked him if low columns were included. Ha, MRS. TENNIS calls hours later for an appointment. We had a good laugh at your methods.
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You will get your stone wall & level backyard. Your ace. It will be gorgeous & affordable. My ace.

(Private note: MR. TENNIS, I remember well the hot, humid afternoon I met you. You acquired me when you married MRS. NEWS. You pulled into your gorgeous drive in that gorgeous car, gorgeous clothes cool from your office, and you did not once take off your gorgeous sunglasses. Ace. Then you married MRS. TENNIS. You kept me in your divorce. My ace.)
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Hindsight is hilarious MR. TENNIS. You want a fabulous landscape. I want to create fabulous landscapes. Fate matched us well.
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Oh, almost forgot, MRS. TENNIS told me you did some gardening at one of your rental properties. AND YOU LIKED IT. Too bad you didn't see the response. You aced me without knowing it.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BOOKS by BEVERLEY NICHOLS

Beverley Nichols, Englishman, lover of gardening, junk, antiques, cats, history, books, domestic help, his friends, the stage, music, entertaining, reading, & an author. Do you know of him?
Mary Kistner, a mentor, gave me 1 of his books circa 1999. Bought 2 more at that time.

Have reread each several times. This year is a SIGNIFICANT birthday.

Bought myself, so far, stone cat for the Bay Terrace, 3 antique blue/white jardinier's while lecturing in Richmond, VA, and this morning, 12 books by Beverley Nichols. Dahlings, ya'll are expensive, had to buy them, getting the cheapest used versions, before telling you about them.
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Of his friend, Marius, "In the dusky glass of a rococo mirror he could see the shadow of ancient battles; he could trace the beginning of a nation's decadence in the scroll of a picture frame, and find the outlines of a philosophy in the border of an aubusson carpet." And on the next page he writes of George Washington & General Lafayette wallpapering together at Mount Vernon.
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Which, of course, reminded me about John Adams & Thomas Jefferson touring gardens in England for a fortnight, with only their manservants.
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Didn't know these important TRUE details about America's founding fathers?
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Oops, apologies, off topic. Buy any, or all, books by Beverley Nichols. Ha, remember, I snagged the cheapest copies off Amazon moments ago.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Amazon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

USE WHAT YOU HAVE

View, below, of Elizabeth Clarkson's living room from her foyer. Seating, below, rims the walls of her foyer.
Unseen, below, unless standing at an awkward angle.

Did Elizabeth find these chimney flue liners? Probably.
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In garden & home Elizabeth came from a generation knowing, "It's what you do with what you have."
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Elizabeth Clarkson left her home & garden as a public resource, Wing Haven, in Charlotte, NC. Elizabeth Lawrence's home & garden, a few houses down, is now owned by Wing Haven. Go.
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Took the pics last month.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MUSIC ROOM

Garden rooms must be named. I've known this for decades. Since January I've been working with Susanne Hudson, interior decorator. She created new rooms & named them. Music Room, above.
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How did the know-it-all inventor of Vanishing Threshold not know to name the rooms inside her home?
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Dulcimers, piano, autoharp, turn-table, antiquated stereo system, comfy seating, art, lamps, window with fabulous view.... Years of junking. Nothing had to be bought.
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Hardly used for 23 years, SS (since Susanne), this is my morning spot. Reading the paper & watching the sun rise behind contorted filbert, witchhazel, Southern Indica azaleas, pieris...
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Notice vase on the piano? A bouquet of antique tools.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Music Room wasn't finished when I took the pic so you're seeing only a sliver. Found the chair, broken, in the basement of our family house on Lake Rabun, a delight & worth your time, promise. It's an American windsor dated 1897 on the bottom. Red Beck, in Tucker, GA, now closed, fixed the chair & finished it with historically correct wax.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ENTRIES

Landscapes cannot have too many entries.Not always gates or doors. Use pair of: trees, bushes, urns, stones, wattles, columns & etc.
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Entries in gardens are PROOF of garden magic. No matter the direction, they are always entries. Something I try to remember about life. It may feel like an exit but it's always an entry.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pic via It's About Time. From door, bricks, edging, vine, vista, colors, lichens, meadow, season, I can feel the coolness of the bricks on the palm of my hand, the push & sound of the door trying to open it further & smell the air.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SHOPPING & A PICNIC

A portion of GARDEN COURT's family room, below. GARDEN COURT made a picnic to eat enroute. Pimento cheese on bakery bread, chips & cookies.
View, below, looking out GARDEN COURT's frontdoor.


Our destination, below, strewn with empties. Boutique ale, ha, not beer.

Who cares when the shopping, below, is this good?

Ionic column cap, above, perhaps 1/2 ton? Can't you see it as the perfect coffee table on your terrace?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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GARDEN COURT sent the snow pic. I took the rest of the pics last month shopping at The Garage in Birmingham, AL.