Friday, April 30, 2010

COMPOST CONTAINER

In the kitchen, below, circa 1930 pressed glass lemonade pitcher used for kitchen scraps headed to the compost pile. (No dairy/meat dahlings.)
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Rosemary Verey couldn't have been happier than I walking my gravel path to the compost pile once a week carrying this lovely pitcher scored for $10 at Scott Antique Market moons ago.
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Gardem & Be Well, XO Tara
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Soooooooooo Oooooooooooooooover store bought compost containers. Galvanized compost pail rotted thru, plastic pail too big too stinky too ugly, enameled compost pail rotted thru. None of those stupid 'compost' pails delighted. And they weren't cheap.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stealing the View

View, below, from the Garden Room earlier this year. Same view, below, last week.
My tiny property lives large because I own the sky. How? Canopy & understory trees, walls of evergreens, floors of groundcovers/stone on axis from window views inside my home. Vanishing Threshold.
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And, Dahlings, this is big, I stole the view, above. Those aren't my trees. La-Ti-Da.
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Azalea 'George Tabor' is the pink flower you see. Soon blue mophead hydrangeas will be blooming. Later, rosy pink Sasanqua's will bloom.
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By December I'll have the 4 Seasons view from this window.
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(Tara's Trinity of the Southern Garden: Azalea, Hydrangea, Camellia. Plant my trinity and you won't go a day in the year without blooms. Included are oakleaf-Anna Belle-mophead-PG-Tardiva hydangeas & C. Japonica.)
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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23 years in my home & these are the first pics from this view. Why? Since January interiors have been painted, kitchen & master bath remodeled, furnishings redecorated. Odd, new interiors creating new views of the garden. Susanne Hudson was hired to choose colors. Ha, that flowed into other changes. Love everything she's done. Salient fact, I gave her free reign. Total control. A blessing to get out of my own way and let Susanne create magic.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hidden on Purpose

Hidden in the trees, below, a gift from COLLEGE BOY.
A sundial I haven't noticed in years. It's placed 'off exhibit' knowing it's easy to have too much STUFF in my garden.
With Chinese Snowball petals falling

my sundial decided to be seen, if only momentarily. Sweet surprise.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week. Happy I made the choice to have a landscape wanting to delight & entertain me. You know the EM Forster choices in life. Music, books, walks, a cup of hot tea, pets, garden, friends & etc.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Focal Points in the Landscape

In your garden, below, your home is a big focal point. Your home says who you are, whether you think so or not. Consider: views into windows, paint color, shutters, vines/espalier shrubs on house walls, light fixtures, door hardward, roofing choices. All are focal points.

Peak of season hydrangeas, below, are the focal point. Winter? The table & ginger jar are focal points.

Choosing a color theme for furnishings in the garden is a focal point.

Paths, below, are always a focal point. Here, saturated with gate & peak of season blooms. Can you hear the crunch, below, of gravel?



When you buy a focal point ask yourself, "Is this so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"


Leave no aspect unconsidered in your landscape. An innocuous corner, above, at a garage with garden jewelry: vine, round downspout, dovecote.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Notes: 1 focal point/area, hence subsidiary focal points tucked into bushes. Balance plants for focal points vs. things for focal points.
Garden Designers Round Table !!!!!!!!!
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Today the incredible landscape designers, below, are each blogging on Focal Points.
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Enjoy.
Carolyn Choi : Sweet Home and Garden Chicago : Chicago, IL »
Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT »
Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA »
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK »
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX »
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA »
Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ »
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA »
Susan Schlenger : Landscape Design Advice : Hampton, NJ »

MANSIONS & MOONLIGHT

View to the cupola, below, at Hay House, below, in Macon, GA.
Hay House will have garden tours, market & lectures this Friday 30th, Sat. 1st & Sun 2nd. Mary Braswell will be there with her stone cottages-pots-troughs, below. 2 are in my garden, Mary lives only houses away.

Lucky me, lecturing in the room, below. Luckier, I have the garden tours & market to peruse. I've adored Macon, GA since I went as a child in the 1960's shopping for clothes with my grandmother. Spending summers in Milledgeville with my grandparents during college I went to Macon many times with the boys I dated. Now, I go to Macon with a girlfriend for the Cherry Blossom Festival.



When rain lands upon a certain ridge in Macon, if it falls on the east side it drains to the Atlantic ocean. Landing on the west side it drains to the Gulf of Mexico.



This spring house, above, supplied many of Macon's mansions with ice & cold water during their heyday.
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Can't wait to see Macon's gardens.
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This is work?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara




Monday, April 26, 2010

SERENDIPITOUS BEAUTY

Serendipitous Beauty is one of my mission statements. Chinese Snowball blossoms snowing petals, below, 2 days ago in the rain on my Bay Terrace.
Going inside, below, a perfection of Serendipitous Beauty.


Tossing off my hat & setting the umbrella down, inside the door, below, more Serendipitous Beauty.

Jack, below, was attracted immediately to my Serendipitous Beauty for different reasons.


No, I'm not making this up as I go along.


Creating a life of Serendipitous Beauty is a choice.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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She invited me to tour her garden. No, I invited myself. I'm quite rude if I think it's important to see a garden. It was hot. Humid. Bringing us (I was rude enough to invite myself & entourage) inside she offered lemonade. Yes. Walking toward the kitchen she set down her straw hat & straw purse on a table without pausing. Beautiful still life. Without effort. The effluvia of her life was beauty. In that moment I knew. Serendipitous Beauty must effulge in my life too.
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Oh dear, now you know I go into a morning rain wearing my gown, and ugly shoes, taking pics of my garden.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Chandelier

10pm on a January evening this year, client & friend, SHIPMAN sent an email from Buenos Aires, "Do you want this, $100?" He brought it home in carry-on lugggage. He hung it in my new Butler's Pantry 2 weeks ago adding a dimmer switch too.
SHIPMAN has many fine chandeliers in his garden, home & conservatory. Mine, above, is only about 50-60 years old.
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SHIPMAN's garden has been in my books, on my TV show & on garden tours.
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He's addicted to plants, chandeliers, antiques, art. His work allows him to scour the globe for treasures. And Atlanta. Whenever there is a DEAL on a fabulous huge plant he calls me. He's an extra set of eyes.
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SHIPMAN saw my other chandeliers, bought for the garden, installed instead in my house recently.
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Hmm. Maybe I'll be getting more emails from SHIPMAN. It's time my crape myrtles are hung with chandeliers.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A DIFFERENT 4 SEASONS

What is it about human nature
and the unique? Average American landscape statuary? TIRESOME.


A story of 4 seasons shared


in coiffeurs of stone.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week at Le Jardin Blanc. Statues, cast stone reproductions, are for sale. Didn't ask the price nor know from whence their story arrives. What century? What country? Whose idea? Was she a real person?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Best Lawn: TARA TURF

Moss & lichens are wornas jewelry upon this bench.
TARA TURF is its carpet.

Discovered over a decade ago during a study tour of Scotland TARA TURF is obvious.


TARA TURF: moss, lichens, mondo, clover, bulbs, dandelion, violets, fragrance, dwarf chamomile, scilla, muscari, dwarf daffodils, honeybees, ladybugs, fescue, what the wind blows in, 50%-75% less mowing, formal or informal depending upon mowing pattern & heights, zero fertilizer, zero chemicals, zero irrigation Mother Nature's rain only, unique to each zone & region world wide.
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TARA TURF, luxurient decadence. Earth poetry.
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Poetry of Man? Weekly mowing, insecticides, fungicides, their fumes passing thru your skin, stench, fertilizers, irrigation systems, poisoned ground water, dead mychorizal fungi, dead earthworms, dead lady bugs, dead honeybees, lawn cats/dogs/children must be protected from walking upon once treated, well, dahlings you get the idea.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in CORPORATE WOMAN's garden. Pics of her POTTING COTTAGE soon.
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Sod manufacturers, heads-up. Many people have inquired where to purchase TARA TURF.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CHOOSING A WHITE LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Last Friday I was in Douglasville, GA, below, at Le Jardin Blanc.Completed by a doctor, as his private home, just after the Civil War it's close to town & the railroad tracks.
Friends Susanne Hudson & Jeri Farmer bought & operate this manse as a wedding, events &

tea house. Suzanne designed a white themed landscape. Their budget of nothing but creativity & resourcefulness produced a white garden beautiful & easy to maintain. (NOTE: Jeri & Suzanne are women-of-a certain age with only pennies to put into this landscape yet its fabulousity helps sell their venue. Indeed, their landscape is woven into their business plan. Moral? YOU CAN DO IT TOO.)


Doublefile Viburnum, above.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Other pics of the Doublefile Viburnum include dogwood & #89 granite gravel. Don't you love their white picket fence?
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Suzanne & Jeri also created the annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival. It's June 4-6 this year. A garden tour, vendors: plants-fine arts-antiques-jewelry-food-more, a standard flower show, shuttles available. Flower show & Main Street Market are Free, Garden Tours $25/person.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Potent Tool: Repetition

View, below, from a window in the master bath. View, below, from the Garden Room into the lower Woodland Walk.
View, below, from the Music Room into the upper Woodland Walk.

View, below, from the Garden Room onto the Natchez Terrace.




Another view, below, of the Natchez Terrace.


Repetition is a potent landscape design tool. Get you some!
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Azalea 'George Tabor' ensorcells my home, and heart, this spring.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden last Monday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Garden View

This is the view, below,
from the library, below. It's upstairs facing the morning sun.
Decadence, below, as azalea blossoms caress both sides of my body. Alas, they're pruned after blooming; opening the path wider. No matter, by then the hydrangeas will be blooming.


Downstairs, below, kitchen views pour into the Woodland Walk too.



A WATTLE, below, runs the length of the Woodland Walk.

Subtle, above. Would you know a WATTLE was there if I didn't tell you? Not quite 3' high it's prunings & fallen limbs from my garden. A natural fence preventing leaves from blowing into the Woodland Walk once it's blown.
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Other parts of my tiny garden are quite formal. It's of utmost importance I overdose this theme of my Woodland Walk.
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The best landscapes are all about contrasts.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Learned about wattles from mentor, Mary Kistner. They were used on the apple orchard in upstate New York where she grew up in the early 20th century. Have been designing WATTLES into gardens ever since. They don't photograph well & verbally/written they seem repulsive, however, I've never had a client see a WATTLE without getting quite excited about creating their own.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mission Statement: Oooooooh Wow !

This morning, looking out my bedroom window, below. Over 10 years ago decided I must look out all my windows & Think/See/Feel, "OH WOW."
One of the best LIFE CHOICES I've ever made.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken almost 15 minutes ago out my bedroom window. What's the mission statement for your garden?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

STREET VIEW & GARDEN VIEW

Standing in the street, below, a view of my garden. Front view: Italian cypress, Chinese Snowball & Japanese red maple. Standing in the garden, below, looking into the street. Back view: Italian cypress, Chinese snowball & red Japanese maple. (Wicked delight, you can't see the street.)

Double Axis. Same line, 2 views. I noticed all the great gardens of Europe & my mentors had Double Axis. Dahlings, had to GET ME SOME !
The Well Placed Chair, above, under the Chinese snowball. A tantalizing hint of my charming potager. Oh, the tangents you can build from Double Axis.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken 4 days ago in my garden. You got Double Axis? No? Turn off your computer & go get you some ! A great epiphany gleaning Double Axis. My invention, La-ti-da. Not college, not books, not lectures told me HOW to get the gorgeous landscapes I was seeing. So. Many trips to Europe, dissecting gorgeous landscapes, gaining epiphanies. Naming them. Result? A landscape surpassing my fantasies.
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Well Placed Chair? Another epiphany, specific to Sir Walter Scott's garden, another invention. Place a chair for artistic merit/photographic content. Discovery, I use Well Placed Chairs to lunch, take a call, read, set a tool, watch birds alight & scope their world...
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I adore epiphanies. Most occur in gardens, sometimes reading or in the shower. They feel so good. You too?