Monday, May 31, 2010

Vanishing Threshold

Looking out, below, the Garden Room. Looking into, below, the garden room.
Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden last week, Hydrangea 'Penny Mac', dug from her garden. Found the antique French garden chair at my favorite junk shop last year. A rusty, flaky $22. Have this Vanishing Threshold pic with: azaleas blooming, camellias blooming, pittosporum blooming, oakleaf hydrangea blooming & snowfall. Will get them combined for a post; at some point.
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Debut: exterior paint, Bemjamin Moore HC-Waterbury Green.
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I'm quite serious about Vanishing Threshold. AND it must be for every window of your home.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Egyptian Warrior Booty

"More than 3,000 years ago Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent a company of gardeners to what is now British Somaliland for new species, and a century and a half later another Egyptian queen received from an army which had invaded Assyria many new plants, including a pomegranate and a new water lily." Joseph Wood Krutch Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken at Le Jardin Blanc last week. Bust & 19th century smoke house. Can you imagine what fun Queen Hatshepsut had when her Garden Party returned !!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Incipient Calm

A petty bourgeois comfort. I know. Hydrangeas & Blue/White China say, "Keep Calm & Carry On", ha, without words.
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Exterior painting, 5 weeks, completed. You know how they left my garden.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in my garden earlier this week. H. macrophylla 'Penny Mac' shown. Dug from Penny's garden by the Queen of Hydrangea Heaven herself. Decades of blue blossoms in her garden & years in mine. 2 years ago, severe drought, they turned pink due to poor aluminum uptake. Plenty of rains since last fall, hmm, still pink.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival

Susanne Hudson & I are creating a garden for the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, in Douglasville, GA. Saturday, June 5 - Sunday June 6th, 2010.
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This chandelier, below, will be in our garden. Along with rescued treasures: rusty, dirty, antique, arcane. And: #89 granite gravel, busts, furniture. Ha, almost forgot, plants too. A tram circles the gardens on tour. Including Susanne's nationally recognized garden, below. Erica Glasener , of HGTV fame, speaks Saturday, 5th and so will I. In the evening there's a garden tour & progressive dinner.
Twice to Douglasville & spend-the-nites with Susanne already, working in our garden. More work days & spend-the-nites ahead.
This is work?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at Susanne's yesterday morning, yes, a 'work' day morning! She toured me to some of the gardens Wed. evening because I won't have time to see them during the Festival. We were able to have private time with the owners, & their dogs, strolling their gardens after a lite rain. The air cool, fireflies, and scent of jasmine pervasive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painted 'Copper' Gutters

My back door, below. Notice the downspout? It's round, by choice. Better aesthetics.
Gutters are aluminum painted to look like copper. Sherwin-Williams, Best Bronze.


The woman? A Christine Sibley piece. Bought from the 2nd's table when Christine was alive. Ooooh, I miss her gardens, zoo, gallery, 2nd's table, antics, and her.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken yesterday morning. Painters finally finished the exterior. Susanne Hudson, interior decorator & color specialist, was hired to choose colors.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Queen's Pot

The best containers in your garden? So wonderful they can remain empty.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in the Bay Terrace, my front yard, from the living room. When I saw a particularly fine empty pot at Glamis Castle, one of the Queen's homes, epiphany ! Some of my pots are fabulously empty and some are planted. Please, get yourself at least one Queen's Pot.
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Garden Designers Roundtable: Containers
More !! More !!! More !!!!

This month’s bloggers on the Gardeners Roundtable!

Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

Jenny Petersen: J Petersen Garden Design : Austin TX

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA

Rochelle Greayer : Studio “G” : Boston, MA

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA
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Apologies, I can't get the links to go thru.....at the moment. All of the fabulous landscape designers, from many states & zones, above, are also writing about containers today at: Garden Designers Roundtable.

Dry Stream

Never a stream, below, simply a low spot in the woods with drainage issues. River rocks & plantings solving drainage issues beautifully.
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This was the 1st dry stream bed I ever saw, over 2 decades ago. Since then it's become MORE gorgeous while functioning without problem.
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A French drain would have been ridiculously expensive, clogged up by now, dotted with water pockets & breeding mosquitoes.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken at the Atlanta History Center a few weeks ago.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogs Feeding the Muse

7 Blogs feeding my creative muse; helpers in my garden ! Velvet & Linen, interiors & gardens. Brooke makes it look easy.
Cote de Texas, mostly interiors. Joni goes in depth & with great pics.
Color Me Happy, fabulous color. Maria shows & tells the why's of color with great business advice too.
A Bloomsbury Life, the title says it all.
Things That Inspire, architecture & interiors & art. Always inspiring & educational.
From the House of Edward, art & words. Beautiful words. Storytelling.
It's About Time, pictures & history with a sure hand. Sometimes the pics are the entire story.
To all of the above I pass along The Beautiful Blogger Award.


Yes, you've guessed I was given a blog award, "Beautiful Blogger Award". Thank you, It's About Time.


The award asks for 7 things you may not know about me:
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* I adore geology.
* Crash Test Dummies has been playing in my car for over 2 years. Zero variation.
* Camping in the dunes of Edisto Island is my happy place.
* I thought Venice would be a wasted day on my garden tour. WRONG.
* When wonderful things happen I still want to tell my grandmother. She died in 1983.
* The life I'm living is better than the life I planned.
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Designing landscapes, writing books about landscapes, putting together powerpoints about landscapes, lecturing about landscapes each give me something rare on this earth. A sense of timelessness. Moments of pure joy. The eternity now that Joseph Campbell speaks of.
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Decades of this work & I can't get enough, still learning, still excited.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Susanne Hudson's greenhouse a few weeks ago.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do You Have the Eye?

Lovely rose arbor, below, yes? It came from a dumpster.
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Susanne Hudson saw a commercial awning tossed into a dumpster. She called the building's owner immediately, asking if she could have the discarded awning.
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Next, she called a fence company to place 8' fence posts.
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The awning was placed forming a complete 1/2 round instead of its intended 1/4 round.
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Voila...rose arbor with hanging lanterns.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken 2 weekends ago. I've been in Monet's garden and know Susanne's rose arbor is little different from his in drama. What could be better? Do you have the eye?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dogs in the Landscape

Come inside, below, to see adorable signs of a dog.
Our landscapes are stories of ourselves.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken a couple of weekends ago at Susanne Hudson's garden, she has adorable Jack Russells.
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When I design a landscape I'm hired to tell the right story. Perhaps the landscape story belongs to a previous owner. Or the story from a past chapter of my client's life.
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What story is your landscape telling? Is it your story?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Landscape Design: Pollinators

Vanishing Threshold increases pollinator habitat. 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food are the result of insect pollination.
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Circa 1996, the USDA wrote, "...impending pollination crisis."
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Ha, not in my garden!! Why? Mix of plants, mix of heights, mix of density, ponds, composting, no chemicals, no fertilizer, . Everything pollinators need.
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Major cause of pollinator decline? Loss of habitat. Subdivisions across USA with traditional lawn/foundation plantings & their maintenance. Not opinion, scientific fact.
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Testosterone On Wheels Landscaping vs. Matriarchal Landscaping.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Huge topic, more info at POLLINATOR.org

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jackie Kennedy & Martina Navratilova

COLONNADE has a new home, below, 10 acres, 3 children & is new to gardening. Asked what she liked, COLONNADE produced pics & ideas of Rosemary Verey's. COLONNADE is an intuitively wise gardener. Verey was one of the greats.

COLONNADE, a Jackie Kennedy/Martina Navratilova combo, acquired 3 brothers to help with the gardening.

3 baby goats, above, nibbled my clothes as I designed.
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Channeling Rosemary Verey is a delight but most importantly I'm an advocate of COLONNADE's time. COLONNADE will be the one on the tractor, riding mower & etc. She's sourcing equipment now.
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Young children are the focal point and her landscape must be pleasure not stress.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week. Did you know baby goats have soft fur? And they want lots of petting & attention. Their little voices sweet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Frames in the Landscape

A bit small for framing, below, in person. But with
your camera this armillary sundial
is an interesting frame in the landscape.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Shots taken recently in Susanne Hudson's garden. Hydrangeas, bottom pic. A friend visiting my garden last week saw my armillary sundial laying unused on the potting table. She suggested I use it as a chandelier for the new conservatory. Hmm, delightful !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden Overlook

Taken years ago, below, in England. Who wouldn't want their desk overlooking the garden? Amazing, lovely, delightful (hearing Cole Porter yet?) when life conspires to, indeed, give you one of your desires. Unbidden.
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I forgot about this pic; stumbling upon it only last week.
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Must get the azaleas pruned to show you my desk-with-garden-overlook. Why tell you about it now, without the pic? Because, dahlings, it's the ANTICIPATION.
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These little excitements of anticipation in the garden are a sweetness of life.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lucy

Today my friend and contractor will put down his beloved Lucy. He kept me informed, over a decade ago, as he looked for a breeder.
He had just moved into his historic Crafstman bungalow near Zoo Atlanta. "Will Lucy sleep in your bed?", I asked. "Never." Ha, you know where she slept from the beginning.

Whether Lucy was on the job, having play dates with friends, or romping at Carter Center I could count on pictures of Lucy arriving in my inbox.
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He and Lucy partnered to create a beautiful garden around their Craftsman bungalow.
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Within that garden, in their home, Lucy & James will say goodbye.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in Susanne Hudson's garden. Gardens & pets are inseparable. Not surprising I've been asked to landscape design many pet burial grounds.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Favorite Landscape Book

5 bookcases line the walls of my office. One of my favorite books, below, Garden Magic by Roy Biles.
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Several editions of this book are on my shelves; of my top 10 go-t0 books this is one.
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Seeing it displayed in Susanne Hudson's conservatory, above, made me smile in complete understanding.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken last Sunday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Draperies in the Landscape

Last Sunday, below. Considered draperies for your landscape?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took the pic in Susanne Hudson's garden.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sacred & Profane of the Best Landscapes

The best landscapes have elements, below, of the Sacred
and elements, below, of the Profane.

Landscape design is about contrasts.
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The Sacred & the Profane. Got both?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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(Big leaves with small leaves, blue foliage next to burgundy foliage, pyramid forms next to horizontal forms, blowsy hydrangeas bursting over neat green hedging, spikey flowers by round flowers, & etc.)
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Top pic taken last week at Stone Mountain Park, bottom pic England.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Landscape Design

Think this is unkempt? A landscape design, above, an illusion of country. Nature. Not one leaf is unconsidered. The dirt path? Part of the landscape design.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took pic in England.
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Living with a manicured lawn yet love the garden above? Yes? Life is too short not to have a garden nurturing your spirit.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Decorating Your Conservatory

Susanne Hudson used windows from the dump, 2" X 4" 's, opaque corrugated roofing panels, old doors, & #89 granite gravel, below, to create her conservatory. Inside, plenty of seating, lighting, & art.
Tables, cushions,


fabrics & collections.


A color palet. A few plants too.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Can't wait to begin building my conservatory. Hunting/gathering now. Dahlings, there's zero budget for this. Adore the challenge. Getting what I want at MY price point. Soon I'll be: hammering, shoveling gravel, painting, then, ta-da, decorating my conservatory.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Outside & Inside A Hedge

Standing in the street, below, at my front gate this morning. Inside the hedge, below, is my Bay Terrace.
Oakleaf Hydrangea blossoms unfurling, below, in the Bay Terrace.

The subtlety of my rule "Just Let It Touch", blossoms caressing, below, the adirondack chair.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas espaliered, below, at the bay window. Learned this trick in Italy at Lake Maggiori.

Did my garden make you curious about seeing, below, inside?


My go-to spot, above, for working on projects, lunch, dinner with a girlfriend.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Bottom pic taken weeks ago, rest of the pics taken less than 15 minutes ago.
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Love English hedgerows and copied. Mine: dwarf abelia, climbing rose 'Dortmund', hydrangeas, boxwood, palm, rosemary, lavender, liriope, clematis, hollyhocks.
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Breakfast yesterday morning, in my gown, sitting in the adirondack chair caressed with oakleaf hydrangea blossoms. Neighbors in my tiny subdivision, surrounding my tiny property, well hidden behind my hedge.
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The antique gateleg table had been in my office for a decade until last January. I hired Susanne Hudson to choose paint colors, somehow, ALL my furniture moved !

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Foundation Plantings are Ridiculous

Why a stupid row of evergreen meatballs when you, below, can have this? Why give away your real estate? Foundation plantings are a tired concept.
One espaliered shrub adds a lushness legions of sheared green meatballs will never approach.
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In your mind, at this moment, take away your foundation plantings. Good, have fun destroying a landscape and creating your garden. One matching your interiors, architecture, intellect & spirit.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken when I was in England. Got rid of my foundation plantings over 15 years ago, la-ti-da.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Few Good Things

Window box, below, fake stone, below,

terra cotta feet, below,
were a few good things I saw last month at Lowe's.
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Remember when fake stone was ridiculously stupidly ugly?
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The window box is lovely but underscaled for the average window. Buy 2, get it right.
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Loved the price on those terra cotta feet, 3/set for $3.99.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara