Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are Your Window Views Paintings on the Wall?

In the original part of her century-plus home, below, Hedgerow Farm is taking her time with interior decorating. With the garden, she is on speed dial.

Incomplete, the music room is not lacking pastoral views.
Pecan trees, above, with tall meadow. Hedging at the far side of the house, above, encloses a potager. Both, viewed from a pair of windows in the music room.
.
Do you think these timeless views were here? NOT.
.
Design techniques used to design views from the Music Room: Hedges, potager, tall meadow, short meadow, copy-scale-axis-historical-enfilade-line-color-form-texture-simplicity-repetition-contrasts-Vanishing Threshold-deer/bug/drought proof plants-pollinator attracting plants-unskilled labor for maintenance.
.
And you thought it was a trinity of: pecan trees, meadow, hedge?
.
Adding simplicity is an art.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Oooooooooooh, Poppets, learning to let go of my ego for simplicity took time. Knowing the landscape at Hedgerow Farm must look as if I was never there. More, as if time stood still; from a century ago. Yet, creating a vital, serene, exciting, kinetic, everchanging landscape to delight the eye and grace the soul.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Katharine Hepburn & Rooster Cogburn

Earlier this month my car landed at the wooded hilltop home of Katharine Hepburn & Rooster Cogburn. You know who hired me. Upon seeing the plan Rooster grumped, saddled in the chair above, "Why should I do any of this?" Kate let me hang in the humid lifeless air, alone. Raised by the Great Santini, darlin' Rooster didn't ruffle my feathers.
Rooster crowed again, "I don't care what anyone thinks...." Poppets, you know, Rooster became the red cape........ My passions inflamed, "Your home is beautiful, sublime interior architecture, antiques from across the globe, rugs, art to delight, books & more. Your exterior isn't you darlin' Rooster, it's good but not fabulous like your interior. I want you to be who you are inside, & outside, Vanishing Threshold."
.
Enter scene, Handy Man, he arrives weekly at the wooded hilltop. Who knew I would desire Rooster running my own contracting services division?
.
Top pic, look into the house at right. A checkerboard floor covers Kate's office. Obviously, I designed a checkerboard floor flowing into the garden.
.
Incomplete, bottom pic, it's shaping up nicely. Pot & St. Francis were already on hand & aren't the permanent focal points here.
.
Rooster & Handy Man have done much more throughout the wooded hilltop. Yes, I'm-a-likin' this Rooster.
.
Kate's been styling the entry, decks, terraces & more. What a Dame! Making it work, married, a very loooooooong time, to Rooster Cogburn.
.
Who knew Rooster Cogburn was such a good gardener?
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Monday, June 28, 2010

Overdose Your Theme

Contemporary home? Contemporary rails.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Atlanta numbers few contemporary style homes, yet can claim to be the capital of contemporary homes with colonial rails. PUPPET BARBUDA wonders, is that disgusting, embarrassing, or both?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Surprises Tucked In

Adirondack chairs as focal points. Easy. Unless, perhaps, you've put too much junk in your garden?
Oakleaf Hydrangea blossom stealing the spotlight.


Tucked in, above, I adore old watering cans.
.
A little surprise, tucked in, seen when you sit in my adirondack chair. Placement matters, poppets. Sometimes 2" matters.
.
Don't create the gravest of garden cliches; all your baubles fighting to be seen AT ONCE. Ugh.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken this month in my garden. Again, you realize I do not like styled pics? When a design is good no need to style your pictures. Bottom pic: shot pea gravel, gray Cherokee flagstone edging & oakleaf hydrangea spilling over. Aaaaaah, love it. Calms me. Ha, whatever works, right?
.
cliche: trite, hackneyed, desperate...............

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vanishing Threshold

Landscape Design takes advantage of everything you have, inside & outside. Repetition of form
is a subtle, potent, tool.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken a couple of weeks ago. Dahlings, you do realize I don't 'style' pics?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Covered Porch

An unused corner, below, in a covered porch. Inside the French doors, a pair of chairs & lamp. Hints the French doors are not used often. I knew she must have a table, wood & old, in this corner. The rest of the covered porch has mostly iron furniture.
.
Days later she acquired this wormy chestnut dropleaf table, the size of the planks indicate age.
.
Unfinished, she's already used the table to do work with her laptop. And the hydrangeas are fabulous from inside views.
.
By summer's end this corner will be completed & I'll post again.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Dahlings, this is gardening at the speed of life.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Repetition

Puppet Barbuda took awhile to trust repetition, a landscape design tool. Wasted years. Puppet Barbuda was stubborn. Still is.
Puppet Barbuda was too smart to COPY !!!!!
.
Alas, years in the wilderness, and Puppet Barbuda DID NOT recreate a new wheel.
.
REPETITION, if it works in one landscape it will work in your landscape. Each time repetition repeats....................IT'S NEW & UNIQUE at each repeat.
.
Of course poppets you must adjust for plant zone, money, maintenance, & time. Ironically, copying $$$ landscapes rewards you, often, with better results than the original.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics from Susanne Hudson's garden last month.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Small Space Gardening

Small space gardening has it all. Seasons, evergreens, deciduous, focal points, ceilings, walls, floors, doors, details. Aaah, details. Details are intensified in small spaces.
.
Under 150 square feet, below, this little frontyard lives big. In the garden & from inside the house. A backdrop hedge creates walls of the room & blocks views of the street. A gate, door to the room, opens the space and extends the architecture of the house. Urn/plinth are focal point & create an enfilade (view thru to a view) in 2 directions, double axis.

Holding up thru the seasons is imperative in small space gardening. No down time allowed.


Potted herbs during summer are gilding. The house & a pair of boxwoods are another wall in this tiny garden room, above. Gravel is the flooring.


Variegated boxwood, above, echoes, those planted in the ground. Raking the gravel is detailing of the carpet. Adding the interest of an oriental rug.


Cat tucked into a boxwood, above, is a hint of what you'll find inside. The urn/plinth were clues or was it the iron gate painted robin's egg blue? Subsidiary pots are all terra cotta. Repetition creates impact in any size landscape.

No big surprise, the classic ginger jar inside, below, when everything outside is classic. Vanishing Threshold, bring your inside out and your outside in.

How do you want to use your small space? A lovely view, a place to lunch, read or invite girlfriends for wine/canapes?

A season's detail. Chinese snowball blossoms coat furnishings & carpeting in this tiny garden room.

Use height in small spaces to reach for the sky. Vines, espaliered shrubs, understory trees. Pull the eye up. The sky creates limitless space in small gardens.

After the Chinese snowball blooms, above, an espalier oakleaf hydrangea blooms, below. Both are draperies when viewed from inside. Outside they add lushness to the wall of the house, draw the eyes up, harbor birds/butterflies, provide 4 seasons of interest.
Small space gardens, abutting your house, include the views into your house. No backsides of pictures, tv & etc.
.
I adore the challenge of creating small gardens. Especially those abutting the house. They harbor our gaze. And they gaze back, with grace.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics from my front yard the past several months.
.
Garden Designer's Roundtable: Small Space Gardening, more articles by the experts.


Small Spaces, Big Ideas!
June 22, 2010 by Scott

Today we focus on the challenges and opportunities of gardening in a small space. Small space gardening has its limits, but it doesn’t have to be limiting. Regardless of whether you are creating an intimate space within a larger garden or simply utilizing every available inch on your balcony, there is no reason your small space garden can’t be a well-designed masterpiece.

A small space garden lends itself to personal expression in a way a larger garden simply cannot. It’s easy to let your personality shine through in a small space garden. But the limited space means you are going to have to make some tough choices, every plant or design feature will need to do double duty. Of course the principles of garden design still apply, you just might need to tweak them a bit to make them fit your space.

Below you will find links to the Roundtablers who are participating in this month’s topic. Please feel free to join in with a comment here, on our Facebook Page, or on the individual blogs themselves. Your thoughts and experiences are always encouraged and welcomed and really do help us broaden our knowledge of this not-so-small topic.

Carolyn Gail Choi : Sweet Home and Garden Chicago : Chicao IL

Jenny Petersen: J Petersen Garden Design : Austin TX

Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA

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

Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Susan Schlenger : Landscape Design Advice : Hampton, NJ

Transition

Closer to the house the landscaping is more formal. Near the back of the property, below, the landscape transitions into natural woodland.
.
Gravel drive & path drift/mingle with leaf litter mulch. No stone or brick edging, 'soldiers'. Not even tree limb edging.
.
Landscapes are stories. Work the drama.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken in Susanne Hudson's garden last month.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Functional

Furniture on gravel? Easy. Discovered Italian heavy-weight terra cotta pots/saucers at the Ace Hardware in Douglasville, GA. Saw the 'same' pots at Wal-Mart yesterday. Tags said, Made In America. They were sooooooo lightweight.
.
Terra Cotta with fine particles is heavier and less prone to freeze damage. Not immune, but lasts much longer.
.
Douglasville Ace? Bought dozens of terra cotta pots/saucers at their 1/2 price sale.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken in Susanne Hudson's conservatory last month.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

That Type

When the actor Jimmy Stewart died in 1997 the obit picture was taken in his garden. Oh, BEAUTY. I, I, me-me-me, I, I, wanted THAT type of garden. Yesterday, Rob Browder, in my garden. Finally met his children. Rob, for almost 2 decades, is the only pruning contractor I refer. Precision Pruning.
Rob's pruning is so natural it looks like G*d pruned. But, dahlings, you must write G*d a check.

Hard to imagine I knew Rob about 10 (ok maybe 4) girlfriends before he met his ex-wife. I was thrilled to finally meet his children.


And I shot them in the exact type of garden Jimmy Stewart had.


It was a tough day with Rob & his men. Deep pruning to all the Daphne. And Rosemary. So deep. I couldn't watch.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Bottom pic is my favorite. If you are in the metro Atlanta area reading this, yes, you want Rob pruning your garden.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blasted !

Susan Burks, IFDA, S. E. B. Designs, attended my lecture this spring for Kravet at ADAC. She 'got' my Vanishing Threshold, and hired me. Vanishing Threshold brings the outside, inside.
Susan's beautiful, serene dining room, all these pics, is blasted with reflected light off her porch. AND. It's the wrong color. Vanishing Threshold brings the inside, outside.
Soon, her porch (blasting white, above) will be painted the color of her stucco exterior (instead of matching the exterior trim color). Her stucco is similar to the wall color in her dining room.
.
The story gets better. With a new interior design client Susan looked out the windows and gained the design of their deck & porch too.
.
Exactly why Kravet hired me to speak. Knowing my Vanishing Threshold expands the business opportunities of their customers.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken this week. None styled. Susan's home is a dream of comfort, color, art and contemporary pieces with antiques. Looking into the windows of my landscape design clients I design window treatments, interior lighting, furniture placement & etc. Shouldn't interior decorators look outside and do the same?
.
Yes, dahlings, there is a limit to this swapping of interior & exterior talents. Exactly why I hired interior decorator Susanne Hudson last winter. And why Susan Burks hired me for landscape design this week. Same as going to the doctor and being referred to a specialist.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Simple

A few weeks ago when the roses began blooming, below. #89 granite gravel drive, picket fence copied from historic template, carport (at right) with "columns" made from 2" x 6" boards, green-brown-white color theme. Pure Simplicity.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Can you hear the gravel as you drive into Susanne Hudson's garden?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Roof

At my driveway, below, Hydrangea 'Anna Belle' blooming. Peeking thru is a neighbor's roof. Reminding me of a Monet painting.
A corner of my roof, above.
.
These 'accidental' roof pics give me an entirely new focus for shooting. How I adore the arcane.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Bit of brown vine, Carolina jessamine, in the top pic was cut en masse, with permission, by my house painter. Will clear it out as time allows.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Exception

Landscape Design Rule: 1 Focal Point per Area Faux bois bench.
.
Oversized hanging candle lantern.
.
Blooming Hydrangea in a pot.
.
Gravel path.
.
Breaking Landscape Design Rules creates fabulous landscapes.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken almost 2 weeks ago in Susanne Hudson's garden. I spent 5 nites with her while creating our garden for the annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival. Oh yes, dahlings, will be posting those pics soon.
.

I've taken dozens of pics of this gorgeous faux bois bench. Each awful. Finally. Ah, finally. Got it !!
.
Yes, broken landscape design rule, above, but don't overlook the fabulous landscape design: canopy trees, understory trees, walls of shrubs, color theme, sense of mystery, sense of surprise.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't Overbuild II

Same slope/drainage issue, different garden, as the last post, below. I created this path, above, over 20 years ago. Stone & gravel were under $150.00 and all the labor was done by ME!
.
The day I created this path COLLEGE BOY said, "All the gravel is going to wash across the garden with the first rain."
.
Hey COLLEGE BOY, "2 decades & counting, when exactly is the gravel going to wash away?"
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Gravel path with slight slope, drainage issue. Path terraced, shot pea gravel poured, stones dug into slope with 2" buried in soil, stones angled slightly into slope.
.
Shot pea gravel loaded at quarry into the back of my pick-up truck. Parked at the curb & shoveled gravel into my double-wheeled wheelbarrow.
.
Stepped off the length of this path, counting steps, and bought chunky field stone to match number of steps. Chose only stones I could carry in my arms. Each of the stones you see, above, I carried one-by-one from my truck at the curb to the backyard (easier than the wheelbarrow routine) & dug into the slope.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Don't Overbuild

Solving a slight drainage issue easily, affordably, without pooling water, without breeding mosquitoes & will last over a century, below. Path was terraced, #89 granite gravel poured, slope dug into with stone laid (dug in about 1"-2" at each base) angled into the slope.
.
Unskilled labor required at each phase, above. Easily woman powered, or man.
.
Water, now, follows the path. As does the eye & foot.
.
Too often I am at a new client's landscape and discover French drains already installed. And already NOT WORKING. Excepting mosquito production. And They Are UGLY & Expensive.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
New path, above, in Jeri Farmer's garden. Not all areas, obviously, can be solved with the method above. Some areas, alas, do need a French drain. Dahlings, I don't want you oversold by a contractor wanting your money instead of the right thing for your landscape. Studying gardens in Europe I saw this same method used countless times in many countries. Built one in my garden 2 decades ago. Will find pic and post it soon. It's fabulous!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brown Choices

Brown, below, is a landscape design choice. Is it on your radar?
Leaf Litter Mulch is a choice.


Leaf Litter Mulch? Love it.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Preparing my garden for a tour, 4 years ago, I realized the standard set by local garden designers (Ryan Gainey & etc.), which I was happily copying, wasn't for me, anymore. Instead I went 180 degrees to my Mentors, all women. Each with Leaf Litter Mulch. A choice made in the afternoon. By dark, sooooooooooo tired, still working in my garden, I glanced up to see my garden and began to cry. Why? It was the missing element, Leaf Litter Mulch, I had the garden I had always wanted.
.
Pics from Susanne Hudson's garden last week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Checkerboard Flooring

Checkerboard flooring, below, in shade. Grass won't grow.
12" X 12" concrete squares.


Gorgeous all year. Affordable, low-maintenance, unskilled labor, rain water only. Add crocus, scilla, blue grape hyacinths.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Yesterday's client's office has a black/white checkerboard floor. Soon the garden outside her windows will have checkerboard flooring too.
Pic taken last week in Susanne Hudson's garden. She installed the checkerboard flooring herself. 18" X 18" concrete squares? Too heavy. Unskilled labor & woman powered.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Espaliered Draperies

Oakleaf Hydrangea, below, draperies outside at the Bay Terrace. A pair espaliered each side the largest window.
Blooms, colorful fall foliage, exfoliating winter bark. Sometimes a bird's nest.

Each year this most terrible time arrives. Awful. Faded blooms & a year of vigorous growth it's time to PRUNE. I natter on about espalier this-or-that but it's never easy. Pruning off faded glory. Why? I know it will produce next year's beautiful show.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken last week in my garden. Oakleaf Hydrangea are native.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting It, Fast

Enter Rose Terrace thru a pair of gardenias. Get comfortable in an adirondack chair.
Hear the crunch of Shot Pea Gravel under foot.
.
Overhead, a cathedral of mature Crape Myrtle. Espaliered against the wall: tea olive, camellia, hydrangea, climbing rose. Edging for shot pea gravel, cherokee gray flagstone & rescued brick. View, embracing arms of hydrangeas & the Tea Olive Terrace with its pond-hedges-groundcovers.
.
Last December the Rose Terrace was a bed of hydrangea under the crape myrtles. Yawn. I wanted to ENJOY my garden. You know, wine/canapes with girlfriends.
.
Why is this new garden room FABULOUS FAST? Dahlings, I followed the rules.
.
Garden Design has a history of templates that work EVERY TIME.
.
Of course I had to get over myself to know this.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken last week in my garden. AND this new garden room was CHEAP.