Saturday, October 30, 2010

Men Are Unknowable

Unfinished terrace, below, AIRPLANE MAN, after my guys left, brought a folding chair, little music box & a glass of wine.AIRPLANE MAN saw his lake from a new angle (25 years in the house), & turning slightly he could see his wife, in the kitchen; cooking.
AIRPLANE MAN was not interested in my services. NOT. The Wife; she hired me.
Bluestone mortared stoop, above, leading from a backdoor to the new, unfinished, terrace. My design indicated flagstones in soil with dwarf mondo in the cracks. AIRPLANE MAN wanted mortared bluestone. Tall walls of their home demanded softening. Mortared bluestone wasn't wrong but not the best for their needs. Told them to think about it a few days.
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A room with lots of windows leads to this new terrace (formerly known as the weed patch), soon some of those windows will be a French door; trees & shrubs & groundcovers & H20 feature & furniture will be added.
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Back to AIRPLANE MAN. He was stuck with me, alone, last Tuesday. The Wife, she was at work. I was called, by The Wife, to inspect a post at the new potager.
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AIRPLANE MAN answered the door with dirty hands, dirty clothes & covered in sweat. (Poppets, something fabulously attractive about a man who gardens, hmm, wonder how Thomas Jefferson looked all sweaty garden dirty). We immediately delved into gardenspeak & began covering the new paths, rondels & grounds . Stop, is this the man irritated by my hire?
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Had to ask, "Who did you listen to?". Edith Piaf.
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To The Wife, girlfriend YOU DID IT. Your garden is all-totally-completely AIRPLANE MAN's idea.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken Tuesday. Men are such unknowable beasties, or are they? I adore that The Wife & AIRPLANE MAN have flown into a new chapter of their lives together. Of course I'm partial to garden chapters !
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No, never thought AIRPLANE MAN would garden. NEVER................

Friday, October 29, 2010

NYTimes & Anne Raver: Backwards Design

30 years with a beautiful flower garden, Page Dickey, finally creates a fabulous Landscape Design. "We need an overall plan: more green architecture & less plants.", she says. How? "The first step is to replace perennials with shrubs & ground covers."Page has arrived. ATONEMENT.
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Anne Raver, yesterday's NYTimes, knew to lead her delicious garden column with these facts. It's human nature to garden backwards. Flowers are seductive.
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Magazines & nurseries pimp flowers.
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PUPPET BARBUDA is miffed her industry, Landscape Design, is tainted with the Flower Pimp industry.
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How many flowers do you see, above, in my conservatory?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Poppets, did you see the pic of Page Dickey? I want to look like her when I'm 70, sexy gorgeous !!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Easy To Find

If you see terra cotta pots: marked-down, at a garage sale or thrift store, BUY.They are harder to find good/cheap/free.
Some Ace Hardware have a line of excellent terra cotta in spring. Once they sell-out it's another year before the shipment arrives again.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at Susanne Hudson's conservatory. Poppets, the pics are not styled. Why have a landscape be anything less?
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Ugly is easy, fabulous is intellect.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Building Your Garden Room: 10 Steps

Think, cha-ching, this isn't for you? Poppets, PUPPET BARBUDA will not let you off easy. That measly excuse of no money? HOW TO build your new GARDEN ROOM:
1. Make decision to build a GARDEN ROOM. (Odd, this is the most important step)
2. Get envelope, label it, GARDEN ROOM. (Leftover paper money 2-3/week goes here.)
3. Tell all your friends, "I'm building a GARDEN ROOM."
4. Look at everything in your path with RESCUE eyes.
5. Bring it home. Old fencing, stone, brick, concrete, wood, house parts.
6. Get paint from the rejects at hardware store.
7. Accessorize from thrift store & sale items: TJMAXX, Marshall's, Ross.
8. Pots/urns from garage sales, big box store sales.
9. Put the right man in your project. (Alas, difficult.)
10. Hire man, & the same day, invite girlfriends to your Garden Tea Party.
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Take step #1 and your GARDEN ROOM will appear.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Charlotte Moss, pic, above. OMG, wonderful, & doable! This pic has come across my path at least a zillion times.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Woman Acquires Working Girl

Meet Tess my new working girl. Already exceeding expectation, in less than 2 weeks, below, carting home a FIND aka $25 huge ancient oil masterpiece. (SHIPMAN suggests balled up white bread, sans crust, pressed onto oil painting to remove discolored varnish. You got any ideas?)Tess, parked with the big boys at a job site, below, she's not expected to do hardscaping aka lumber, concrete, brick, asphalt, 12' trees.
Tess's job? Find materials for conservatories, patios, decks & landscapes while
carting my office about town. Like Monet, I work en plein air; a folding table & chair. Windy day hat is in top pic, sunny day hat, above. Old brass lamp, above, recently sourced by Tess, will go into my conservatory or maybe a client's sunroom.
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Antique wicker hampers hold office supplies along with staking flags, measuring tapes, tools & etc.... Tess is no slouch, she's already brought home rescued windows (from century old craftsman bungalow) to be used in my new conservatory. Ha, I'm working Tess hard & loving every moment.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Poppets, you must understand, somehow Providence had me driving a car for a decade. Most likely to give other junking women fairer odds against my dumpster diving skills. They are prodigious. Alas, not always a good thing. A voice in my head, "Bi-annual garden sale." We'll see.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Siting: Urns & Plinths

Not often do you see iron urns significantly past a century old, below.
Last year in Birmingham, AL these urns, already by the front door, went into my landscape design.
Why? Too low. The scale was incorrect for the size of the home, frontdoor, & landing.
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Bought 'on approval', this pair of plinths arrived with a question mark last week. Naturally, my answer was, "yes, buy." And it's time to paint urns/plinths a dirty-dark-lead color. 2 tones will be needed.
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Did you notice where the urn/plinth is sited? NOT centered between frontdoor & column. Placing them a bit closer to the column enlarges the space.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken by a client in Birmingham, AL.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mission Statement, Focus, & Have Fun

"It seems no wonder if our ancestors regarded Friendship as something that raised us almost above humanity. This love, free from instinct, free from all duties but those which love has freely assumed, almost wholly free from jealousy, and free without qualification from the need to be needed, is eminently spiritual. It is the sort of love one can imagine between angels." C.S. Lewis, from, The Four Loves.Arriving at the Barn Dance Friday, below. Is it obvious Pecan Orchard & I designed the meadow & gravel drive? No? Excellent, fabulous, wonderful!
Wildwood cleared, figs rescued, below, a new roof, fresh paint, broken glass replaced &
the old Dairy Barn, inside below, is alive again.
Almost a century old, its terra cotta block construction, with original paint, below, has more centuries to serve.
Couldn't resist showing you the desert table, below.
Tea Table too, below.
Heirloom chickens in their new home, below, next to the Dairy Barn.
17 piece orchestra (3 members from the Atlanta Symphony), below, setting up in the tractor barn.
Tractors were gone, below, for the wine/canapes.
Pecan Orchard bought the land and derelict home with dependencies about a year ago. Her mission statement to live a gardening lifestyle AND be of service. A lifestyle witnessed living abroad for decades. Horses, sheep, heirloom chickens, potager, gardens, goats, ponds, meadows, woodland, barns & etc. A lifestyle including church, master gardeners, beekeepers, tennis, horse shows, family & Friendships.
Meeting new people at the Barn Dance & hearing stories of grace bestowed via friendship with Pecan Orchard is a rich cord connecting us.
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Pecan Orchard's choices ripple far beyond her community. Without the intention of leaving a footprint Pecan Orchard is already leaving something larger-deeper-richer, wing beats.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken Friday nite. Hope it's obvious Pecan Orchard has brought copious amounts of grace into my life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Room Deep

You must see this parlor, one room deep. Below, a view from the frontyard. The warmth of draperies, and lamps glowing. (Poppets, from your frontyard, looking into your home, ask, "Are the views into my home so fabulously interesting intellectual-well-read-successful-talented-mentoring-civic minded-active-athletic-art-loving-appreciators-of-good-cooking-charity-giving-people curious? Face it we are voyeur's. And, don't you adore Tara Questions?)


Inside, below, the window from above.
Alas, the weather was nice, we never sat here, below, we used the patio for wine-canapes-conversation-dinner-breakfast-lunch.
Same room, below, views the back garden too.
I adore rooms scaled for comfort, beauty, conversation, reading, napping,
and viewing the garden.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Hope you enjoyed my client's home in Macon, GA. None of the pics were styled, they didn't know I would be taking pics. Remember, pics were taken quickly, early morning while still in my gown/robe. He was starting the coffee when I began & it finished brewing as my pics were done. Then, the 3 of us sat on the patio, with our coffee, and began talking gardening. Then, she served breakfast at the patio table. Loved the breakfast quiche and the little sourdough rolls with homemade fig preserves and peak of season fresh fruit salad & etc...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Fetish For Laptop Spaces

Before I leave this home, below, a peek inside.In the window, above, at the far right


is one of the sweetest
rooms created.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I have a fetish for laptop spaces. Alas, a working weekend in Macon, Ga at this home & no time to fully shoot this room. It's tiny, sweet and could have a coffee table book written about it. Yes, I'm well aware I showed it to you earlier. But it was a different context.
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Poppets, will show you a last peek inside tomorrow.
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Is there a blog about LAPTOP SPACES? Can't wait for my conservatory to be built. In addition to a chandelier, & lamps too of course, it will have electricity for my laptop !!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Best Conservatory Dimensions

Front: French doors 5'-6' wide with old windows on each side of
about 30"-32" each. Creating a total average 11'-12' wide.
Side: Old windows connected to each other with 2x4's. Creating
a total average length of 23' long.
Roof: 4-12 pitch with metal roofing.
Interior: Entering thru French doors each side is best dimension, at minimum, 36"-32" for furniture.
"L": Adding an "L" at right angle is most desirable. Not enough space, have another doorway, single door, along the side with a culvert cover for door awning.
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Average best dimension range using old/found materials for conservatory: 11' wide by 23' long.
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Poppets, above notes are copied directly from a email sent to my Macon, GA clients. You've seen their home & garden, & happy dogs, the past few days.
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The last pic, above, is Susanne Hudson's 1st conservatory. Too small, she enlarged it, seen in the top pics. Susanne & I built the conservatory, in my blog header pic, for the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, in Douglasville, GA this spring.
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Building a conservatory in my garden, using rescued materials, beginning next week.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Susanne Hudson's conservatory was a feature article in Southern Living magazine. Took these pics in her garden earlier this year. Following my passion, they are not styled.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Landscape Design Solutions

Scored concrete & a roundabout of pavers in the parking court, below, diminish its 'nature'. Softens the impact.From their fabulous patio, below, a view into the garden via an enfilade with the parking court. Every landscape has its thorns. Mostly 2 cars, more with family/friends.
Another view from the fabulous patio, below.
The foyer between parking court & patio, above. I removed the turf & put in rosemary behind the bench, 1 Michelia figo behind that & etc. Both evergreen & fragrant. Views from the patio with the plantings will obscure views of the parking court & block neighbor's views into the gate of garden/patio/home. (Double Axis with little input AND no mowing, weedeating, yet adding privacy, fragrance, increased property value, & better curb appeal.)
More of the same foyer, above. Copied rosemary behind the bench, Abelia 'Rose Creek' behind that & etc. Mystery created! From the patio you'll see hints of the fabulous garden. From the garden you'll see hints of the fabulous patio. Of course, the parking court is diminished.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Turf, pic above, removed also. Used pairs of boxwood at the sidewalks leading from parking court into the parterre. Used repetition with the Abelia and existing Pittosporum. (Pittosporum, viewed from the parterre, will block views of the front of the cars.) Repetition, is a potent Landscape Design tool.
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Same Macon, GA garden as the past few posts.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Was I Hired?

A beautiful garden, below. Why was I hired? Above, is EXACTLY why I was hired. Mystery & Surprise & Anticipation are missing.
From the garden, above, looking into the patio, it's the same story. Mystery & Surprise & Anticipation are missing.
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Do you know how to create Mystery & Surprise & Anticipation here?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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They thought they hired me for a backhand corner of their landscape. Ha, that was easy. I put in a conservatory, gravel & a table under the pecan tree with a pair of chandeliers hanging from a large branch. Materials are already being sourced from a ca. 1830 home recently condemned. And I didn't mention a huge THORN in the pictures above. For today, I'll let you be the Garden Designer. My Garden Design solution tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fake Geometry

Revelation came slowly, below.The balance is real, below.
Symmetry, below, only an illusion. Do you see?
Slow down, look closely, below.
Fake Geometry; looking real. The columns are not symmetrical.
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Poppets, when the revelation about the columns arrived I knew I was in the presence of genius. Have known about Fake Geometry in Landscape Design but this was my first encounter when it was the columns.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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More pics from my client's home in Macon, GA last weekend. Notice the enfilade from parking court/patio/room/frontyard in the 3rd pic? Taking pics in my gown/robe by early morning lite the scrumptious dogs did not rouse from their beds. Their daddy was making coffee, I was only a guest & you know who they were awaiting, mommy. When she arrived those dogs exploded in joy !!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Turning Windows Into Doors

Doors, below, were originally windows.Standing at the French doors, above, I shot across the covered patio, below.


The coffee table, below, still filled with the debris of our gardening conversations which meandered to the dinner table & thru a dinner of fresh crabcakes & ....
Window, below, had been the back door.
New back door (seen in the top pic) flows onto patio to the left of the downstairs window, above.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Yes, that's our fabulous breakfast, top pic, after the fabulous dinner. Pics from the same garden as yesterday's post. Please know, Poppets, none of these pics are STYLED. I don't believe in styled pics. I believe in life beautifully lived and design accordingly. SIMPLY. CLASSICALLY.
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If you've got to WORK AT IT to get these types of pics. You're doing something wrong.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Garden View

Upstairs, below, at the landing, an axis view to the garden cottage. Originally a 1-car garage plus tiny apartment. Did you notice, above, the charming angle of the rail at the landing?
Standing on the steps, above, and below, a closer look at the garden & garden cottage. Iron railing is original to the ca. 1920 home.
From the garden cottage, below, a view
into the upstairs window at the landing.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Woke up about 7:30am and got these pics; wearing gown & robe. No time to dress, couldn't afford to lose the perfect lite. A woman must have priorities. Yes, same home as yesterday's post.