Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hiding Necessities: Before & After

1st cup of tea in my Conservatory, below. Already hiding, via camera angle, an important necessity.Switch plate to the chandelier, below. A necessity, but look at it? Not.
Old ironstone, below, with a lovely pattern named, Summertime.
Oh my, another book idea. Before/after pics of hiding necessities around home/garden.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Did you notice the gravel floor, top pic, under the table? I know, the lamps need shades. Found the lamps, $20 for the pair at my local thrift store. Love the giant Spode tea cups/saucers: tea, broth, soups, cereal....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good Surprises In Your Landscape

At year 6 in the garden my eyes were overwhelmed, finally, by something tried from inception. A VISION OF BEAUTY. ( Laskett, below, in the Conservatory with me last nite.) College for horticulture was a joke for my Landscape Design skills. Creating Landscapes (making mistakes) & myriad trips across Europe studying historic Landscapes were my teachers.
Hewing to historical Landscape Design principles began my journey to success. Ridiculously stupid to wait 6 years for beauty or lower the bar and aim for: organic, rainwater, native, low-maintenance, green & etc...
Those facets are in Historical Landscape Design Principles. Of course I want all of that, more, I want life changing beauty. And I want it daily, it's important to know when to be selfish. To walk amongst, and, see from every window. Vanishing Threshold. A Landscape filling me with energy, joy & grace.
A dream for years my conservatory, 1 week old today, gave me the surprise of Laskett. He adores being carried to the conservatory in the evenings, a nice fire & cuddling at my side. A simple life pleasure; not anticipated. A good surprise indeed.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Want good surprises in your Landscape? Hew to historic landscapes. In addition to all of the above historic landscapes raise property value & reduce HVAC costs. As byproducts not effort.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Focus

Looking in, below, my new conservatory.(Hope you've seen, I Capture The Castle, from the book below.)
Knowing I wanted the Conservatory was easy. Clear focus was not.
A pond had to be removed, my property is tiny, to site the Conservatory.
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Mr. Beloved Bullfrog lived in this pond, his pond was on perfect axis from each window at the back of my house. I lost focus; emotions were involved.
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After contacting a bullfrog expert (it's important to know the right people) a plan was devised. My guys dug a trench draining water slowly. We captured Mr. Beloved Bullfrog in a large bucket. He was trotted to his new home in my other pond.
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Siting the conservatory & creating a landscape design were easy, once the focus was clear.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Clear focus. But tough choices. Love my Conservatory, no regrets about the pond.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Strange Tree

Time running out, I finally asked, "What would make you happy on the tree?"
Using bare branches pruned from the contorted filbert I decided to use the many pairs of figures I've collected. Their theme is always nature. He, below, is holding a bird's nest.
Pleased with the theme, alas, the Christmas tree needs more attention to detail, but it's not going to get it . This year the Conservatory, below, lovingly received all my time, creativity, & playing Barbie with a new house.Age, 2 days, the conservatory is already bigger than my dream.
In my garden, above, the conservatory's 1st nite being furnished. Fire was toasty as I sat inside absorbing a decade of waiting for this.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jewelry

2 single doors, below, brought together as French doors. Fiddling with the knobs? Never. They are jewelry. Yesterday my carpenter fashioned latching for these doors.
Though the string has had its charms during the construction of my conservatory.
More magic was putting a door on the side of my conservatory. A chandelier, oodles of electrical outlets & multiple doors.
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Playing house as a grown-up girl is DELIGHTFUL.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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A grand morning. Must get out of my gown & into work clothes, pronto. At this very moment one of my men is on his way to help me bring antiques (aka junk) into my conservatory. Pity, no time for a fire. Have to head out for Christmas shopping when he leaves.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Night in the Conservatory

Power, below, arrived yesterday in my conservatory. Lights inside my home, above, seen thru the French doors
Honoring, above, talented hands/minds/hearts building the conservatory. My guys (3 lead men with several more on the team) leverage every idea I have. Humbling & exciting.
Last nite, above, 1st nite with a fire in the stove. Yes, I was given a little lesson in how to use it.
Conservatory is a bit 'CABINESQUE' inside. Tongue/groove walls rescued from a Lake Burton 1908 cottage. Unfinished, above, soon tongue/groove will go to the rafters & to the gravel.
Last night, after taking these pics, I brought a basket to the conservatory with wine, cheese, apples, summer sausage. Fire in the stove kept me toasty. Spent a happy hour calling girlfriends. Susanne Hudson, of course, was 1st she inspired the conservatory.
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Already, joy & laughter in the conservatory. And it's not finished. Exciting to anticipate: lamps, tables, chests & etc.... field gathered & awaiting their new life in the conservatory.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Had thought I would paint the interior of the conservatory. NOT. The sweetly aged tongue/groove is too fabulous. Will paint the windows. Yes, the chairs above look rather dreadful but were closest to the conservatory & I did need to sit. Cannot wait to hang the huge chinoiserie mirror I snagged at my local thrift store for $10. In theory, it will have a table under it made from the ancient iron radiator I rescued.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Curtained Debut

Yesterday, below, my conservatory under construction. Rescued materials (aka free) a century old: doors, most windows, cedar planks, tongue-groove.French doors, above, are the front of my conservatory & face the back of my home.
My carpenter (now my hero, for this feature alone) set the back windows, above, to open. Notice the outlet above? Chandelier + gravel floor + 3 outlets + 4 walls of windows; what more could a girl (no worries, girl knows when to sling queenly commands) want in less than 200 sq ft?
My patio, above, in normal life.
My patio, above, today. I can't abide it.
Curtains, above, from my bedroom onto the patio have been closed for weeks. My constitution does not include the strength to see this.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Today, maybe, guys will be done !!!! Cannot wait for the curtained debut of my conservatory. No, my guys aren't slow they keep working on my client's jobs. Yes, a GOOD problem.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Interesting Times

Indeed, these are interesting times. A recent client had a cracked & buckled asphalt drive.To save money, she was willing to replace it with another asphalt drive.
Interestingly, & true, a new concrete drive was cheaper than asphalt.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Brick apron, above, wasn't installed yet when I was taking pics.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Capabilities

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, 1716-1783, below. "The castle is enchanting; the view pleased me more than I can express, the river Avon tumbles down a cascade at the foot of it. It is well laid out by one Brown who has set up on a few ideas of Kent...." Walpole, 1751.
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"His (Brown's) style of smooth undulating grass, which would run straight to the house, clumps, belts and scattering of trees and his serpentine lakes formed by invisibly damming small rivers, were a new style within the English landscape, a "gardenless" form of landscape gardening, which swept away almost all the remnants of previous formally patterned styles." Wikipedia Oh my, thought I was copying Sir Edwin Lutyens at Great Dixter, ca. 1900, with this idea !
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"judicious manipulation of its components, adding a tree here or a concealed head of water there. His art attended to the formal potential of ground, water, trees and so gave to English landscape its ideal forms. The difficulty was that less capable imitators and less sophisticated spectators did not see nature perfected... they saw simply what they took to be nature". Richard Bisgrove H.F. du Pont designed his beloved woodland at Winterthur in this manner. You must walk the grounds of Winterthur if you haven't already.
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"Russell Page, who began his career in the Brownian landscape of Longleat but whose own designs have formal structure, accused Brown of "encouraging his wealthy clients to tear out their splendid formal gardens and replace them with his facile compositions of grass, tree clumps and rather shapeless pools and lakes".[4] Richard Owen Cambridge, the English poet and satirical author, declared that he hoped to die before Brown so that he could "see heaven before it was 'improved'". Wikipedia Russell Page wrote, The Education of a Gardener, order it NOW. Ironically I see Capability Brown's work within Page's work.
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Maximizing simplicities maximizes the capabilities in your landscape.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken from Kew Gardens in England. Thank you Wikipedia for the delights about Capability Brown. More about Brown, here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Copy Landscapes

Resist the temptation to be UNIQUE in your landscape. It will slow you down, and fail. You & your landscape are inherently unique. It's already there. Lipstick-on-a-pig when you 'add' uniqueness.
I fell in love with Susanne Hudson's little cloche's, miniature tools & wood shelves, above.
All year I've been collecting, above/below,
old wood shelves, antique English lead garden pieces & little cloches. Soon, they will be in my new conservatory. Just like Susanne Hudson.
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Poppets, everything in my garden is copied from somewhere. EVERYTHING.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Every effort at uniqueness does not fail, obviously. Don't let me sway you from trying something deep in your passionate soul bursting to get out. Ironically, uniqueness arrives in my garden when I DON'T try.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sophie's Uptown

The human race is salvageable. Sophie's Uptown is proof. Between appointments I finally made it to Sophie's. (Sophie's Uptown, in Buckhead, 54 Pharr Road, Atl., near Peachtree St.)All the florescent ceiling lites, above/below, have this pic !
Food at Sophie's Uptown is real. Cooked daily. Sandwiches, soups, salads, deserts, casserole of the day, catering. The Homemade Apple Dumplins (sic) are DANGEROUS.
Open for lunch Mon-Sun, 11am-4pm, dinner will soon be added.
Sophie's Uptown, 404-812-0477, info@sophiesuptown.com, is GOOD FOOD.
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Sophie's Uptown donates 25% of all profits to Local Animal Rescue organizations.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Poppets, you must know I'm in love with dogs & cats. Have designed many landscapes for dogs. Have also designed many Memorial Gardens for pets too. Cannot fathom a life without my pets, garden, friends, books, junking...... Sophie's Uptown did not ask me to post this.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seeing Thru Your Window

Janus, January was named for this god, looks forward & backward. Janus was with me in TEXAS last week. My parents, below, are gorgeous. My sister, below right, came to my parent's home too.
We slept in the same bed, to visit more. She stole my pillow.
My life, below, moved forward while I was gone. A dream come true, my conservatory of new & rescued materials was begun. Only for family would I have done this, missed the start of my conservatory. Ironic, family helping me to see backward in my life last week while starting my house of windows.
"We have an inner window through which we can see the world and though it gets cloudy in life it's our job to wipe it clean." von Donnersmarck
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I'm not always brave on the wiping-it-clean. Poppets, do you know the name of my landscape design business? A Garden View. Clean windows are much better with the moat of grace of a garden.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Artist Harrison Howard

Harrison Howard.

STATEMENT

"The Flower Ladies", as I call them, are a series of whimsical watercolor and gouache paintings, which have grown from a long standing interest in fashion illustration, children's book illustration, and of course flowers. I do not regard them as paintings of fairies, fairy art or fantasy art, but would prefer to think of them as fantasies based on fashion design. They are the product of numerous other influences as well, including many of the things surrounding me in everyday life, and extending to a passion for many areas of the decorative arts, such as the fanciful Chinoiserie designs of the 18th century Frenchman, Jean Pillement. In particular, I would acknowledge the countless other artists through the ages, too numerous too mention here, whose work has electrified my imagination. My pictures are aimed at the fundamental pleasure that almost all of us take in imaginative and quirky ideas. My paintings are for all people, however diverse their backgrounds may be, who share a common delight in art on this level. Harrison Howard

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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Pic from Harrison Howard site. 1 of these would be great. An entire wall? Ooooooooh, yes, better !

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sex, Insult & Designers

Tim Richardson wrote in the Telegraph recently about Landscape Design doyenne Rosemary Verey. Full, stuffed, rich with pugnacious tidbits. He managed a pugilistic slap at the United States, "...enjoy a career "selling" her Englishness to the United States..." Gotta love it!
No less than Sir Roy Strong enters the drama, Rosemary, "...enjoyed japes." and was, "...highly sexed."
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As proof, Richardson mentions, "Details of the affair are recorded in a shoebox of love letters that document their trysts..." Even David Hicks receives a mention.
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Christopher Lloyd is named favorably, & other newer, apparently much better than Rosemary, landscape designers. Looking forward to Googling them this weekend & seeing pics of their work.
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Rosemary Verey, in my (not) humble opinion, wrote the best Landscape Design book, The Garden In Winter. Sir Roy Strong is my favorite (living) Landscape Designer; yes, you want his garden books too.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic of my dreadful-but-fabulous Table Chandelier. A tacky-drama lamp but I adore it. FYI, Sir Roy Strong's garden is called, The Laskett. Can you guess what I named my cat? Yes, Laskett ! Well, Poppets, this post is strongest proof yet of my total Landscape Design NERDINESS.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Filmmaker's Garden


Italian director & screenwriter Mario Monicelli, 1915-2010, made comedic films. He created a genre, 'Italian-style comedy'. The endings had little comedy. Asked, in 1999, is "any subject off-limits for comedy?"
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"No, if the eye is sensitive enough, all is possible." he replied.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Taken from NYTimes obit yesterday. SHIPMAN sent me the pic when he was in Italy this summer. Monicelli is now in my Netflix que. It's bittersweet adoring bleak beauty, a film genre my mother-in-law opened my eyes to. This is a type of art that feeds my creative muse. Do you actively feed your creative muse?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do You Mentor?

On my tiny property, below, in a small working-class neighborhood I create myriad garden scenes in denial of time, budget, location. Along with a passion for Garden Design, Providence gave me mentors from the last of an era, the Stoics. Their mentoring comes with a hunger to pass it along. Barbara Allen mentored me. She died yesterday.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken with our last snow (Feb.?) from my bathroom window. See the street of houses? Ha, this is what good Garden Design does. Barbara is in every Garden Design I've done, and will do.