Monday, February 28, 2011

Formula: 2 Chairs + Table

Woodland, palace, mid-century modern, cluster, townhome, shotgun, split-level ranch & etc.2 chairs + table; works every time.
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Of course, you must choose the correct vernacular.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Another pic from MIXSON at my job in Charleston, SC.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fabulous: Front & Back

Adore the asymmetry of doors, windows, shutters, steps, below.Complete follow-thru, below, at the back of the home. RARE !
From the landscape there are NO unconsidered views of your home.
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Front, back, sides. Hop on it.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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More pics from my project at Mixson in Charleston, SC.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Big Impact Little Input

Interior design & landscape design share templates.Most garden magazines waste my time. Neglecting to educate, inspire or widen my horizon.
Instead I look to other realms/arts for landscape design inspiration.
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Color, form, contrast, texture, scale, flow, focal points, high density, low density, invitation, joy, peacefulness, simplicity & more; this interior design, above, speaks.
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It would be pure pleasure to design a landscape flowing from the views of this window. My inspiration? Easy. Color, form, contrast, texture, scale, flow, focal points, high density, low density, invitation, joy, peacefulness, simplicity & more.
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Landscape designed in conversation with interior design. Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Another pic from my project at Mixson in Charleston, SC.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Simplicity

Simplicity, below.
With very little, much is created.
Without moving my feet, above, another pic of the same space. Leaving this wall bare, eyes flow to the garden & sky.
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This is a model home at Mixson, a project I'm working on in Charleston, SC.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Lucky me, I get to design a landscape in conversation with this development team. Of course I'm biased, there is a huge dog run already constructed and most members of the development team do, indeed, own dogs.
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Gardens & interiors are a flowing conversation. Seeing this model home helped me know how to proceed in my landscape design work for this company.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Copy

Because it's new
doesn't mean it must look new.
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Copy. It's one of the 1st rules of Landscape Design.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken last week at Mixson a project I'm working on in Charleston, SC.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't Use This Type

Don't use a single wheeled wheelbarrow.
Double wheeled demand less physically + don't compact the soil as much.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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This girl has been ridden ROUGH. She's not old but already retired. Found at a jobsite I was working on in Charleston, SC last week. Adore the lines of a good wheelbarrow. Evocative.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Sign

A sign in Buckhead last week, where I lectured.
'Wine', written larger than 'program'.
Women with
priorities.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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They ignored the ladies bringing the sumptuous food.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Conservatory: A New Way To Cook

Greek salad with shrimp, vegetable soup with Gruyere cheese, last week's luncheon in the Conservatory.Sitting down to lunch,
desert waiting on the sideboard,
is when I put the
kettle on top of the stove. Boiling water for the French press coffee pot.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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NEVER, ever saw myself cooking on a wood stove. Can't wait to make a real meal on it. College Boy cooked this menu upon my request; inside the house. A request including when I wanted it ready and when he needed to "disappear". He performed each task beautifully. More about the cookies & biscotti, above, soon. You have no idea how special they are.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Let This Be You

Too small, not centered, typically rotting; at least this doormat, below, isn't rotting.BAD doormats set me off. Disrespect.
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Is your foyer beautiful? Is the doormat outside disgusting?
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A stupid or ugly doormat makes the 1st impression, not a gorgeous foyer.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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You have no idea how many times I arrive at a 1st time client & they open their front door to see me holding their disgusting doormat between 2 fingers like rotting fish.

Monday, February 14, 2011

No Date In The Garden

My garden pics tell me the season. They date themselves.
At this angle, below, it doesn't matter the flowers are in plastic pots. They aren't visible.
At terrace level, below, there was a pond. I moved it.
Dwarf mondo will be planted between the stones, matching the rest of the terrace.
Duck Foot ivy will be planted on the riser to the greenhouse, hiding the timber & adding lushness. (Lushosity?)
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Soon, French doors will be painted BM-HC- 77. Didn't realize I was building a space for the pot cluster with the Conservatory. Adore happy surprises.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lunch In The Conservatory

Choosing: menu, dishes, silver, linens, making a fire. Anticipating guests arrival. We walk in the garden, lunch, conversation, laughter, & hard truths too. Life is welcomed in my Conservatory.
Preparing to carry desert & decaf to the Conservatory, above.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken in my kitchen. Ancient soup tureen bought in Augusta, GA ages ago when I lectured there; been filled with fresh apples ever since.
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You should see the floor, counters, sink, each a disaster.
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Wise women know, build the Conservatory first. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How To Make Tulips Last Longer

From a distance, white tulips are most visible.These are getting rattier by the day.
Doesn't matter, from the house they look fabulous, their rattiness doesn't show.
Tulips last longer when you keep them in your conservatory.
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Another bundle of tulips, bought the same day, placed inside my home are long gone.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken this week. List of reasons you NEED a Conservatory has today's factoid at #6.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

She Created A Still Life, With Lunch, As A Gift

Every lunch invitation was coveted. Her long table staged with stems cut that morning from the garden, a beautiful book opened to exactly the right page for color/content, a textile she had woven set as collage upon the gorgeous wood, dishes & food arranged as jewels, silver-linen napkins-art more collage styling, menu seasonal & delicious, hiring an assistant to serve-clear-facilitate-disappear, music, conversation. Life affirming.
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Afterward, a walk in the woods, into the open pastures, silences, more conversation, laughter. I hear her laughter now. See her sparkling eyes, white hair glinting greater than a crown. I feel the strength of our conversations, our silences.
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She's gone, several years. Seeing this kitchen, above, brought her close again.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic from Roman & Williams, they have a blog too.
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Mary Kistner hired me to design the garden zone between formal at the home transitioning to the wild meadows, the wild woods. David Stevens, my contractor, installed our plan. He became part of our luncheons. Only 50 he died not long after Mary. They are both sprinkled upon Mary's property, known now as Kistner Center, which was donated, in its entirety, to the Georgia Piedmont Land Trust .

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Easiest Design Tool?

Contrasts. Contrast EVERYTHING in your landscape. Big leaves next to small leaves. Burgundy foliage next to green foliage. Spikey flowers next to round flowers. Square terrace with round urns at its entry.Contrasts on this new home are wicked good.
Curves, squares, arcs, circle, colors, wood, brick, glass, slopes, rectangles, peaks, valleys, flat, vertical.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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The next easy design tool? Repetition.
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Yes, a good book: Landscape Design: Contrasts & Repetition. (Now, finding time to write it!) Just when you get your contrasts correct it's time to repeat, repeat, repeat......... No worries, it took me a long time to latch on to these tools.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Key Ingredient Of The Best Landscapes

They, below, are in my garden. And many gardens I've visited.Landscape Design is more than 'right plant-right place'.
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Good Landscapes are a proscenium for grace & magic.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

How To Make New Brick & Mortar Look Old

With a keen eye on historic homes their new home copieda mortar & brick style of the past.
At terrace level bricks are flush with mortar. The rest of the bricks are slightly raised.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken in the same garden as previous post.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How To Add Depth In A Narrow Space

The long brick walk was already installed before I designed this project. My design added to its length, literally & metaphorically.Instead of bringing the brick 'straight' to the curb I flared it slightly.
A common technique for painting on canvas; transition from wider to narrower for creating the illusion of greater depth.
Can you believe the timing of the shadow? Ugh!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at a recent project.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's At Your Front Door?

Vanishing Threshold, below. And an enfilade, a common choice for book covers.I was in my early 20's when I first noticed, in House & Garden magazine, a front door Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic from Victoria Hagan's new book.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chandelier: Before & After

From Lowe's, below, chandelier in my new Conservatory.SHIPMAN called from Buenos Aires last month, "Found you the perfect chandelier, want it?"
SHIPMAN dismantled the chandelier & packed it in a fruit crate for its trip home.
SHIPMAN brought a bottle of wine & 2 crystal glasses for the hanging & gossip fest.
SHIPMAN & I decided it must have summer shades & winter shades.
I'm on the prowl for those shades.
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SHIPMAN & I decided the chandelier is only about 80 years old, we pouted a moment about its youth but decided its great backstory, into my Conservatory, adds patina. At least to us.
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Life is good.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Voicemail from SHIPMAN this morning, "You must come for lunch in my conservatory this week." Yes, life is good. Now, how to get the time...........

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Killing Me Softly With His Words

I do it to other people almost daily, "Your, (insert plant name), must go." What goes is as important as what stays.Yesterday, in my garden, several big projects. My guy suddenly standing in front of me, in my space, mirroring my body language. Not good.
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"Your cedar really needs to go." "Let me take those boxwoods to the compost."
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Boxwoods still here, cedar met the chainsaw.
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This is so hard.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Hard AND personal.
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Pic from the new Laura Ashley catalogue. Gotta love a company selling curtains using an enfilade to the garden.