Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Walls Of Your Rooms

Landscapes ARE architecture. Begin creating architecture in the landscape with ceilings, yesterday's post, then walls. (My Tea Olive Terrace, below, along the side of my home.)Landscape walls can be the side of your home, above, or all plantings, below. (Wall, below, is mine & hides the neighborhood from my tender sensibilities. What me not living in the Cotswolds?)
Espaliered woody shrubs & vines dramatize the walls of a home, fence, dependency & etc., below. (My Bay Terrace, below.)
Using wit, below, Susanne Hudson swags a window. Pow, Shazam, baby.
With more wit, intellect, & drama she created a garden room, raised on a dais (aka deck, but dais is ever so much nicer, yes?),
with old church windows.
Landscape Design: create walls.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Slow down, peruse again, Landscape Design IS this easy. Look at the 2nd pic again. Notice how much sky I own because of my walls? You would CRINGE knowing how many houses along the ubiquitous subdivision cul-de-sac lane (aka street) my garden obliterates in that 2nd pic. Who knew? Gardens are offense & defense. A moat of grace around home & life.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Landscape Design Is Architecture: Ceilings

When I begin a Landscape Design I create ceilings: sky, trees, arbors. Within a landscape design a cone shaped plant should be in each garden room, drawing eyes to the sky. My tiny property lives as large as the meadow/pole barn, above, I own the sky, and use it, framed by trees, as ceilings to my garden rooms. Landscape design upon acreage is the same for a postage stamp.
Sir Hardy Amies, above, uses sky, canopy/understory trees, cone shaped summerhouse, and the wit of cone shaped obelisks with balled toppers.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Landscape Design Perfection: Sir Hardy Amies

I took this pic in the Cotswolds in Sir Hardy Amies garden.A complete landscape design course, in one picture.
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Looks easy, can you do it?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Money is not a criteria. Rescued plants, rescued hardscape & etc..... Yes, you can do this.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Hunting Lodge: John Fowler & Nicky Haslam

If men come to build sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater art, (you do realize this is Pope, ca. 17th century?) the Hunting Lodge, ca. 1730, below, proves a succession of exception. John Fowler & Nicky Haslam specifically.First time seeing the Hunting Lodge? Your lucky day.
Pigtown - Design, aka Meg Fairfax Fielding, discovered a recent Wallstreet Journal article about this Vanishing Threshold of delight.
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Do not miss this jewel of design. Many ideas to copy in your garden, & home.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blooms, Wicker, Toile

Bringing home blooms this week, below, in the back of Tess.Blooms - Wicker - Toile !!
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Puppet Barbuda delights in trinities.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Tess is my little van. She has 6 doors & is tricked-out for ALL things garden designing, lecturing, touring, shopping. Tess brakes for Open Gardens with Tea & Scones.

Friday, March 25, 2011

2 Couches: Interiors & Exteriors

Saw this on Cote de Texas yesterday. Pic is from the April, 2011 Veranda magazine.
Cannot wait to do this exact design, OUTSIDE !
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Will the client who needs this contact me NOW ! (Reality? I'm calling some clients today, "look at my blog post, you NEED this on your terrace.)
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We can source most everything from the Gardens arena at AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Of course we're going to copy correctly and do the coffee tables, chairs & etc. too.
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How often does a landscape magazine turn me on like this? Well, let's not go there.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How To Use An Ugly Lamp

In my Conservatory yesterday, during an open garden, a delightful woman said,
"That is the best use of an ugly lamp." We all looked at the direction of her gaze/comment.
After the laughter subsided we agreed, yes the peacock blue lamp with original shade is ugly. But it's perfect.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Cobalt blue, peacock blue, don't know what to call it but I LOVE this color. And that is EXACTLY why this ugly lamp is perfect; personal passion. The lamp shade is more horrendous than the lamp. It, too, 'works'. Naturally, it came from my favorite thrift store years ago.
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What's not to love about a woman who will say such things to someone she just met? Another facet I adore about gardeners; blunt talk.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still Life: Is This You?

As she came in, below, she set her hat & pruners on the window sill.It's a peculiar fetish of mine.
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Life creating still life without effort. The detritus of your life telling a story, beautifully.
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She? I snapped the pic in Ireland. Yes, Helen Dillon.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vertical Gardening

Every garden must have at least 1 cone shaped evergreen. Draw eyes to the sky. More about this Italian garden, above, here.
Gertrude Jekyll, famous landscape designer, said, "The first thing I consider is what to put on the house." At zero point in college or symposia has anyone said this to me. Took this pic in France, a private garden. In addition to vines on a house, I like espaliered woody flowering shrubs, they need no trellis or wire.
Vertical gardening on a tiny subdivision lot, above, canopy & understory trees with climbing roses. If Monet could have a climbing rose thru his understory trees, so can I. That's my garden, above. The window? It's where I'm typing this post.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Quite selfish leading with the pic I took in Italy. A garden brimming with epiphanies. While I was in it and after.
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3 Vertical Gardening concepts, get started.
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Garden Designers Round Table: MORE Vertical Gardening Posts !!
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Garden Up!When you hear the phrase “vertical gardening,” what comes to mind? You might think about roses scrambling up a trellis, or an overhead arbor dripping with wisteria. Those with a contemporary aesthetic may envision a mosaic of succulents hung on an outdoor wall, while edible gardeners see a riotous mix of creative containers, with tomatoes and peas reaching for the sun.

Vertical gardening is all those things and more. To celebrate the publication of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces by roundtable members Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet, this month our designers share their own unique perspectives on this exciting garden trend.

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX »
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA »
Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT »
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA »
Tara Dillard : Vanishing Threshold : Atlanta, GA »

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vanishing Threshold: Lunch & Learn

Vanishing Threshold is an original concept, an epiphany while studying historic landscapes in Italy. Landscapes begin inside your home. Place focal points on axis with key views. It's that simple.
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An inner voice impels me to take Vanishing Threshold out of the garden realm. Are you an Interior Decorator? Landscape Designer? Come hear me speak about creating beautiful landscapes in Vanishing Threshold with your home.
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AmericasMart, Lunch & Learn: Looking for inspiration and education between Markets? Join Tara Dillard for a demonstration on successfully incorporating outdoor living spaces into your designs - March 24, noon-1pm, at AmericasMart. RSVP to 404-220-2055 or nlyle@americasmart.com.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pot on plinth, above, on axis from my living room. Centered on window. Interior decorators, are you looking out the windows of your clients home? Interiors are not finished unless the window views are part of a home's interior. My landscape designs are not complete unless views into windows are fabulous.
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Designer? What is original to you? What is your horse/pony show? Willing to get out of your comfort zone & let the world know?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Krista Tippett : Big Ideas On Being

Heard a man say, "I do my best thinking when I'm sweating." Me too, & preferably sweating in the garden or hiking.Krista Tippet's topics I often take into my garden.
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In Krista's recent newsletter, something to take into my garden this weekend, and beyond.

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.
Rilke's Book of Hours, I, 59
Translated by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows.

Via most recent enewsletter from Krista Tippett.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic from inside my home, across the Natchez Terrace to my new Conservatory.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ireland: Helen Dillon & A Classic Tablescape

Helen Dillon's Irish garden, below.All the potted plants from South Africa, all terra cotta pots, all full sun, landscape design rule of big leaves with small leaves.
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Timeless. Did I take the pic last summer or 1998? (Big concept, taking advantage of it? The best gardens across the globe do.)
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Travel assignment, visit Helen Dillon's garden in Ireland be sure to have tea/scones too.
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You thought this was just a table-in-the-garden-with-a-few-pots? Hardly.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outdoor Kitchen

Belgard does outdoor kitchens, below.All price points.
Myriad styles.
Landscaped PROPERLY each is unique.
Alas, Belgard's marketing pics, above/below, create an entirely new meaning for Bad To The Bone.
Please, overlook the landscapes (I am, even as they harm my profession) and consider Belgard's fabulous outdoor kitchen options in both configuration & materials.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Landscape design with fabulosity & Bad To The Bone means what it's supposed to! Pics via Belgard catalogue, which you can order online at their site.
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If you are handy Belgard outdoor kitchens are a DIY project.
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Puppet Barbuda has a theory about bad Landscape Design (poor darling Puppet Barbuda, offended at the least infraction to her profession) in landscape marketing materials. Testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go does most of the purchasing & construction. Companies cater to who is at THEIR cash register.
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Puppet Barbuda wants companies to cater to who generates many of their sales. Why overlook the Landscape Designer? Why overlook women, typically age 50+, putting in fabulous landscapes? Do you think women don't do hardscape? Do you think they don't grill? It's already known women are the dominate purchasers at nurseries.
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Puppet Barbuda thinks it's odd to sell a product bashing an industry, Landscape Design, that will raise sales figures. Puppet Barbuda wants to know, Is There Anybody Out There?
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FYI, I spoke with the fabulous guys from Belgard while lecturing at the St. Louis, MO, Home/Garden show earlier this month. Was totally Puppet Barbuda with them. Guess what? They listened. Hmm, no worries, Puppet Barbuda will keep at it, ha, just in case they were placating her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's About Time: The Conservatory in 19th century Europe

Last Saturday in my Conservatory, lolling on my couch, with my ipad, my incredible Barbara, It's About Time, did it again.From, Redgauntlet, "The present proprietor had rendered it (the parlor) more cheerful by opening one end into a small conservatory...I have never seen this before." Sir Walter Scott (Loved my time in Sir Walter Scott's garden. My Well-Placed-Chair epiphany came while in his garden. The walled garden to be exact. If you haven't been, it's today's assignment, go.)
Barbara writes, "In England, Humphry Repton (Scottish botanist & garden designer, 1752-1818) gave a plan well adapted for this new, more social purpose. At one end of this design an aviary (1) is surrounded by a conservatory (2), and joined to a glass passage for flowers (3), which leads successively through an orangery (4), lobby (5), music-room (6), library (7), print and picture-room (8), breakfast-room (9), anti-room (10), dining-room (11), hall (12), and peach and green-house."
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Many more conservatory's in her post, here.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Susanne Hudson & I are, of course, doing another Conservatory for the upcoming Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, June 4-5, 2011. This time a Dining Room theme. Is there any doubt I called Susanne while lolling in the Conservatory last Saturday? We'll be using Barbara's post as further inspiration. We're also creating historical silhouettes of a Lady & a Gardener. Put your head in & snap, you've got your picture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dressing A Service Space

Color, vine, below, dress a service space.An easy fix, below?
An ornate black iron gate.
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A wood gate would harbor surprises: possum, snake, person.
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Would add 3 cobblestones at base of vine, keeping gravel away.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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A new home in Mixson, Charleston, SC.
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No space, none, is left undone in the best gardens.

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Garden & Its Mistress

Carriage house, fescue, boxwoods, pair of elms, stone wall/stone terrace/steps, below, all new, perhaps 12 minutes old in the pic.
Client is successful, headstrong, bold, smart, athletic, spiritual, demanding, puckish.
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Today she is in a hospital bed unable to move or speak.
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Before surgery she directed her brother to finish her landscape with us.
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My hope & prayer? In addition to complete recovery, I want to hear her ask: why those boxwoods are 6" off, why didn't you get bigger elms, why isn't the potager edged with dwarf boxwood, why aren't existing boxwoods-in-pots sited & etc.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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This story, this incredible woman, has dug itself in. She's in my prayers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Potager Pattern Ideas

Carpet, below, in my hotel room in Charleston, SC., last month.Parquet, below, in the foyer of the hotel room.
Choosing a pattern for a Potager wouldn't be difficult for this hotel.
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Vanishing Threshold.
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I must see interiors before designing landscapes.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Love a hotel room with a foyer !!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finally, Fabulous Fake Stone

Cobblestones, below. Manufactured by Belgard.Flagstone, below. Manufactured by Belgard.
Finally.
Fake stone that isn't crap.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Poppets this isn't only aesthetics. Think cost savings with uniformity of materials. I've NEVER used Belgard. This year? They changed my mind !! No, Belgard did not pay me, or ask me, to mention their products.
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Alas, Belgard still uses old fashioned photography in their sales literature. Don't let it scare you.
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Horrendously, Belgard still uses the equivalent of avocado refrigerator/shag carpet/pink Sunbeam mixer for exterior furniture styling with their sales literature. Don't let it scare you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Materials Indicate Movement

Parking at the left with concrete block/gravel, enter the home at stones + wood steps, driving lane of cubed stone/gravel.Stone at doorway, below.
Concrete blocks/gravel for parking, below.
Cubed stone/gravel, below, for roads.
And, below,
they look great together.
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Did you notice something FABULOUS? Each is water permeable.
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Nice to pull onto these surfaces & hear their bit of crunch and feel their texture under your tires.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Mixson, my project in Charleston, SC.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bowood: Cafe, Farm, Shop & Plant Nursery

In a century old brick warehouse Bowood of St. Louis, MO has a nursery redolent of those in Europe. A shop, below.Cafe, below. Yes, it was YUM. They have their own CHEF.
From the cafe windows, below.
They also sell plants, below. Adore their crunchy gravel paths.
Directly across the street, below,
is their farm. Produce is sold fresh & used in the Cafe.
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If you're in St. Louis, MO do not miss Bowood.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken from the Bowood site. Back from a week in St. Louis, Mo lecturing at their Home & Garden Show sponsored by their Home Builders Assoc. 11 lectures, 4 TV interviews & 2 radio interviews. Bowood was an energizing respite from my busy schedule.
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More tomorrow !

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City Garden, Country Garden

My realm is residential landscape design. Specifically, Queen of subdivision Landscape Design. (Younger, I would have taken this as insult. Older, I wear it as a crown.) Certainly a product of my era. More, my passion. Infertility gave me decades of time, most women don't have, for Landscape Design. Travels across the globe, with few funds, studying historic landscapes. Also, doing most of the labor in my own sweet landscape.On occasion, I'm put into a different playground. Land.
Do you know what's different about Landscape Design in a subdivision vs. land?
Nothing.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Mixson, a project with LAND that I'm working on in Charleston, SC.