Monday, November 21, 2011

Urns, Architecture & Sex

David W. Dunlap, in the New York Times last week, wrote about these urns, below.
 Heavy & fearing liability the building owner, Atria, decided to remove them.  (If I wasn't a Landscape Designer I would be selling roof finials.  We must have our arcane passions.)
 In a rare twist, Atria, after requests, replicated the urns in a lighter material (not cheap), above, to replace the old urns.
When she saw the old urns coming down, Kennedy Fraser, above, said, "It was one of the most traumatic days of my life."   A woman I understand.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Puppet Barbuda enthralled by Fraser, and wanting to know, "Where the h**l did the old urns go?", Googled for answers.  One must have priorities with their time when the to-do list is 4 centuries long.
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Delightfully, Puppet Barbuda was swept up in the sexual peccadilloes of Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Violet Trefusis, a king & etc.  From a review of,  Mrs. Keppel And Her Daughter, in the New York Times, by Kennedy Fraser,
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The English have always believed they can do anything they want as long as they do it in a foreign country. For the rest of her life, Violet lived in France or in the palace Mrs. Keppel bought for herself near Florence. Once the die was cast, Violet reached a truce with Denys. It was he who introduced her to the Princesse de Polignac, the former Winnaretta Singer. She was immensely rich and had had many lovers before Violet, including Romaine Brooks and Olga de Meyer, who was reputed to be one of Bertie's illegitimate children. The Princess's intimates were all gay and lesbian artists. She was a great art collector and patron of composers. Her salons were famous. Cocteau, Poulenc, Valery and Proust were frequent visitors. Like Kingy, she entertained opulently and with great ceremony; like him she was stout, middle-aged and far too grand for scandal to stick to. When she took her new favorite on a trip up the Nile, Mrs. Keppel, Pawpaw and Denys accepted the Princess's civil invitation to join them."
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Puppet Barbuda doesn't know where the old urns are.  In fantasy her guy with a truck, stuffed with heavy urns, are tootling back from NYC to a little garden in Stone Mountain, GA.
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Pics, by David w. Dunlap, from the NYTimes article.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fieldstone Steps

Fieldstone steps, below.  Pure labor, no mortar/concrete.
Cheapest choice when I began my career.  Now, depending upon the jobsite, pre-cut stone is cheaper.  Easier to handle they reduce labor expense.
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Of course, my favorite, is field stone.
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Oddly, at the front end of availability pre-cut stone steps were the most expensive.  
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More odd, I meet people now, who think field stone steps are, by far, the cheaper choice.  
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Found the pic online.  Must put in some days taking pics of our projects, good excuse to see them again too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Details Of Simplicity

Almost 30 years ago this bench, below, was the first thing she bought for her garden.
 A classic faux bois, the details are rich.  Timeless.
Her husband said he had been pressure washing it for years, it was time to do it again.
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We turned our heads to him, in unison, "No, never again !"
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Notice the dreadful mulch?  Worst thing about college for landscape design, promoting mulch.  This garden now has dwarf sarcoccocca to spread and hold the soil.  Evergreen, shade, it blooms fragrantly in February.  It was difficult to find, and expensive when found.  A victim of the contraction of the retail/wholesale garden center industries.  Doubt I'll be putting it into plans in the future as often as in the past.
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Landscape Jewelry

Last week, & for decades, the driveway was the focal point of this landscape.  
 Now, Urn/Plinth are a focal point on axis with the front door creating Pleasure Grounds.
 Urn/Plinth are quite large, the house is deceptively large with its 10' height at terrace level.
Most important, the Urn/Plinth can remain empty, or be planted.
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The quiet elegance of the Urn/Plinth are jewelry in the landscape.
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Jewelry a bit out of her comfort zone.  Enough to mention to her grown children it should be taken by one of them when her estate is dispersed.  You do remember what to ask yourself when buying a focal point for the garden, "Is this so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Downspout Column: Color

The eye picks up a white downspout, below, as an architectural column.
Don't let this happen to you.
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Sherwin-Williams: Best Bronze.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Color Confidence

Bold, simple, historic, elegant, confident.
 A sweet surprise on the ceiling.
All around the house, Tara Turf, color echos.
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Garden & Be Well,                XO Tara
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Le Jardin Blanc, in Douglasville, GA has a Green, Brown & White color theme.  When puffy clouds float overhead, or the moon appears,  it seems they've been requested.  For their color !
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Thru that door I've heard Mozart to, "....I like my women just a little on the trashy side...", Alabama to Edith Piaf, to.......

Monday, November 7, 2011

Diller -von Furstenberg Family Foundation Gift

Barry Diller & Diane von Furstenberg recently donated $20 million to the High Line Park in New York City.  They had already given $15 million.
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With perky disdain the New York Times article, here, takes a jab their money, "...went to a park rather than a cultural or educational institution."
 

Pic, above, by Benjamin Norman for the New York Times.
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Go Diane go !!!!  And, thank you.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Top pic from here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting The Scale Right

Once or twice a year I work with a home that looks normal but the closer you get you realize its scale is much larger than 1st impression.
 This tiny area, above, is truly larger than it appears.
The lanterns are almost  3' tall.
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Anything smaller & it's Dinky Is Stinky territory.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic taken last week, lanterns sourced by Suzanne Hudson, Le Jardin Blanc.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exterior Decorating

Zinnias were on the table last week, it was an early morning meeting about creating her Smoke House.
When she pulled cheese scones from the oven, & placed them on a tray with butter & jam, the zinnias were moved here, above.
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Exterior decorating leverages your efforts.  It's all about being easier, pretty, living with grace.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How To Create Vanishing Threshold

Views outside flow inside, below.
 Draperies, a lamp turned on.
Before you enter the room, above, you know who she is.
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Furniture style, color choices, accessories, scale, flow, placement, comfort, simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Standing in front of your home, would I know who you are?
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Pics taken last week