Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cats & Camellias

Low 30's, in only my gown, I went into the garden last week to shoot the current crop of Sasanqua's, (I have 5 cultivars.)
 Had bit of a surprise, above, garden cat Torte De Shelle had the correct expression at my attire.
But when the Sasanqua are this fabulous, come as you are.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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With smugness, let me add, Torte De Shelle is atop the fence and framed with the Camellia japonica.  They won't start blooming till Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Captain Kirk Chair

I pay attention to the Captain Kirk chair inside every home where I'm designing the landscape.  Views throughout the year will be savored & used as backdrop to all the excitement and muddles life provides.  

 Where is your Captain Kirk chair?  What are the garden views?
New floors installed, sanding/staining late this week.  Back came my Captain Kirk chair. House in chaos yet I couldn't resist this spot.
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How could I, the sasanquas are blooming, the Christmas tree lites are on in the Conservatory, and the garden cats about their lives.  As Anne Of Green Gables said, there is so much "scope for the imagination."
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 I travel farthest in my garden, perhaps honestly, it's farther still in this chair.
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Collections During Renovation

A few days ago, at The Old Post Office, in Stone Mountain, Ga Village, I found this painting.  

It has a few issues, easily overcome by the $15 tag.

On the back, interesting scrawl,  "Dec. 26, 1930, Friday Nite, JGB"
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A story I would like to know.
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Now, it's leaning on a table with lamps, bowls, flotsam-jetsom, awaiting it's debut.  A bit of construction in my house this Christmas.  Men, machines, materials, saw dust.  Cats safely tucked into their new room upstairs, unamused.
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Excited about the new year, construction complete, things placed properly, and a decrease in quantity.  Editing
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Framing garden views from every interior window.  Looking into every window, from the garden, making sure it's worthy of being a backdrop for my garden.  Double axis.  Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cotton In The Conservatory

In the garden, below, 2 days ago, looking into my Conservatory thru the century old French door.
 It's an arcane delight, looking into windows.  Seeing cotton (or anything pretty) already 'painted', not real, in the past.
This is my first high cotton.  Literally, this year, in-high-cotton.  Inside Conservatory, above, looking into my tiny back garden.
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The old pottery jug, above, with broken handle, was a very good day at the thrift store, $2.94.
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From the house seeing this jug of cotton has been a joy.  A garden view, it's why I garden.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Choosing Color: Small House, Northern Light, Dark Bedrooms

The Cottage, 1200 sqft,  is entirely northern light.  Benjamin Moore - York Harbor, a yellow, is already lighting the house.
Impatient for the lamps, mirrors, furniture, textiles, art, books.
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Both bedrooms will be York Harbor.
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Bunny Williams, An Affair With A House, has been no small inspiration.  She uses yellow.  It doesn't seem to be popular at the moment.  Bunny transcends 'popular'.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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pic taken at a project last week.  Oh no, I've neglected to look into this room from the garden.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tea & Toilets

Tea, below, at Le Jardin Blanc last week.  We toured 2 gardens & did a drive-by of another, all had been in national magazines.
 Lemon curd, Devonshire creme & scones were included, of course.
 Each place had a unique teapot.
At a project the same day, below.   Discoveries about a plaster wall were made when an old toilet was exchanged for new.  
 Bead board, all four walls, was the solution.  Plaster issues?  Poof, gone.  (Keeping, above,  the ca. 1940's wall sink with it's chrome ca. 1950's levers.)
Touring gardens in England I've appreciated signage with arrows.  Especially when Tea and Toilets are prominent.  Necessities, each.
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Simple With No Styling

Fabulous garden views from every window is Vanishing Threshold, and cat entertainment.
 Yesterday, above/below, at my desk.  Vintage chinoiserie curtains ca. 1970 were hung this summer after decades of being in a box.
These windows are upstairs overlooking the Tea Olive Terrace.  Birds, sky, garden, do you think I see the neighborhood surrounding my home/garden?
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This has taken years, creating garden views from every window.  Creating views into my windows from the garden.  Wanting it all to be simple with no styling.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Laskett, is at left and Laura at right.  I removed the curtains from a house to be torn down.  Free is good.  The lamp was a fun day at the thrift store.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Intimacy In Large Spaces

Moments of intimacy are designed into this home on acreage.
 Human scale, framing vistas, entries & etc. using materials with patina.
Plantings: tough, beautiful, fragrant.  Feeding the soul, and served at table.  Soon, an iron gate will ask you to enter here, above.
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I want her to look at her acreage and love all she sees.  No matter the season.  Never look at her beloved land and think, "I must do this, that must be done, that's a mess."
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic taken recently.  And small landscapes get the big vista treatment along with intimacy.  Must remember this for posting, a little landscape and one with acreage.  Amazing how they both 'live'.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Deer In Your Landscape: Garden Designers Roundtable

Create a deer proof list and Providence will laugh.  Go into their range and discover what survives.  
 Trout lilies, Christmas fern, ginger, hydrangea arborescens, aster, buckeye, cedar, oak, pine, & sourwood are few things thriving amongst a huge deer population near me.
 She's wanting a fruit orchard, above.  Her wall will stop 'most' of the deer issues.
 Trees too tall to reach are an obvious solution to deer issues, but the checkbook, typically, laughs.  Plant the trees you love, at the size the checkbook allows, and use stakes with netting until it is a deer proof size.
 Flowers are wine & canapes to deer.  The best solution I've seen to keeping flowering shrubs?  Fruit tree netting.  Not perfect, but the shrubs survive & grow.
With deer, camellia, above, become trees not big bushes.
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Neighborhoods with annuals at the entries, with heavy deer populations, use fruit tree netting.  Deer may paw at them, but will eventually leave them alone.
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Any plant on a deer proof list I assume to be deer bait.  Young deer can't read your deer proof list, they learn by trying EVERYTHING.
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Some gardeners have success with Milorganite around their plantings.  It must be reapplied and some who've used say it was no use.
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Deer proof?  Walk woodlands nearby.  Like the short list of choices?  I don't.  Like everything on the list of choices?  Well, yes.  It's that or nothing.  The worst thing is to buy, plant and the deer have a feast.  You're out time, labor, money.  Money can be earned.  Time can be reclaimed by no one.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Garden Designers Roundtable: More Voices About Deer In The Landscape

http://gdrt.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/gardening-with-deer/


Gardening with Deer

Quite a few years ago at a conference for the Connecticut Nurserymen’s Association, I sat in on a talk by a local landscape architect who’s topic was “Deer-Proof plants”. Slide after slide he would tell the audience “this particular plant has shown great resistance to deer” or “deer won’t eat this because…”, and slide after slide some member of the audience would raise their hand and say “the deer eat that in my garden”. The poor guy never stood a chance.
Deer have become a major problem in the landscape, and the reasons for the increase in deer damage range from development encroaching on their territory to populations thriving on the lush banquet our gardens provide for them. Whatever the reason, choosing the right plant for the right place no longer guarantees success in the garden, you must also ask “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”
This month on the Roundtable, our designers discuss, “Gardening with Deer”. Follow the links below and find out how they deal with their uninvited “guests”!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Exchangeable Lampshade Covers

Lamps, lampshades, wattage, fabrics, dogs, cats, antique ironstone, &tc are layered on my gardening gene.
 She loves fabrics, above/below, and made dozens of lampshade covers.
 Velcro tabs, below, hold them in place.
 In her foyer, below, last week.
Of course I've encouraged (demanded) her to sell lampshade covers.
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And, smart girl, they are sized for a standard lamp shade from the big box stores.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Design Winter Shadows Into The Landscape



Others wanted to cut the old redbud, Cercis canadensis, down.  Men with machines looking into my eyes, awaiting a shake of my head.  Instead, a firm, "No."
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Wall, nor garden, are finished, above.
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Later I came upon the shadow.  In that moment, it let me know why the universe was formed.  And my place in it.  Humbling.
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Providence speaks loudest to me in a garden.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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pic taken last week in a client garden

Friday, December 9, 2011

Focal Point: Double Axis

North of the cabin, below, is the old farm building in yesterday's post.
 Cabin, above/below, is due south.  A focal point at north & south, Double Axis.
Cabin is almost a century old.  Mulch, above, won't be needed when plantings mature.
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Laying in bed last night realizing this spot is a Quatra Axis.  Can't wait till the East/West portions are ready for their pics.
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Exciting events.  3 of the axis points were already there.  The 4th pulled the landscape together.
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More than a little pleased !!  (Think of Miss Piggy Dancing, flipping her hair a few times.)
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Have zero idea what other people think about in bed at night.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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pics taken last week.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Design The Past Into The Future

"There is no future in the past." A narrow, mundane & sad thought.  'With little imagination', as Anne of Green Gables would say.  
 It's a thrill to Landscape Design century old farm buildings & trees, 'the past', into the future.
Using plantings & methods of the past, and the gardens of ancient Italy as template.
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Creating a sense of intimacy when the space is 100's of acres.
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FRISSON:  Excitement at the front end of winter, bare branched trees.  Sasanqua's coated in bloom at the tail end of fall.
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Each, at the same moment.
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Creating a landscape taking care of your spirit more than you will ever have to take care of it.
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I love putting a new future into the past.  
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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pics taken last week at a project.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Signature Style

Did you notice, below, the shelf above the sink?
 An old pie safe, hung on the wall.
Susanne Hudson has several signatures, this is one.
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Every time I see her pie-safe-on-a-wall-routine, it's FRESH !
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I love bringing Susanne into my projects.  Team Tara knows when to bring in specialists.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Florida Room

Florida room, below, looking toward the front yard of a 1940 cottage.
 Florida room, below, looking toward the backyard.
This cottage is The Velveteen Rabbit.  Life shows in her cracks & broken bits but it's obvious she's always been loved.
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Friend & peer Sandra Jonas gustily laughed at my reference, 'Florida room'.
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Whatever.
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I'm calling it a Florida room.  What would you call it?
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken last week.  Still in the design phase on this project.  Honestly, Sandra dahling,  these pics are for YOU.  Ha, the rest of you have already painted & stuffed the Florida room with furniture, art, sisal, new light fixtures.......  I love this phase.  Total possibility.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Design So You Don't Have Style Anything

She set her hat down, below, before coming into the house.
She wasn't home yet when I took the pic last week.
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My favorite type of pic.  No styling.  Real.
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This is her life.  Unfiltered.
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Simple.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Seeing another woman, over a decade ago, set her hat down upon a kitchen table creating a beautiful vignette without effort, I knew, design interiors and exteriors leveraging life and be beautiful.  No styling.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How Green Affects Serenity

Layers of green create serene landscapes.  Green: groundcovers, bushes, understory trees, canopy trees, & etc.
I came into gardening All-About-The-Flowers.  I discovered them to be temporary friends & high maintenance.
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No worries, green things bloom too.  A bigger discovery, green layers in landscapes create Serenity.  Fast.
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Layering greens maximizes pollinator habitat too.  Providence winking, "You're doing this right."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic via Content In A Cottage  .  Amid all my greens of course I have flowers: abelia, camellia, rose, tea olive, dianthus, ageratum, rosemary, English daisy, azalea & etc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gardening With Dogs

Georgia red clay, white dog, below, and a contractor
needing to get a load of mulch spread.  FAST.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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How to landscape with dogs?  Pay attention to their habits & assume every plant is toxic.  Where a dog runs, digs, lays rarely changes.  Incorporate it into the design.  Toxic plants?  I worry more about little sticks or rocks being eaten and twisting the intestines.  If azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas, along with native plants, were extremely toxic the South would be known for a lot of dead dogs.  Hence, use plants long known to be used with dogs in the yard.
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A client sent the pic to my contractor !