Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prancing To The Potager

Primal feelings.  Before the sun sets, I will buy lettuce, & whatever else looks pretty, to plant in my potager. 
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Getting dressed my brain was all about deciding where to find them.
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After today's appointment, Ashe-Simpson is on the way home.  Hall's is a mile away. 
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When the cold comes again, & it will, cloches. 
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A primal planting-the-crop feeling or Marie Antoinette prancing to the potager with her favorite cloche's?

Garden & Be Well,          XO Tara
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Pic, cloche in my garden.  Have found most of my cloche at TJMaxx thru the years, Tuesday Morning and several at the late Smith&Hawkin.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Assignment: Go To Venice

Studying Landscape Design in Italy, a day was set aside for Venice.  No gardens.  A dreaded day.  Money was tight & study was the purpose.  Not a city in water.
(I wear boots in my garden & designing landscapes.  Really, these are MY SHOES, above.)

How can any of my Landscape Designs not be redolent of having been to Venice?  (Mask, wig, flowers, dress, feathers, jewels, this is ME.)  
 Tongue In Cheek has been in Venice recently.  (Design a potager?  I can Be A Potager, above.)
This character would be marvelous in marble.  In a garden. 
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Your assignment, Go To Venice. 
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics from Tongue In Cheek   Seriously, go to Venice.  It will affect your heart, creativity, joy, spirit & more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trees vs. Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels

I've taken Christopher Lloyd to bed again.  Already 2nd-3rd time for his books.  He's new & fresh, each time.



"By exercising  a little vision you will come to realize that the tree, which has a possible future, perhaps a great one, may be more important than yourself, nearing your end.  So it's worth thinking more about the tree and giving it a good start in life in the right position than about yourself, except in so far as it is a great delight to see the tree responding and developing under your sympathetic treatment."
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Cool your house in summer with an understory deciduous tree, it will warm you in winter too.  Site an evergreen tree in path of winter's winds.  Sited properly trees increase property value.  Chosen properly  insects/wildlife expand pollinator habitat.
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Studying Landscape Design across Europe for decades it's obvious what survives: trees, meadow, stone focal points.
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Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels commodifies landscapes into grass to mow, bushes to prune, annuals to plant, chemicals to treat, irrigation system to install.
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Ok, I'll stop here.  Too quick getting from trees to Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels.  Not enough time to pontificate fully today.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic taken at a client's property last month.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vision Quest Design Solutions

We need a door to balance the fabulousity of historic brick, acreage, meandering heirloom chickens, orchard, potager, Jacobs sheep, ornamental plantings, views from the house & more.  Life. 
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came to mind. 
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This door, top pic, was in David's own garden.   
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A garden library is wonderful for vision questing.  Adore doing it via blogging too, but having one of my antique tables covered in books open to various pages creates more lit-up neural paths in my brain with touch, smell, site, lite, sound the ipad can't compete with.
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Ironically, My Kind Of Garden, by David Hicks, was recommended on a blog I read years ago.  Blogging & booking are a loop I love.  They feed each other.  Helping me feed the creative MUSE. 
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Penelope Bianchi

Penelope Bianchi, below, is brave.  She didn't 'think' about growing a vine inside.  She did!



 She's timeless.  There's always comfort, & a garden.
 Her sense of flow, scale, comfort, history, fun,
 are direct from her muse.
And her home has been chosen for the top 10 romantic homes.
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I learn everytime I see pics of her home.  Didn't want you to miss seeing some.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics from Penelope here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Apple Espalier In A Tiny Potager

Her potager is barely 3' deep, below.
 No problem planting a pair of espalier apple trees, above.  They require little space.
She offered some of her collards, above, but they were too pretty to pick.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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I espalier a lot of things.  Tried a hydrangea espalier?  Lushness without effort, sasanqua's too.  Sometimes, I espalier, truly due to tight space.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Designing For Dogs

Meet Betty, below, this is her home.
 Nearby is a shaded bare patch of earth she loves to lay on in summer.
I left her space alone in the new Landscape Design.
 I paid attention to her pathways, tweeked them a bit, and was rewarded.  Betty uses her 'improved' paths.
Betty's friend, at right above, was moving a bit too fast for his portrait.  He lives 2 houses down.
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I assume all plants are toxic to dogs, and know a swallowed rock or twig can mean death.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Dogs?  I pay attention to their habits for sleeping, playing, protection.  And let their habits lead the Landscape Design.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flowers In Winter

Confidence, below, at the front end of winter.
 A few flowers to dress-up the teak patio furniture, bare of cushions.
A good wager with our mild winter.  But you never know what's ahead & it's good to see spunk.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in a client garden.  She's getting a potager with amended soil & a compost area.  Notice her flooring, above?  The swimming pool was filled in and the pool decking was kept.  The green grass you see had been water.
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I haven't done annuals in winter for over a decade.  Instead, relying upon camellia, tea olive, daphne, helleborus, mahonia, kerria, rosmary to bloom, and bloom, and bloom......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Creating, & Living, In Still Life

Decades old, below, the Camellia japonica doesn't require care.  Though it does take your energy.
 The energy of appreciating beauty, picking flowers, knowing whether it's native/non-native honey bees at the stamens, giving blossoms away, floating blossoms in water & etc.
People, and plants, are energy in or energy out.
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I choose people to keep in my life who are energy in.  Plants too.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Last week with a client, above.  She chose her trug well knowing it would create a Still Life and be functional.    Notice the leaf litter mulch and a few weeds?  Jane Austen wrote of this type garden, it has RUSTICITIES.  Ironic to write of Landscape Design as Still Life.  They change by the split second.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steal The View: Stone Wall

Classic Landscape Design, below, focal point with backdrop.
What you don't know?
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Bench, tiny flagstone terrace, pots are at the property line.
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Behind the bench?  Trees & low stone wall are on the neighbor's property.
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Landscape Design rule: steal the view.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic taken last week in a client's frontyard.  Love a win-win.  My client's garden looks larger and the neighbor's garden looks larger.  And, this new garden area has a 'presence' immediately.  So much of landscaping takes 'time' to develop a presence.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Potted Roses Inside

Potted roses, below, have height.  They look great.
I tell myself these things.
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But.  The roses are fake.
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The only fake plants in my house, or on the grounds.
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Notice my dulcimers hanging on the wall?  Exactly, divert-divert-divert from the fake.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Put The Shutter Inside

At the frontdoor, below.  
 Don't know why I bought the old shutter-dog, don't know why I kept the old shutters in my garage for almost 2 decades.
Susanne Hudson made the brilliant suggestion, put the shutter inside.
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Kept the original color on the shutter & haven't touched the original rust on the shutter-dog.
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It doesn't fit accurately and I adore the entire idea.  And opening/closing it each day.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Yes, I'm this easily amused.  Better than street drugs yes?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

American Windsor Chair

This isn't a chair for the dinner table, below.
 It sits for conversation, reading, napping, cradling a kitten, a scotch.
 Originally, below, at our family house on Lake Rabun.
It was,below, in my music room,


Now, below, it's in the kitchen, aka Garden Room, where I look across my rooms, enfilade, into the garden.


New floors, above, arrived at Christmas.  French doors will go in soon, leading to the Conservatory.
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Notice, you did not see the 25 year old linoleum, disgusting, that went out the door.
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Would NEVER have put the American Windsor on linoleum.  Seemed disrespectful.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Needing patience.  Have waited a quarter century for these changes and somehow the homestretch is the toughest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Placing Cobblestone Edging

No matter how many times, below,
 my guys create a new gravel parking court with
 cobblestone edging it feels like
a new book has begun.
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I feel something tangible with gravel & cobblestones, laid with love, appreciated in form, used for function.  As if a spirit were created to nurture those in its new, yet, ancient realm.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken last month.  This incredible man, pulls a line, uses a level, does it right each time.  No matter he's done it for decades.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cat Proof Flower Arranging

Flowers need a heavy bottomed container in my house.
 Cats may pull the flowers out but the container won't pull over.
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Yes, you know exactly how I learned this.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Christmas eve my father was diagnosed with cancer, 22 days later he died.  Our family was together, Dad had no pain.  His faith was strong.   In my garden, my chosen tabernacle for grief, grace has already begun its healing.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Exterior Lighting

11" didn't provide much space for a pendant light, below.
 This 1940 cottage project demands character.
 Pendant light found at Scott Antique last month, age & patina along with the original mica.
 Prior to Scott's I had sourced, below.  Alas, too long.
Now, I'm glad.  Not quite the patina and it cost double the antique.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Will paint the bricks Alexandria Beige-Benjamin Moore.  Too much orange in the bricks, some mortar issues but once painted the nubbyness of the bricks and mortar issues will be assets.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Richness In Simplicity

Simplicities in my house, below, intensify
 my garden view.
Landscapes & interiors are double axis.
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How does your landscape look from inside your home?  It is art on the wall at every window.  Whether you think so or not.
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How does your home look from your landscape?  It is the focal point of your landscape.  Whether you think so or not.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken yesterday, a gray day with rain.  No flash for the pics.  Light streaming in, indirectly, from the garden.  My floor, banister, stairs, and me, each bathed in garden light.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Door Statement

Over a decade ago I designed a garden for a town home in Ansley Park.
Doors, almost exactly as above, led into a tiny bricked back garden.
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All of the town homes had the same back doors into their garden.
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Most owners removed their gorgeous doors to renovate & 'update'.
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My client had her fabulous doors.  Yes, we commiserated over the loss of the other doors.  How the 'updated' doors ruined the entire look of the small, but choice, town home community.  How we really didn't like 'those' people.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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A delight to be be reminded of the Ansley Park doors with this image via pinterest.