Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Is This Kitchen Missing?


Practically perfect, below, but missing
lamps.  Sconces too.
.
Garden & Be Well,              XO Tara
.
Imagine this kitchen without the outdoor dining, aka Vanishing Threshold, amazing how SMALL it becomes.
.
Pic via Brabourne Farm

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lynn Coulter Interview & Lunch

Lynn Coulter, author, was squatting in a garden taking pics when I met her last month.  She asked to interview me for her Home Depot blog & was immediately asked to lunch in my Conservatory.  Tomato sandwiches, coleslaw & cantaloupe with lemonade.   

 We talked about pollinator habitat.  My discoveries of Italy & cottage gardens of England with their lush flowers not for beauty but, historically, for pollinator habitat.  Her article, here.  Important topic, yields can be almost doubled with increased pollinator habitat.
 How I never knew of her books is a mystery.
She enriches my library.  Pinch me, I'm in girl crush, she's my new friend. 
.
Visit Lynn Coulter's site & about her books, here.
.
Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
.
Lunch pic from our lunch.  Tomato sandwich with bacon & vidalia onion!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Garden Room

Romance of windows opening inward.
 Small, not even  8' x 12', it is perfection.  A nurturing space
 A place to draw, deeply & richly, inward into yourself.  Read, nap, lunch.
And the garden beckoning.  Palpable.  A room knowing what the soul needs.
.
Garden & Be Well,              XO Tara
.
Pics taken last month.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Garden View

In their historic cottage is this huge morning glory.

 At least it seemed like one to me.
 Appropriately, the gramophone
has a garden view of the carriage house & perennial border.
.
Have you already chosen this way to live?  Every view a garden view.  It's where a Landscape Design begins.
.
Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
.
Pics taken last month.  Yes, was able to poke around in the carriage house too! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Love Gift: Chicken Coop

After major renovations to their home & garden her beloved

 built her this chicken coop.
 Of course their girls (roosters were sent to a rooster sanctuary) got the same front door color

as the house.
.
Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
.
Pics taken this week.  Love-love-love this story.  Married for decades, kids finally getting married or out of college and this sweet couple starting to be a couple again, not just mom & dad !  Was stunned when she said her beloved built the chicken coop.  He's got a huge career yet took the time to build this love gift for her.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Front Porch

A disintegrating brick, too small, front stoop when I arrived.


Covered, lighting, doors, stone terrace, new paint colors, columns, iron rail, ceiling fans, furniture.
   The view, below, has been there, ignored, for over 3 decades.
Now it's honored, and lived in.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics taken this week at a past client.  Her house & garden the most perfect HORRENDOUS before.  Of course she's going to be a before/after story.  Best part is how it's changed their lives.  Literally.  House is amongst many in a subdivision near town, yet it lives like Piedmont forest. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outdoor Kitchen Planning

At the pool an outdoor kitchen is planned under the new room addition.
 Yesterday's meeting included lighting choices. 
 And space planning.
 Kitchen island, yes you're sensing the presence of Magic Man again, will be on wheels & made of teak to match the cabinets.  A stone banquette in the corner will have her signature custom cushions with Magic Man making the table to her exact dimensions.
Outdoor kitchen yesterday morning!
.
Client is an interior decorator with a specialty in space planning.  Quietly successful, she's word-of-mouth only. 
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics taken at jobsite yesterday morning. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cottage Awning


Built during a poverty cycle, ca. 1930, this awning is wood. 
Yes, steps/terrace are bluestone.

 When the cottage was built, a century ago, this was the afternoon sun porch.
In love with the proportions (of all parts of this cottage).  They reek of age & fabulous.
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
.
Took the pics last month.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Speaking With Boxwoods & Paths

Pair of boxwood, below, say, "Come this way."
 There is more to the garden & a path continues the conversation begun by the boxwoods.
.
Bluestone stepping stones with rough hewn edges, 18" square.  Placed on diamond, copying wood detailing in the kitchen.  Zoysia lawn, pine mulch soon to be unseen as the Southern indica azaleas fill in.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Perhaps one of the nerdiest things I like to do, 'speak' via paths & pairs of evergreens.  Pics taken this month in a client garden.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Working With Problems: Parking

Backdrop hedge to a portion of the flowering shrub border, below, at the back of the home.

 Yet, totally focused on the problem of seeing the cars & gator.
Trying to hide something most often attracts attention.
.
I get to do a lot of fun things with Landscape Design but I know parking, meters, air-conditioners, generators & etc. are all part of my job.  That job is to leave no area undone.
.
Must make sure Jane Austen would approve of any garden I plan.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken in a client garden this month.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Outdoor Shower +

French doors from the exercise room open to the outdoor shower,

 and
more exercise equipment by the pool.
.
Garden & Be Well,               XO Tara.
.
Pics taken at a jobsite last week.  Notice staking at the evergreen shrubs?  Behind those shrubs a STEEP cliff.  Observe gravel leading to checkerboard?  Fine line of sun to shade.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Patio & Folding Tables

Patio tables should be square.  Buy a pair & use them apart or pulled together.

 Buying folding tables?
Round tables, 36" diameter are best.  Seat 5, don't need a huge centerpiece, and conversation flows easily without breaking into 2 groups. 
.
Garden & Be Well,          XO Tara
.
Pics taken at client jobsites last week.  Been doing the square patio table thing for decades.  The 36" folding table idea is pure magic from Susanne Hudson.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vertical Lawn with Confederate Jasmine


Need more lush & it's coming soon.  Evergreen Confederate Jasmine is growing up the posts.
Eyehooks & wire will hold the twining vine.  It will go over the arches too.
.
A friend's quote comes to mind, "Grow damn you grow."
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Pic taken last week.  Creeping fig, espalier sasanqua are favorite 'vertical lawn' plants too.  Of course I'm showing off my zone a bit with those 2 !

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Without Photo Styling

Heirloom chickens, large potager, flowers & more, she is always
harvesting for her family & to give away.
.
Sure, this picture could be better.  But that is not the point. 
.
The picture is a document of life.  No styling.
.
That is how I Landscape Design.  Forever-more-&-a-day pure still life. 
.
It's grace tapping into Providence. 
.
Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
.
Pic taken last week at a client's garden.  Yes, came home with heirloom colored eggs & fresh fig jam.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Checkerboard In Zoysia

Another checkerboard is born.  He wanted zoysia lawn around the entire new pool.

She wanted the diving board, a Caribbean blue color, and rectangular shape.  I did the arc, matching an arc of marble on the kitchen island.
.
Especially pleased with how 'old' their new pool already seems.
.
Her interior lighting budget was X.  First chandelier was X.  And you know she didn't stop there.  Where do you think he took the money from?  Always the same story, take-take-take from the garden budget. 
.
Of course I've learned to Landscape Design within this crazy scenario.  And still make it look fabulous.  Their story is not unique, again, I know the game.
.
And love it.  Great challenge.  Happy with this backyard. 
.
Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
.
pic taken last week.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Power Of Silhouette: Audrey Hepburn

Perusing quickly I immediately knew this silhouette, below.
Impact was immense.  Silhouettes are a huge Landscape Design tool.  Trees, buildings, shrubs, & etc.  A fresh reminder.
.
And it's chiaroscuro too, my favorite time, the gloaming.
.
Use silhouettes as a tool in your landscape.  Love what a mature crape myrtle can do with many roof lines.  Perhaps the armillary sundial on plinth?  Patch of rectangular lawn at a huge palladian window.  Pair of round boxwood at a doorway.  You get it.  Constrast the forms.
.
Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
.
Pic from Habitually Chic

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Edison Marshall His Garden & Home

Saw my first good garden age 7 in Augusta, GA.  Home of the author Edison Marshall.  This, below, hooked me.  Views from windows & doors into a garden.  Pic via.
A pair of tigers were at either side of the walk-in fireplace in the formal dining room where luncheon was served.  Heads stuffed & setting on tall wood stools with the entire body skin draping down.   (I remember each paw being as large as my head.)

A pair of Galapagos turtles, still alive, had their own garden room.
.
It's been said we try to recreate the interiors that first impressed us as a child.  Of course I've lived that cliche AND included the garden.
.
Ironically, now this moment, getting a link for you of Edison Marshall, I've seen my first pic of Edison Marshall, and I think the 2nd time I've seen this tiger, below.
.
Marshall had recently died.  It was a somber luncheon but joyful too.  We were meeting my grandmother's friend, Helena Mendocino, a doctor & recent Cuban boatlift participant, who had just married Edison Marshall Jr.
.
Helena put her beloved Edison on tea.  He was an alcoholic that stopped drinking for the love of his life.  He told  the charming story of going to a grocery store, for the first time in his life, the previous month.  He loved the conveyor belt. 
.
The Marshall house had a ghost.  We were dutifully shown the room it occupied.
.
Staff answered the door, served luncheon & totally enchanted me.
.
Edison Marshall Jr. carried a large Coleman thermos full of tea with him the rest of his days.
.
When Mrs. Marshall senior passed she left her collection of gloves to my grandmother, their hands small.  When grandma died I got the gloves, they are in my closet now, my hands their size.
.
Edison & Helena continued in my life till they passed.  Their friendship a great joy to my grandparents.
.
More to the story but even in death I feel honor bound to my grandma to only tell you, at most, the above.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Door Knocker Story

Look thoroughly, below.
Can you figure out the door knocker at bottom?
.
Their cat was destroying the door trying to get their attention.  Now, when he wants inside, he pulls on the door knocker.
.
Yes, true story.
.
Would you have been this intuitive, putting the door knocker down low?
.
Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
.
Pic taken last month.
.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Choosing Swing Open Garage Doors

I'm hunting garage doors that swing open.  The garage is a charming 1945 cinder block with low sloped roof.  Privacy is an issue, and money.

 These are the doors I'll send to Magic Man, below.  A potting shed near the garage needs one of the doors above, alas, that money issue.  But dreams are free.
Will use a frosted glass.
.
Magic Man will say all sorts of wonderful embellishments to simplicity, above.  Alas, again, that money issue. 
.
Hardware isn't much of an issue with these doors either.  A huge savings.
.
Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
.
Top pic via Velvet & Linen.  Bottom pic via Rachel Ashwell.

Monday, July 9, 2012

You Need This Garden House

Enough gardens (historically) have these garden houses, below, I realized your garden needs one too. 
Why did this epiphany take so long to arrive?  No matter.  Get you one of the garden houses.
.
What will you do in your new garden house?
.
Me?  I will watercolor or play the dulcimer perhaps write letters maybe read Beverley Nichols, Sir Roy Strong, Cecil Beaton.
.
Seriously, these garden houses are going into most of my Garden Designs.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Lost source for the pic.  This epiphany is so new I don't know the best dimensions to tell you to use.  There seems to be 2-3 'best'.  Loving the scope for the imagination on placing these Garden Houses.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Camp Boxwood

Boxwoods is a delightful garden, gift, & design shop in Atlanta, GA.  Their private getaway was recently in Traditional Home magazine.

Sold in their shop, below, is a porcelain hydrangea.  Furnishings, antiques, plants, art & more too.
 I like everything Boxwoods does.  Alas, haven't been inside their shop in more than 5 years.  Bittersweet, driving by but no time to go inside because I'm working at client gardens.  Of course it is saving me a lot of money, not going inside. 
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Top pic via Traditional Home magazine & bottom pic via Boxwood's

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lunch in the Conservatory

Lunch in the Conservatory.
 Pears, yogurt, cottage cheese, pistachios.  There's something about multiple little bowls,
mismatched silver spoons, plate, linen napkin, making the choices.
.
Walking across the garden & choosing where to sit in the Conservatory.  These are the great dramas I want.
.
Amid hectic days my Conservatory never fails to enrich my spirit.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Wish lunch in the Conservatory were more often but you know I'm happy to be at jobsites too.
.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Deer In The Laundry With Arbor

We were so busy in the garden I never had time to ask about the deer in her laundry.
.
Didn't realize the pic was getting the awning outside.  She has several, this one is over the gas grill.
.
A style quite common ca. 1910.
/
Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
.
Pic taken last month.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Decorate With Multiple Collections

She drinks alot of Perrier perfect bottles for rooting cuttings, below.
 She inherited boxes of shells, it took about a year of spare time to sort them, below.
 Old, broken, water salts & moss make her terra cotta better.  Of course the arrangement is fabuloso, below. Have you noticed how people that arrange flowers seem to be able to arrange anything?
Clustered & themed, she uses collections to decorate. 
.
This trinity of collections are close to each other in her Conservatory.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics taken last month in Susanne Hudson's Conservatory.