Friday, August 31, 2012

Noise & Smell of Expensive Neighborhoods

 
Decades ago, designing landscapes, I noticed expensive neighborhoods are noisy & lack many natural fragrances.
Noise of remodeling with hammers, air-compressors & maintenance mowers/blowers is ubiquitous where the money is.  Mono-culture lawns too.
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Designing a landscape near Agnes Scott College, at a charming historic middle-class bungalow, I revelled in the fragrance.  It was Tara Turf.  No deed restrictions demanding Bermuda or Zoysia.  Their lawns are fescue, moss, clover, ajuga, violets, & etc.  Smelling deeply of nourishment to my DNA.
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On the few occasions I can get to my Conservatory for a nap I know it won't be interrupted with mower or construction noise.  Ironic pleasure, yes?
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"I absolutely hate the sound of machines in the garden.  Mowers, Rotovators, hedge cutters are all a kind of torture.  I want peace.
     But there are some sounds that I do love to hear.  By late July the young buzzards mew and noisily complain in the fields by the river as their parents leave them to learn how to hunt.  A quiet garden allows the year to be measured by these sounds."  Sarah Don
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pic via Cote de Texas.  Who knew noise in the landscape would be a bittersweet topic.  Much of the noise has gone away in this economy.  A few years ago a client lived next door to new construction.  It was a large home entirely sheathed in stone.  It took a full year to chip the stone. 
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Many neighborhoods now put limitations on mow/blow & construction days/times. 
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The worst 'noise' day ever designing a landscape I had to hear a client's neighbor berate, bully, cuss, & threaten his young son for over 2 hours.  I wonder how that little boy turned out, he must be past college now.
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More irony?  My business makes the noise in neighborhoods.  Hammers, saws, Caterpillar.......

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Melding Design Layers

 
Garden rooms are created in melding layers: ceiling, walls, floors, aka, trees-shrubs-groundcovers.  In NYC this French restaurant has amazing melded layers.
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Is there anything worse than the ubiquitous Flower Show garden?  At a glance novice eyes sees stone terrace, shrub line, tree line, no melding of layers.  Why walk in to see the garden, you can see it all from the aisle.  (No I'm not forgetting those huge piles of stone called outdoor kitchens,  they are so bad I will not speak of them.)
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 I asked about the floor, below, and our server smiled.  He said the hand-made tile flooring cost more than everything else in the decor.  It was special ordered for their space from Morocco. 

With that attention to detail you know the food was good.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken this summer.  I keep fantasizing about creating a landscape with this flooring as inspiration !!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pond House

At pond's edge we're deciding architecture.
 

 Historical American.  Large enough for small gatherings & fishing gear.

 A fireplace for sure.
Nature at the pond will remain, embellished of course, to look MORE natural. 
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Our pond has an island too.
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Delight, and amazement, to find kindred spirits with these pics.
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Cannot wait to post 3 corresponding pics of our Pond House.  Of course it will have to be 4 pics.  We have an area to create a 'rocky beach' for wading & pushing off with kayaks.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Found these pics looking for landscape pics of What Not To Do.  Title for the lecture I gave last nite at our state's largest trade group, Urban Ag Council.   
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Total brain fart, I did not save picture source.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Attention To Detail

 
200 acres.  Attention to detail.  Even hinges receive total teamwork
with owner, ironmonger, me.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Pic taken at a jobsite this month.  A pair of new gates with historical bones. 
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Don't think for a moment your landscape is worth any less attention.  If a hinge on 200 acres has a teamwork of input how much more does everything in a 1 acre landscape matter? 
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All the decades of studying landscapes across Europe it's easy to learn, leave no element undone in a garden.

Monday, August 27, 2012

How To Get This Landscape: Break Rules

Want this landscape in a year?  Skip directions about spacing, plant in fall &
 
prepare the soil with amendments.  Most importantly, (do you already know?), mound the soil.
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Life is short don't space your plants following what the books/tags say.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Exceptions abound, but for this garden (& a zillion others)  it WILL work.
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Pic saved without credit.  My apologies. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nantucket Meandering

Cousin Cathy is in Nantucket.  These pic gifts arrived today.
 
 Never been to Nantucket. 
 Every place Cousin Cathy stopped I know we would have had all kinds of conversation.
 Pointing things out to each other, the other hadn't noticed.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pouting, I'm missing lunches, dinners, junking in this fabulous place with Cousin Cathy.  Hi CR.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monty Don on Garden Design

"All our buildings fascinate me and have influenced the structure of the garden more than anything else.  I have to relate the garden to the house, and the house to the garden.  The view from a window will influence the positioning of a pathway and a doorway at the end of that path.  I have a primitive need for symmetry and balance."  Monty Don


Excellent advice.  Vanishing threshold.
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Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
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I never tire of learning how others design landscapes.   Asiatic jasmine groundcover, above.  Mother Nature smiles.  Thick in areas yet still spreading in others.  Pair of columns on axis with the front door.  Can lights are placed in the porch ceiling away from ceiling fan blades.  Who wants that spinning shadow pattern!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Penny McHenry's Quotes To Live By

Penny McHenry, founder American Hydrangea Society, had 2 newspaper clippings on her bathroom mirror.



Below, is one.




The 2nd said, "It is more important to be kind than to be right."
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She was in her 70's when they were taped to her mirror.
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Active, Penny was forever getting into 'pickles'.  At least once a year she forgot these quotes, thoroughly. 
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Her charm lay in immediate repentance & contrition.  I drove Penny a lot of places thru the years & it was always a thrill when she would begin, "Perhaps I shouldn't have told....."
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics via my bad.  Apologies for not saving the sources.   

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Conservatory Built With Existing Wall



Too many garden walls haven't had their

Conservatory attached.
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Today's assignment: walk your garden, exactly as Mrs. Wilcox did at Howard's End, and decide where your Conservatory is to be placed.
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
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Pic via Belgian Pearls.   

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Short Story


Happy call yesterday, they bought it!  A client, living in their dream home, found another.
She called a couple of weeks ago about the 'possibility' of the new house, & would I do a drive-by. 
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Older, it looks like a miniature version of an embassy home in DC.  But it's the backyard that sold them! 
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Proud of this couple.  They are thriving in a bad economy the old-fashioned way.  Hard work.
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Garden & Be Well,                XO Tara
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Pic via Things That Inspire from Architectural Digest.  Adore this part of my career, knowing the stories of so many happy events.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bruce Barone Shot Queens Pot

Pots must be so fabulous

they can remain empty.
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The Queen's Pot!
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Sustainable before Christ was born.  Been doing it myself for decades.
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Touring the grounds of Glamis Castle I saw a huge urn in the distance.  It beckoned my name.  The urn grew larger the closer I got.  Upon discovery it was sentinel to an arboretum over a century old.
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What garden center advocates empty urns?
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic by Bruce Barone.  Love & adore inventing garden concepts & The Queen's Pot is mine....!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bedroom Changes



My bedroom is in the hunting/gathering stage.  26 year old carpet was removed & heart of pine flooring now matches the rest of the house.  Researched headboards on Velvet & Linen, and, Things That Inspire.  This headboard, below, is what I ordered. 

 A couch & ottoman will be ordered for the foot of the bed.  Need a couch in the music room too. 
Debating if the 2 new couches should 'match' in case they end up together in a new space.
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Need the lampshades, above, too. 
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The bed was moved and I'm loving new views into the garden.  Can't wait for the couch, it's views are thru a different window.
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Decades planning/planting in the garden it seems strange to be fixating on the interior.  After a quarter century has passed, it's time.
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
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Top pic via Things That Inspire
Bottom pic via Velvet & Linen

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Desk

Neo-onerous work demands a gorgeous desk this week.  It will be done overlooking the Bay Terrace.  Filed an extension with my new CPA in April & now refinancing my garden, aka home.  Any excuse stops me from the work.

2  arrived in the mail yesterday !  How could they not be perused?


Monty Don has been a favorite garden writer for decades.  His style with mundane tasks thrills my soul.  You know where his book is this morning, by the bed.  And you know my accounting work isn't done.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken to get distracted during my work yesterday.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Victorian Harvest Table

Table is contemporaneous with the 1897 house.  Tables,

 fully leaved, above.  Never seen one in current times, only historical pics.  Perhaps it should be called a Victorian harvest table?
A 3rd table, with 1 leaf, nearby.
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
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Pics from Skyland Camp for girls.  Amazing how 3 seemingly small tables have been serving oodles of little girls for a century.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Arrange Prints

In the foyer.

Every bit history.  Nice to see an original arrangement of framed prints not a decorated styled copy.
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Front & back doors open all day, sun or rain.  Inside smelling every bit like the Great Smoky Mountains, rhododendron, pee gee hydrangea, moss, meadow, oaks.....
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Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
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More Skyland Camp for Girls

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chinoiserie Porch Rail

Miles of historic Chinoiserie


porch rail.
 A sweetness of scale.

Doesn't block the eye sitting in a chair.
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
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Oh , I get it about 'code'.  But this sweetness of scale is a joy.  Built as a hotel, 1897, when the train north only came as far south as Clyde, North Carolina.  More pics from Skyland Camp for Girls, ca. 1917.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tree Seat & Tree Swing

Simply constructed of stock lumber, below, tree seat.

 Better, tree swing, below, is hung from a fallen branch.
Simple.
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If you sat in yesterday's cane bottom chairs this is a portion of their views.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Tree swing & tree seat were in much use last weekend during Skyland Camp for Girls 95th anniversary.  Not by me, I had a favorite seat & vantage point for viewing, reading, and just 'being'.  AKA, go-away-leave-me-alone-I'm-feeding-my-spirit.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Front Porch

At the front door, below, you're already understanding a great deal.
 This isn't a place concerned with 'decorating' or 'style'.
Those have existed here so long, and simply,  they are mundane.  This family is concerned with feeding the spirit, paying attention to nature, exercising the body, enriching the mind & connecting friendships.
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Built in 1897 & operated as Skyland Camp for Girls since 1917 this remains a family endeavor.
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Lucky me, I was able to go to their 95th anniversary celebration last weekend.
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Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lunch View & How To Open A French door

Last Sunday's lunch, below, taken from my table. 


Had just climbed Chimney Rock, below.

 Fascinated with how the servers opened the French door.  Yes, that's my table in the reflection.
 Obvious.
But I would have never thought of this.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Fresh crabcake sandwich with coleslaw & fries.  Local beer on tap with slightest hint of peach.
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Seems to me even a dog could learn to open this door.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Lunch, Nigella Lawson

Both women work for international corporations, they're neighbors, each have beautiful lake views, and like to cook.  Garden too, they're my clients.  Finally, I had them to lunch in my sweet garden.  What was I thinking?  Me cook?  For them?
 Peach crisp wasn't too much of a stretch, above.  Used agave syrup for the 1st time.  Needed corn starch for a bit more thickening.  Crust was rolled in a box.  Perhaps the puff pastry from a box next time.
Nigella Lawson's, Forever Summer, cookbook beckoned, above.  Salad with chicken, mango, lime, scallions, cilantro, touch of peanut & sesame oil.  She  mentioned serving it on a platter.
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Too humid & mosquitowy for lunch in the Conservatory we were inside at the harvest table.
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We 3 were on vacation at this lunch.  At least that's what it felt like to me. 
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Garden & Be Well,            XO Tara
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pics taken last week.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Glass Top to the Rescue

Wicker table, bought at estate sale, had great patina but a sagging top.  Try putting a drink on that.

Found glass top at a thrift store.  First & only time to grab something at the exact moment another person did too. 
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The glass top had a pedestal base.  Eye to eye we smiled, I spoke first, "I only want the top."  She said, "I only want the bottom."  We split the cost!
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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pic taken last month.  Pink lemonade with pink book.....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blue Lamp in the Conservatory

 In honor of good service, the peacock blue ginger jar lamp with original shade.


Been in the library for years & now rotating off duty from 2 years in the Conservatory.
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We are each allowed to love a hideous lamp.  This one is mine.  She will resurface. 
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Notice the tassel hanging from the key on the French door?  A punctuation of delight.  Who needs drugs with these amusements?
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Pic taken last month.  Conservatory view is to the new French doors in my kitchen.  A bit of gardening still to be done at the landing.  Life is good, a gardening project awaits!