Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lunch: Meandering & Productive

We've been having lunch for decades.  Yesterday's was planned for weeks.  Of course I had an unexpected jobsite visit in the time slot allotted for preparation.

 He appeared, with a bottle of wine, walking thru the back garden.
 And an appreciation for my new girls & what they're providing, below.
 Made egg salad sandwiches.  The heirloom girls are producing 6/day, they hatched the 1st week of April.
Instead of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit & local honey you see what time allowed, above.
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He can retire & I'm pushing him not to.  His house has new rooms available, children out of college.  We met when they were toddlers.  Peers in the Garden industry we spoke a lot of community activism.  Bringing a Garden perspective to groups without a hint of Garden in their soul.  We're already doing it and leverage ideas for more.
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Luxurious,  meandering conversation about work at the pace of lunch.  A deeper vein of gleaning.  Productive.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Of course we ate in the conservatory.  No time for pics there or the garden, it's fall fabulous at the moment, we both had appointments.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Vanishing Threshold with Color Theme

Modern addition with classic architecture, as if THAT is often successful.  More deeply sublime are the accouterments.  Garden focal points placed on perfect axis with interior doors, secondary focal points placed on angled axis.  A perfect square with the planters & a circle in stone.  


Layers of green, lean-green-serene.  Statuary & planters color themed to echo house.
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It's obvious this is a tight collaboration between owner & landscape designer.
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Vanishing threshold is magnificent here.
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Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
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pic via Pinterest.  Which part of your vanishing threshold is 'magnificent'?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leggy Hags

Leggy Hags!  And this latest pruning is wrong too.  Want lush foliage top to bottom?  Prune the top of your bushes slightly narrower than the bottom.  It's that easy.
This gate is perfection.  
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
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Thank you Cousin Cathy for sending your vacation pics from Nantucket...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Suzanne Somers' Recipes & Landscapes

Suzanne Somers' donated a great deal of money, years ago, to a medical wing in honor of those with family/friends of addicts.  It added dimension to what I knew of her.


 Then, her home went for sale with pics of her landscaping, all the pics here.


She writes books, does product & weight loss sales, acts, lectures, & promotes-promotes-promotes.


Ironically, she doesn't promote her gardening skills.  They are prodigious.
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Between appointments yesterday was my favorite junking haunt.  Suzanne Somers', Eat Great, Lose Weight,  $3.  I knew if I liked her gardens I would like her taste palette.  I was right.  Have already tabbed several recipes in her book.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Of course I bought more.  Copper sauce pan/lid $18 & a copper soup pot/lid $16.  Both almost new with their linings in great shape.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Patio Table Not To Use

Mostly, I design square & rectangular patio/deck/terrace tables.  Easily placed next to a wall, rails or the edge of your concrete/stone/gravel/wood.


A pair of matching square/rectangular tables is most flexible.  Use separately or pushed together.
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This patio seems to have neighbors looking in?  I would use shutters or custom lattice for more privacy.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic House of Turquoise.  Ironically, I was in a garden yesterday needing a Round table.  I love knowing what the exceptions are!  Can you imagine how much space a round table would waste on this patio, above?

Monday, September 24, 2012

John Rosselli Garden Room


Two years junking & thrifting and most everything, below, should be found in-some-variation.

John Rosselli's magic.  Pretty, charming, welcoming, color, light & etc.
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This is the perfect room to come in from the garden with dirty shoes, tools, leaves in my hair & a few bugs falling off my clothes.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pic via Veranda on John Rosselli Antiques.  The more I scratch the surface of John Rosselli I know why Bunny Williams married him.  Did you see Garden & Gun was hosted by Bunny at Treillage?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wire Chairs & Color Echoes

Those chairs !


Echoing in titillation the color of the square planter, blue stone terrace & into the distance with the door.
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Even the gardener is color echoed with the landscape.
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Do not underestimate that last bit.  Monet had his gardeners wear blue shirts.
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Of course the white blossoms & silver foliage echo pop.
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Garden & Be Well,          XO Tara
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Found the pic last weekend via Dirt Simple.  Layers of green, canopy & understory trees, shrub walls, flooring & etc of perfection.  This garden has been loved into being with a sure hand.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Princess Sturdza & Making Shade

Princess Sturdza's home, Le Vasterival, and garden in France were a hilarious welcome.  She was waiting for us standing on a tree stump holding a long sharp stick.  Describing the treasures awaiting we were also told 'never' to set foot in one of her beds.  Within the hour a silly German man leaned forward to ask her a question.  As quickly as his evil-offending-foot tapped her bed she whacked it with the stick.  Hard.

 We arrived, above, I still see her & hear the crunch of gravel.
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Last nite was my SHADE lecture.  Instead of the ubiquitous pics & ridiculous focus on shade plants blah-blah-ad nauseum bore.  I focused on making shade where desired, and the pruning away of shade where it's too thick.  

Like the Princess my home leads with a bay window, above.  
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It's tiny, faces full sun, a street & several neighbors.  A trinity of unpleasantness easily landscape designed into a charming Bay Terrace garden with gravel, shade, focal point, seating & privacy from the neighborhood view.    
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Who's the Princess?
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Top pic from internet, my Le Vasterival pics are still slides.  Bottom pic my bay window yesterday.  A great place to read, use wireless, lunch/dinner, journal, enjoy the birds-blooms-filtered lite.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Front Door Ideas

Puppet Barbuda's wicked eye.  


Boxwood disgracefully pruned into helmet hair, and wider at the top creating leggy hags with pockets of space at the bottom.
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Coiled hose lingering for pride of place.
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Blocks of wood anchoring exterior lights? Oh dear, at least stain them the color of the siding.
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The delight of the sweet round doormat.   A great touch.
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Charming vernacular baskets over the front door.
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Adore the shutters open in welcome.
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Why mulch when a groundcover is less maintenance & more lush?
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Elegantly shabby seeing money stretched.  The steps/rails are solidly good and tell a story.  Windows are at a crossroads of rotting but surviving with storm windows attached. 
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The window box & front door paint color tell Puppet Barbuda she wants inside this sweet cottage.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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A Cousin Cathy pic from Nantucket this summer.  This cottage reminds me of Aunt Tillie in her 80's, widowed & easily taking care of her brick cottage & garden.  Plenty of money but not one red cent to replace the furnace.  Smiling with a glint in her eye, "Let the next owner pay for it!"  Blessedly several of her antiques are now in my home & garden.  
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Who is Puppet Barbuda?  Landscape Design Critic of course.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brooke Astor Library

French doors into the garden and you must slip between the chair & table to get there.

Sweet, sitting at the desk with a French door open on an early summer day, birds chirping.  I see the lamp on as I come in from the garden at the gloaming.  Of course turn the yellow chair slightly for a better view of the garden while still seeing across the library.  Book in hand, cat in lap.
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This room had me at hello.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pic via Habitually Chic.  It's Brooke Astor's library at Holly Hill.  Saw it somewhere else & it 'stuck' then in the memory bank.  A fabulous garden is IMPLIED with this room.  Miss the days of seeing her mentioned in the lifestyle section of NYT.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Built To Prosper

 
"In Pennsylvania we find the first pre-conceived garden schemes, William Penn directed the commissioners who settled the colony in 1682 to see that every house "be placed if the Person pleases, in ye middle of its place as to the breadth way of it, so that there may be grounds on each side, for Gardens, or Orchards, or fields, yt it may be a greene Country towne, wch will never be burnt and will allways be wholesome."  Richardson Wright
 
 

How many decades now have our homes been laid out for the convenience of getting into a car and traveling to the nearest strip mall?  Developments approved for their tax base (and the developers pocket)  not what the roads, schools, water, sewage, police, etc can handle.
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
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Pic le Jardin Blanc.  Built by a doctor at the end of the Civil War in Douglasville, GA   

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gravel To The Foundation

 
What is the incessant USA love affair with foundation plantings about? 
Bushes are either leggy hags or green meatballs.
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Ugly, requires maintenance, depreciates the value of a home.
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Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
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Adore the gravel solution, above.  Pic from Deborah Silver who owns Detroit Garden Works.
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I left USA for Europe to study gardens once horticulture degree was firmly in hand.  Was taught how to be a guy with a truck mow-blow-go.  Worse, they taught  how to landscape design from the street looking at the house.  Europe was a grand teacher.  Will never forget the first time I saw gravel to the house foundation.  GOT IT.  Love moments of epiphany.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Choose A Theme

The 1945 Florida room with 3 walls of jalousie windows

 will be decorated in blue & white.  Using Bunny Williams style.
 Like the garden, the room has a theme.
Until the theme was chosen the room was stuck.  Now, hunting/gathering are easy.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pair, pics above, custom down 18" square pillows found at my favorite junking haunt, $6.75 ea.    


Friday, September 14, 2012

Science: Tree Power vs. Solar Power

Trees increase pollinator habitat increasing yield on crops, decrease HVAC bills, increase property value.
 

 Fruit trees feed wildlife & people.  Evergreen trees to block winter winds.


Trees are a known resource to improve health. 


In the eastern USA what would happen if the average front lawn were replaced with the design, below?  In addition to the benefits listed, no weekly lawn mowing, no watering once established, 2-4 x's/year maintenance needed.

Where is the science & math on this simple solution?
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Have done this design numerous times thru the decades for clients wanting low maintenance.
Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Deciduous trees, evergreen trees, canopy trees, understory trees.
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Pics Architect Design.  Small house living large with its garden.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Immigrant Labor

For my Landscape Designs to become fabulous gardens there are many to be named a prophet-without-honor.
 
 This week we lost one at a wholesale tree nursery.  He was bush hogging with a tractor.  It turned over & the mower hit him.  Hours passed before this hardworking man was found.  A wife & children are left behind.
Most of the men making my career possible are immigrants.  Their laboring, striving, leaving home/country, attitude, humble me.
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Garden & Be Well,              XO Tara
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Went to a lecture luncheon last month at DK Gallery, Gina Hurry is the artist, above.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lamp in the Landscape

 
Women who have these lamps, I thought as a child, are wacko.  Ticky-tacky gold leaf, gaudy.
Was there an exact date I grew up to be 'wacko'?
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Even in the afternoon I can see the sparkly light bulbs from the house, and they make me happy.  More stupid, about this lamp was its price.  Found at my favorite Antique shop I waited several visits for its mark down.  Not.  I made an offer & you see my trophy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

French Garden

 
In France, below.

 I count this, below, one of my greatest joys.

 Because in this garden, above & below,
You aren't in France anymore.  You're in my garden, Stone Mountain, GA, USA.  In a subdivision of tiny lots.  Without my garden, bottom 2 pics, I would see neighbor's houses-driveways-air/conditioner alleys etc...
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In my garden, I am free to be where ever I want to be.  Any era.
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Pictures don't lie.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Top pic Our French Garden.  Bottom pics my sweet garden.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A View of Central Park

Atop the Metropolitan Museum, below,
 
 an art installation I visited this summer. 
 With its views of Central Park.  How I wish I could sleep in its various pods.
I imagine its views in different seasons & weather.  And, in my imagination, I have a telescope.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Oddly, these thoughts only arrived once I got home.  Yes, this artist did their work on me !

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Arne Maynard

Arne Maynard gardens simply.
 

 He listens to the soul of a site.


 He beckons in the language of formality or raw Providence.


 Lush simplicity.  There is no age only the ages.


 A fierce love of landscape is unafraid to look 'not done'. 


 A man willing to copy from the past.


Clothing a home, below.


A drive could have been put in, below.  Without, it's timeless.  Restraint.  Voluptuous.


Arne Maynard.  A light touch with a sure mission.
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Garden & Be Well,                XO Tara
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Pics via Arne Maynard

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Landscape Design for the Butler's Pantry

At a Landscape Design this summer we landed in the butler's pantry.

She had thoughts of keeping the 'closet' style light fixture and installing as many built-in cabinets as possible. 
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Of course her Landscape Design included a chandelier for the butler's pantry AND an entire wall for plates.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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pic via Habitually Chic.  Ironically it was the husband hiring me for the landscape.  Once wife & I met he was toast !   Though he did get a barn, 2 garden pavillions, and a winding woodland garden path with a bridge over his stream.  At his age I've occupied him fully till the rapture. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Simple Garden Fix

A simple solution

 to a couple of tons of problem.
Car tires.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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pics taken at a jobsite last month.  Granite cobblestones.  New, I think from Mexico.  Can't wait till the groundcover, liriope, fills in and there is no more dead brown mulch.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Oswald Chambers

In my garden is where I listen.  Learn.  Let go.
 

"Determinedly take no one seriously but G*d, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself."  Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.
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Have been reading this daily devotional book for years.  
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Best $1 junking find ever.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pic via Linen & Lavender.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shaping Groundcovers & Paths

Why did I EVER pay attention to gardens with mulch?  Mulch is brown, mulch is dead, mulch is expensive, mulch is labor intensive. 
Evergreen spreading groundcovers take care of ME.  I don't take care of them.
 (This is the mature attitude to take.)
 
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New groundcover planting, below.
 
Shaping gravel paths with  spraypaint, below.
 
 I could never put in groundcovers or gravel paths/terraces without shaping them 1st. 


A guest expert decided to help shape the new gravel paths, below.


Mr. Timber Rattler lost his head soon after this pic.
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
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Pics taken last month in a client garden.  Once shaped I walk out of the garden to view then walk/meander in the garden from all angles.  Many times I need to go upstairs and look down at shaped beds.
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  I take my time to shape beds for groundcovers or gravel.  Bedlines are HUGE to what your eye sees in a garden.