Friday, November 30, 2012

Choosing Correct Shutters


These windows, original 1945 leaded glass, face east.  And a busy street.

Need maximum lite & privacy.  Historically.
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Front parlor.
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You know what the budget is.  Thrifting.
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Does it pay to have sneered haughtily down the nose chip on fabulously beautiful shoulder being too good for most everything on the planet in one's 20's?  Especially these mini-shutters.
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Not hung & not painted what was once disgusting to my spirit is already fabulous & meeting every demand of the site.
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If money were available for custom plantation shutters?  Not vernacular to this piece of Americana.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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French cafe table & ironstone tureen from Scott's, bistro chairs from estate sale, lamps & shutters thrifted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lamps & Libraries

Using what he had I created a small library, with desk of course, in the living room.


His sofa has the same shades of robin's egg blue as the lamps.



The lamps were thrifted.  A contractor for the Ritz tossed about 40 of these lamps at his personal driveway on garbage day.  A neighbor brought 1 in to the thrift store asking if they wanted all of them.  I bought 4.
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Libraries, desks, lamps.  Comfort for the soul.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Still hunting a spot in my garden for a desk.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Forcing Bulbs

We junked together this month and saw the little Delft shoes.  Cute.  Whatever.


Checking out she said they would be great to force crocus bulbs in.
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Instantly, 'whatever' became 'want' !
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When she flew back home she left these on the kitchen counter.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Her years of living in New York City, working as a florist, were on display.  Sublime to revel in a friend's creativity.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Choosing Large Rugs

Cost, pattern, color & impact at 9'x12' are a concern.  Yellow/blue/white are the interior colors.  A pair of rugs were needed for his guest cottage.  He's stringing me along in the garden, it's a 2013 project.
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Price was unimportant once the outlet store was found.
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Allowances were made for pricing this good.  They did not have a matching pair of rugs.



Benjamin Moore- Philadelphia Creme, below, is on the walls.


Saw this rug, below, first.  Hanging on the wall, a splash of happiness.  Received a good eye roll from him for that comment.


Checking out I told him it was amazing to find a pair of happy rugs in his colors.  He wanted to be anywhere but in line with me.
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Unrolling the rugs later in the day his helper exclaimed, "These are such happy rugs."
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
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Each rug under $200.  I saw Myrna Loy walking across his rugs.  Told him that too.  Now you know I'm fearless!  Pics taken last week.  His guest cottage is ca. 1945 & I've chosen matriarchal-lake-house-chic ca. 1949.  You now, decent cast offs from decades of life in the homestead.  
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If you can't find multiples of something stay in the same color family.  Bless the interior design woman who said that to me decades ago!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easier Than House Plants


Vintage plant stand, below.
             
Why be normal?
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Blue/White is the theme for this Florida room.  Time to maintain houseplants?  Not on her agenda!  Quirky projects demand quirky ideas.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Green Egg & Design

Their home is classic architecture.  Her husband asked for ONE thing.  In my book, 'done'.


Every site with a Big Green Egg is a challenge.


The backside mimics the house siding & color.  The cabinet/counter top are


copies of the outdoor kitchen at the terrace level.
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Magic Man does it again!
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite last week.  This space is small & wonky & viewed from interiors, deck, & lower garden.  Had to be gorgeous from every angle & functional for the man who only asked for one thing!
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No, Big Green Egg did not sponsor this post.  And I wasn't about to do one of those rustic river stones, toss in the Big Green Egg & a rustic cabinet at this house with formal architecture.  Lunacy for this site.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Real Men

When a man hires me,

                                                                  via
delight never fades in seeing


the little boy in his eyes, smile, thoughts & gestures.
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Watching them become aware their domain is a canvas for joy & play not 'work'.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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pics via Castles, Crowns & Cottages.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Garden Stairs

All new construction, below, constraints galore.  Never knew steps & under-the-steps could be this joyful.


Use lattice or ceiling boards under the step treads?  (1 of 87 questions about the steps!)


Across from the steps, below.


Repetition wins again.  Paint color too.
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Lattice is special order, Magic Man added a strip for more privacy.
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A new room & deck were added above creating wonky space below.  We should all be so lucky.
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The space is grand enough to be used as a Foyer in addition to the Outdoor Kitchen we created.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Hired a professional to shoot this project in January.  Leaving the Foyer yesterday I said something about keeping a green table because of the green urn blah-blah.  Beloved Burt wasn't there.  Apparently Burt said the exact words only hours earlier.  Finally, a Tara'ized Burt!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fast Food at Home


Lunch at home on work days is always fast food.


Cottage cheese, pistachios, soup, vanilla yogurt.
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Back to work.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic last week.  Some days are too hectic for this much and it's cottage cheese, yogurt & an apple.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Prune & Live


"... mental discipline of a scientist and the emotional responsibility of a poet."
              Peter Schjeldahl

Exactly the knowledge needed for pruning.  And living.
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Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
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Pic taken yesterday in Ryan Gainey's garden.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vanishing Threshold with Liz Caan

Eye catching, welcoming, simple, confident, a statement, sense of place, timeless, elegant.


Inside Liz Caan Interiors, below,


the Vanishing Threshold frames exterior views & is a backdrop for her aesthetic.
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It's the biggest impact when you can do all these things with the fewest amount of materials.  'Elegance is refusal.'
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Pics Liz Caan Interiors

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gardening With Dogs

Suzy.


Every garden step Suzy's nose touched the back of my bare thighs.  The era before daytime mosquitoes, and gardening in shorts.



I'm good at camping.  It's all about delegation & knowing your own job.  My job is to be charming, read Jane Austen, drink champagne, walk from Edisto to Edingsville at low tide, ride my bike, play in the water, eat a delicious dinner of vegetables grown on the island & seafood caught in the morning, and always-always-always be with Suzy.



Suzy loved lake life better than the beach.  Her little sidekick Taz & her mom Chui Chui, above.  The ride home was always the same, sound asleep.  I can still smell those rides.



Happiest girls in the world, above.
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Time does not heal all wounds.
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Garden & Be Well,                   XO Tara
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Suzy taught me a lot about gardening with dogs.  Virginia Hendrick, a client, had a dog who was a RUNNER.  Her dog completed my gardening with dogs education!  As proof, her garden was chosen for the cover of a book.  And her dog did not destroy it.
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Content in a Cottage has a woman & dog love affair story running thru it.  A lucky woman.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Office Renovation

My real office is your garden.  When you hire me it's to turn your hopes & dreams of a garden into plants-hardscape-house, a Vanishing Threshold, that ephemeral bonding of joy letting you hold onto faith, expand your spirit & gather grace.


 This zone, designing gardens, is intoxicating, Joseph Campbell speaks of it as experiencing eternity here & now.


My office must let me leave ties of place to become a Mental Traveler.


Letting the Muse of writing, lecturing, powerpoints, & Garden Design 'dance'.
 



In homage to Bunny Mellon, my basket table.  Each client for the day goes into their own basket, a lecture in the evening has its own basket too.  Adore multiple basket days.


Long-distance Garden Design is done, above.


Administrative tasks here.


Overlooking the garden, below.  Best place to blog, surf, read.






No rugs or art yet.  Enjoying the simplicity.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Laskett, left above, devoted to me no friends like him!  He pays them zero attention.  If there is a loud crash or something 'wrong', daily occurrences, it's Laura, right above.
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Love walking into my office every morning.  Decades of joy.
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I adore looking at offices, thought it fair to show mine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Which is Cheaper: Yew or Perennial ?


Low maintenance & affordable are ubiquitous in a mission statement.


Why have a perennial garden?  Requires skilled labor to maintain & most disappear in winter.  Per square foot & volume & maintenance perennials are ridiculously expensive compared to the long life-size-maintenance expense of yew topiary.
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Yews survive centuries, perennials survive years.
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Of course Garden Centers & Design-Build-Maintain businesses promote perennials.  Perennial flowers are intoxicating.  And important to their recurring  bottom line.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Went less maintenance than the above.  Used understory trees & groundcover (no mowing) in a checkerboard pattern in the front garden for a young couple with babies in their starter ranch home.  How did they get so smart so young?  Me?  I planted zillions of perennials at their age.  Now, only the hardy (iris, dianthus 'bath pink', lenten rose, fern, peony) remain.  Zillions more blooms with my flowering shrubs & trees & vines & groundcovers.  Love my garden but zero time for much maintenance and became disgusted with the thief of time/money with perennials/annuals and don't get Puppet Barbuda started on the dreadful eco impact of perennials/annuals.  You know, greenhouses, heating/cooling, water, soils, pallets, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, 18-wheeler trucks.
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Pic via My French Country Home

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quietly Good


New construction completed earlier this year, below.  House & garden stand sentry as old souls.


Shadows fall on their proscenium as atonement.


As if they think, "Of course we abide here.  This is ours, the rent we pay is grace."
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Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite last week.  Asked the client for a walk through with both of them.  Wanting to know, "How are the parts working?"  A lot of challenges with this site & no room for error.  Exactly my type of fun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Use Repetition

Right side of her front door, below, variegated liriope is already established.  Space is limited at the front of her 30 year old townhome.  


 In a tight space repetition makes space feel larger.  Variegated liriope was chosen for the left side of her front door, below.  If it had been asiatic jasmine already on the right side, then that would have been the left side choice....


She said, "I don't know if something is wrong with me but I do not like RED!"  Double flowering Encore azaleas were sourced, below.


She is sourcing a new light fixture now.  Will not show you the 'after' pic until this offensive unit, below, is gone.


When the guys had pick-ax to 30 year old green meatballs she was JUMPING.  When they were safely deposited on our dump truck she hugged me.
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I really like what I can do for professional women over 60!!!!!!
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Yes, I was jumping & hugging too.  It never gets old, REMOVING UGLY.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Helen Dillon says REPETITION is the most important thing in Garden Design.
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When space is tight at a property line I often use what the neighbor already has planted.  A win for my client, a win for the neighbor.  Both gardens look larger & FLOW better.  My ego isn't about annihilation and a clean slate.  My ego is all about getting it right.
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Can't wait till spring, we're doing her back patio.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Secret of Black

New construction, established neighborhood, million+ dream home.


Tight property line, above.  I knew to use 4-board fencing with hogwire, stain it black & plant confederate jasmine.
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Their home, to the right of the fence is brick painted white & black shutters.  White was never a choice for the 4-board fencing.  Black recedes, makes the area 'feel' larger.
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Loved being able to have this bit of Chatsworth in the suburbs.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic taken at jobsite last week.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Furniture on Furniture

During WWII this cupboard stored canned garden vegetables.  I rescued it from grandma's Georgia red clay basement and put it on my patio.


Years later, rot, so it was brought inside.


Moving office this week I knew the cupboard had to go onto the mahogany reproduction desk.


Scale of the room & sloping ceiling, above, can take the height.


Furniture on furniture.  Does anyone else have this fetish?


It' imperative I get the office gorgeous & comfortable.  Wireless arrived this year & I'm most often in the garden room, above, working.  Too many distractions.  Laskett is one, above.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Perhaps next week the project will be complete.  Can't wait to be better leveraged for productive work.  Tea Olive Terrace is my view from the office.  I won't be 'losing' views only distractions.