Monday, April 27, 2015

Planning a New Garden

Learned decades ago I cannot design a garden without seeing interiors.  Moving into a new home?  Difficulties designing the garden?  Of course.
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Grieving leaving my garden, but oh my, the excitements of anticipating the new garden.  I'm in a new relationship.  House, garden, me, well trod territory, and favorite.  Slow down, did you notice the trinity?  Is this trinity, house-garden-you, yours?
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Ignore this trinity at your peril.  It is not in the least selfish, instead the opposite, giving.
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Counterintuitive.
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It's the airplane cliche, put the air mask on yourself before helping others.
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Once house & garden are leveraged fully, they are your ally in times of need, a spiritual base and retreat.  Beauty, ease, activity.  Another cliche, the more you go inward the more you outwardly connect.
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This isn't where I'm going with you, another day.
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Not in my new house/garden yet, I cannot design the garden.  How could I?  Don't know how I will live inside the house.
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I do know I'm designing for my 80 year old self, deer, drought, unskilled labor, and my own needs for beauty, simplicity, grace,   The property has no barn, garage, conservatory, chicken coop.  They are for me to choose, not a bad bargain.
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Built 1900, 4.5 acres, wooded/open, pond, American farmhouse architecture, 1 story, deep front porch across entire front, and a dogtrot 9' wide x 50 feet long.  A dairy farm next door, with beautiful views of meadow, lake, rolling hills, Piedmont forest, and cows.  Thorns in the roses, but those are another day too.
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Exterior colors?  White on white is the classic for 1900, below.  Along with basic gray porch flooring and blue beadboard ceilings.



Pic from here.
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Close to the street, I immediately thought of low fencing, friendly, with 'X' pattern, below.  Alas, my 2 chimneys, after inspectors report, had to be removed.  Repairing/replacing them not an option at this layer.  Asked the current owner if I could have the bricks, realtor texted after chimneys were down, the bricks are stacked and waiting for me.

 paint colors for 1900 farmhouse - Google Search

Pic via here.

30 years in my home/garden, a garden cat always in attendance.  Will take this, below, and style for my own architecture.

  

Pic via here.

For my dogtrot, below.  Door, table, door, the perfect enfilade.

 New southern Greek Revival residence with gas lanterns in GA - Historical Concepts

Pic via here.

 farmhouse porch | Farmhouse-porch-view

Exterior lights, above, are long gone, replacements chosen without regard to the home's age/architecture.  Finally, will get to purchase lighting from the man I refer to all my clients.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's. A game room in Bunny Mellon's Oak Spring Farm Estate

Pic via here.
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There is no library, above, in my new home, this cannot be.  Great joy in anticipating where it will be built.

 Rachel "Bunny" Mellon with a gathering of her topiaries, photographed at a window of her Virginia home (Vogue, 1965). Photo: Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast Archive. AD Remembers Design Icon Bunny Mellon

Pic via here.
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Terra cotta, above, and galvanized metal will predominate with my pots at the new house.

 The antique lantern and the brass stool in the master bedroom are Lebanese. The ebonized slipper chairs are Italian, and the club chair, by O. Henry House, is clad in a Robert Kime ticking stripe; the bedside tables are from John Rosselli Antique

Pic via here.
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Ceilings are 11' tall, above, and I've spent too much time researching how high to put curtain rods.

This dining room of Bunny Williams has been one of my favorites since her book came out. I love the chinoiserie panel, she is married to John Rosselli, and the large gingham Slipcovers are fab.

Pic via here.
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Will slipcover, above, some of my furniture, some in big check, the rest plain.

nancy lancaster

Pic via here.
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The master bedroom is shaded and needs a bright Nancy Lancaster yellow, above.

Plates display and details on table

Pic via here.
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Dishes, above, will go on the walls.  Which dishes and which walls, too fun, the anticipation.

Charles Faudree. This exuberant room from one of Faudree’s own homes lit up Traditional Home's April 1991 cover.

Pic via here.
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Cloth on table, above, again, where, more than one?

 rambling path creates a sense of adventure . Bunny Williams' Litchfield Hills home

Pic via here.
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Have done variations on this garden entry, above, for decades.  The joy of knowing they will be designed, but not knowing where, for now.

 Not very comfortable looking but oh so elegant!  Furlow- Gatewood ~ from the book /OneMansFolly

Pic via here.
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My new home can lend itself formal, but I won't go there, wanting a blue striped rug, above, somewhere.

 beautiful vignette, love the demilune, the green table and chair, the botanicals and painted plank walls

Pic via here.
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Have chosen the best room, very Enchanted April, for my office, above.  A fun day when I can set the stack of 5 books I've written in their new resting place.  Better days coming soon when I start writing my new books.  3 in the pipeline.  Which to choose 1st?  Adore these  sorts of 'problems' !

 Choose an elegant lean-to | conservatory | country | Country Homes & Interiors  For sheer elegance and simplicity, the lean-to conservatory wins hands down. Its single-pitched roof is ideal for a limited space such as a terraced house or to fill the side return at the back of many Victorian houses. Find similar aluminium conservatories at Alitex  Read more at http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/country-conservatories-10-of-the-best-1#KCf3cUlvtJ5SoEX7.99

Pic via here.

No conservatory, I'm considering this type, above, placed backside a small barn in the orchard.  Neither barn/orchard existing anywhere but in my head.  Already, they are on perfect axis with each other, house, and garden views.
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Amazing how little I know what to do in my new garden.  In the macro, yes.  Fine tuning exact placements, flow & scale, no.  Life is good.  My next job is to get moved in, and live.  Choose interior colors, place furniture, art, lamps, library.  And litter box.
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This ride has already begun.
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Blessedly my new home is not Victorian, it is Edwardian.  A favorite era.  A little later and it would have been Depression era Poverty Cycle.  It will be included for history, and necessity, yet the elegancies from the Edwardian will each be a joy.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Getting my homes ready to sell has about done-me-in.  Fourteen trips to thrift store with stuff, packing boxes, and staging, all at the same time.  Gardens included, and alas both garages.  Made the choice to use a realtor because of my day job.  30 years in my home, only 3 years with office/guest cottage.  Have written about staging a friend's hard to sell vacation cabin, 6 years on the market with 3 realtors, I sold it on Zillow for-sale-by-owner, renting it on AirBnB while for sale.
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Staging works.  Both of my homes have a signed contract, last week, with the first person who looked, then made an offer less than 24 hours later.  No, homes were not priced too cheap.  They were priced dictated by nearby comparables.  Quite a week, last week, still not believing the speed life is happening.
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Grieving leaving is intense.  The outreach I'm receiving is helping immensely.  Humbled, and giving thanks, at this unexpected chapter of grace.
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None of the above is 'afforded'.  I must write about the financial devastation of being married to an alcoholic, college sweetheart, for 3 decades, and losing every dime to my name.  Repairing the financial damage as a Garden Designer, on my own.  Alcoholic did not aim his misery at me, I was merely collateral damage.  Was a victim for 15 wasted minutes.  Was fortunate to pass thru survivor stage in fewer minutes, thankfully, to years of thriver.
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At lectures, local/national, and in my open gardens I've had many opportunities with other women, hugging them, tears down their faces, smiles too.  Why are they crying?  They had the epiphany, If she can do it, I can too.

15 comments:

Nita Stacy said...

Tara -
I cannot wait to see your new/old house! It sounds so great! Lots of land to play with. I know it will be so fabulous that you will not mourn the old house long. Reading your words about your ending marriage makes me so glad that my own similar relationship lasted only 6 years. I too...just cut my losses and went. I should have gotten part of a business but I wanted all positive in my life...and just left with nothing. You are going to be sooo happy in this new place. It will be soooo You! You will not just have a conservatory/office to be all about you but a whole house! So happy for you!

Nitastacy@gmail.com

Vickie H. said...

Too emotional for you, to say much: FELT those last 2 paragraphs so deeply! But CONGRATULATIONS to you on ALL fronts! You are AWESOME! Can't wait for this new adventure of yours as it unfolds! God bless!!

Mona said...

Tara,
I'm so happy for you. I have been all along the road you have been on. I would hug you if I could reach you. I am glad you get to hug others all along this road too. The life I live now is one that was rebuilt after the devastation of divorce..kinda like the Phoenix...we have risen from the ashes...or maybe Tara..we live to see another day..
Really am so happy for you..
Enjoy the new place..
Love,
Mona

home before dark said...

I have always said no one gets to live without paying the price of admission. It's not that we have had pain and suffering in our lives, it's what we choose to make of it. I wish you great happiness with your new adventure. This next part will be all about YOU. You will be fantastic.

Kathy said...

T...cheers to you and your future abode.
May you live to learn well and learn to live well... (you've got that down in spades) I can't wait to read all about it...k

La Contessa said...

SHOW ME THE HOUSE!!!!

cheri said...

Taraa, Many blessings to you and your new home. It will all come together as you very well know. I too am in a new home taking pleasure in designing my new garden for the local critters and pollinators, using native and drought resistant plants (live in California). I always look forward to your posts. Thank you from my heart.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Tara, your new home is marvelous although I am sorry for the circumstances. I am so glad you were able to sell the friend's cabin; that's what I'm trying to do, hope springs eternal and God has a plan. You're a strong woman and God has given you strength to do what you've done and to move forward...well done!
I do love your new home!

lisa douglas said...

Tara, your posts are about life designs as much so as garden designs.
and your writings resonate with us. We've all mourned the loss of gardens, houses, and people in our lives. and we wish you all good things. We are timid but want to be courageous, for your sake and for ours. Like Bilbo Baggins, go have an adventure and write about it. We'll read, I promise. Lisa

My Life of Domestic Bliss said...

Tara, Looks like you are channeling Mr. Furlow Gatewood! All the best on your next chapter. Lisa

Kay dancingbrushpainting.blogspot.com said...

So looking forward to whatever you choose to share about this new chapter on your life. Blessings to you as you grieve the old and celebrate the new.

Tamara Agarwal said...

This might be my favorite post ever. You perfectly conveyed the sadness over what you are leaving behind as well as the simultaneous boundless possibilities of starting over. Perfectly timed for my upcoming cross-country move as well.

Dewena said...

I am so happy for you, am caught up in your excitement, your pictures on this post, imagining it. May I just say that this post is a masterpiece, you've brought us along with you in your plans, your dreams. Such a swirl of colors and details going through my mind now from these pictures and your words.

Thank you so much for taking us along with you, for letting us begin to visualize a smidgen of what you will create. And congratulations on selling the house so quickly but it does not surprise me at all. I'm sure the buyer felt the rightness of this house that has been designed around the trinity of home, garden, and your intuitive self.

Jacinta Arnold said...

Would love to see a plan of your old garden to try and work out the sight lines from the photos you have posted. It looks huge yet you say not so. Very inspiring. best of luck, moving is the pits.

dryheatblog said...

The stone garden entry / step is my favorite among so much in your mega-post! I had people sayI would never get close to what I asked for my old house, then when it sold others said I priced it too low...3 days...the garden spaces, the inside, the outside, comparables didn't exist. All such simple choices when built in '98.

Your story and words are even better, so is hearing how you would like to treat different spaces. Wow!