Showing posts with label Agrarian Landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agrarian Landscape. Show all posts

Thursday, July 23, 2020

How To Use The Best Garden Design Template

Every garden is the same, below.  Literally, identical.  Spanning centuries these gardens survive, thrive, go invisible, revive.
.
Trees + Focal Points + Shrubs + Meadow = A Good Garden

They're the only type of Garden Design I want to do.  Why?  Each is unique, each is regenerative, each absorbs the personality of its location, architecture, and Gardener.  Though each garden is identical, looking at the map, each garden is green, looking at the terrain each garden is unique in Nature's lush decadences with rooms for you, your family, your friends, and dogs, and cats, and chickens, and.....
.
"...combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought --- before there is any connection with logical connection.....in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others." Farnum Street.


Pic, above, here.
.
Describe the garden, above, to yourself, in this moment.  How I'd like to know the words you're using.  How quickly you pull your words forth, the pauses you give to certain features.
.
Trees, shrubs, meadow, above.  Canopy/Ceiling + Walls + Floor + Art (Furnishings), above.
.
At its core this single Garden Design, above/below/below, is pulled from thousands of years of agriculture.  Nothing to spare in farming, a system of collapse without templated sequential attentions, to each layer, seen and unseen. 
.
You are one of those layers.  Whether you think so or not.  This Garden Design is the framework to what has given beauty and fed the globe, well before humans arrived.
.
"If humility were imagined as a visible thing, it would be soil: quiet, brown soft, maintaining networks underground and feeding the whole of the living world."  Jay Griffiths.  And the air we breath.














Pic, above, here.
.
Simpler, above.  What do you see?  Trees, Shrubs, Meadow, Focal Point, above.  Canopy/Ceiling + Walls + Floor + Art (your home), above.
.
"Many of us have been wonderstruck at the discovery of mindedness within the Earth and between trees, sensitive, ephoratory, and communicative."  Jay Griffiths
.
Definitely, the tree, above, has me.  And you know which one.  

~ English Garden  ~  Better break out the good tea for this party. Niani, Paige, Jaime, be sure to wear your best floppy tea hats and long silk gloves for this one. Okay? ---ASW
Pic, above, here
.
A garden to be viewed from birds-eye, above.
.
Trees + Shrubs + Meadow + Focal Point, above.  Yet, more-more-more of each.  
Parts of this garden, above, do not please me, "Don't fence me in." Cole Porter.  Pop open the pair of parterres in the foreground, I'm happy again.
.
Often, Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, AC/DC, Crash Test Dummies, Elaine Stritch, Julie Andrews and a few movie soundtracks pop up while I'm in a garden. Always unbidden.  Sometimes lines from books read decades ago.  Amusing. 
.




 Pic, above, here.
.
Same Garden Design, above, as all of the above, with age to it.
.
Little maintenance needed, above, in this area.  Snip, snip, done for the year.
.
This Garden Design style, all pics above, adapts to mid-century modern, farmhouse, Monet, Frank Lloyd Wright and etc.
.
At the front end my gardening included everything above, and perennials, and and and and.
.
"For who hath despised the day of small things?"  Zech. 4: 8-10  Makes me laugh every time I read it.
.
So.
.
At The End of The Day.
.
Why this Garden Design style?
.
Smallest input, greatest output.
.
Forgot to mention, this style Garden Design, is greatest pollinator habitat, and non-toxic to Earth.
.
Most important thing to know about this style Garden Design?  A third dimension is brought in.  The Garden, You, and a source of epiphany amongst the air, trees, meadow, birds, nurturing, caressing, loving.  Loving.
.
In these gardens you will live wider, and know it, in addition to the arc of living long.
.
These gardens give answers to questions you've found impossible to put words to.
.
These gardens are your revival.  Go ahead, laugh.  Yet, put in this style Garden Design, revival will arrive.  "A sense of the numinous."  C.S. Lewis.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Each of you has been touched by 2020.  Cannot imagine the myriad layers.  Hope you have a garden, a botanical garden, a park, nature reserve, a neighborhood walk, somewhere to think, and hear, and be strong.
.
Beloved's health has been caught up with hospitals shutting down for patients with cancer etc.  Testing was finally done a month ago, they found 2 new, serious issues.  Surgery for one went well last week, he's back at work.  Scheduling for the 2nd issue is in September.  His doctor said, "Immediately."  .   
.
2020 has us, we have God.
.
"If we are to live and have something to live for, let us remember, all of us, that we are the servants as well as the masters of our fields."  Henry Beston
.
Because of the Garden Design template, above, I know fully, to this moment, what being masters-of-our-fields gives, harbors, teaches.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

How to Site Urns on Stone Walls & Simplicity of Garden Design

Stone Wall & Finials.
.
What will you use?  As a finial?
.
 Sculptural trees
Pic, above, here.
.
Dominique Decoratrice: outdoor shower
Pic, above, here.
.
Image may contain: plant, tree, house, grass and outdoor
Pic, above, in my garden last weekend.
.
Sited at end of stone retaining wall, above.  In case you were wondering how I chose 'exactly' where to site the urn.  Siting, in addition, for top of the urn to be 100% level.   
.
Notice what's special about the urn?
.
Subtle color, and no planting needed.  It's cast stone, and will be someone's delight at my estate sale.  Remember: When Choosing a Focal Point it Must Be So Wonderful it Will Be Fought Over at Your Estate Sale.
.
Something else is beyond special about this garden, above. 
.
If you want to be regenerative, which is far superior to sustainable, you must know the key ingredient to the garden, above.
.
Tara Turf.  No lawn.  Total low meadow with clovers, violet, dandelion, pink sorrel and what the wind blows in.
.
In addition, the shrub, above, is the native Buckeye.  It will get 10' tall x 12 ' wide, sun/shade, moist or not. 
.
Gardening became so easy when I got out of the way.  When I listened.  When I copied Providence, and centuries of European landscapes studied across Europe.
.
Stone Walls & Urns.................made for each other.
.
Garden Design Question.  How much can you take away from a Garden Design and it holds together?
.
It's the last question I ask myself when designing. 
.
Do you dare be this simple, above?
.
Why be this simple?  I want my garden to give beauty & joy for aging into my 80's, causing no stress, only grace.
.
My style of gardening is not popular with Garden Design/Build Firms.  Can you see why?  Their staff is gauged successful by the quantities of plants, lawn, mulch, stone, irrigation installed, gaining the yearly maintenance contract for mowing, annuals, pruning, chemicals, fertilizers.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Zen of Formal

"...the ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms, not to mention the further and more fulfilling gift of getting started all over again --- never resting upon the oars of success or in the doldrums of disappointment....Getting started, keeping going, getting started again --- in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm..."
--- Seamus Heaney
.
Most common phrase customers say when we meet, "Oh, I don't want anything formal."  Then proceed to describe what they want and show photos.  You know what's coming next.
.
Every description, every photo of their dream garden, FORMAL.
.

Pic, above, here.
.
Classically formal dining room, above.  Graveled rectangle, focal point on axis, canopy/understory bushes/trees, walls, floor, flow, function, contrast, texture, seasons, sound. 
.
Easily decorated for mid-century modern, or any style, zone, theme you desire.
.
"Small change, small wonders --- these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately of my life." --- Barbara Kingsolver
.
Show me your outdoor dining room.  Better, invite your friends to a meal.  Not there yet?  Want to be?  There lies your small change, small wonders. 
.
No budget for outdoor furnishings for a bit?   Pair of saw horses with planks, as Martha Washington served myriad guests in their garden at Mount Vernon.  Better, improvise, rescue 'saw horses', and 'planks'.  With this mission, your outdoor dining room will be unique, though the garden design technique has been in use long BCE. 
.
What is an outdoor dining room to you, if you don't have one now?  "The opportunity to experience yourself differently..." --- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
 Greensmart Decor Artificial Ivy Panel Set of 4 - Green
Pic, above, here.
.
"All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible." --- William Faulkner
.
Yes, you can do the impossible.  In the garden of your heart.  Sure it's impossible.  That's why it's there for you to do.  "We go on.  Because it is the hard thing to do.  And we owe ourselves the difficulty." --- Nikki Giovanni
.
Touring a beautiful garden, with our British historic gardens expert and guide, after he had described a garden compost area feature we were standing in, a woman said, "That's inconvenient."  Quickly he responded, "Making love is work, but we do it."
.
It is the difficulty of creating our garden, bringing its blessing.  Most often your 'difficulty' will be mental.  Seeing.  Seeing rightly, is the work.  And gift.
.
 .
Pic, above, here.
.
"Clear your mind of 'can't." --- Samuel Johnson.
.
 Reception Court: walled garden
Pic, above, here.
.
Thrilling.  Beyond thrilling, above.  So little there, yet it's a garden.  Living in a ca. 1938 starter home or 1990 cluster home?  Garden Design, above, is for you too.
.
 snowy garden- really illustrates the importance of structure in the garden
Pic, above, here.
.
Trees as total Garden Design, above.  You cannot go wrong choosing this path.  More, choose a tough native pollinator tree.  Choose to pollard, prune them to shape. 
.
"And so we turn the page over/To think of starting.  This is all there is." --- John Ashbery
.
 .
Pic, above, here.
.
How many times has this Garden Design been done across centuries.  This one leaves no gardener or garden or home behind.
.
Works every time. 
.
In a typical USA subdivision, this is a good Garden Design, above, to copy, and site a hedge of evergreens at the front of your lawn.  Tall enough to hide the road & cars, for sure, maybe tall enough to hide your first story.  Depends on your location, views, noise.
.
 An English country garden, - Cornwall, UK - Clive Nichols, photographer,  #Clive #Cornwall #C...#clive #cornwall #country #english #garden #nichols #photographer
Pic, above, here.
.
The Well Placed Chair, above.  You know you've designed a good garden, when, in season, Nature takes over all your efforts.  Laughing at you.  And you like it. 
.
.
Pic, above, here.
.
Use pots that won't break, trees tolerating your zone, and drip irrigation, above.
.
Adore how little is in the garden, above.  It's Tara Turf, green ball, hedge, canopy tree, house as backdrop, color theme, textures, flow.  Did you already see all those things, above, and name them to yourself?
.
 blue
Pic, above, here.
.
Hiding the pool.  Especially good, if you must put in a fence, yet have acreage.  Make your pool the surprise in a Faberge Egg.
.
"You have neat tight expectations of what life ought to give you, but you won't get it.  That isn't what life does.  Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you.  Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition." --- Florida Pier Scott-Maxwell, Playwright, Jungian analyst.
.
 The Noble Home
Pic, above, here.
.
This garden, above, uses the same Formal Garden Design as the top photo: rectangle, focal point, flow, canopy, understory, floor, texture, color, shapes.
.
Just because epiphanies arrive doesn't mean changes will arrive effortlessly or soon.
.
Choosing to have a garden, the one in your head, is as simple as Dorothy learning how to go home.
.
Choose.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT
.
A few  more from Florida Pier Scott-Maxwell.
.
"You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.  When you truly possess all you have been and done ... you are fierce with reality."
.
"Making those we love happy sounds innocent as a dove, but it can be as destructive as a lion."
.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
.
"If we begin with certainties we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient with them, we shall end with certainties." --- Francis Bacon
.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
.
You realize this is a complete Garden Design course?  The important parts anyway.
.
It's all important.  The Zen of Formal?  Easy to maintain, beautiful in all seasons, pollinators, lowers HVAC, raises property value. 
.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
5 years, this summer, in our ca. 1900 home.  Began gardening this month, finally.  No clue gardening would not begin for 5 years.  Repairing the pond, drilling a well, renovating sheds, moving sheds, building sheds, creating roads, clearing invasives, and clearing more invasives.  Life, my mom, caretaking, death, then major illnesses with Beloved.
.
Starting wasn't something chosen or thought about or anticipated.  Apparently I had been at the bottom of the ocean, and shot up for air about 5am three weeks ago.  Could not breath, live, another day, without starting my garden.
.
Quick phone call to Susanne Hudson, sourcing Conservatory parts, windows/French doors, Conservatory seating, somehow buying a honking huge antique library case too,  Honker.   Honk-er.
.
Hedges, Conservatories, Tara Turf, Potting Table, Trees, and my library.  Leaving my 30 year garden, missed most, my built-in Library, and Conservatory.  Can't make this stuff up, the soul speaks.
.
Did you notice, 'Conservatories', plural?  Life is good.  One of our tiny historic sheds, has a pair of shed roofs, each side, Beloved already built.  Soon, the East Conservatory will be completed, and hopefully, this year, we'll also build the West Conservatory.
.
Their views wildly different.  The new potting table was sited at this shed, already I'm potting up and crazy happy.  Thankful of my years as a professional propagator at a nursery with 7 hoop houses, each with a different type of use; forcing, cuttings, plugs, annuals, perennials, herbs.
.
Found living without a garden & library......untenable a moment more.  Getting a potting table, 3rd potting table across my adult life, previous 2 were wood.  This potting table, ca. 1940, is custom made, 2 shelves, backsplash, and stainless steel, from a sorority house at University of Georgia. 
.
Have never felt so at home here.  Literally.  I'm home.  Garden, Conservatories, Potting Table, Library.  Every bit of air I shot upward for.  Whole again.
.

 Pin by ARACH Trilogy on Pictures that we love! | Book quotes ...
Pic, above, here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Conservatory, Pandemic, Gardening: How Do You Want to Live?

"I understand that to move close to God is to move close to everything that human beings have ever experienced.  And that, of course, includes a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of joy."  Parker Palmer
.
"But from time to time, back in the woods that primitive wildness was there, and if that's all God is, I'll settle for it....easily and thankfully."  Parker Palmer.
.
"And so I now see the soul as that wild creature way back there in the woods that knows how to survive in very hard places, knows how to survive in places the intellect doesn't, where the feelings don't, and where the will cannot."  Parker Palmer
.
Emma Courtney: Patios & Gardens
Conservatory built for Penny McHenry Hydrangea festival, above, by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson, Better Homes & Gardens magazine shoot.
.
Too long without a garden, 5 years since moving rural, my body/brain/spirit has shot up from the ocean with 2 thoughts, evergreen hedges and a conservatory.
.
"The point of being an artist is that you may live....you won't arrive.  It is an endless search."  Sherwood Anderson.
.
💙
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above, from Country Living magazine.
.
"Vocation is a gift not a goal."  Parker Palmer
.
Old Quaker adage, "Let your life speak."
.
How did I get 5 years, without starting my garden?
.
A life wants to live in me.  My garden let it grow.  As my garden spoke, it taught my soul to speak. 
.
Then I moved away from my 30 year garden.
.

greenhouse by Whoopi
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above,.
.
Gardening is walking the talk of thinking.
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
Conservatory, above, my previous garden.
.
This she shed is the perfect spot to relax between planting different seeds in your garden.
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above.
.
What should your garden aspire to?  The best in you.  Do you have that clarity?
.
Take from the Greats....they will never leave you once you've taken them.  TAKE.
.
Garden of Susanne Hudson garden room/green house made from old windows
Susanne Hudson's Conservatory, above.
.
The irony of my gardening is how much non-ironic work my garden does  on me.
.
Moving from my 30 year garden, I miss most, my Conservatory.  It had only been there my last 3 years.  Go figure.
.
Garden Room by Tara Dillard and Susanne Hudson
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
.
"Design at its core, thrives when a human being cares enough to do work that touches another --- it doesn't thrive when it gets more efficient."  Seth Godin
.
Yes, I do believe my garden is me touching another.
.
TARA DILLARD: Details of a Garden Room
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
.
With, 'conviction, commitment and conscience', plan your garden.  Each will return greater in forms you've never known, but always knew.
.
Plantings and flowerings in feed/water containers (butler).  Green house gazebo...
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
.
"(Iris) Murdoch begins by reflecting on the fundamental difference between the function of philosophy and that of art --- one being to clarify and concretize, the other to mystify and expand." Maria Popova
.
Friday, June 5, 2009  GROW A ROOM   Why build an arbor room in the garden when all it takes is 8 trees? I would choose more comfortable furniture.   .  Easy to do this with 6' trees. Perhaps fruit trees, or redbuds, from Wal-Mart when they go on sale? Sooooooo much cheaper than building a wooden structure, which will never bloom. Flagstone terrace, comfy furniture and DONE.  .
Conservatory, above, built by Tara Dillard & Susanne Hudson.
.
Beloved renovated a small historic shed on our property and moved it exactly where I indicated.  Smart man, things go south, my fault.  How did I know where to place it?  The GREATS.  Moved shed to a new garden room, and pulled strings from the main house, making sure the shed/Conservatory 100% parallel to main house. 
.
One side of the shed will become my new Conservatory.  The open shed roof, and back wall are dimensions for the new Conservatory.  Drew a picture, with measurements, texted pic to Susanne Hudson, "Do you have any windows for me to buy for my new  Conservatory?"
.
My previous Conservatory was over a decade of dumpster diving old windows and doors, literally.  This Conservatory has no luxury of time.  Instead, fitting what Susanne has, to my dimensions.
.
No text in reply, instead, a PHONE CALL.  "How would you like 2 pairs of French Doors at the front of your new Conservatory?"  Best phone call of 2020 so far.
.
"Bad writing is almost always full of the fumes of personality."  Iris Murdoch.
.
Bad gardening is almost always full of the fumes of personality.  Tara Dillard
.
Taking from the Greats, has its purposes.  Fumes of personality?  I adore gardens, photographed, hinting nothing toward what continent or era of the garden. 
.
"The epic side of truth, Wisdom, is dying out."  Walter Benjamin
.
"Wisdom in the age of information."  Maria Popova
.
TARA DILLARD: Garden Room: 101, designed this conservatory with ...
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.   
.
Building my new Conservatory is a freedom, of knowing what I want, knowing how to get it, knowing what it will give me.  Back to the Greats. 
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
.
At the front end of building Gardens, and Conservatories, I thought it was all architecture, engineering and labor. 
.
It's still all those things, yet they're layered by greater gifts.  More important.
.
"Knowledge hinges on an act of correlation and interpretation.  At the top is wisdom, which has a moral component, it is the application of information worth remembering and knowledge that matters to understanding not only how the world works, but also how it should work and that requires a moral framework of what should and shouldn't matter, as well as an ideal of the world at its highest potentiality."  Maria Popova
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory in the Gloaming
My Conservatory, above, previous garden.
.
The Complete Guide to Growing French Hydrangeas | SouthernLiving.com
Client Conservatory, above, I put into a Garden Design.  They hired me to brighten up a 'Dark Corner'.  Muse reigns.
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory Dreamtime
Conservatory, above, my previous garden.
.
TARA DILLARD: Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
.
Your Home and Garden must have a name, a color trinity, and garden rooms, each with a name.
.
TARA DILLARD: Decorating Your Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
.
Sending pic of measurements for my new Conservatory, quickly named it, East Conservatory.  Easiest garden name ever.  Sometimes naming can take over a year. 
.
TARA DILLARD: Decorating Your Conservatory
Susanne Hudson Conservatory, above.
.
The shed has 2 nice sides, both with metal roofs Beloved built.  First moment the shed was moved to its new location, I knew, there will be 2 Conservatories.  Cannot wait for the West Conservatory.  It faces mostly wooded shade, acres of view, including a pond and fading lake.  East Conservatory faces a hedged garden I'm planting now.  Lots of good sun, some shade, a bit 'formal' easy to maintain.
.
Hiding a fence in a dark corner with a new Conservatory !  Gravel, color, furniture.
Client's Conservatory, everything you see, above, is rescued.  My Garden design put the shape of the conservatory into the plan, we had a great conversation, poof.  This is 'their' detailed design, not mine.  Fabulous.
.
"Information is increasingly cheap and wisdom increasingly expensive...."  Maria Popova.
.
Gardening, Pandemics, Conservatories, we're each seeking the same gifts, of those gifts with no price tag.  Grace, transcendence, beauty, a knowing of who we are, what we stand for, how to live in that grace everyday.  No matter what each day brings.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Asked Beloved yesterday if I could borrow his old work truck for a few days, to pick up Conservatory parts with Susanne.  LIFE entered this story.  Alas.
.
A much loved gardening friend, we've roomed several times across Europe and USA Eastern Seaboard studying historic gardens, and miscellaneous symposiums attended, flower shows, etc.  She's 77.  Had a chunk of breast cancer removed, feels great, gardening, busy.  She made the choice for no chemo/radiation. 
.
Oh the things of life we've already shared.  More than that, blessedly, laughter always far greater than tears.
.
Susanne knows her well, we 3 beautifully scarred, dusty, matriarchal elephants, each with our own continent, are slowly converging.  Soon, we'll all be in the far off garden of our friend.  Road trip.... 
.
"I understand that to move close to God is to move close to everything that human beings have ever experienced.  And that, of course, includes a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of joy."  Parker Palmer

Monday, April 13, 2020

Best Mental Model Ever: What Does This Mean To Me?

Mental Models, how to think about things, schema.
.
Began, January 2020, a new Sunday School class, Pastor is instructor, reading the Bible in a year.  Never done it.  No clue how to 'think' about Bible passages, stories.
.
With assigned workbook, study bible inherited from my dad, educated/wise instructor, a small start, for my new Mental Model: What Does This Mean To Me?.  Ha ha ha, sick with flu for weeks, slow recovery, Sunday School classes/Church Covid cancelled, behind in reading. 
.
Before the world stopped for Covid, in bed on Sunday nites, I would think, What Does This Mean To Me? 
.
Best Mental Model ever, this lone question, What Does This Mean To Me?  Any topic, combined with serious inquiry.
.
Did you already know to ask this question?     
.
Gardening.  Why didn't I know this Mental Model at the front end of Gardening?  Instead, it was full passion for all that was loved, disdain for gardens whose style I did not like.  Taking everything, in the order passions reigned.  No regrets for those decades, blessed they passed away, and, like Elaine Stritch, I'm Still Here.
.
At the front end, I did not like this style Garden Design, below.
.
Now?  Understand its layers of being.  Contrasting shapes bring drama, romance, interest.  Cone shapes draw eyes to the sky.  Wise choices within the shapes give year round interest, deer proof, no disease, drought tolerance, wet tolerant, no chemicals, less maintenance, lowered HVAC bills, higher property values, more pollinators, scent, backdrop to your life, with your family, friends, pets.
.
When love has run out.  When energy is lost for anger.  When fear topples away.  When you'll never get what you've most wanted and the moment of realization is clear.  You know your story, the inner dialogue, was too small.
.
Aren't those the best moments ever?  Freedom.  How many times, being Icarus, do we each have?
.

Pic, above, here.
.
I began gardening with Top Down thinking.  A small Mental Model to bring into adulthood.
.
Bottom Up thinking.  "The most vivid part of the mind bubbles up through sensation and new experience when unencumbered by analytical thought."  Daniel Siegal. 
.
 Harvest Moon by Hand: White Pine Tree - Outdoor Nature Hour Challenge #32
Pic, above, here.
.
Shapes not just of plants, are important, below.  Shape of your entire property, home, Garden Design.  Mount Vernon, below, a painting done not long after Washington died.  This shape, low meadow with wild wood, creates maximum pollinator habitat.  Important why?  Increase crop yields by 80%
.
Food to survive, and thrive.
.
 Early Euro/American Gardens & Farms
Pic, above, here.
.
Shapes creating architecture, below.  Rooms, doorway, enfilade, hallway, walls, ceiling, floor, thresholds, art on the walls.
.
 
Pic, above, here.
.
Bottom up thinking, is new thinking, gifting grace, beauty, and transcendence.
.
"I know the world is bruised and bleeding and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence."  Toni Morrison
.
After the grand you-do-you, what then?  What plinths to use, mental models for the most serious journey of your life?  Tilting at windmills is the gift.  Choose your windmills wisely, What Does This Mean To Me?, then, tilt with everything in you.  There be your transcendence.
.
Fortunately, John Muir asked, What Does This Mean To Me?  And wrote his answers.  "“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.” Muir, who came to California seeking the solitude of nature, decided to stay—dabbling as a glaciologist, a wilderness activist, and a writer who published persuasive ecological articles with a quill made from a golden eagle feather found on Yosemite’s Mount Hoffmann."  From National Park Service, here.
.
For every person reading, "Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.", asking themselves, What Does This Mean To Me?, will be unique answers, no matter the millions asking.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Friday, February 28, 2020

Simple Landscapes & How They Do So Much For Us

"I think in concepts, not words." A. Einstein. 
.
Until reading, above, a few days ago, I had no words to describe my thought processes to anyone outside my tribe.  They don't need that; they understand without words.
.
I think in metaphors with drop down menus, punctuated with equations made of words and math symbols, overlayed with visuals, background sounds and music, topped with templates formed from books read & movies seen.  Simplified, I think in metaphors, not words.
.
How do you think?
.
Seriously, how do you think?
.
When did you realize your thinking 'style' was a bit different from most?
.
College years, a boy I dated said my thinking was 'quirky' and 'romantic'.  His way of saying, crazy?  I should have asked him to clarify.  We're all entitled to opinions.   

Habitually Chic® » Emma 2020 Film Locations: Part Deux
Pic, above, here.
.
In a mash-up of thought processes, taking in visuals of gardens, from birth, playing & working in gardens since age 3, studying historic gardens globally since age 16, designing gardens professionally since my 20's, there's something I know for sure about gardens. 
.
Both gardens, above/below, are top of their game, best of the world's gardens, since roughly ca. 1400.
.
Why?
.
Can you name the important layers each garden has?
.
Can you describe why these layers are important?
.
Who is the primary beneficiary of these gardens?
.
 Smedmore, Dorset
Pic, above, here.
.
Take your time.  Life conspired my bits of knowledge, over decades, in client gardens designed historically, and in historic gardens.  More, I didn't know what I was seeking, beyond the hunger to seek more knowledge about gardens. 
.
We've not progressed, from these gardens, above.  We've lost these gardens, Nature's pinnacle of gardening.  Templates and stories greater than survival.  Lives richly lived.  Survive vs. Thrive.
.
Listen to the bees.  Listen to the raising of children.  Listen to the health of our bodies.  Listen to the laws of governments pertaining to land, water, agriculture, livestock, us.  Listen to the health of our forests, wildlife, climate.  Listen to how you think of all these things.
.
What are you looking at in the gardens, above?
.
Gardens little changed in many centuries.  A type of gardening supporting a family, villages and cities, for centuries.  Agrarian. 
.
Their formula: Wildwood + Meadow + Stone Focal Point = Lives Well Lived, Nature well nurtured and in return, Nature nurturing all.
.
Tending these gardens, poyeema, imparts knowledge gained from putting body to Earth in washing of the servants feet.  More than self-evident 'inalienable rights' given, in the garden is our health, its micro-biomes formed directly from Nature.  Nature talking to us, literally, via her electricity, bacteria, more.  Who hasn't been humbled learning about our gut biomes controlling more of our brain, than 'we' do.
.
You have the components now, of the gardens, above.  Do you know how they work?
.
Meadows are Nature's ecosystem for specific maximum types of wildlife, bacteria, fungi, insects, etc.  Woodlands are another of Nature's ecosystems for specific maximum types of wildlife, bacteria, fungi, insects, etc.  Life forms expand where margins meet.  Life-happens-in-the-margins.
.
Where woodland meets meadow, Nature's pollinators are greater, increasing crop yields by 80%.
.
Next, same topic, different idea.  Assignment of Thought.
.
Your garden.  How could you turn your garden, into the style, above.  What would it take?  Don't forget, your home.  It must be considered as backdrop, focal point, and where your garden begins, from interior views.
.
Yes, you're allowed to break the rules, above.  If they're broken using metaphor, templates, and their equations followed.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT
.
Secondary benefit to this Garden Design Assignment.  Taking your brain into your garden, to design, separated from your bank account.
.
All the world is a garden designer, until they go into their own garden.  Taking your brain off your wallet, is a game changer.
.
BTW, I'm left handed.  Also the daughter of an Air Force test pilot, during the years they didn't know pilots all have daughters.  Getting my license renewed last year, an elderly African-American woman began talking to me immediately when I sat down after matriculating thru the first wave of counters/officials.  She had seen that I was left handed, she's left handed.  We talked of how our brains worked, what we liked to do.  Sisters traversing many of the same mental models through life.  Of course we hugged when we parted. 
.
Who's the primary beneficiary of the gardens, above?  Earth.  She has her people working with her Nature.  How did we lose simple?  It's on each of us, to get it back.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

How to Create A Smart Landscape in a World of Dumb Landscaping

Pure GENIUS.  At first sight, below.
.
That's it?
.
That's it.

Jardin du Palais Royal – Paris [OC] : FrancePics
Pic, above, here.
.
Trees & gravel grit.

 Habitually Chic® » Jacques Grange’s Palais-Royal Apartment
Pic, above, here.
.
Of course, siting, type of tree/s, pruning, factor into this genius.  Notice, no cobblestone edging at base of trees?  Significant, and major skill, making that choice.

 A walkway of trees lines the Jardin du Palais-Royal on a sunny autumn day in Paris.
Pic, above, here.
.
Not zero maintenance, yet little.
.
Paris Photography, Lovers in Palais Royal, Paris France, Paris Gardens, Paris decor, Nature, Spring
Pic, above, here.
.
Benches, chairs, tables.
.
And HEDGING.  Adapting this garden, above, to your home?  Site a hedge, above, at the road.  Hiding cars, road, neighbors homes; gaining privacy to your home, without hiding or blocking your home.
.
Grand pollinator habitat.  Butterflies adore gravel/grit after rains.  Song birds adore the habitat of trees for nesting, hidden from predators, and open zones for insect gathering.
.
Another TRINITY; Trees, Hedging, Grit.
.
Trees, Hedging, Grit, is a complete garden design.
.
Where to site the trees, hedges, placing benches, chairs, dining table/s?  Oh my, that life pleasure.  More, the spreading of grit, planting of trees/hedges, each, quite uncomplicated.
.
Choose for heights easy to maintain with trees/shrubs, and drought, insect, deer...proof.
.
My mission statement for & from the garden is to look out my windows, any day/any time of day, and think, Oh WOW.
.
Beauty & Awe.
.
Seeking transcendence.
.
"I catch the inconceivable breath of the garden at dawn."  Boris Pasternak.  How many years of dawns is this true in your life?  Assuredly, this style garden provides, 'inconceivable breath'.
.
"It is false to say that frontiers do not exist.  They do exist, temporarily.  But at the same time there exists a force of creativity and truth uniting us all, in humility and in pride at the same time."  Albert Camus.
.
"All true happiness, as all that is truly beautiful, can only result from order."  Benjamin Franklin.
.
"...yet, as Camus so stunningly reminds us, order itself, when worshiped too blindly and rigidly, can consume our fragile chance of happiness."  Maria Popova
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
.
Too much slope?  Trees, Groundcovers, Hedges.
.
Grit not happening?  Make it Tara Turf.
.
"Nobody can discover the world for anybody else."  Wendell Berry.
.
Gardening is conversation.  Gardening is prayer.  Gardening is thanks.

Friday, February 7, 2020

How to Garden Like You Mean It: Macro Layer

Easy fix, below.  See the problem?
.
Ok, slow down.  Define the Garden Design problem, below.
.
Next, how would you fix this problem?
.
Quite an excellent Neo-Le-Jardin-Rustique, below.
.
What's stopping it from being a Purist Le Jardin Rustique?


Pic, above, here.
.
Garden Design problem, above, belongs to the pair of pots.
.
No worries one is smaller than the other.
.
Major issue? Differing heights of the pots.
.
In Italy, studying historic gardens, if only one thing is learned, it is Pot-Rims-at-Same-Height.
.
Pot, at right, above, must be raised on a plinth, both pots at equal rim height.
.
Plants not matching, not a big issue. 
.
Next topic.  What's keeping this garden, above, from being a purist agrarian garden?
.
The lawn, a monoculture lawn. 
.
Properly, the 'lawn', above, should be a low mixed meadow.  Poof, Le Jardin Rustique, and fully agrarian.
.
What's gained with fully agrarian?  Several items on agrarian list, above, one is at the top, static.  The other items allowed dynamic order.
.
Maximum pollinator habitat is at the boundary of meadow to woodland.  Life happens at the margins. 
.
Creating maximum pollinator habitat is more than sustainable, regenerative, eco, green, reduces climate change.  What is this ingredient, of maximum importance, about pollinator habitat, and its relationship to you?
.
Stewardship.
.
Stewardship to yourself, others, wildlife, Earth.
.
Stewardship in action, a layer of poyeema from Providence.  Washing of the servant's feet.
.
Nature's gift to us, if we understand her language.
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO T
.
A client mentioned, Life happens at the margins, and I wrote it on a scrap of paper.  A few days later I texted a girlfriend with same skin/hair coloring as mine, "Need to buy blush, what color?",  "Orgasm, by Nars." she replied. 
.
Under, Life happens at the margins, I wrote, Nars Orgasm, on the scrap of paper.
.
A couple weeks later, Beloved asks me, "What is a Nars Orgasm, what's going on?"  With an odd countenance. 
.
He had seen that scrap of paper laying on my dresser, after I had recently bought the blush online.
.
Blew his bubble.  He was All-In on whatever a Nars Orgasm presented.
.
Orgasm is the perfect color for my hair/skin.  Had never bought Nars before and have since ordered other items from them.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Minimalist Guide to Transcendence

Floral arranging, what a bore.  Another line of thought, transmogrified.  Humorous, now floral arranging a desire, I have no skill at floral arranging.  Yet thought I did, during the decades it was a 'bore', yet never created floral arrangements.
.
Innate arrogance?  Much?
.
No budget for 'bought' stems/flowers.  Nor a belief in that trade, too harsh on the environment.  Stems, branches, browse.  My own property, or side of the road in the mowing zones.
.

Pic, above, here.
.
Floral arrangements, above, below, need no skill to arrange.
.
Add clear glass marbles to the base of your pots.  Bags of them.  They're at most dollar stores.  They'll keep your stems/branches where you want them.
.
 
Pic, above, here.
.
Use Felco pruners, slight angle when clipping.  Once arranging, cut stem again, pound lightly with backside of pruner, at base of stem at fresh cut.  The stems will take up water more easily.
.
 
Pic, above, here.
.
A magnolia is on our property, its branches easy to arrange.
.
With heavy arrangements, below, make sure your pots have fat bottoms.  Saw this magnolia arrangement, below, and first glanced down to the bottom of its vase.  It's fine.  Any narrower, and the whole thing would tip over if a cat brushed past.
.
 
Pic, above, here.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
Roadside browse, above.  Don't know if it is, but this is what my roadside browse arrangements look like.

 Susan Ryder RP NEAC (b.1944) — Geranium and Staircase (728x826)
Pic, above, here.
.
Another option, above, for large arrangements inside.  The winter begonia or geranium.  Their promise of summer, with touches of winter's etiolation, a solid metaphor.  How are you taking yours, the metaphor?  Me?  I've grown longer to survive, but the season will change again, and I'll change with it.
.
How many centuries of painters have captured exquisitely the etiolated potted plant inside at winter?
.
Layers of goodness flow from these acts.  Detachment, transcendence, in the doing.  Enjoyment of the deed, for weeks.
.
Aesthetics are not separable from truth & goodness, Sir Roger Scruton writes.  There is a beauty bias in Nature, and us.  Doing these arrangements, I am humbled at more than their beauty, their work of Providence.  Interwoven lives. 
.
Before me, and after me, the same stems and branches will continue their work, drawing others with their goodness and truth.   Telling their stories.  Humorous, and a relief.
.
Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self - Charles Spurgeon. #quotes #humility #right #estimate
Pic, above, here.
.
From there, it's into the well trod path of a theological terroir.  If you're paying attention.  Once you do, you've joined a tribe, thousands of years old.  Same vein Rick Warren hit, "It's not about you."
.
Bee to the flower.
.
My urge to make these arrangements, no different.
.
A large glass bottle, found at the dump, a couple of twigs cut from the roadside, placed inside, with prominence. Transcendence.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T