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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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

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

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

 Habitually Chic® » Jacques Grange’s Palais-Royal Apartment
Pic, above, here.
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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.
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Not zero maintenance, yet little.
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Paris Photography, Lovers in Palais Royal, Paris France, Paris Gardens, Paris decor, Nature, Spring
Pic, above, here.
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Benches, chairs, tables.
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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.
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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.
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Another TRINITY; Trees, Hedging, Grit.
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Trees, Hedging, Grit, is a complete garden design.
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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.
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Choose for heights easy to maintain with trees/shrubs, and drought, insect, deer...proof.
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My mission statement for & from the garden is to look out my windows, any day/any time of day, and think, Oh WOW.
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Beauty & Awe.
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Seeking transcendence.
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"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'.
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"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.
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"All true happiness, as all that is truly beautiful, can only result from order."  Benjamin Franklin.
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"...yet, as Camus so stunningly reminds us, order itself, when worshiped too blindly and rigidly, can consume our fragile chance of happiness."  Maria Popova
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Too much slope?  Trees, Groundcovers, Hedges.
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Grit not happening?  Make it Tara Turf.
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"Nobody can discover the world for anybody else."  Wendell Berry.
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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?
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Ok, slow down.  Define the Garden Design problem, below.
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Next, how would you fix this problem?
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Quite an excellent Neo-Le-Jardin-Rustique, below.
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What's stopping it from being a Purist Le Jardin Rustique?


Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design problem, above, belongs to the pair of pots.
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No worries one is smaller than the other.
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Major issue? Differing heights of the pots.
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In Italy, studying historic gardens, if only one thing is learned, it is Pot-Rims-at-Same-Height.
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Pot, at right, above, must be raised on a plinth, both pots at equal rim height.
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Plants not matching, not a big issue. 
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Next topic.  What's keeping this garden, above, from being a purist agrarian garden?
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The lawn, a monoculture lawn. 
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Properly, the 'lawn', above, should be a low mixed meadow.  Poof, Le Jardin Rustique, and fully agrarian.
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What's gained with fully agrarian?  Several items on agrarian list, above, one is at the top, static.  The other items allowed dynamic order.
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Maximum pollinator habitat is at the boundary of meadow to woodland.  Life happens at the margins. 
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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?
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Stewardship.
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Stewardship to yourself, others, wildlife, Earth.
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Stewardship in action, a layer of poyeema from Providence.  Washing of the servant's feet.
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Nature's gift to us, if we understand her language.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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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. 
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Under, Life happens at the margins, I wrote, Nars Orgasm, on the scrap of paper.
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A couple weeks later, Beloved asks me, "What is a Nars Orgasm, what's going on?"  With an odd countenance. 
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He had seen that scrap of paper laying on my dresser, after I had recently bought the blush online.
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Blew his bubble.  He was All-In on whatever a Nars Orgasm presented.
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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.
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Innate arrogance?  Much?
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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.
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Pic, above, here.
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Floral arrangements, above, below, need no skill to arrange.
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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.
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Pic, above, here.
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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.
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Pic, above, here.
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A magnolia is on our property, its branches easy to arrange.
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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.
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Pic, above, here.

 
Pic, above, here.
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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.
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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.
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How many centuries of painters have captured exquisitely the etiolated potted plant inside at winter?
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Layers of goodness flow from these acts.  Detachment, transcendence, in the doing.  Enjoyment of the deed, for weeks.
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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. 
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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.
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Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self - Charles Spurgeon. #quotes #humility #right #estimate
Pic, above, here.
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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."
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Bee to the flower.
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My urge to make these arrangements, no different.
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A large glass bottle, found at the dump, a couple of twigs cut from the roadside, placed inside, with prominence. Transcendence.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Friday, January 10, 2020

In the Garden: Future Proofed Forgiveness

House, meadow, trees.  Always a nice vision.  More, a classic agrarian Garden Design for maximum pollinator habitat.  Now we know trees talk with each other underground, via electricity, passing viable important information for survival, and thriving.  A sentience.  Trees release gasses too, to communicate.  Communicating to fungi, insects, mammals, each other, you & me.
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I had a forgiveness to be given, ca. 1982.  Toward my parents.  They were wrong, I was right, and 22 years old.  A decade of life when right & wrong seemed to matter.   Before that decade was over I learned right & wrong are merely parts of any story.  Forgiving, remaining who you are, but more, freedom from the shackles of another's agenda.
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What my parents did pushed me into pastoral counseling at the time; its end, a strange finale.  The Pastor said, "God would not judge you if you never spoke to your parents again."
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He also counseled my parents at the same time.  What did he learn from them?
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The turn of the year - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
Pic, above, here.
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Ca. 1987, gardening, not thinking of my parents, I knew, "I must have a relationship with my parents that won't make me feel guilty when they die."  Until that moment, I had maintained a cordial telephone and letter writing relationship with them.
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Until 2018 I would have told anyone the most important part of this pitiful family drama is forgiveness.  Forgiveness worked, we had a viable family life for decades, mostly ok, sometimes good, occasionally worse.  Praise, for that forgiveness.
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Pic, above, here.
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I know why the tall meadow grows, above.  Meadow blossoms attract bees & more, to the blooming fruit trees.  With the extra pollinators the fruit trees will yield up to 80% more.  Take away:  I know why the tall meadow grows.  A good thing to remember, to repeat to yourself, aloud, when confounded.
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babe in the garden
Pic, above, here.
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Not me, above, but it was.  I know her relationship to those plants, what she understands, and says back to the plants.  Plants & girl, alert to each other.  How she touches the plants, smells the plants, then smells the plants on her hands.  Not all of us lose this language we're born with.  You haven't.  You've read this far.
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 Enjoy the fruits of your labor! Apple picking surrounds Country House Bed & Breakfast - a perfect fall activity!
Pic, above, here.
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My art, drive, mission, is historic garden design, Agrarian.  Studied historic gardens across Europe for decades, 80's - 90's.
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Saw the Agrarian Garden Design model decades ago yet only recently understood, why it's art, and transcendence, with science proving its near sentient realm of living.  Forgiveness for my parents?  It was the garden, its methodologies, its art, my art, its sentience, its pace, my sentience, my pace, with belief in God, all of this, the full monty, putting forgiveness into me, as I prayed for.  Not knowing to expect more.
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I know why the tall meadow grows.  I know it's where I belong.  In the tall meadow my life thrives, grows, no matter fires approaching.  Fires seen, unseen.  Fires doing their work, turning all to ash.  Those first bright green blades, rising above charred black soil, I know why the tall meadow grows.
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Do I need to forgive the fire?  I know why the tall meadow grows, to teach me acceptance.
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More than tall meadow burns, all attracted to the tall meadow burns.  By design.  Nature cycles this story, eons now.
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Fire in the tall meadow came before me, and will come after me.  My final fire in the tall meadow, I'll be a part of the bright green blades.  Amusing.  Not so final.  A parable, learned, because I know why the tall meadow grows.
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When the leaves drop from the trees in fall, leaving them bare for winter, they are nurtured and fed, made stronger, by what they let go of.
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It is this learning from trees, about their leaves, letting me see there is the Bible, written by man, inspired by the word of God, and there is the direct word of Providence, in Nature.
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 A cozy library/ family room with dark panelled walls full of books and art.
Pic, above, here.
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Time passed, forgiveness gave me a relationship with my parents.  Dad died unexpectedly, 2012.  What I had expected from forgiveness, was given, and more.  Glory.  How rare we can use that word, glory, toward our life.  Glory, in our life.
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From an Interview with Krista Tippet & Robert McFarlane, below.
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"Robert Macfarlane: “Look at the gift of being, now. Look at the astonishing responsibility of legacy-leaving. There is one image at the heart, as it were, of Underland and of the underland, which is the hand, the opened palm, the stretched fingers. And that, we know first, is in a way the first mark of art. The maker would place their hand on the cave wall and then take a mouthful of ochre, red ochre, often, and then spit the dust against the hand and then pull the hand away. And so, you leave the ghost print. And for me, that hand of — that open hand that is reaching across time, that is pressing against rock, leaning also into the future, but also the hand of help and of collaboration. And I found it everywhere."

"Ms.  Tippet: Let's just plunge in. There’s this sentence you have:  “For nearly two decades, I have been writing about the relationships of landscape and the human heart.” And I just find that such an intriguing way for you to describe your focus and that intersection. And I wonder, how would you trace the earliest, deepest roots of this? And even as I wrote that question, I realized, that’s kind of an Underland metaphor — but the deepest roots of this orientation in your earliest life, in the background of your life and childhood."

"Mr. Macfarlane: This glorious mutualism, which is about 450 million years old, we think, because a fossil photograph, lithograph, effectively, exists from around then, showing it in action, whereby fungi, certain fungi — ecto- and endomycorrhizal fungi plug into the roots of trees and plants at a cellular level and create an interface across which resources and messages, to some degree, can be carried. And then those fungi plug into the roots of other trees, and so the trees can, as Suzanne Simard, the pioneering forest ecologist who helped break open this ground, writes, can talk to one another. And once you’ve met this idea, wow, it shakes the ground you walk on. A park is a wondrous place. But it also challenges our ideas of what an individual is, what an organism is, where being begins and ends. It does not end at the body horizon; we know that increasingly, in complex and often political ways."
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 Habitually Chic® » Le Mas des Poiriers Revisited
Pic, above, here.
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Mom died at the end of 2018.  Forgiveness had done its job again, glory.  This time, forgiveness had more to teach.  My Pastor's words came back, "God would not judge you if you never spoke to your parents again."  Fire, without cooling from the past.
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Sifting family photo albums late afternoon, the day mom was buried, I came across some things belonging to me, and wasband.  Things, without, making a negative impact upon our lives.  More tea cup dark dramas from that era were found, yet nothing caused my forgiveness to waver.  Not a chinking bit.
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My Pastor saw the fire engulfing my tall meadow.  He knew its ember.  Hence, his wise counsel.
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I'm not capable of forgiving the full breadth of this family drama, its mean twists.  The goodness I have within is not broad enough, wide enough, nor deep enough.  Yet my forgiveness from long ago, keeps growing, across decades.  I know why the tall meadow grows.
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Forgiveness is merely a component of this story.  Are you one of the lucky ones, who knew the larger component of my forgiveness?  Before I did?
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Being in the Garden, to forgive, is this story. 
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Knowing why the tall meadow grows, why the leaves fall, why the edge of meadow/forest & marsh/ocean are margins we all depend upon, for survival, should have clued me in sooner.
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New science studies of Nature with sentience, trees talking to other trees, and not just to their own kind.  Biomes, in our bodies, from Nature, fungi, bacteria, & microbes, without them our bodies die;  those biomes shot through with the same electrical current trees use to communicate.  Our bodies communicating with Nature.  Science knowing, for decades, our gut plays a large role in our emotions. 
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Add this wrinkle to known science, trees, plants, soil, playing a large role in our emotions, via the electrical currents flowing from fungi in the ground, to the same fungi living in our biomes.
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My tall meadow has burned, arson, and a forgiveness given long ago, rides hi, clear, strong, & bigger.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Sideways, and collateral, to life, forgiveness, joy, Providence, art, knowing why the tall meadow grows, here.
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Deep Earth emerging science studies, here.
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2018 was the best year, ever, with my mom.  Never laughed and cried so much with mom, combined across our lives, as 2018.
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Do not mean to imply my tall meadow has never burned due to personal stupidity.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Seeing: George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

In Thanksgiving, others see things too, below. 


Pic, above, here.
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Gardens, I see easily, in multi-media.  Radical multi-media.  Lunch with a client recently, "You saw where I was going with the garden, when I didn't know, and how my life would interact with the garden." 

 Title: Garden Open Today  Author: Beverly Nichols  Publication: E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc. New York, NY  Publication Date: 1963    Book Description: Red hardback with cover sleeve.  252 pages with drawings by William McLaren    Call Number: SB 455 .N54
Pic, above, here.
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Often, what I see flies, below.

 Famous-Paintings-Zarathustra-Fat-Cat-New-Art-Svetlana-Petrova
Pic, above, here.
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From James and the Giant Peach, below.  During church, the sermon, many years ago, live action characters arrived from James & the Giant Peach, accentuating the sermon and Pastor.  In tempo with the sermon, but you knew that, right?  Wasband gave me 'the eye', What's so funny?

 Nancy Ekholm Burkert’s James and the Giant Peach: a gothic fairytale
Pic, above, here.
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It is this 'seeing', I think, letting me 'see' gardens.  Not what's there, what will be there.  And, fit into a life. 
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Beloved wishing this 'gift' more practical, Why not see colors and numbers arriving at roulette? 
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This extracurricular seeing, a gift, from Providence.  Thankful.
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Came across George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, ca. 1789, recently.  Written a year after a 2 year extravaganza at Mount Vernon, installing a Garden Design drawn ca. 1785.    A Garden Design beginning at his front door, facing land, creating an axis 1 mile long, thru wilderness.  Barely a day passed, 1787-1788, without intense Garden Design installations. 
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Seeing, Gardening to Thanksgiving Proclamation, it's obvious George Washington saw things too.
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IMHO.
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From POTUS1,

Thanksgiving Proclamation
New York, 3 October 1789
(Bold is added by the author.)
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of George Washington Praying Thanksgivingpublic thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go: Washington
Source: “Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017,
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Their Perfect Home Was Missing This Layer

Recently I lectured in North Georgia.  A neighborhood amongst lakes, streams, hardwoods, in the foothills of the Appalachians.  The program chair invited me to stay in her home.  Yes.
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Their home had the good fortune of being custom built, and better fortune, atop a mountain.  Their views surpassing many of the best views I've seen in the South.  At the back of their home, all windows, are views of sky, lakes, rivers, islands in lakes, mountains, more mountains, as far as the eye can see, yet below them, views to hillsides sloping steeply down, expanses of woodland upon soft rises, and hardwoods climbing quickly up steep cliffs across a ravine, betray none of the neighbors homes nested on hillsides.  Their neighborhood property owners association has miraculously kept it as pristine as the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Their views are greater than 180 degrees, closer to 270 degrees.  No words.  Plenty of awe.
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Pic, above, here.
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Over early morning coffee, overlooking views, then breakfast of yogurt mixed with oatmeal & fresh fruit, overlooking different views, I had to share an observation of her interior.
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All perfection, not a single wrong layer.  Surprise, at what was missing.
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Pic, above,  here.
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Tall branches, in arrangements.  Views of thousands of acres of hardwood trees, yet no vase/s of tall branches.
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 Beautiful!
Pic, above, here.
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Her mind was quick to bite, I could see it on her face.  Then, "Would you come back again and lecture about floral arranging?"  "No".
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I've already sent her resources for someone to speak about floral arranging.  Their passion for floral arranging matching mine for Garden Design.
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 Stripped Elderberry
Pic, above, here.
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I have no words for what plants and arrangements from the Garden do for interiors, excepting, grace, a form of thanks to, and from, Providence.  If that makes sense.
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     "Knowledge hinges on an act of correlation & interpretation.  At the top is wisdom, which has a moral component, it is the application of information worth remembering & 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 & shouldn't matter, as well as an ideal of the world at its highest potentiality."  Maria Popova.
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When I mentioned what was missing from her interiors, I knew she 'got it' too, about Maria Popova's words.
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Now I'm wanting to see which vases she chooses, types of branches, and where they are placed.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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 I sent Floral Designer info about, Faith Flowers, Laura Iarocci, they also do international floral design tours.  Laura hired me years ago to design her private garden.  We met thru our Career Coach.  Since meeting, she's begun her thriving floral & events & tours business.  Been a joy bearing witness.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Crystal Wilkinson & Wendell Berry: "Eating Is An Agricultural Act."

"People are always surprised that black people reside in the hills of Appalachia.  Those not surprised that we were there, are surprised that we stayed.  My Family lived in the hills of Kentucky for four generations.  My grandmother came from a long line of women who worked hard and cooked well.  The long lists of food I'll describe here will make you think my folks had deep pockets, but they didn't.  Hardworking poor blacks who couldn't break the barriers of nepotism or racism in education or the workforce, they continued the tradition of farming.  Tobacco.  Corn.  A few head of cattle.  A few dairy cows.  My grandparents lived primarily off the land.  They owned sixty-four acres and had a modest income from the crops they raised.  My grandfather prided himself on taking care of his family, his animals, and his land.  My grandmother prided herself on making sure her family was fed.  I read somewhere once that pride stems from fear.  I imagine my grandparents were hungry more than once in their youths, but I never was."  Crystal Wilkinson.
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Pairing Crystal Wilkinson with an essay Wendell Berry wrote 3 decades ago, at bottom, with introduction by Alice Waters, are parallel odes, to our core life, where we make the choices.  Choices with meaning, whether we know it or not, and whether we make the choices or not. 
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  “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
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“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
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Quotes, above, here.
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Essays by Crystal Wilkinson, and Wendell Berry, found at, Emergence Magazine, an online magazine focusing on ecology, culture, spirituality.  (This is not a paid endorsement.)

Praise Song for the Kitchen Ghosts

by Crystal Wilkinson
“I want the muscle memory in my body to guide me back across the back roads of Kentucky to Indian Creek into the screen door of our grandmother’s kitchen.”
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Complete essay, by Crystal Wilkinson, HERE.


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Pic, above, here.
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Image result for wendell berry quotes
Pic, above, here.
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Image result for alice waters wendell berry
Alice Waters, pic above, here.
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 The Pleasures of Eating, by Wendell Berry.

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Introduction, below, by Alice Waters.
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When I first read Wendell Berry’s essay The Pleasures of Eating nearly thirty years ago, it electrified me. Wendell launches the essay with that brilliant line of his: “Eating is an agricultural act.” That statement reverberated deeply and articulated for me a fundamental truth about how I want to live my life.
At the time this essay was published, I had been running Chez Panisse for about eighteen years. I had started the restaurant as a little place to feed my friends in the counterculture—a place where we could gather around the table, eat delicious food, and discuss the politics of the time. We didn’t set out with food activism in mind. Instead, it was our pursuit of taste that brought us to the doorsteps of the small, local organic farmers. As we developed relationships with those producers—men and women who were growing flavorful heritage crops and farming in traditional ways that protected the land—we realized how dependent we were upon them, and they upon us. Over the years, that local network of organic suppliers came to define the food and philosophy at Chez Panisse. We realized how much our lives were enriched by the values they brought into the restaurant. We were experiencing a dawning awareness that our everyday food choices were agricultural—were, indeed, political—and that we could either choose to strengthen the global industrial food system or choose to participate in an entirely different local, rural economy.
In these three intervening decades, I have come to fully understand the astonishing, uncanny prescience of Wendell Berry’s vision. Here, he outlines the entire dysfunction of our current industrial food system: namely, how the food industry divorces us from the land, and in doing so, pulls the wool over our eyes about the wrongdoings taking place within that system every day. Wendell shows us how we are all victims of fast food culture, made passive and dependent by the multinational industrial food conglomerates. We have all been indoctrinated by the values of this fast food culture, told that cooking is drudgery; that food should look and taste the same all year round, wherever we are in the world, no matter what the season; that time is money, and speed should be cherished above all else; that our choices, food-related or otherwise, have no consequences.
These are, of course, a series of falsehoods, and Wendell exposes them all with piercing clarity. These falsehoods resonate even more today in the face of imminent climate chaos. But Wendell’s is also a message of hope: here he guides us with seven practical, succinctly presented suggestions for how we can lead our lives more humanely. These proposals are simple. They make sense. They connect us to the land and to the traditions that have sustained us since the beginning of civilization. And they are pleasurable.
Pleasure, to Wendell, is essential. This essay is a warning, but it is also a reminder of the joy that comes when you live in tune with the natural world. In this manner, too, Wendell could see into the future. He saw the potential for a powerful counterforce to fast food culture, one based around those earthbound values that knit us together as human beings on this planet.
Wendell Berry was more than just prescient. He wrote in such a lucid, lyrical way that we have as much to learn from him now as we did then—more perhaps, now that we need so desperately to hear his hopeful message. Thirty years later, I believe we are ready for Wendell.
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From, Wendell Berry's, The Pleasures of Eating, below,
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"It is possible, then, to be liberated from the husbandry and wifery of the old household food economy. But one can be thus liberated only by entering a trap (unless one sees ignorance and helplessness as the signs of privilege, as many people apparently do). The trap is the ideal of industrialism: a walled city surrounded by valves that let merchandise in but no consciousness out. How does one escape this trap? Only voluntarily, the same way that one went in: by restoring one’s consciousness of what is involved in eating, by reclaiming responsibility for one’s own part in the food economy. One might begin with the illuminating principle of Sir Albert Howard’s The Soil and Health, that we should understand “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal, and man as one great subject.” Eaters, that is, must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used. This is a simple way of describing a relationship that is inexpressibly complex. To eat responsibly is to understand and enact, so far as one can, this complex relationship. What can one do? Here is a list, probably not definitive:..."
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List, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, October 28, 2019

Landscape: Fixed vs Growth Mindsets

Deepest winter is the test of Garden Design.  A garden looking good in winter, below, will look good all year.
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Two gardens, below.  One green all year, the other flowers for a few weeks.
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Which garden attracts and benefits the most pollinators?

Making plans for your gardens this year? Would that include hiring a professional? Many of you ask me about our process in designing...
Pic, above, here.
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Which garden is a Fixed Mindset Garden, and which is a Growth Mindset Garden ?

Dry Gardens in England (14 of 21) | Beth Chatto Gardens - Dry Garden, Essex, England | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Pic, above, here.
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Which garden is the easiest to maintain?
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Virtue Signaling with gardens, pollinator habitat, eco, sustainable, regenerative, all a bit much.  Meanings vary by region, era, and person.
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What a garden does, for Earth, is its test.
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Growth Mindset, 'What type of garden most benefits Earth, and makes me happy?'
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Fixed Mindset, 'I like this garden, looks easy, affordable, and eco.'
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"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside awakes."  Carl Jung
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Which garden, above, looks outside, which looks inside?
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These questions matter in the micro, we said goodbye to macro decades ago.  Bees are dying and we're peeing anti-depressants into waterways, How Depression Medication is Polluting the Ocean and Altering The Behaviors of Sea CreaturesAntidepressants in Stream Waters!  Are They in the Fish Too? 
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Solutions quite simple, happy, and loving.  Didactic apoplexy isn't intended, and not meant.  Time was given me, with loving teachers, from Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset, as it should be for you too.
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Excepting I began in my 20's.  What if you're beginning in your 50's, and above, wanting to go from Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset, about your best Garden Design?  You're good, they're the only gardens here.  Years of agrarian gardens.  Only recently did I realize my gardens are Agrarian, and most other gardens are Industrialized.  Agrarian vs. Industrialized.  Interesting, I've been slipping Agrarian Gardens into Deed Restricted/HOA Industrialized neighborhoods for decades.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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No, I didn't answer those questions, above.  They are for you to answer.  Answers in next post.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Take What's Best for You: Agrarian vs. Industrialized

My grandmother grew up on a farm, a land grant from King James to our family.  We track to the Revolutionary War era.  Her only child, my mom, did not relish caring for chickens, pigs, or crops.
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Dad's family also dates to the Revolutionary War era, along with something quite American, he was a legal Native American Indian, Cherokee.  Wonderful, knowing I have the blood of 2 great-great grandmothers, 100% Cherokee.
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Both sides of my family, until my grandparents, lived agrarian lives.  Centuries upon centuries of agrarian knowledge.
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Good and bad.  Dad went on to be part of the core team of 50 NASA engineers putting man on the moon.  Cell phones/laptops came from that program, and more.  Glad he didn't stay agrarian.
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What's the point, where is this headed?  It took only a single generation, my parents, to lose centuries of agrarian knowledge.  Lessons to be learned before we walk, or talk.  E. M. Forster takes this up with the character of Leonard Bast in, Howard's End.
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From earliest memories I knew industrialized landscapes were wrong.  Real landscapes were the marshes, pastures full of Longhorn cattle, Pecan orchards, cattails in the drainage ditches along the roads, Oak trees trailing moss above meadows full of white clover,  and whatever else the tropical winds of Galveston Bay blew in.  Thought everyone knew which landscapes were the right landscapes.
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"(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.
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Realized, early 20's, I was society's strange one.  Society adores industrialized landscapes, mow-blow-go-commodify all they touch-fertilizers-chemicals-mulches-annuals.  Industrialized landscapes are written into law via deed restrictions and HOA's.
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Thanksgiving - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
Pic, above, here.
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Marvelous young orchard with guilds, and potager, above.
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Getting that 2nd college degree, in my 20's, horticulture, knowing it was bogus USA industrialized landscape nonsense, it was off to study historic gardens across Europe for decades.  First time seeing this type of garden, above, moth-to-a-flame.  Pure agrarian.
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This is how I garden, and design gardens, decades now.  It's still a rare profession, designing agrarian based gardens.  Illegal for millions of Americans, millions more think they are 'messy', see pic, above.  Why do they think they are messy?  I think, because they don't realize what they are looking at.  Why should they?  Most are generations away from agrarian living.
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Looking at the pic, above, I see the poyeema of Providence.  God's workmanship, gifted as the joy of handywork for ourselves, if we deem to partake.  They did, above.  How fine, above, if a full'ish moon and warm'ish evening are expected, the tail end of fall, dahlias still showing, apples on the branch, a picnic dinner, wine, friends, blankets and large pillows in the orchard, in celebration.
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Ironically, not too different from the life George Washington or John Adams knew.  America was founded upon agrarian models.  It's good to have choices beyond agrarian.  Yet, in the macro, global industrialization has been at the agrarian expense, especially industrialized livestock.
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"...art is what makes us not only human but humane."  Iris Murdoch.
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Losing the stewardship agrarian life instills, has led to not 'seeing' industrialized livestock as an issue.  Same thread as not 'seeing' what this garden, above, means.  Same issue as our health diminished with industrialized vs. agrarian farming, and, industrialized vs. agrarian landscaping.  While we harm ourselves, and livestock with industrialized methods, we're poisoning groundwater, killing mycorrhizal fungi, why that matters, here, killing pollinator habitat for insects/birds/wildlife that migrate, only to journey to areas now bereft of food, so they die, after millions of years having followed the same migration patterns.  Jack Nicholson,with his best smile and unkempt greasy hair,  couldn't ask it better, "Who are the killers now?".
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Pic, above, here.
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Sacred vs. profane.  Pairs of words, in opposite, shout at me, especially when they make me think.  Humility vs. hubris is a nice pair of words read this morning.  From my own Commonplace book, Mystery-Meaning, Creation-Transcendence, Law-Grace, Righteousness- Corruption, Universalism-Particularism, Pious-Secular, Compassion-Violence, Justice-Judging.  In the garden, gardening, performing the gift of poyeema, pairs of words find their journey from the noise of daily life and neo-fixed mindset into the realms of transcendence with a growth mindset.
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It is the garden passing along epiphanies.  Do you do this too?
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"....if there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet...maybe we could understand something."  Federico Fellini.
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Part of my mission statement, for decades, for my garden, "......I want to look out any window, any day, and think, Oh Wow."  Seeking awe.
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"Awe enables us to sense in small things the beginnings of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common & simple."  Joshua Herschel Abraham.
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Have you already found your garden to be a talker?  "The habit of prayer, by which I mean the habit of listening."  Loren Eisley.
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With Industrialized Gardens, "It is the shrewdness of the fox after the chicken.  A low order of mentality often goes with it."  Sherwood Anderson.
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Working with agrarian gardens there are myriad 'greats' to work with, they have died, but not the dynamic of their poyeema.  Working with them, is one of the greatest joys of my life.  How can I not accept the rebuke from Alexander Pope, "My gardens improve more than my writings."  Serious rebuke, taken to heart, yet with complete humor of good will.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Pic, above, take from Ben Pentreath's blog, I think you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

More Than You Want to Know About Starting Your Garden Design

What type Garden Design survives, centuries, in gardens?
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Easy trinity, with limitless permutations; Wild Wood, Meadow, Stone Focal Point.
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Meadow, Urn, Hedge, below.  Classical trivium of Garden Design.  A structure for adding more layers, if desired.
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Used at the front end of Garden Design it is a manner of thought toward your personal lifestyle, preferably, one you've chosen to make you a better person, at a minimum, a happier person.  Within the larger context of stewardship toward Nature. 
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Your choice. 
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"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and freedom."  Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor.


Pic, above, here.
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Once I discovered what type of gardens survive for centuries, after studying historic gardens across Europe, it became obvious how to start a garden.  Start a garden with how it will end.  'It matters how we arrive at our ideas.'
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The classical trivium turned thought & writing into logic, grammar, rhetoric.  This isn't too small, for garden design, you can add more later.  With the classical trivium you are 'imparted the 7 liberal arts of classical antiquity.'
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Pic, above, here.
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Going beyond the classical trivium, above.  Easy to see, removing flowers, the garden becomes its end state quickly, meadow, hedge/wildwood, stone focal point.  (Labeling the garden in design terms, above, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal point.)
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It's important to have the language for a garden, to create one.  It's important to have the history for a garden, to create one.  It's important to have the logic for a garden, to create one.  You realize this isn't about your garden.  It's choices about your life.  God almighty first created a garden.  We all ate that apple.  No choice in the matter, I want back in the garden.
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Having the vocabulary to design a garden lets your mind "...collect and analyze information and to draw conclusions based on that information; it demands self-discipline and instills virtue (the ability to do what is right despite one's baser inclinations); it produces.........think, understand, solve problems and follow through on a wide range of interests.  It requires a student to examine moral and ethical issues.  A classical education is multi-cultural in the best sense of the word.  Because it takes history as its organizing principle, students learn the place of their lives, families, and communities in the broad landscape of human existence and achievement.  It imparts skills and passion for thinking and learning that allow a person to teach herself for the rest of her life.  Classical education is systematic and rigorous; it has purpose, goals, and a method to reach those goals."  Noval Classical, from here
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This is more than you wanted, but have included it, aside from living it, because it is how George Washington gardened, and garden designed.  More than agricultural, more than elegance, he gardened to show his political, educational, and religious beliefs.  Born into a slave holding family, what was the impetus George Washington had, to free all his slaves? 
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Slaves in America are part of historic garden study.  In Europe, for too many eras they had subsistence workers.  Ignorant, I had to ask a head-gardener what that meant, "They worked for food.  No pay, no housing, no clothing given.  At the end of the day they return into the woods."  Serfs were another layer of garden labor, not technically slaves, they worked for the manor house, were given a plot of land for their own to work, and could take those earnings, yet were not free to move about, they had to be granted permission to leave a manor's employ, which was not a given. 
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End of serfdom coincided with the bubonic plague.  So many were killed, there were few left to work the fields.  Finally, after the plague, workers were paid for their labor.  And, allowed freedom to move about.
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Historic gardens, which truly flourished after the plague, ca. 1400,  took another turn after WWI, so many were killed the grand estates did not have enough laborers to keep their properties up to prior WWI standards.  This is when 'my' trinity of historic gardens appeared.  WWII was the macro end of agrarian gardens, and beginning of industrialized landscapes we have today. 
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Industrialized landscaping parallels, unfortunately, global factory farming of livestock.  Won't go further into that realm here beyond noting George Washington's gardening choices, and life choices. 
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In the garden, beyond making design choices based upon a trivium, choosing to engage the brain in addition to body, spirit & community, there is the garden itself, with some life forces equal to ours.  At times, appearing sentient, perhaps behaving with sentience.     
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Does the neo-sentience of a garden affect our thought processes when in our garden, or woodland, or fields & streams?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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How do you like History, thru my Garden prism? 
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From the Mount Vernon website, below.
In his will, written several months before his death in December 1799, George Washington left directions for the emancipation of all the slaves that he owned, after the death of Martha Washington.
Washington's slave census in this 1799 will and testament
Washington was not the only Virginian to make provisions to free his slaves during this period. In 1782, toward the end of the American Revolution, the Virginia legislature made it legal for slave holders to manumit their slaves, without a special action of the governor and council.
Of the 317 slaves at Mount Vernon in 1799, 123 individuals were owned by George Washington and were stipulated in Washington's will to be freed upon his wife's death. However, these conditions did not apply to all slaves at Mount Vernon. When Martha Washington's first husband Daniel Parke Custis died without a will, she received a life interest in one-third of his estate, including his slaves. The other two-thirds of the estate went to their children.
Neither George nor Martha Washington could free these dower slaves by law. Upon her death the slaves would revert to the Custis estate and be divided among her grandchildren. By 1799, 153 slaves at Mount Vernon were part of this dower property. Forty more slaves were rented from a neighbor, while another man, Peter Hardiman, was rented from the widow of Martha Washington's son. All these people would eventually return to their owners.
 In accordance with state law, George Washington stipulated in his will that elderly slaves or those who were too sick to work were to be supported throughout their lives by his estate. Children without parents, or those whose families were unable to see to their education were to be bound out to masters and mistresses who would teach them reading, writing, and a useful trade, until they were ultimately freed at the age of twenty-five. Washington’s will stated that he took these charges to his executors very seriously: "And I do moreover most pointedly, and most solemnly enjoin it upon my Executors...to see that this clause respecting Slaves, and every part thereof be religiously fulfilled at the Epoch at which it is directed to take place; without evasion, neglect or delay, after the Crops which may then be on the ground are harvested, particularly as it respects the aged and infirm."
In December 1800, Martha Washington signed a deed of manumission for her deceased husband's slaves, a transaction that is recorded in the abstracts of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Court Records. They would finally become free on January 1, 1801.    

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Agrarian vs. Industrialized vs. You

Gardens begin inside your home.  Looking out.
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Your home is the garden's backdrop.
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The Agrarian & Pastoral ideal.  Idyll.  For you.  Now.  No matter the global industrialized anthropocene stew driving markets, and life.
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Agrarian.  More than sustainable.  Regenerative.
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More than regenerative.  Transcendent.  "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."  Marcus Tullius Cicero, Jan. 3, 106 BC - Dec. 7, 43 BC.
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Why consider Agrarian?  Why choose Agrarian?  Why be Agrarian though industrialized?  Sacred vs. profane, reality vs. grace.  The shorthand of Agrarian is unspoken, mostly, but well spoken, from birth, within.  "...the division between practical reason and aesthetic understanding is in fact untenable, and that until the relation between the two is re-established they must both remain impoverished."  Sir Roger Scruton.
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His back isn't facing you, below, he's telling you there is a life of transcendence inside.  Join us, please come inside.   


Habitually Chic® » C’est Chic at Chateau de Champlatreux
Pic, above, here.
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"Aim for the chopping block.  If you aim for the wood you will have nothing.  Aim past the wood, aim thru the wood; aim for the chopping block."  Annie Dillard.

 Habitually Chic® » C’est Chic at Chateau de Champlatreux
Pic, above, here.
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"Hone & spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff."  Annie Dillard

 Habitually Chic® » C’est Chic at Chateau de Champlatreux
Pic, above, here.
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"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment."  Annie Dillard
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"If you cultivate a healthy poverty & simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then since the world is in fact 'planted' in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days."  Annie Dillard.
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Understand what the back of his robe is saying, top pic, this is Nature's gift, telling us the stories of life.  Nothing less than your life, in all its fullness.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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I take no credit for this deep need for Agrarian gardens, it came unbidden.  Since age 3, I knew.  Didn't know what I knew, no words, adults certainly weren't talking about the things 'I knew'.   More, I've always known I work for 'Tara', known I had a lane of my own.  Thought everyone had the same.   Amusing what we get right, what we get wrong, oblivious to both in error at times.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Branches in a Vase: Talent Not Required

Constance Spry trained dozens of floral designers.  She said it  mattered not their skills/talents, floral arranging is easily taught.  Perhaps, if she's the one directly teaching.  No Constance in my life, nor floral arranging skills, yet plenty of talent for making choices and following up with action steps.
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I dared tread into the realm of branches in a vase.  No talent, no budget.  Pure desire.
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Paying attention to types of vases, numbers of branches, scale to the room, and macro-silhouette.  Vases sourced from local thrift stores, branches from side of the road, and bushes needing a bit of pruning in my yard.   

blue-and-white-needlepoint-rug-living room-in-long-island-new-york-house-designed-by-frank-de-biasi-veranda-may-2017.png
Pic, above, here.
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Last year my life took a turn most lives take at some point.  My schedule was not my own.  Moms trump everything, and my mom was sick.  With the chaos of leaving my life, and helping mom in Texas, the imperative to cut branches and put into vases throughout my house became paramount.
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Pure Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities, but I must have the luxuries."

 
 Pic, above, here.
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Blessedly my heart did not follow my head, and I did place branches in vases in several rooms at home.  Time for this, seriously?  Nonsense.  But the soul/muse spoke, and I was too emotional to be balanced.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Hunting and gathering the cuttings became a form of prayer.  Mom's illness was the first thing in my adult life pushing me into care giving another soul, and taking me away from my work.
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With great appreciation I learned helping mom is a joy of recompense, she never wanted children and lived a life she didn't want.  Unable to have my own children, her illness made me realize, mom was my ticket onto this incredible Earth.       

 Serena Crawford
Pic, above, here.
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Choosing branches in vases, more than a few, why not go full-monty-wacko in how I spend what little time I have at home?  The joy in doing, too great to pass by.

 Forsythia Spring by Carole Rabe
Pic, above, here.
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Coming home from weeks away in Texas helping mom, several times last year, those branches in vases, awaiting me, I knew, were, oddly,  loving sentinels.  Those branches in vases became stewards of my heart, its loving and hurting were tended.
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What drama about a few branches in vases.  I was born twined with a garden, wasn't until my 20's realizing most people are not.
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Another thing I know.  You need zero skill to create a beautiful vase of stems.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Gardening is Ritual Whether Begun As Sacred or Profane

In the garden is the ritual of life.
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How very satisfying, upon a winter's day, walking by a window, having put this garden, below, upon Earth.  A moment in perfect poetry answering why every galaxy, every star, every atom, every void was created, for this exact moment.
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In the ritual, love.  A manner to 'take joy', whether joy is obviously present, or not.  Joy is always present.  In a garden how can you not get life's 'Take Joy' memo?

Broughton Grange.
Pic, above, here.
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"For Indigenous Australians, ritual sings the natural world into continued life, in a diffuse and enspirited relationship between the Dreamtime ‘past’ and the present. The Dreamtime surrounds the present, having created the landscape and order of the world, giving meaning and profundity to life and reflecting cosmic order, while rituals of the ‘ordinary’ present, in turn, sustain the ‘extraordinary’ Dreamtime order."
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"In the dominant culture, ritual is often a stale, wilted word, as dusty and songless as Christmas decorations glimpsed in midsummer. Many people profess no clear religion and lack formal rites, and yet, even in ritual-poverty, a yearning persists to rekindle it from a stub of a candle, a petal and a word. There is a perceptible need for that numinous Other Place to which ritual gives passport – where no one is exiled and none a foreigner, and there is a defiant fecundity in contemporary ways of answering that need to give wishes wings."
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" The poiesisor making of beauty, not the possessing of it, is the kind associated with art or poetry.  Meanwhile, the effect of making beauty, a Balinese taxi driver told me, is that ‘your mind is surprised and happy. Beauty makes you feel pure, and purity is necessary for prayer.’ " 
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"In the canang saris, flowers are the symbol of beauty, and flowers attend rituals all over the world: flowers for birth and death, the doorways of life, flowers for social doorways, for guests and hosts, flowers to honour and to thank with the lightest touch – a petal-weight of unimpeachable beauty. You don’t have to believe in god to believe in the radiant divinity of flowers and their beneficent efficacy."
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" Flowering plants are quite literally a source of life; according to the botanist Walter Judd at the University of Florida: ‘If it weren’t for flowering plants, we humans wouldn’t be here.’ They are necessary, but they also illustrate the margins of grace beyond necessity – a rhapsody of colour where life sings: such is the veridical beauty of flowers. In terms of evolutionary aesthetics, the beauty of flowers is primal – they have sung a soft serenade for 130 million years, and their beauty was there before we humans were there to see it. And perhaps after."
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"The sweet paradox of small daily rituals is that the ordinary is intensified into the sacred through the numinousness of the absolutely commonplace, an illustration of immanent divinity, demonstrating that all it takes to find cascades of enchantment is a tender attention in which the natural living world is blessed by the psyche, and the psyche by the natural world. Ritual sculpts, shapes and polishes the spirit in a fineness of mind, the hearth of the heart tended and made more tender by the delicate touch of something little more than a thank you. So the slightest of ritual magic, turning on a breath, might open doorways on to a future; and life might be protected by a petal and the holiness of prayers."  All quotes, above, by   Jay Griffiths , award-winning author and contributor to The Guardian and Orion magazine.  She lives in Wales.  
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In my garden, living with my garden around the house, and in my heart, became, along the way, love, grace, joy, and ritual for surviving on this Earth.
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Take Joy, indeed.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Full article with the quotes, above, Aeon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Pair of Landscapes: Exactly Alike Yet Opposites

Within constraints of sacred vs. profane the world takes away so much of our life, why give it more?  Merely targeting industrialized residential landscapes ca. 1945 to present, in USA. 
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This pair of landscapes, below, are opposites in style, yet both have style centuries older than industrialized landscapes.  What style is that?  Agrarian/pastoral.  More, both landscapes focus on the house and its inhabitants/guests, as proscenium and star.  A sweet pairing, life is the focus, not life maintaining the landscape. 
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Pic, above, here.
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Top pic appears modern, bottom pic appears historic.  More, their style, appropriated to other sites, becomes new again, unique.
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Ambition and aspiration are both of great value.  Yet how they are mixed, and their changing percentages given across our life, even a day, show in our material lives.  Ambition and aspiration should be in the landscape, with aspiration weighted heaviest, they've made the best landscapes for centuries across continents and cultures. 
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Industrialized landscapes stop at mere ambition.  Agrarian/pastoral landscapes, even with a bit of industrialization tossed in, have ambition, but their aspirations are greater. 
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What does this mean?  'Ambition is what we want to achieve and aspiration is who we want to become.' 
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 Maurice Fatio Designed Significant Home - Landscape outside of Dallas Estate Property
Pic, above, here.

 Mary Oliver's Top 15 Quotations
Pic, above, here.
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Seeing agrarian/pastoral landscapes as a child, there were a few, compared to thousands of industrialized, I saw generosity of spirit, welcoming arms, a rich conversation, fun, intelligence, secrets, home, love.

If Iris Apfel says it, then it must be true!
Pic, above, here.
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Hedges, trees, & a meadow/gravel terrace is the trinity for agrarian/pastoral, and the new modern industrialized landscape.  Be like Iris, know how you can get away with anything.       

 Quotable - Joan Didion
Pic, above, here.
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Grief, when it comes, I take into the garden.  At least I know what the garden will do.  A new grief?  Never know what it will do.
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Pic, above, here.
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Your landscape should tell me who you are from the curb.  If I see a photo of your patio, it must be so fabulous I have to go inside your home, and wander the garden.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Gardens have always been places of light and love, to me, from earliest childhood, and respite from the darkness & hate that comes in measure to all.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps it was not being able to have children, I never had to give her, above, up.  Ever.  No worries if you've never gardened this passionately, there is no age limit to start. 
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Get dirty?  When I garden there are bruises, blood, time ceases yet expands, hunger doesn't exist, epiphanies arrive, grief has a place to harbor for awhile, forgiveness is given but feels like a bestowal.....
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT