Showing posts with label Allee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allee. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Backward Method of Design for Your Backyard Dining Table

Nothing in your backyard?  Want a pretty backyard?  Begin backwards.  Install function first, do not consider overall form, nor a single plant.  Seriously, this is a zero plant Garden Design first round.
.
Consider this your backward backyard Garden Design Mini Course.  Free.
.
Site first your table/chairs/umbrella & brick pad, similar to, below.   Siting near house, sited near a door of the home.  Ease of use.  Rectangular or square tables are best, they have multiple uses beyond dining, and for dining, can be placed end-to-end for larger groups.
.
Choose table/chairs/umbrella hardy to life, and aesthetics to your interior.  Aesthetics includes style & color.  Little funding?  No excuse.  To me.  At a minimum copy Martha Washington's strategy at Mount Vernon.  It was expected she would host/entertain whoever showed up at her doorstep.  Many did.  Martha Washington used saw horses with planks atop, and a tablecloth.  Done.  More than economical, functional, pretty, easy to set up, easy to remove.
.
If you are field gathering table/chairs for your backyard, aka thrifting, garage sales, curbside garbage collection days, & online no worries about their scavenged appearance.  None.
.
Choose your exterior color trinity, Green-Brown-White, is the historic exterior color trinity, and paint/stain table/chairs, all, one of the colors from your trinity.  Poof, scavenged becomes curated. 



Pic, above, here.
.
Once your table/chairs/umbrella/pad are in place, at least a year, you're ready to think about phase 2.
.
Phase 2 considers shapes, not plants.

 Linear hedge rows and lines of trees in lawn space create elegant and simple modern landscape with a lot of interest.
Pic, above, here.
.
Perhaps, above, a hedge of evergreens and an allee of trees for shade?  Scaled to your site/needs.  Considerations are mature tree height, speed of growth, how you will prune your trees (pleached/natural/etc.), how tall do you need your hedge, how many openings do you need in your hedge, and etc.

  A new build with old charm. Like the look of the exterior of this house.
Pic, above, here.
.
Maybe you don't want a rectangle of hardscape for your table/chairs/umbrella.  All gravel, above, hardscape connected to other backyard hardscape, below.

 Klinkers
Pic, above, here.
.
Plants in containers, below, create super fast plant scale.  Add drip irrigation to your pots, easy caretaking.  Skip planters with drama, go classic with evergreen button tops, below.

 Donvale project
Pic, above, here.
.
All gravel, below, for your backyard table/chairs/umbrella and allee of trees with square green boxes at base.  Scaled appropriately for your site.
.
Lighting.  If you have spotlights, put them on dimmer switches, first making sure light bulbs used can be used with dimmer switches.  Strands of LED lights needed.
.
 French. Gravel courtyard. Symmetry. Exterior.
Pic, above, here.
.
If you've been in your home awhile and still don't have a pretty & functional backyard, no excuses now.  None.
.
Almost off topic, plants.  Consider only plants that are drought tolerant, deer proof, disease/insect resistant, and speed of growth for ease of maintenance.  Consider your age, and the size of plants you purchase.
.
Hope you already have meal ideas swirling in mind for serving al fresco.  And the fun of assembling plates/glasses/silver/napkins/candles...
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Backyard is public-speak for the garden behind your home.  A sacred space.  If it's not, to you, why not?  If you've read this far, it's obviously in your heart to 'do' something to make it so.  Life is short, daylight's burning. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

How to Leverage a Table into Your Best Employee

What do you 'see', below?  For myself, I see a leveraged table.  I place well leveraged tables/chairs throughout my garden.  Each at a tipping point.  Bottom of the steps leading into the garden from the house?  A chair.  Why? 

cecil beaton conservatory - Google Search
Pic, above, here.
.
The chair at the bottom of those steps, one of my best employees.  Always ready to take away some of what I'm carrying, or to hand me something I must carry up the stairs. 

 915/ French Provincial Carved Oak Table
Pic, above, here.
.
Quite a knowing smile, seeing Bunny Mellon's leveraged table, above/below.
.
 Sotheby's - an enchanted world
Pic, above, here.
.
More than function.  Form.  Not in use?  Ridiculous question, a leveraged table is always in use.  Merely supporting a beautiful topiary, use enough in my realm.

 Mrs. Mellon working in her greenhouse in Virginia.
Pic, above, here.
.
Interesting, above, looking through various doors of Bunny Mellon's painted garden house.  A conservatory, above, other doors leading into an allee.....
.
Looking at the first pic, above, what do you see now?  Hopefully a leveraged table, and if you don't have one/several, they're now on your list.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, January 29, 2018

Garden Design Class: One Pic

Garden Design course in a single photo, below.
.
More, a challenging area.
.
Did the exterior color trinity jump out to you?  More than having a color trinity, it's the classic color trinity of the ages. Green-Brown-White.  Awareness didn't pop immediately?  No worries, once you gather the myriad Garden Design arrows, they'll remain confidently grouped in you quiver.  None of the concepts are difficult, or challenging. 
.
Double axis.  Looking in, below, I want to look out from the window.  More, the cross axis.  Really wanting to see the urn/plinth from inside the room it's a focal point on axis.
.
Plant combinations.  Easy, potent.  Contrast foliage color, texture, sizes.
.
Layers must be designed: canopy, understory, walls, floor.  And what a floor, oh my.
.
Seasons.  Change thru the seasons.
.
Beautiful in deepest winter.  A garden beautiful in winter is beautiful all year.
.
Ease of maintenance, and little maintenance.
.
Flow, both eye & foot.  More importantly the flow of metaphor when inside, gazing at the garden, and traveling the galaxy.  Inside, from the axis to urn/plinth, size of this garden could be acreage, or not.
.
More than support house interiors, via views on axis, below.  Pots, below, can be brought inside for a few days 'showtime' on a mantel, table, hearth, etc.
.
Notice the other major focal point, aside from the urn/plinth?
.
Should I tell you, if you don't see it? 

Use gravel, pebbles and bark chips for practical, versatile garden design.
Pic, above, here.
.
In the garden, views into your home are focal points.  Interior design, must be double axis to the Garden Design.
.
Theoretical.  If this space were uneven clods of Earth, gravel, aside from form/function, quite easy to shovel into place, and level the space without equipment. 
.
Maximum pollinator habit, above.  Know what that is?  Plants are sold as pollinators.  Yes, but that doesn't consider pollinator habitat in the macro.  See it, above?  No worries if you don't, major institutions carp on about pollinator habitat in its micro, never touching the macro. 
.
Maximum pollinator habitat is high density next to low density.  Tiny version, above, but done.
.
What makes this garden live large?  Seriously?  Imagine being in this garden, above.  Why is it so large?  Literally in addition to metaphorically.   Garden, above, is 1,000's of acres huge.  Bonafide.  Huge.  Do you pass this part of your Garden Design quiz?  No?  This garden owns the sky.
.   
What pops to you in this garden?
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO T

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Garden Narrative: 20's vs 50's

Layers of narrative, below.  At the front end of learning Garden Design professionally, mid-20's,  this type of garden, below, equaled the type of home it fronted.    At that front end, this garden was also too simple, too rigid, too formal, too boring, too lacking.  Oh my what 3 decades have wrought.

French. Gravel courtyard. Symmetry. Exterior.
Pic, above, here.
.
Now I see the narrative of this garden as pure joy, wisdom and a proscenium for your life.  Infinite scope for the imagination.  Importantly, easy to maintain.  No drama, your life, fully, enough. 
.
More, a Garden Design for any era, any architecture.   
.
"The best of life is life lived quietly where nothing happens but our calm journey thru' the day, where change is imperceptible and the precious life is everything.
-John McGahern".
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
.
We are back from 10 days in Maine with a bit of Boston.  Portland, Freeport, Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor and more.
.
One particular morning, staying at a B&B, still a private home built ca. 1880, on the shore in Bar Harbor, I arose early in excitement, knowing the coffee was awaiting, and exactly where I was going to sit and fully live.  The owner was awake and about, and as I carried my coffee to the porch, an older gentleman, already sitting and fully living, with a great deep voice said, "Good morning."  I replied in kind.  We two continued our full living in the greatest of silence, that symphony of Nature and ocean.
.
An hour passed, the owner came outside to ask if we were ok.  The gentleman replied, "We are sharing a deep companionable silence."  She left.  We continued that deep companionable silence.  A few minutes later Beloved arrived, soon breakfast would be served and the day had begun its new threads.  "Take joy", Tasha Tudor signed off with.  Yes, indeed.
.
   Image may contain: sky, tree, ocean, outdoor, nature and water
Early morning view, Bar Harbor, Shore Path Cottage.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Create Geometry with Faux Geometry

Within the past month, minding my own business, living in middle rural Georgia, 2 local women, they don't know each other, hired me.  One of the women found me on Houzz, the other thru her builder.
.
Both women, and their spouses, have targeted specialty careers, heavy with international travel.   Heavy, for decades.  Both women hired me with strong intent.  A French garden.  Not an American version of French gardens, French.
.
Attention to detail inside their homes, not French inspired, French.  Neither woman has hesitated to fill a container, while in France thru the years, and ship it home.
.
At one of those gardens, before getting out of my service van at the first visit, I knew faux geometry would be used with major hedges, allees, axis.  Ironic, much can be manipulated, but the property lines, and roads, cannot.  Enter, faux geometry.


Image result for Alexandre dominique Lafourcade
Pic, above, here.
.
At the front end of faux geometry, especially if you've never heard of it, the concept feels 'wrong'.  Faux geometry is not taught in school, nor have I heard it mentioned at any seminar/class/article.  Faux geometry was learned, on-the-job.  Once learned, it's a sense of magic.


 Image result for dominique Lafourcade
Pic, above, here.
.
Collateral to faux geometry is a lecture attended decades ago, Sir Roy Strong, and his wife, came to Atlanta.  His garden, The Laskett, has since been bequeathed after he's gone, to live in perpetuity as a public garden.  Of course you can guess my cat's name?  Laskett.  Even Laskett's new vet, moving rural 2 years ago, asked about Laskett's name.  And the vet is from Scotland, educated in England.
.
At that lecture, all these decades later, I still hear Sir Roy Strong say, "If you have an irregularly spaced area, put a geometric shape in it."  Game changing sentence.  Faux geometry I had to learn on my own.
.
In the renderings, above/below, there are geometric garden rooms, within irregular spaces, and further, faux geometry within several of the geometric garden rooms.  Staying with this?  Got it?
.
Garden Design with pixie dust.  A pair of arrows for your quiver.


Image result for dominique Lafourcade
Pic, above, here.
.
Once my pair of 'French' ladies have their gardens installed, I'll match-make them.
.
Renderings, above, created by French garden designer, Dominique Lafourcade.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Not my job to tell you how to dig a planting hole, my job is telling you where.  More, if you truly want to know how to design your garden, geometry and faux geometry are a pair of major keys to that realm.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Gertrude Jekyll: Rusticity & Formality

Rusticity with formality, below.  Gertrude Jekyll, Munstead Wood.  Her reign still informed many gardens I studied across Europe.  And, as a girl, a large garden/home visited ca. 1967, built decades previous, in Augusta, GA, owned by Edison Marshal.

Gertrude Jekyll and her garden at Munstead Wood (UK):
Pic, above, here.

Macro drawings of Jekyll's garden, above/below.  Clearly, rusticity & formality.

Image result for gertrude jekyll munstead wood
Pic, above, here.

Going into the micro garden, below.

 
Pic, above, here.

When I came back from my 1st study tour of historic British gardens, I had to create a manner of drawing them.  College merely taught incurves/outcurves blah-ti-awful-blah.  Amusing to find this drawing, below, today, it's exactly what I've done, drawing garden plans.  With embarrassment, assuming it was too simplistic.  No more.  How to draw this garden, below?  Easy.  Design the house and paths first, then fill in the leftover voids.

 
Pic, above, here.

Layers of a Jekyll garden design, below.  Macro-micro.

Image result for gertrude jekyll munstead wood
Pic, above, here.

Jekyll's garden, below, Munstead Wood.  She would have loved using a drone for her gardening.

Annotated aerial view of the garden at Munstead Wood
Pic, above, here.

Classic Gertrude Jekyll flower border, below.  Amusing.  Great reminder she had 15 acres and 14 experienced gardeners working for her.  Her garden easily copied in style, not content.  Flowers, below, easily switched to flowering shrubs.


Pic, above, here.

A bit of her woodland, below, at Munstead Wood.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
During Jekyll's lifetime her home/property was entered on foot, no motor entry concession made to the modern era.  After WWI, she wrote of her altered means in gardening due to the expense of labor.  .
Since 2008 garden labor contracted again.  Plants, finally, caught up to their true value.  Labor expense plus growers/wholesalers going out of business, consolidation.  30 years putting gardens into the ground, last year began putting a 30 day guarantee of plant pricing.  When gas prices go volatile we put gas prices in the bid at a given set rate.  If gas goes up, so does the price, if the price goes down so does the price.  More, we only provide work given in the bid.  No more letting a client ask our men, "Need ya'll to get all the privet taken out behind the stream.", labor too expensive, instead, those requests are a Change Order.  Commercially, currently, each man is billed $40/hour, the going rate.  Multiply that by 5 men for an hour of pulling privet.  Not a price any business wants to absorb. .
.
This isn't about money.  Yet, in the end, filthy lucre is involved.  My cottage garden of 30 years, a mix of formal & rustic, had a price.  A price never totaled into dollars.  Why would I?  My hunt wasn't the bill, it was my life.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Anna Wintour has Tara Turf?

Age 8, saw my 1st garden like this, below, in Augusta, GA.  The adults were content to stay inside & chat.  I did the rude child thing, and begged to go outside.  They were glad to get rid of me.  Had to be, I was more than glad to be gone from them.  Not until I saw the movie, Beetlejuice, did anything describe how I felt, going outside that house, that day, into the garden.  Another world.
.
The garden was entirely green, wild, mischievously wild.  Looking ahead, left, right, the garden was telling me to go everywhere, all a fabulous mystery, yet speaking to me in a language I knew.  And, that feeling of being alone, in this adventure, perhaps explains more fully, in adulthood, studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades.  And creating the garden for myself.
.
Few ask for. or understand, this type garden, up front, in USA.  I design as much of them into the ubiquitous requests, as I can.  A tiny handful, across 3 decades, have asked for the full monty.
.
I was caught by this garden, below, being presumptuous.  It's owner, in the public eye for decades with an international successful career, and public persona so Cruella Deville, Meryl Streep played her in a movie.  The garden, below, takes her mask off.  Anna Wintour's garden, below.    












Pics, above, here.
.
Full article from NYTimes, here.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Touch of Black

Every garden needs an exterior color trinity.  Subsidiary colors allowed.  Green-brown-white the classic for centuries.  Black, below, boldly, tossed in instead of green.  Yet the green is there, in plantings hung on the black, and in the garden.  Blue/white, below, subsidiary to the main color trinity.
.
Tell me you noticed, below, the enfilade !

outdoor dining at its best:

Pic, above, here.
.
Quick glance, appreciate the porch enfilade, with closer attention, garden enfilade travels much deeper.  Well done.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Washington Post: Richard Arentz Home & Garden

My construction team laughs at my proclivity for garden designing French doors from windows, adding retractable screen doors too.
.
From the French doors, below, site a focal point on axis, add a path to the focal point, plant an allee of understory trees with flying buttresses of canopy trees, underplant with an evergreen groundcover, finish this garden room with its walls, an evergreen hedge.  Put in a cross axis just behind the evergreen hedge.
.
This garden design, written, above, pictured, below, is a classic 1,000's of years old.  It sites beautifully along the sides of a home too.


Running Cedar, landscape architect Richard Arentz’s home. Winter King hawthorn allee. The ground cover is lenten rose, an evergreen perennial.:

Notice, potted plants each side of the French doors, above, become interior floral arrangements.
Choosing a rounded bowl for the orchids was no accident, nor choosing the arching/caning habit in contrast to the exterior understory trees.
.
Staging this shot, they've used both house/garden as 1 proscenium.
.
In addition to describing how to design this house/garden, above, the verbage is correct.  Most often, clients know what they want, have a pinterest board, yet do not have a vocabulary for what's in their pictures.
.
Garden, above, is also little maintenance, and with the right plants, deer proof/drought tolerant/no chemicals/pollinator habitat.  If the house, above, is facing western sun, the allee of trees is shading the house in summer, dropping its leaves allowing the winter sun to help heat the house, lowering HVAC costs.  And, raising property value, while increasing the joy of living here.
.
Pic, above, from Richard Arentz's Washington Post article, by Adrian Higgins.
.
Biggest take away?  House & garden are a single proscenium.  Site the garden from inside your home.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T