Showing posts with label Axis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Axis. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

Design: House Meets Patio

Commercial, mostly interiors shop, March, below, better at garden design than most garden centers.
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Not a lot here, excepting there is a lot.  Each layer, perfect.
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Color, flow, plants, staging, texture, contrast, plants, still life, heights, focal points, axis, seasonal, lighting, vanishing threshold, multi-functional, over-dose-theme, easy maintenance.
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At this phase, below, personally.  Have purchased a harvest table made from wood of a century old tobacco barn.  What's the phase?  Choosing chairs.  Looking at galvanized metal.  Time is a luxury, the table won't fit in my van, Beloved's trucks are at a jobsite for another few weeks.  Need 10 chairs.  Don't want all of them to match, perhaps they will.  That is the fun of the hunt.
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march-1

Pic, above, here.
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Color trinity, above, great for my zone, tail end of Piedmont swallowed by Coastal Plain, in depths of summer's miseries heat-humidity-bugs, gives the illusion of 'cool' viewed from interiors.
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Alone, this pic is a, Design: House Meets Patio, course.
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Ironically, my horticulture degree included zero about this zone.  Zero
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Notice the stone at the open door?  Very nice.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Go into the typical box store garden center, and be greeted by zillions of colorful greenhouse annuals, chemicals to annihilate bees-butterflies-man, finish off with fertilizers to poison groundwater, and kill earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi in the soil.  With zero irony the same garden centers sell annual flowers to attract butterflies, planted in soil with systemic insecticides, all with banner marketing.  Aka, killing the same butterflies you're trying to attract.
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Made a mistake at the seed store early this month, bought a small bag of 'organic' fertilizer for our lone tomato plant.  Reading the label at home, after opening, it's N-P-K, ugh, kills earthworms/fungi.  At least the tomato is in a pot.    

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Make it Easy on Yourself: Garden Design Equation

Karen asked a great question about her backyard.  Once their old deck comes off the house, she wants to replace it with steps down to a stone terrace.
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After that, she doesn't know what to do.
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Garden Design is not voodoo, or, I-think-I'll-try-that.  It's a science thousands of years old.
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First, she needs to write a mission statement for what she wants from, and for, her backyard.  Nothing complicated, no more than 2-3 sentences.  If you aren't a mission statement type of person, describe the elements of your completed garden.
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Once seeing a pic of her space, reading her mission statement, and seeing the inside of her home, and how the window views, and doors interact with the backyard, it's time to use my Garden Design equation and draw her garden.
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Garden Design Equation?
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How could I not see an equation?  Studying historic gardens across Europe & USA for decades, there is a template to what lasts & what works.
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With my Garden Design Equation you'll never be 'stuck'.
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There is an order to designing a garden.
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Design your trees.  They are the ceiling of your garden, and will give shade in summer, sun in winter, adding more than pleasure to your garden, yearly HVAC savings.  Canopy trees, and understory trees.  At my last home, tiny garden, I 'stole' canopy trees from several neighbors, they were my view too, and designed in understory trees solely.  Many people are lucky, their trees already exist.
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Design your paths.  How will you get around your garden?  Lawns are paths.  Flagstone or gravel terraces, are paths.  Beware trying to have lawn if you are shady.  Shade wins, and groundcovers will have to suffice.  Have sunny areas and shady areas?  Nice to have paths of stone, or gravel in sunny/part sun areas, and wood chip paths/edged with tree limbs 3" diameter, in the shade.
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Focal points.  Place focal points on axis from main views of the house.  The best focal points are a focal point from several axis.  Often I have put a bench into a backyard, seen from every window at the back of the home upstairs/downstairs.  Often I've put a pair of benches into a backyard, opposite from each other, on axis with each other and window views at the back of the home.  Remember the Tara Rule for buying a focal point, "Is this focal point so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
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Evergreen shrubs.  They are the walls of your garden, you'll want tall/medium/short.  Backdrop to focal points, and screens against the dreaded reality of eyesores, and perhaps a neighbor's view into all you do.  At this phase of designing your garden have zero concern for which evergreen shrubs.  Merely know their height, and that groupings of shrubs should contrast with each other, big leaves next to small leaves, dark green next to light green, you get the idea.  More, you want little diversity.  Simple gardens are potent gardens.
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Deciduous shrubs.  Design shrubs that go naked in winter, after you've put in evergreen shrubs.  Otherwise you will have a naked winter.  Muck better having naked sticks backed with evergreens.  Add daffodils to the base of your deciduous shrubs, once they leaf out the daffodil foliage will be going yellow, and hidden.
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Groundcovers.  Beware what you 'like'.  Choose, instead, what does the job with minimal care.  Often I've put in 'dreaded' groundcovers because they are tough & easy to take care of and my client turns their nose up until I describe how much caretaking their favored choices are or they go away entirely in winter.  Consider plant choices to be hiring choices.  Set the job requirements, and stick to them.  Be tough.  You'll enjoy your new employees, if they make life easier, make your world beautiful, make you money monthly with HVAC savings, and make property value increase with better curb appeal.
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Annuals & perennials.  If you must.  I use only self seeding annuals, and only tough low care perennials.
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Bottom line, I want to enjoy my life.  Anyone who knows my day-to-day life knows my garden is a place of filling the spiritual well, not a place to work.  A garden that needs working in more than enjoying in, 20% work to 80% pleasure should be about right, until the garden ages to maturity, and the work is 10% to 90% pleasure.  Yet, that 'work' is blessed in grace to me.  My relationship to Nature.  Living biblical metaphors.  Tending my garden is washing-the-servants-feet to my soul.  Work I'm honored to be given, and perform.  Gratitude.

Collage of Life:

Story of a beloved garden, above, here.
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With my Garden Design Equation, it's impossible to get 'stuck'.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Each section of the Garden Design Equation has allied narrative, hence, why this blog is so easy to write, gardens are never dull.  At the front end of learning about gardens I rebelled against 'rules'.  Using the Garden Design Equation, or perhaps you're able to copy a beautiful garden entirely, you will always create a garden that is unique, and deeply your personality.

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.
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Tell me you noticed, below, the enfilade !

outdoor dining at its best:

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

Vanishing Threshold, below.  Interior & exterior, married.  The full monty.

The Devoted Classicist:

When a client hires me for the garden, if needed & it's within my scope, I design interior spaces too.  What does that mean?  I know my scope.  Outside, my scope has no restrictions.  Inside, my scope is sourced off-the-shelf, antique shops, thrift stores.  Inside, if special order stone, textiles, furnishings, removing/adding walls, are the playing field, I have an incredible interior decorator on my team.
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Yesterday's jobsite, 60 of the most beautiful acres, streams, meadows, woodlands, gracious sloping views, in the last of the Piedmont before turning into Coastal Plain, are not a challenge in the least to Garden Design.  Thorn on the acreage?  The house.  A ca. 1980's ode the Bee Gee's named aptly, Stayin Alive.  Who wants to merely stay alive?  Thriving is the choice.
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Working with the interior decorator on this project and the homeowner has been quite a team.  There was an obvious wall removed inside, then magic, the interior decorator added a wall to an area I would have never 'seen', yet once designed, of-course-the-wall-must-be-added.  In return, I knew the front porch had to wrap the house, creating a new heart to the home.  Interior decorator never 'saw' wrapping the porch.  Indeed, we are a happy team of cheerleaders for each other.  In addition to giving/teaching each other a new 'eye'.
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Drawing, above, sums up having a home.  Vanishing threshold.  House & Garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic, above, drawn by John Tackett.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Front Door: A Course in Beautifully Scaled Details

Off the edge of perfect, below, beyond perfect.
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Have never understood the predilection for oversized lights at a front door.  Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades, diminutive lighting, compared to USA, is the memo.
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Tara Turf, below, to the foundation.  Alone, enough to instigate a nastygram from any HOA.  Here's the deal with Tara Turf, it's a rich way to live, according to Providence.  And me.
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Opulent patina, not pressure washed away, on the walls, below.



Pic, above, here.
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Who knew I would ever think a collection of little green meatballs was charming?  Indeed, these are.  Here, they are a whimsical pun.  You already thought the same thing, right?
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The pair of small spheres.  Swoon.  Their plinths, double swoon.
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Notice the climbing roses?  Not the physical plant but what they do for the design.  Taking very little space, espaliered, they give maximum lush.
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Tiny gravel, above, color of the house, drifting into most-of-a-circle tiny flagstone, again colored to the house, terrace.  With no edging between gravel/plants or gravel/flagstones.  Your already picked up on this huge detail, edging, right?
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Enfilade, above, is something we have at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Ours, 80' long, with heart of pine floor, I'll have to figure out how to get the shot, we even have the trees in back, but our pond is behind the trees.
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Our house, now, has a small gravel parking court in front, we kept the previous owner's half-round of bricks at the front steps.  Unbelievable, the vernacular language is the same, this home, above, and ours.
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This front door, above, says the most important thing, "Welcome."  And, "You want to come inside, this house is interesting, the people who live here I want to know and see more, the garden, and....."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Beloved is a pressure washing fool.  One of these days, at present I leave the premises when he pressure washes, I will stand my ground, and instead of crime scene tape outlining a body on the ground, Beloved will pressure wash around my body on the wall of our home.  If this were our home, above, I know his pressure washer would have something 'wrong' with it each time he tries to use it.  Buy a new one?  It would have something 'wrong', always, too.

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.
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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.
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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.
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Staging this shot, they've used both house/garden as 1 proscenium.
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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.
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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.
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Pic, above, from Richard Arentz's Washington Post article, by Adrian Higgins.
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Biggest take away?  House & garden are a single proscenium.  Site the garden from inside your home.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Focal Point: Design Both Ends

If you are looking at a beautiful focal point (bench, urn, front door, &tc), you must be able to be at that focal point, turn, look opposite, and have a beautiful view.
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This front porch, below, intriguing on its own, owns a great view in the opposite direction.
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Detail.

An allee, below, of conifers.  Pruned into an arching view.

6 The Firs, ca. 1900, Library of Congress

From the street view, below, the same conifers retain their full exterior silhouette, with no hint of the surprise allee within.

3 The Firs, ca. 1900, Library of Congress

And, the gap in the hedge, above, is permission and invitation to enter.
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Big impact plantings, balancing scale to the house, and a welcome.  More importantly, low maintenance, drought tolerant and deer resistant.
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Ca. 1900, these pics, from Enclosure Take Refuge, who found them from,  *Photos by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, made me smile at recreating, their garden design.  My previous garden had the exact hedge, except it was cleyera punctuated with tea olive.  They were 'plant of the week' at $1.97 from my local family owned nursery.  My hunt was for evergreen, full sun, size.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Adore those front steps, adore.  Though totally not to code in our era.  And the darkly stained wood.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Best Garden Design Rule for 'Eyesores'

Yesterday's surprise, below.
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We didn't know the wedding tent would have 2 sides filled with equipment.  Southern summer wedding, air conditioning happily wanted.  
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3 hay bales had been sourced for power box/satellite dish.  Those 'eyesores' no longer mattered, once a/c was set up.
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Game changer.
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Early in the day my contractor said there was no reason for me to stop by the jobsite, he could site the hay.  You know I was coming to the site.  Once there, I knew he wasn't about to let me leave, or site the hay himself.  Adore this type of horticultural humor.  180, not needing me to needing me, oh so rich.
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What you must know about eyesores in a landscape and focal points.  Easy garden design rule.  Basic.  One of the first I learned in college.
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If you have an eyesore, place a focal point nearby to draw the eye.



Every wedding guest will look at this view, above/below, walking from ceremony at the lake, to the barn.


Great serendipity, the hay bales are round, greater contrast with straight lines of tent/barn.


 More than hiding eyesore of a/c, I had the good fortune of pretending the hay bales had been left in the field, as they are across several counties at present.  Timing was good.


Seen from the barn, above, another axis for the hay bales to look 'natural'.


Contractor, above, leaving field after siting last hay bale, happily thinking, If mother of the bride is unhappy with hay placement, Tara gets-the-talkin'-to.  Better, he only had to site each bale once.
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Take away? If you have an eyesore in the garden, put a focal point nearby to draw the eye.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite yesterday.  Could not get out of the field fast enough, and it wasn't because of heat/humidity.  With each step, looking down, making sure no fire ants or timber rattler !

Monday, May 11, 2015

We Want What We Say We Don't Want

Few have a language to convey what they want for/from/within their landscape.  Doctors must think the same when a patient has symptoms, and no vocabulary to describe them.  My stomach hurts.
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I want those white flowers.
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I don't want to spend a lot of money, and don't want anything high maintenance, nothing formal.
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Nothing formal.
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Perhaps the most abused request, "Nothing formal."
Followed by pictures of gardens they like, 100% with formal lines, and high maintenance filler plantings, aka expensive.

Sandhill Farm House and garden, Sussex



All of this I thought of seeing the sweet garden, above.

Every element of good garden design for the last several centuries is in this garden. (Copied, repetition, contrasting foliage textures, evergreen structure all year, movement of eye/pollinators/foot, axis, cross axis, change thru the seasons, framing the sky, framing the home, hi density/low density attracting widest variety of pollinators.)
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This garden, above, could have a lovely 'modernist' overlay by removing all perennials/flowering shrubs and replacing solely with low evergreen groundcover.  Expense goes down, fun choices arrive.  Site hardscape focal points, or a line of pots, to be planted, or not.
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Another direction to take this garden, above, take away all perennials and replace with a variety of hydrangea, mophead/oakleaf/paniculata.
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Oddly, I know I've entered a new chapter.  Instead of wanting hydrangeas, for 2 decades, groundcovers have become the delight.  Perhaps 6 large pots of hydrangeas.  Line them up in 2 rows?  Perhaps anchor an enfilade with 3 pairs?  Where would a pair of benches go?  Where to place a double axis of vintage urns/plinths?   A proscenium is born.
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Delighting in this simplicity, a fun challenge, and exercise in continual refinements.  Hodge podge lodge was fun too, the years simplified into a new game.
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When a client has full time job, kids in elementary school, pets, and no means for maintenance beyond basic mow/blow/go, and asks for this garden, above, I sell it minus the perennials, adding groundcovers & focal points.  Describing the maintenance, and skilled labor/expense, sells the simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic by © Nicola Stocken Tomkins. Countryside April 2012, here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Planning a New Garden

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



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

 paint colors for 1900 farmhouse - Google Search

Pic via here.

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

  

Pic via here.

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

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

Pic via here.

 farmhouse porch | Farmhouse-porch-view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nancy lancaster

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

Plates display and details on table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pic via here.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Furniture in the Garden

'Bring those 2 pillows from the sunroom, and your book', this garden speaks. 
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At what point, in history, did this, below, become a status symbol?
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Does this speak to you?  Evocative of what?
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Every garden speaks.  Whether you think so or not. 
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Henry Ford, "Whether or not you think you can, or you think you can't --you're right."


weeping willows have always been a favorite of mine, i definitely want one in my yard to sit underneath

I've thought meadows, for at least a decade, are the ultimate status symbol.
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Water, tree, meadow, each honored with this bench, more deeply, its invitation to partake.
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Benches have been a favorite focal point for decades.  You may have few opportunities to partake their invitation, but on axis from inside your home, viewing them you'll hear Mary Poppins, "Enough is as good as a feast."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Picture from Pinterest, here.   Am fascinated with furniture in gardens, especially after a soiree.  Furniture in the Garden, pinterest board.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recognizing 'Flow'

Built, in the Republic of Texas, from 1839-1841, below, this pic, 1934, stopped my eyes, at the dead-end. Knowing, 'The more entry ways a landscape has, the better a landscape is.',
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How badly does this 'dead-end' bother you?  Did you see it immediately?

The Sunday porch-enclos*ure, French Legation HABS, LoC

Same home, below, pic taken, 1934.

The Sunday porch-enclos*ure, French Legation 1934, LoC

Much better.  Instead of 2 dead-ends, above, at the porch, 2 entry ways.  Function, form, and metaphor, yes, breathing better.
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Came across these pics studying for a 1900 home I've begun working on.
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Two take-aways from the pic, above.  White trim/siding, and lattice style/placement.  A good find, color & lattice style, chosen.  Whew, client is a tough cookie.  My favorite type.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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pics Enclosure Take Refuge.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Front Door: Before & After


Lovely home, below, builder-special landscaping.


Page Duke: Before the landscape design

What, below, happened?

Page Duke: A Strong Landscape Focal Point

Adjusting eyeballs back into sockets, the before/after leave only questions.  Did new owners move in?  How much property for the site, for the front yard?  What does the backyard look like, too small, slope, etc?  Who's brilliant idea to treat the front yard as a back yard?  Painting the brick, yes.
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Every penny of this hardscape goes into house value.  Wooooowzzzzzza.
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Views from inside the home changed.  Lifestyle of the home changed.
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Historic garden design, nothing new.  However, totally new here.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics Page/Duke.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pots Tutorial : Site & Client Specific

My team is installing a flagstone terrace and garden I designed at this home, below.
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Home is new construction atop historic foundation.
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Clients both work, young children, pets, and shade on the front porch with moments of intense light.
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Urns, chairs, tub already on the porch.  Of course I moved everything.
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The urns, below, had been too close to the door, 'squeezing' the front door 'smaller'.
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This family is too busy to fru-fru over caretaking pots.
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Deborah Silver's urn, below, is perfect for my client's urns, above.  For scale/height I would add a tee-pee of 3 bamboo canes tied with brown twine, with matching dried vines of base wreath threading up the tee-pee.


I moved the wash tub, below, in front of their library window.  Now, a focal point inside/outside.
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With potting soil in the tub, I would set


3 terra cotta pots with ivy topiaries, below, and also,

add whimsy, with a properly scaled animal topiary, below.
 I moved the white chairs, below, in front of their dining room window.
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On each I see a large terra cotta pot filled with ivy topiary.


Especially like these 'basket' ivy topiaries with space in the center left for a plastic pot to be slipped in with a flowering plant- of- the- season.


If we can't find the ivy basket, above, perhaps the ivy topiary at her feet, below.


These flowering terra cotta pots, below, would be pretty on the chairs, but I do worry about the amount of sunlight available to keep them thriving.
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Perhaps pot them anyway, do the ivy too, and swap them as desired.

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Tiny pumpkins, matching those in the black urns, in the tub/terra cotta too.
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Notice echoes of terra cotta, ivy, seasonal across all of the containers?  Repetition.  One of the strongest elements of Garden Design.
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Tara's perfect pots?  So incredibly fabulous they can remain empty. 
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 Reading Deborah Silver recently I had a planting pot epiphany, here.  Perhaps I'm harming my spirit by ALWAYS having my pots empty.  Thank you for that, Deborah.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite yesterday, beautiful pot pics from Deborah Silver.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
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NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
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Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
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Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
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Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
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What do YOU want?
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Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
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Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blueprints for Harmonious Gardens: Ebook Download

One of my hardcover books, Beautiful by Design, was published as a paperback too, Blueprints for Harmonious Gardens.


Discovered, this morning, Blueprints for Harmonious Gardens, is an ebook download.


Download my ebook, HERE.  

Update: Ebook site proclaimed 'free', service of $3.00 to get to 'free'.  Thank you readers who sent me private notes, indeed, thank you.  
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Hardcover, top, paperback cover, bottom.
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Double axis.   In the top view you have the birdhouse- on- a- post at your back.  In the bottom view you have the statue at your back.
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DOUBLE AXIS is one of my Landscape Design inventions.
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Every focal point must have a beautiful view in its opposite direction.
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Go me.
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Now, get off the computer, and, GO YOU !
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Garden Design Class: Flow

 “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir, 1838-1914, American naturalist, author, and wilderness advocate

Arriving at jobsite yesterday morning, below.  Already knew: 3 generations, 80 - 7 mos., gather here, 400+ acres, cattle, 3 acre lake, view a mile deep from the back porch.
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Matriarch wants a new gate, below, patriarch a stone column.  Will match stones to the house, field gathered from the property, smaller stones as plinth with fieldstone topper as done a century ago.  Sourcing historic farm gates from England making every effort to keep this gate's frame & let an iron monger copy our new (old) idea.  



Do you know what an Alice In Wonderland house is?  They get bigger the closer you walk.  That's this house.
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Go slow reading this, v e r y s  l  o  w.
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What is missing, below?
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Flow.
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Cole Porter wrote about this house, don't- fence- me- in.
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Coming off the right side of the porch, I've put steps.  
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This door, below, leads to the kitchen.  What do you think I designed here?
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Seriously, design this, right now, in your head.
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From the corner of the front porch, and along the entire side of the house I've put in local gravel, 26' wide, straight to the foundation of the house.  A priority making things simple for the matriarch & matriarchs she's raised.  Aside from being historic they must unload groceries easily from their car.  


What else did I do, below?
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What would you do?
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Remember, Cole Porter.
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Have sited fieldstone steps, gathered on site, into hillside.
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More about 'exactly' where they go in another post.  Very easy, stay tuned.
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View, below, from the back porch.
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Have removed the 1st fence, not needed for cattle anymore, and put a gate, needs to be sourced, into the second, with a stile too.  A path of invitation to the lake, adding a flagstone terrace, fire ring, and Old Town canoe with tiny motor attached.


Do you see, below, Cole Porter again?  Where?
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Help, I can't get on/off the porch at the side of the house.
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At the open end of the porch, below, I have put in steps.


Fireplace, and 2 pair of French doors are inside this screened porch.
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Help, I can't get out.
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A pair of screen French doors have been designed into the far right panel, on axis with an interior pair of French doors, with stone steps.  You knew that, right?
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 You should be in the swing of this 'flow' thing.  Finish the song.
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1 thing left to do, below.
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What is it?
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A pair of steps off the left side of the front porch.
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Voila, FLOW.
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Garden design, for plants, must be vintage with no maintenance.  What do you think I did?
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Sleep on it.  Will post the plant design soon.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pics shot at the jobsite yesterday morning.
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This patriarch is one of the closest copies to John Muir I've met, though he looks exactly like Deke Slayton, who lived around the corner and my dad designed booster rockets for, with Wernher von Braun, and trained at the controls .  The matriarch?  I bow low in praise of her.  Met one of the matriarchs she produced, close to my age, at a jobsite we shared, and how I came to the work.  Matriarchs are a special love of mine.  Yet many do not produce matriarchs themselves.  Odd, yes?  When women of a certain age have not crossed into the matriarch zone it is Joseph Campbell, 'if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.'   Discovered Garden Design 'flow' at Lake Rabun, the family home I married into/out of.  Would marry that alcoholic again solely for what I learned about Garden Design at Lake Rabun.  Driven for Garden Design?  A bit.  Toss in decades of studying historic gardens across Europe.  Yes, I was anal enough to add a motor to the Old Town canoe !
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Flow is done in a Garden Design first.  Not plants.
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Please pass this post to any of your friends who are interested in Garden Design.  It's that important, aka it took me 30 years to be this simple, and sure.  And, my work for Hedgerow Farm.  

For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.