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

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.
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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.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Best Garden Design Ideas

The best garden design ideas are simple.  And have been done for thousands of years.
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No worries, ever, about copying them.
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Each site is unique.
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Any garden design idea you choose to copy will be original and fresh in your garden.
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Focal point on axis with backdrop, below.
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With greater surprise as the garden is walked, there are more axis on this focal point, below.



Same table, above/below, as yesterday's post.
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Except shot from different axis.



Backdrop hedges are as important as the focal point and axis.
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Without the backdrop hedges you would see a mash-up of other garden rooms.
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Gardens must have mystery.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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I didn't want to copy pretty gardens when I got out of college.  I wanted to be unique.  Those unique efforts created cringe worthy gardens.  Aside from ugly, they cost money, and the worst loss, TIME.  No one can buy more time.
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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
.
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.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Garden Design: Beautiful Gardens are in Trinities

Watching a TV cooking show, many years ago, one of my most important Garden Design epiphanies.
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Creating magic, the chef said, "I'm using the trinity of Cajun cooking."
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EXACTLY.
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Tara's Trinity of the Southern Garden: Azaleas, Camellias, Hydrangeas.  Tara's Trinity of _______, became a lecture title.  And great handout.
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Beware, this trinity, below, is not for amateurs.  Yet, one of the easiest Garden Design Trinities accomplished.
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Garden path flanked with an entryway pair leading to a backdrop, below.


Keeping my feet planted, below, I've turned the camera to the left 2 inches.  The pot, above, at left, is the same pot, below.


Still keeping my feet planted, I've turned my camera to the right 2 inches, below.  Potted plant, below, is the same plant, top pic, at the right.


What is this Garden Design Trinity?  Trinity Axis: Backdrop, Living Room, Dining Room.
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Literally, interior architecture & interior design turned into Garden Design.
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Creating entries, hallways, parlors, etc 'outside' is one of my favorite things to do during the walk/talk phase of Garden Design.  Watching  owner's faces, 'see'.  Especially if they've lived in their home a long time.
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Best Garden Design Trinity to know?  You must choose a color theme, green-brown-white, is the enduring winner.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Shot the pics last month.  Have another axis shot for you from this same spot, stay tuned.
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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
.
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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Garden Design Ideas: Double Axis

Garden Design is almost a features game.  A template of features show up in every good garden for over 10,000 years.  Literally.
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Focal point on axis, below.



Focal point on axis, below.


When the same focal point is viewed in 2 axis you have a Double Axis.
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You must have Double Axis with your Garden Design.
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At a minimum.
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But don't stop there.  Sissinghurst Castle has a male nude statue on axis from 5 main views.
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Do the math, that's 10 axis views.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Slow down, go back to the 10,000 year remark.  Why did I put it in?
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A little point made, you will not recreate the wheel.  Instead drive the known wheel, make it travel where you want.  That, alone, is enough to keep you occupied for a lifetime.  
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I shot the pics last month.  

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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Place Focal Points Like Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst

You must see the table + 2 chairs the way I first saw them, below.  Hidden amongst the boxwood parterre.



Walking a bit further, along the front garden's main central axis, below, a hint.


Walking toward this wickedly sited subsidiary focal point, below.



  Walking toward the home and old millstone table, below.


 Walking away from the home, the impromptu trinity of furniture in the garden, below.


Here's the deal with well sited focal  focal points.
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The more axis a focal point has, the better the focal point.
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There is more detail about this in one of my books.
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This isn't something you learn in school or a symposium lecture.
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You learn it studying the best historic gardens across the globe.
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For decades.
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I have a favorite, easy, multiple axis design.
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Works every time.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken this week.  Same garden as previous post.   Remember, the more axis a focal point has the better the focal point.
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Sissinghurst has a naked man statue, on plinth, with 5 axis.
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Hello, I was awake & got the epiphany.
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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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Design Your Landscape --The Ultimate Guide

Lush in early summer, minimalist during winter.
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Views into the home considered, views from home into the garden considered.
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Canopy trees, walls of plantings, flooring with plantings - gravel.  Within this trinity are contrasting foliage textures, contrasting foliage sizes, contrasting foliage colors, a color theme, repetition, focal points, subsidiary focal points, pots so fabulous they can remain empty,  pots/focal points so fabulous they will be fought over at your estate sale, use of plinths for proper heights with urns, backdrop of the home included, color echoes of flowers to paint color on home, repetition of color on iron pieces fence-downspout-lighting-trellis-arms of bench,  seating with arms & back tall enough to rest the head/nap, transition zones from formal to wild wood, house/garden have a vanishing threshold, maximum pollinator habitat with its high density/low density,  ornamental plantings increasing potager yields up to 80%, sensory delights with visual-fragrance-sound of birds & wind thru foliage - foot upon gravel, historic-a template older than CE.


I see an entire Landscape Design course in this picture.  What do you see?
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Name it to claim it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic via Pinterest, here.
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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.

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Ways to Get Subsidiary Focal Points Right

Not a focal point, below, but a grand subsidiary focal point.
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Garden Design Rule: One Focal Point per Area.
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Not my rule, but agreed to.
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What to do?  Invent another rule.
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Focal Points are allowed subsidiary focal points nearby if they recede, touch foliage, don't draw attention.   Can be numerous if properly chosen & sited.
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Focal Points & Subsidiary Focal Points must both be so wonderful they will be fought over at your estate sale.


Pots must be so wonderful they can remain empty.  This young man, above, has dead plantings and he's fabulous.
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More, he flows with the style of the home's interior.
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Dogs, 3 young children, parents each own a business, they have farm property nearby, and a lake house.
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Get the picture?  Zero time for the garden.

Designing for women 80+, taught me how to truly design with tough love.  A huge honor, and weight.  They demand beauty, must have unskilled labor to maintain & little of it, something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, focal points on axis from inside views into the garden.  Nothing can go wrong with the garden.  Nothing.  Health issues arise, the house needs a new roof, a toilet floods.  If the garden has issues, they may decide to move.  It is my goal, their garden gives strength & joy to carry on in their home.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic this week in a client garden.
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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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elements of Simplicity in Garden Design


Plain?  No, totally designed.
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 Embellishment?  Why?  What is that about?  Lack of confidence, knowledge of the wrong sort, arrogance against Providence?

 Tara Turf.  Gravel from the local river.
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Century old bricks made in Milledgeville, GA, an hour's drive.
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I designed the buttress copying an antebellum cotton warehouse seen near Atlanta.
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The walled garden was the client's idea.  
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It was my good fortune to design & site it.
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Oddly, with total confidence.
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Whence does that come?  Truly, a subdivision child ca. 1960, living in a subdivision still.
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Degreed in USA horticulture, not taught how to  design a good garden to save anyone's soul.  Much less my own.
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Off I went, $20 bills stuffed singly & slowly, somehow paying for 2+ decades of studying the best historic gardens across Europe.
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With this project, 300 acres, I learned what the real focus of those decades had been. 


Garden design working with land & home.
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More, mind/body/spirit.
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Land & home, team members with the garden design.  Literally, the best performers with the most talent.
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That college degree in horticulture?  Training to work against the land, ignore every gift of Providence.


Doubt any of my college professors could give a concise sentence about the style of Henry Repton.  In, "Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Repton wrote:
“The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the four following requisites. First, it must display the natural beauties and hide the defects of every situation. Secondly, it should give the appearance of extent and freedom by carefully disguising or hiding the boundary. Thirdly, it must studiously conceal every interference of art. However expensive by which the natural scenery is improved; making the whole appear the production of nature only; and fourthly, all objects of mere convenience or comfort, if incapable of being made ornamental, or of becoming proper parts of the general scenery, must be removed or concealed”.
The garden views, above/below, totally designed.  Providence reigns, human arrogance replaced with a pride in unveiling Nature's gifts.


Henry would know this garden.
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Beyond the Tara Turf, above, is my best design work.  Views across a Natural pasture into woodland.  .
Curiously, this type of gardening is perfect for the starter home on a postage stamp with little budget.  Instead, that type of home is built with an expensive landscape.  Lawn with mowing/chemicals/fertilizers, bushes needing regular pruning & mulching, nothing to shade the house reducing hvac, nor fruit trees to feed the household, certainly not any focal points on axis with the house to feed the spirit.
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Truth, with your full intellect, if you demand more from your landscape you will have it.
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By the time anyone hires me, that choice has been made.  Incredible to work for people who have engaged with their own lives.  Same, when I lecture.  Every chair filled with people who have engaged with their life.  They aren't there for me, nor am I, we are there for the same reason as Henry.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite earlier this year.
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The capitalized words? Used in the vintage sense.  Underlined sentence at the top?  Describing myself on the front end.  This has not been a boring ride !
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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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Site the Perfect Backyard Fire Ring

Fabulous begins here, below.  Alas, merely a few minutes old.  Mulch, literally a dead brown color, is prominent while evergreen groundcover, dots of green below, grow into a mass sheet of lush green.
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Slope is nice, not long.  Did you notice the trick creating greater drama & depth?
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Steps lead from wider to narrower.  
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Steps are pre-cut, cheaper to install than natural fieldstones.
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Fire ring with circle of Adirondack chairs.  A no-brainer siting the fire ring on axis with the steps.  
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Chairs are new, curing, and will be stained  to flow with color choices from the home's colors.
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More, this is a double axis.


Looking back at the house, below, the steps & fire ring are sited on axis with the gable's peak.

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Landscape design is not voodoo or what feels 'fun' or includes 'stuff' just-because-you-can-afford/rescue-it, but a true science, with sprinkles of art.
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From your home's architecture most landscape design flows.
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The house dictates, then land, then distance from the house aka 'use', then sun/shade.
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When this garden, above, is ready for entertaining how many guests will realize the myriad layers of thought about the steps or siting the fire ring or choosing color for the Adirondack chairs?  Doesn't matter, they will know it 'feels' right.
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Often enough, true geometry for axis siting cannot be done due to 'blah-blah'.  Surprise, faux geometry works.
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Notice where the Adirondack chairs are sited, in addition to circling the fire ring?
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Perfect distance for resting the feet on the fire ring stones.
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Yes, made the clients sit with me & my general contractor and we adjusted the chairs.  Of course the rest of the team was working/digging/installing irrigation and see us sitting with our feet propped up !  
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Love my job.
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Another design element, fire ring stones are unmortared fieldstones.  Wanted the contrast of rustic, at this distance, to the formality of the home.
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This rustic-ness an element of the 'poverty cycle'.  Studying the best historic gardens across the globe for decades it is obvious which elements are consistent in each.  And, the poverty cycle is one of those elements.
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Neo-similar to Temple Grandin, I pay attention deeply to patterns in visuals of good gardens.
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If you haven't seen the movie about Temple put it in your queue.  Amazing, and humbling, learning from another so different from oneself.

Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Took the pics at a job site this spring.  When is siting a fire ring not about merely siting a fire ring?  Always.   
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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.