Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma: Chickens in the Storm

Power off, generator on.  Irma is here, middle rural Georgia.  Since last Thursday huge amounts of Florida traffic heading north along our country lanes.  Gas expensive since Harvey, stations here run out of gas, then have it again within 24 hours.
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Last weekend spent prepping for the storm.  Our century old pecan trees and 75 mph winds on the roof main concerns.  Pecan trees are already quaking from top/bottom in the winds, only about 45mph at present.  Each, an old soul.
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Placed huge dog crate into chicken coop yesterday, let the girls get used to it.  Water bowl wired to the side, their food/water already awaiting under the house, safe from 'critters' in a metal box.  Beloved/me just in from getting the chicks into crate, under the house snug/dry/safe.
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Their coop is sited strategically at a canopy opening amongst pecan trees.  No it wasn't easy getting their fast maneuvers into the crate.  One gust arrived and I saw the headline, Elderly Couple Dead in Chicken Coop, Chickens Survived.

This is the pic that I hope to be living one day soon.  Me and the chickens on our farm.
Pic, above, here.
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If this were my greenhouse, above, my chicks would not be allowed inside, no matter how good the photography.  My girls would have every pot knocked over/off within minutes.
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Getting ready for Irma Saturday/Sunday it was amazing to watch chickens and cats, all knew.  Hyper vigilant.  Hyper movements.  What was it they were responding to?  Air pressure?  Winds weren't bad.  Scents?
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Air in the garden is scented with the fragrance of pecan wood.  Prepping our 5 acres and ca. 1900 home I felt the house here to take care of us, and our work for the house, a gift of stewardship.  Kindred spirits with each former owner.
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Harvey came very close to my mom & sister in Houston, both remained dry, kept electricity.  Flooding on mom's block, flooding 4 blocks from sister.  Sister is in Katy, and flood waters near her not expected to go down until December.  Police & military a large presence in her area, and she's glad of it.  Gas difficult for each to find.
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And Florida.  Beloved & I have a favorite destination.  Cheap tickets on Southwest, rent a convertible, and a week in the Keys.  How else to calm the eyes/brain from designing gardens?  Beauty of the Keys, and their pace, beyond sublime.  Praying for the best in Florida, Texas, Georgia.
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Watching the pecans sway in the larger gusts from branch tips, inner branches, upper trunk, lower trunk, at the ground, sensing the roots moving just-so in a swaying waltz from ground to highest branch tips, to survive, I hear C.S.Lewis, writing of trees, and how they walk....
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"Awake.  Love.  Think.  Speak.  Be walking trees.  Be talking beasts.  Be Divine waters."
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"Look for the valleys, the green places, and fly through them.  There Will always be a way through."
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"This world is bursting with life for these few days because the song with which I called it into life still hangs in the air and rumbles in the ground. It will not be so for long. But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings. Oh, Adam's son, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!”
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C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Again, many notes/calls/texts, thank you for each.  As I am wished the best, and sent prayers, in return, you have my best wishes, prayers, love.  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Chicken Intuitive

Chickens arrived in my life, 5 birthdays ago.  Eight heirloom girls.  Green, blue, white, & brown eggs.
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Before their 1st month of life, it was obvious, I'm good with my chickens.  Intuitive.  Oddly, understanding their commands.  Until getting my girls I was a chicken virgin.
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If you understand dog/cat commands, you should probably understand chickens.  Maybe not.
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My chickens give me pleasure, daily.  Entertaining, never boring.  They're beautiful too.  Calming, like watching ocean waves.
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More, I've discovered chicken people, such as myself, overlap much in our DNA, becoming quick friends.
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It hasn't been lost on Beloved how much better I am with chickens & gardens, than a man.


BALLERINA~MOM~BLOGGER:
Pic, above, here.

After we had lunch today near our home, I did the ubiquitous, cleared Beloved's plate into napkins.  For some reason, my pleasure with his tasty crumbs, irks him no end.  "Oh, the girls love a biscuit.  Pizza is their fav, but cantaloupe....", I got the-look.  Quickly I mentioned his homemade biscuits I dole out 1/morning.  My girls truly love Beloved's homemade biscuits best, "Crumb Pecking Good", were my exact words.


chick's work is never fone.:
Pic, above, here.

Chicken, above, beautiful, and the one, below, loved well, just like my girls.

I want somebody to love me like this boy loves his chicken:
Pic, above, here.


 ....worth noting that you can get them for free from a farm i bet (they don't wait for them to molt anymore, they just get new ones):
Pic, above, here.

I don't write about 'how-to' with chickens.  Not that kind of expert.  My chickens are for my soul, teaching me all sorts of bible metaphors, in addition to their comedy routines, and pure joy.

this is exactly how I would dress to feed chickens.:

Pic, above, here.
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Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, above.  I went to Chatsworth, historic garden design study, years before having chickens.  Now, thinking, How could I not have made sure to see her chickens?
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After getting home, and giving the girls Beloved's scraps, including a bit of biscuit, proof again, Beloved's homemade biscuits are crumb pecking good.  Store bought biscuit crumbs, ignored.
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If you're thinking of getting chickens for the 1st time, my Pinterest Chicken Board has a lot of good links.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Hope you already know, The Vintage Contessa, from the top pic.  She's gardens & chickens too, along with junking, vintage clothes, Italy, her sons, her husband, etc.  From her latest post, "Then YOU have me in my CONTESSA CURTAIN COATS who at almost 57 would LOVE TO OWN a full length LEOPARD PRINT COAT!!!INstead,I have had coats made out of old curtains!!!I had the POCKETS MADE BIG to GATHER the HENS EGGS.I did not want to go down to the coop and scold myself for forgetting the basket……..you see I wander the garden in the cool summer mornings and enjoy visiting with THE GIRLS.They are always happy to see me!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The New Pet: Chickens


Before chickens, pic, below, would make me think, What a fruit loop, a simpleton.
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After having chickens, I see the pic, below, and know the bond.  So what, best thing ever, being a fruit loop simpleton for chickens.

Fun ANTIQUE PHOTO of Gramps holding his Prized by vintagewarehouse, $3.50:
Pic, above, here.

Did she walk to town with her chicken on a string, below, for company?  Was she bringing it to give to a friend?  Had she sold it to someone?  Was she like Beatrix Potter and took her chicken everywhere?
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With a proper coop, chickens are easy to caretake.  What they give in return is beyond measure.  Aside from calming to watch & hear, chickens are hilarious.  My favorite heirloom chics are the Plymouth Rock and Barred Rock.  Both about as smart as a smart cat.

Paris Robert Doisneau:
Pic, above, here.
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Beloved gave me 8 chics, less than a week old, over 4 years ago for my birthday.  Best present ever.  He thinks it's about his worst gift ever.  Mr. Jealous, 'You take better care of those chickens than you do of me.', I said, "Can't help it if I'm better with chickens than men."  Beloved went no further, he's living the truth.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Siting the Chicken Coop

Only yesterday, did I decide exactly where to build the Chicken Coop.  Chics are in temporary quarters since we moved in a year ago.
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It's style is predestined with our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Two existing sheds, about as old as the house will be copied.  Strong consistent winds dictate which wall will be solid, I want a door to the run, and a door at the front.  Inside the coop I want a small 'keeping' room for supplies and a couple of chairs, and another door into the coop.
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I could say the Keeping room is for ease of caretaking, true, but it's also for me, in winter, perhaps to have lunch with my girls.  Chickens never bore me, they are too funny.  I enjoy their company.

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Pic, above, here.

Told Beloved the new Chicken Coop finally had a site.  Got that rooster look from him.  Walked him to the grand allee, for the new Chicken Coop.  Poor Rooster, he had to agree, beyond perfect.  The site is shaded, close'ish to the house, not directly under pecan tree branches, doesn't flood or retain muddy soil.

 chickens:

Pic, above, here.

I knew nothing about chickens, until Beloved gave me 8 heirloom chicks less than a week old, along with a coop/run, for my birthday 4 years ago.  Several clients had chickens, and I adored being around their chickens.  Enough 2nd hand enjoyment I knew I wanted my own.  Oddly, once I had my chics, it was totally moth to a flame.
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My collection of vintage garden books is extensive.  Finally, having chickens, I went back through them for any mention of chics, none.  How odd.  Chickens are so good for a landscape.  Mine are not free range, I scoop the poop in the coop, tossing it new somewhere each day.
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Chickens are calming, the way they walk, move their head, and their sounds.  That's their allure, to me, they are so funny, and calming.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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When I realized where the new chicken coup must be sited, I thought, Duh !  When I showed Beloved, it was hilarious, he had that same look, Duh !

Monday, July 18, 2016

How Chickens Came to be Garden Designers

Notice the small evergreen hedging, below, along the gravel?  Thought low hedging was done as a garden design element, in the beginning, as in at least before the era of Christ, literally.  Then, I had a client with a cutting garden.  I did the classic potager shapes, large boxwoods at all the corners, brick edging, gravel paths, but no low hedging, wanted it easy to walk into for cutting flowers.  Unfortunately, it was easy for the chickens to walk into also.  Where was the best place on the chickens 300 acre farm to scratch & kick & toss dirt onto gravel paths?  The decision to hedge-in the cutting garden beds was made and planted.  It worked, chickens don't walk into the cutting garden beds anymore.  And, we had a good laugh, realizing where the garden design conceit came from, boxing-in plantings with low hedges.

vignette design:

Pic, above, here.
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An odd thing about chickens and old gardens, are old garden books.  In all my years collecting old garden books, none write about chickens in the garden.  Interesting.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, April 13, 2015

Leaving a Garden


Why pics in my garden are not perfect, but better.  It's more important for you to see, 'real'.  Why?  You must be able to walk into your garden, any day of the year, and be able to take a roll of 36 slides, each worthy of a magazine cover.  A major national magazine.  Allowing for a bit of primping, those pics must be worthy of an international book cover.
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Ready to play in my league?
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This morning, below, shot less than 5 minutes ago.  Walking to give the chickens a treat.




Stewardship of this garden began, horrendously, ignorant of stewardship.  Waiting for denial to pass, decades, Providence, nevertheless, allowed the garden to steward me.
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This is where I fly.
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Terrible phone conversation last nite with my sister.  Selling my home after 30 years, she asked, "Will you dig up all your plants and put in grass?"
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No, I responded, simply.
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If the next owner wishes to, that is their privilege.
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Here, this spot in my garden, pics above/below, a double axis, same path shot from opposite directions.  Merely 1 pivot point in my garden where I find relationship to Earth, myself, others, Providence, stewardship.  The more you go inward the more you outwardly connect.
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Lawn?  Fertilizers, weed killers, fungicides, all toxic to the water supply & mychorizzal fungi, earthworms, pollinators.  Mowing, watering, no shading of the house in summer.  Wrapping little strips of green meatballs and dead mulch.  High maintenance, literally, and figuratively.


More, my sister chastised me deeply for where I will be moving.  I listened, not responding.
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I am moving into my beliefs.  Yoked tightly with Providence.  Flying.  Ships were not built for harbor.  Sailing.
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"But here’s the deal: I know that life is an inexorable pull toward love, beauty, passion, delight, longing, disquiet, hunger, wildness, appetite, generosity, compassion, creativity and hope in a future beyond our limited present. "  Terry Hershey

A story from Terry Hershey,  " His dream started when he was in college. Jeffrey Coale wanted to own a restaurant. Training in cooking and restaurant management helps, but so does money. So Jeffrey Coale went at it methodically. He worked for a number of years as a government bond trader on Wall Street. At night, he attended classes at the French Culinary Institute.  He quit trading and took a job as an apprentice chef at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Next, he returned to New York to work at the Alain Ducasse restaurant. Wanting to refine his understanding of the wine side of the business, he then took a dream job as an assistant wine master at Windows on the World, at the top of the World Trade Center North Tower, in August, 2001.  Meanwhile, Mr. Coale, 31, sifted around for a location for his restaurant. He had looked at several properties in Greece and New York.
“He left really good money to make $10 an hour at Windows,” said Leslie Brown, his sister. “But Jeff never settled for something. He always followed his passion.”
Jeffrey died on 9/11.
Tragedy? Yes.
Someone wrote that there are many tragedies in life, but dying young while living a passionate life is not one of them. As Paul Harvey would say, “here’s the rest of the story…” After Jeffrey’s death, reflecting on that devotion, two friends switched to jobs that better suited their own true interests. Two other friends broke off unsatisfying relationships. In memory of Mr. Coale, they are going to follow their passions.
Maybe that’s where we get stuck. We’ve been invited to fly… but somewhere along the way we’ve been told that…
…we are not enough
…we are small and not sufficiently gifted
…we are carried by the winds of public opinion
…our identity is owned by shame
…we owe it to someone to be perfect
…we seem at the mercy of our grief or our rage"  Terry Hershey
.  Packing & staging & taking loads to the thrift store, in my library, I pulled yet another book for thrift store.  Bought years ago from the same thrift store, bag-of-books-$1, I hadn't read it.  The author's name popped, Terry Hershey.  Reading it now.
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In the coop, below, this morning.  After the massacre a couple of months ago 4 heirloom chickens remain, below, Alpha girl, marmalade, and her side kick Beta.  Horrifically injured during the massacre, I don't know why they survived, to thrive.  More, Alpha girl taught me a few things about alpha's. Gravely injured, 'alpha-dom' must be-will be maintained.  Body language, eye language, attitude kept Alpha girl alpha.  Unless I had witnessed this libretto I would not have believed it.

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 "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."
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My Camelot, my garden, is within.  It travels with me.
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Yes, there is grief in this particular layer.  Deep.  Enough to keep me from flying?  Hardly.  Not flying would be fear.  Consistent foe, I've learned to silence, with a simple question, 'What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid?'
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I first sought a beautiful garden, a place of grace & atonement.  More was given, than sought.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Lawn?  Too lazy for lawn & selfish.  My hunt is beauty.  Oh my, the riches of this hunt.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Garden Design: How to Handle the Car/Driveway

Beloved accuses me of being too wildly appreciative of the simplest elements of life.  Therein lies my wealth, is my response.
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Since the chicken coop massacre, a month ago, the pair of profoundly wounded hens are healing well. But, cannot get to their roost at dark.  Every evening I lift my girls to their roost.  This task enriches my soul beyond measure.  Merely thinking, 'I need to go lift my girls', as the chiaroscuro of dusk goes entirely black, makes my day.
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I keep a journal of pairs of words, and have begun noticing pictures insert themselves as pairs.  The latter due to Pinterest, for sure.  Favorite Pinteresting spot?  Claw foot tub, glass of wine, Pinteresting on my large galaxy note, cat sleeping nearby.  Ridiculous, my bad, told myself when the tub was put in a few years ago, 'no technology - only books.'  Lost the battle, joined the winner.


image

New landscape, above, with an old soul.  Adored, immediately, eyes locked/loaded, the car entry.  A lot of challenges in this landscape, myriad.  Each solution, a winner.  Why the car entry, so much?  Its location, scale, needs, necessities are each diminished, in abeyance to greater drama/importance, the front door.  Owner/designer got every layer right, including the 1st layer, William Morris's, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."   "The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
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I must know who you are at the curb.  Want to see, above, their interiors, art, books on the shelves, colors....  Garden design, above, is as beautiful in winter as summer/spring/fall.  Low maintenance & eco.

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This garden, above, honors the car gods, and slab-of-concrete-god.  Parking court reigns supreme.  Front door?  Welcome, ye car.  Welcome, people?  When the annuals die, shrubs stop blooming, what's left?  
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There is power in awakening to,  "...genuine interest in all the details of daily life."  Aside from increasing property value, decreasing HVAC costs, above, this homeowner will have less stress/frustration with caretaking their landscape and increased pleasure/calm/peace/atonement once the epiphany arrives, my garden needs to be ME.
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An afternoon Garden Design class, using only these two pics, is enough.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Top pic, Cote de Texas.  Bottom pic, here.
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Bottom pic is common USA landscape story.  House built, builder landscape, keep for decades, done.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Of Chickens & Caretakers of Charlie Hebdo Victims


Last Wednesday, a massacre in my chicken coop.  Neighbor's dogs already drawing blood, and death, by the time I arrived.
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DNA takes over when you come upon a bear while walking in the woods, and during a chicken massacre.  In my experience.
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Screaming.  8 days later my voice still not good.
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Blessedly the dogs owner heard, ran, helped.  With character & integrity.  


He helped gather the dead.  And wounded.

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Wednesday was the Paris massacre too.  Gathering coop debris Thursday evening, still seeing where dead chickens lay, feathers now in hand, how could this be dead people with families, friends, lives?
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This chore, a fragment of the gift of stewardship, made me aware of and pray for those caretaking the dead and wounded in the Charlie Hebdo office.
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A headline arrived about those caretakers.  A police commissioner, after meeting with family of a Charlie Hebdo victim, committed suicide.


Less than 1/4 acre, in a subdivision of tightly packed houses, these pics are my home.  Where my garden begins.
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Garden views reign at every window.  Imperative, and non-negotiable.  Thirty years building, garden paths, terraces, conservatory, potager, ponds, chicken coop, plantings blooming every day of the year, and etc.
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Three years ago, chickens arrived.  The goal was to enjoy their calm sounds & movements, marvel at their beauty, then, processing.  Instead, they taught me how smart chickens are, and human-like in their behaviors of hierarchy.  Who knew they would make me laugh, daily?    Plus, egg ministry.  Ridiculous, it's fun giving eggs away.  How wonderful my garden soil would be if it had had chicken poop for 3 decades instead of 3 years.
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Without effort, these chicks humbled me in arenas I did not know existed.  They gave something no garden, no garden writer, no garden speaker, no garden classes, no horticulture degree, no garden book, no PBS garden show, no garden center, no garden website, no garden blog, no garden Youtube, no garden Facebook wall, even hinted toward,  Stewardship.
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Until chickens, as enriching as my garden was, it was merely amusement compared to stewardship.
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Amusement with my garden felt like going to church, tacking onto its religion, reading the bible, making strong efforts to become spiritually filled.  Stewardship, gives hints at hearing the author of the bible, knowing Nature as the 'written' structure of Providence.   And the spiritual well?  Filled beyond measure, without effort.
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Wendell Berry has written of stewardship in essays, poetry, fiction, for decades.
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Stewardship cannot be given.  But, like Tasha Tudor chose for her motto, she read in a poem, Take Joy,  Stewardship is there to be taken.  Whenever you are ready.  Stewardship is far more than caretaking chickens or a garden.  It is metaphor.


What does stewardship mean to you?

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I settled for amusement with my garden, not knowing there was more.
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Stewardship.  You have it for your own life, whether you think so, or not.
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Great amusement in knowing my chickens gave me stewardship.  Greater thanks in the depth of the gift.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Do you know what processing a chicken means?  Killing & eating.  Never named my chicks, knowing I was a tough girl and would process them.  Of course those thoughts were toast long ago.  
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Alpha Girl has major physical trauma but is eating, pooping, alert, and I'm hand feeding.  Yesterday she pushed away, in her total alpha girl 'attitude', another chick.  Of course I had to tell Beloved how noble Alpha Girl is and I could only wish to be as noble in a tough situation.
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Beloved tried to remain speechless at this new fact about chickens.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How to Keep Chickens Out of the Cutting Garden


Cloudy, cold, one of the coldest days, so far, this year, yesterday, and at a jobsite in the windiest county of the state.
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A thousand daffodil bulbs needed sighting, and design ideas for directing guests to the front door instead of their preferred choice, the back door.


In the cutting garden, above/below.  Last year we realized the chickens won, and we had to consider how to keep them out.
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Ironically, the solution was not a first thought.
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And, the solution made us laugh out loud.
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The solution is the evergreen hedging you see, above/below.
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Laughter at ourselves, thinking for decades, low evergreen hedging was an 'aesthetic' design choice from Williamsburg, VA,  England, and etc....
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Wrongo buckaroos.  And not merely a 'little' wrong either !


For centuries the low evergreen hedging has been used to keep chickens out.  Aka, survival.
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Daffodil foliage is coming up, above, however patches of several thousand daffodils in the front garden are not showing a single daffodil spear tip.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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From childhood, this client & I shared something beyond our control.  Something this quote, below, captures perfectly.  Yes, I sent it to her when I found it.
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We had to create our own way.  Parenting during formative years forced it.
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Stay determined, my friends.
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Instead of anger, Providence gave us hearts wanting accomplishment.  And the accomplishment of our friends.  Benevolence.
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Knowing to be part of the pack, for our friends.
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Being thrown to the wolves, more than once, has been the best thing ever.
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With my girlfriends, who have survived, to thrive, being thrown to the wolves, whatever table we sit at, is the cool chicks table. WE like us !

Monday, December 22, 2014

Take Two Hikes and Call me in the Morning: Nature Deficit Disorder

A client, late 40's, lived in a gated community of very-nice-homes, had a lake house too, and traveled the globe for pleasure.
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Her husband thriving in his job, her children matriculating successfully through education & life.
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All in good health.
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Yet, something in her spirit was not fed.  A major narrative not written, and she knew it.  Worse, she felt it.
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Unhappiness, one of life's greatest teachers, gave her intuitive listening and action skills.  Lake house needed to be sold and the gated community had to be left.
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Farm house, acreage, woodlands, meadows, barns, spoke, and bought.  Immediately, heirloom livestock, and pre-industrial methods of land management emanated from spirals deep within her DNA.
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They were there, abiding, always.  Contemporaneously, her intuitive sense of abiding became a tidal wave of choice,    
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From childhood, Nature, spoke to my spirit, of course I thought it spoke to everyone.  Wrong.  Unhappiness came earlier to me, than my client, above, infertility, loss of family, alcoholic spouse, youthful expectations that I needed to please those close to me, yet hearing/feeling the need for atonement.     
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I began to create a garden.
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Atonement found.
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Miss Abiding & Miss Atonement have learned more together, than ever they could individually.  Detect the Jane Austen quality of this particular section of narrative?
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Strong matriarchal women, we find laughter in this ironic gift from Providence.
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Where is this going?  Where are you in this?
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Your DNA was formed in combination with Nature too.
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Science is catching up to what too few have found due to unhappiness.  
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How the mind processes information in Nature vs. man made culture is profound.  
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Regions of the brain working on your life/work issues in silent thought while you think of other things are different depending upon if you are walking in Nature or a city.  Science.
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Light, for an easy, and odd, example.  Did you know reading a book by Nature's light is processed in one brain region, and reading a computer screen without Nature's light is processed in a different region of the brain?  Which region do you trust most with your memories?  Not hypothetical, pure science.
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Real estate costs more at the shore of lakes, rivers, oceans.  Why?  Chemistry.  Your body is mostly water and when it is near large bodies of water the ions in the water molecules start pulling pleasantly towards each other.  Science.
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Children raised on farms acquire gut bacteria preventing them  having more health issues than those raised in suburbs or cities.  If children live on farms to about age 10 those good health effects are life long.  Science.
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A science study put a control group of people to walk in a city, another, to walk in the woods.  White blood cell counts, which help fight infection, were statistically higher for those waking in the woods.  Scientific conclusion?  Plants must be emitting a wavelength we absorb thru the skin.  



Take Two Hikes and Call me in the Morning, recently in Digg, mentions Nature Deficit Disorder, 


Learned Helplessness, is a horrible inheritance from one generation to another.  Worse, you don't know you have it.  Until epiphany.  Betty Friedan wrote of what she 'saw', The Feminine Mystique, but I'm a child of one those women and living the results.  My strangest epiphany came with having chickens.  Never been around chickens, until I had clients with chickens.  Decades of gardening, personally/professionally, did not prepare me for what my chickens taught.
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Until the chickens my gardening was for pleasure.  My chickens arrived less than a week old, it didn't take long for them to be old enough for their chinoiserie style coop/run.  Once in their coop, my gardening was forever changed, from amusement, to stewardship.
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How could I know settling for amusement was paltry?  Stewardship, rich.
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My grandmother could run a farm, raise livestock, harvest, kill, preserve, cook, sew.  While being active in her church and civic duties.  She received a 4 year nursing degree, did graduate work in New York and settled into Augusta, GA for her full time job at a hospital as head nurse.  She was the last of USA's agrarian culture.  Without which learned helplessness creeps.
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Washington Post, review of,

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation

           " In this lively and deeply researched history, Andrea Wulf (best known for her prize-winning chronicle of 18th-century English gardening, “The Brother Gardeners”) examines the botanical pursuits of America’s first four presidents. Those men were, it turns out, obsessive gardeners, but gardening was much more than a preoccupying hobby. It was central to their vision of the American republic. Jefferson and Co. believed that the agrarian life would safeguard the new republic’s virtue and that the future of America lay with the independent farmer. As Washington summed up, “Our welfare and prosperity depend upon the cultivation of our lands.”
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Selfishly, I wish Andrea Wulf would write about Abigail Adams.  She, and her husband had no slaves.  She was alone much of her marriage and farmed the land, successfully, while raising a family, many years as a single woman, and political adviser to her husband.


Notice the scale, below.  Often I design this intimacy in landscapes.


From, Take Two Hikes and Call Me in the Morning, "Natural spaces, on the other hand, engage our “involuntary attention.” On a hiking trail your attention flits to different spots like the birds flying by—to the tree bark, the blue sky, the leaves on the ground. Paying attention to these sights requires little effort on our part, making it less demanding, and providing a break for our minds. The respite seems to be part of why we find nature relaxing. Indulging our involuntary attention is in fact one of the best ways to treat attention fatigue."  
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 Working with Nature, for decades, I know to trust Providence.  Need to find a solution to work, family, life, health choices/issues?  I form the question, in detail, within my mind, go into my garden or walk around Stone Mountain, for an hour, totally letting go of the question.  At the end of my time with Nature, there is an answer to the question.  Most often, it's an action step answer.  Sometimes, the answer is, take-more-time-in-Nature.  
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The last fact is scary to some.  When I don't take time for the right choices, it becomes lizard brain thinking.  Years of support group therapy for those with family/friends who are alcoholic, gave me valuable insights.  First, 'Don't force a solution.'  Aka, don't make choices based on fear.


Have you already 'seen' my joy at playing with the words, 'Nature', and, 'Science'?


Don't care about the science or Nature?
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Easy answer, in Nature's favor.
Money.
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Created properly your landscape can shade your home in summer, reduce cold winter winds, and let the sun help heat your home in winter.  Maintenance issues can be reduced from weekly to monthly, even bi-monthly.  A proper landscape, and soil preparation, needs no fertilizer or chemicals, and little to no watering once established.  Instead of ornamental trees, fruit trees add to grocery savings, and health.  Well landscaped homes sell faster, and for more money.  
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I use Nature as George Washington, John Adams......  What other choice?  The Big Box garden center?  The neighborhood Home Owner's Assoc?  Monsanto?  Even the Extension Service is agriculturally complicit with industrial farming.  Accepting success by the ton & dollars made.  Not  families making a livelihood and their communities built and thriving upon them.  Wendell Berry, (“True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.”),writes about farming for the success of your soul, the land, people, cities, & country, in great wisdom, for decades.  
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Wendell Berry,   "Works of pride, by self-called creators, with their premium on originality, reduce the Creation to novelty — the faint surprises of minds incapable of wonder.
Pursuing originality, the would-be creator works alone. In loneliness one assumes a responsibility for oneself that one cannot fulfill.
Novelty is a new kind of loneliness.

Wendell Berry (Photograph: Guy Mendes)
There is the bad work of pride. There is also the bad work of despair — done poorly out of the failure of hope or vision.
Despair is the too-little of responsibility, as pride is the too-much.
The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.
For despair there is no forgiveness, and for pride none. Who in loneliness can forgive?
Good work finds the way between pride and despair.
It graces with health. It heals with grace.
It preserves the given so that it remains a gift.
By it, we lose loneliness:
we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance,
and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of life, who move also in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in fragments."
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 To attain knowledge add things every day.
To attain wisdom subtract things every day.
— Lau Tzo.
All pics, Pinterest.  If you aren't doing Pinterest, please consider it.  If you are reading this I KNOW what you curate on Pinterest boards will teach & inspire me greatly.

 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.


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?
.
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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Details of Design


Home for shelter, pastures for livestock, hedgerows/ornamentals for pollinators, walled gardens for fruit/vegetables, aesthetics for spirit.
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A living, given from the land.  


Touring a similar garden in France many years ago I had to ask the head gardener what he meant, "At times there were only subsistence gardeners here."
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Portions of history, so dire, laborers were paid in food.  Living the best they could in the woods.
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Approaching this type of garden, above, from a 'fat' country, and time, in the T.E. Lawrence sense of the word, I did not see its lessons.
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Walled gardens produce earlier & later than Nature allows, keeps wildlife/livestock out, and thieves.
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Box hedging outside the garden walls keeps chickens out.
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Pretty flowers?  Sure, planted to be pretty, yet this reason is from a 'fat' intellect.  Which was mine, until epiphany.  
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Those pretty flowers increase crop/fruit yields by 80%.  
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Suddenly, what had been merely, 'pretty', is seen as truth, 'survival'.
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And, imagine all the lovely compost, produced on site, returning into the land.
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Providence, creator of the 1st organic machine.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pic via Pinterest.
.
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.