Showing posts with label Color. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Color. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Before/After: Color

Charming before/after, below.  Don't know any details about the home, purchased to live in, bought to flip, perhaps a new owner knows they will only live in the house 4-5 years max, and the budget had to go into new wiring, plumbing, septic, windows, floors, kitchen.
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Without primping, the house has great bones.
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Pic, above, here.
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Notice the fascia boards at roof's edge, above.  Painted dark, they lift upward visually, into the roof, giving greater height to the house from the ground.  Always adore making this change.  And, the gutters are dark too.  Perfect choices.
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Another height altering paint/color technique, with a home at this scale, above, paint the gable the same color as the walls.  Nothing to 'pull down' the height, a pure line of color rising up.  Two colors, at this scale, makes the gable look  more 'squat'.
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The white windows are probably vinyl and not easily painted, or painting them would invalidate a warranty.  If this is the issue, and those windows were being chosen now, choose almond vinyl not white.  White windows, above, are jumping forward, instead of calmly receding, and looking larger.
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Great choice replacing the front door, depth of character.
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In addition, at the front door, swap the square post, for a round post, greater contrast with all the square lines of the house, and new post about 25% larger in scale.
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Opening the front door zone further, remove the side rails, wrap the steps around the entire front door landing.  Reuse the handrail at the angle where the new steps 'turn' from the front.  Now, the front door zone is scaled to a focal point welcome, not merely a small niche along the front facade of the home.
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Changing the front door steps, the curbed garden edging will need to be changed. And, the stone walk must be enlarged to create a landing at the steps.
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Another before/after, below, using color as their best tool.
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Curb Appeal before & after! Wow! Properly matching the door style to the architecture of your home..."good doors done right" :) by leona
Pic, above, here.
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Won't mention, above, landscape plantings, it's the colors used in the 'after' drawing delight.  'After', the foundation uses colors from the house, to the ground, making the house recede, appear larger, and creating flow from the house to the ground.  Keeping the house the focal point, not the foundation.
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Bright colors on foundations too often accentuate the foundation, not the house.
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Another bit of fabulous flow, above, the new entry from the sidewalk, up the steps, to the house.  No longer must you enter the house from a service court, now you can enter the house via the garden.
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 #BeforeAfter Restoring a Queen Anne Bungalow in Atlanta | #primaedopo
Pic, above, here.
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Another before/after, above.
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Porch rails, top pic, probably not original to the home, yet added not long after construction.  Have seen those exact metal pole rails used across Georgia at many historic homes.  Not good if you have children/grandchildren.  Nor if you're selling your home and the buyer uses a VA loan.  VA loans require modern safety/efficiency layers for approval.
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We made an offer on our ca. 1900 home within hours of touring.  Another family made an offer a few days later, VA loan.  Our lucky day.  We love our front porch, still historically accurate, no rails.
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The porch, above, would look a bit larger, in the 'after', if the rails were painted the same color as the foundation.  In addition, the fence/gate to the left of the home, above, stained same color as the brick columns, will extend the architecture of the home.
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Plantings, above, I would move to the slope and add more plants, creating a hedge from sidewalk to crest of hill, growing no taller than the porch rail.  Why?  Add privacy to front porch, yet keeping visibility outward to neighbors, trees, and without seeing parked/moving cars, and the road.  More importantly, creating the hedge closer to the road blocks many toxins cars spew.
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Rubber crumb, from tires, used to make mulch, is toxic to soil, ground water, and above certain temp turns into fumes absorbed thru our skin.  And that's merely one layer of toxicity from cars.
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Lastly, above, painting gutter/fascia boards at the roof line, the same color as the foundation, will make the roof rise taller, and settle the house into the landscape vs. currently jumping forward in the landscape, similar to the painting of the fascia in the top pic.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Appreciate the thought going into each of the renovations, above.  Every thought = $$$, both in renovation expense or sales price or rental income.  In addition to the joy of living in the homes.  Alas, landscaping always last on the budget list, literally.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Gardening for February: Choose Spring/Summer Colors

Oh YES, below.  Monochrome.  More, big pot.  Hopefully with drip irrigation.  Big pots are big on statement, with little effort.  Small pots?  Dinky is Stinky, worse, too much maintenance. 
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February's Gardening, choose color/s you want for spring/summer.  Seriously, with joy in the process.  What colors make you happy, where will you buy them when the time is right, do you need to start seeds now?  What's the rest of February Gardening?  Enjoying your lenten rose, camellias, daphne in bud, contorted willow catkins, tips of daffodil foliage showing etc.    Did a job in Detroit several years ago, oh my the sadness of not using camellias.  Roses are also pruned, if you live in zone 8. 

Monochromatic colors
Pic, above, here.

 A blog for passionate gardeners with an emphasis on the quaint English Cottage Garden style
Pic, above, here.
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Pinks, above, are the light/dark pinks, below.  Excepting I'm adoring the added creme, below, with the tones of pink.  What flower is creme, without showy stamens, a pure creme to go with the pinks?
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Annual flowers, of any great beauty/interest for spring/summer, are mostly pre-sold to professionals, planting thousands of flats of annuals each spring, on contracts signed during fall/winter.  Too many years now, seeing a few stunning floral pots, wanting to do the same, yet nurseries are stuffed with the mundane at both retail/wholesale.  I am a professional, go into wholesale growers, see marvelous colors/plants, yet all pre-sold.  ALL.       

 'Bath' by Edith Sitwell, with cover illustration by Rex Whistler
Pic, above, here.
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Another layer of color for your garden, below.
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Did you notice it's an incredible winter garden shot?  A garden beautiful in winter, will be beautiful all year. 

 Antique Gardener Statue Sir Roy Strong Garden
Pic, above, here.
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February is the best month to design a garden for.  May is a trollop in the garden, flowers with bees, trees with wind, bulbs with ants, shrubs with birds, groundcovers and possums, showy vanity, scented allures, touch-me velvet petals, come-play-on-me powdery stamens, land-on-my-throat funnels promising a tete-a-tete with cocktails, for starters.  Makes me wonder what's happening lower, in the soil, out of site.    Spring/summer are easy thinking with garden design, but not sustainable, fall/winter are the considered intellect designing a garden.
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Notice the humor?  Me, human.  Already on the hunt for spring/summer color.  Affected by the same spring concinnity as the insects, birds, etc.... 
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Proud of it.
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  15 Iris Apfel Quotes That'll Change The Way You Think About Fashion #refinery29 www.refinery29.co...  You'll never see Apfel in an all-black outfit.
Pic, above, here.  Iris Apfel.
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Does color move you?  Color, wild-crazy-marvelous energy.   
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 It's true...
Pic, above, here.

  37 Wonderful Inspirational Quotes About Life 3
Pic, above, here
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Gardening from your heart?  Courage.  Courage with intellect. 
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Go.  Go now.  Choose garden colors for spring/summer 2019.
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Garden & Be Well,   Tara

Thursday, April 26, 2018

18 Garden Design Rules You Need to Use: All in This Seemingly Simple Garden

Get 'the' Garden Design memo, below?  Aside from 'the' memo, what are the bullet points for the memo in macro, not merely micro?
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Garden Design course in a single photo, below.  Not the entire curriculum, but enough for major memo about Garden Design.
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Seriously, if you were teaching this Garden Design course today, what bullet points are in this photo, below?
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Wish I had you in a real classroom, no more than 20 of you.
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I was a fully fledged adult arriving to Garden Design, the engineering degree not-so-much help.  Aside from intuitively knowing Garden Design was a process, its machinations were so magic in effect, layers remained indecipherable.  No words, no language to process a good Garden Design.
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Worse, went to get another degree, this time horticulture, and the same thing happened, zero language or understanding of historic Garden Design principles were taught.  But , baby I had 'credentials'.  Junk in the trunk.  Monster junk, harmful to Earth, body, spirit.  That's another book/article/lecture/post.
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Off to Europe, late 80's, studying historic Garden Design 20+ years.
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This garden, below, made me smile at first site.
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Why do you think it made me smile?

Rachamankha Hôtel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I didnt know about architect Khun Ongard Satrabhandhu until today when I saw the very cool…
Pic, above, here.
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Pair of stone animals, (are they cows or horses?), at the entry, above.  At a distance, even, performing their duties.  Sentinels announcing, "Yes, come this way, enter, you're welcome, we want you to walk this way."  In their wordlessness of welcome, and direction, a benediction, grace.  Remember, if you need words in your garden, it's a fail.
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Already, you're getting a Garden Design bullet point from the garden, above.
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Imagine the same pic, above, yet a small sign placed at the front of the steps, Entry.  Oh dear, that would be banal, gauche, worse, lacking in grace.
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Walking a garden with a kindred spirit, seeing such a sign, 'entry', in an otherwise beautiful setting, we'd merely make eye contact, make a face, move on.  Pure understanding.  However, walking in this garden with a kindred spirit, our feet would not be touching the ground.  Looks between us, total joy & grace, move on, hungry to see more, time & reality have ceased to exist, life is only the garden at hand, and perhaps a good cup of tea with a scone, or such, when we alight on a chair.  Perhaps a glass of wine, cheese/crackers, freshly quartered blood oranges?  Exactly what happened with friends while visiting a private garden in Alabama last week.  Another post, promise.
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Notice the world's most historic Garden Design Color Trinity?  Green-Brown-White.
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Contrasting foliage, above, large leaves next to small leaves.
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Foliage at the far right column following the Garden Design Rule: Just Let It Touch.  Especially love that rule, made it up myself, one of many, noticed across Europe yet never put into words anywhere I've read, or heard in conversation, lectures.
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Garden Design Layers: Canopy, Walls, Floors, each designed & executed.  Better, purest simplicity.
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Crunch of gravel underfoot, Sound in the garden, in addition to wind thru foliage, and hopefully the sound of water is in this garden, above, too.
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Subsidiary color to the main Color Trinity?  Noticed already?  Lead color for pots, bench, windows/doors, railing.
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Pruning shape, rounded, for plants in pots, contrasting formal with the informal of canopy tree foliage at far right.  Furthermore, choosing to prune potted plants rounded, in contrast to the square columns.
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White chosen is creamy.  Bright white would jump forward, making the space feel smaller, especially the terrace.
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Repetition of pots and their plantings.  Repetition of Green.  All Green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and the most serene.  A simple plant selection, not too much diversity, calm, and tough plants too, less maintenance/disease/watering/bugs.
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What did I miss for this Garden Design course in a single photo?  What shouts to you?  What makes you smile?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Garden Design Rules Executed in the Garden Above:

1.  Pair of focal points announcing an entryway.
2.  Color Trinity chosen: green-brown-white.
3.  Canopy-Walls-Floor designed, executed.
4.  Contrasting foliage sizes, large leaves next to small leaves.
5.  Contrasting foliage pruning, formal & informal.
6.  Sound designed, wind thru foliage, crunch of gravel underfoot.
7.  Subsidiary Color chosen, lead, for pots, furniture, windows/doors, rails.
8.  Creamy white chosen instead of bright white, creating a large space for a smallish front porch.
9.  Small variety of plants chosen, simplicity, greater visual impact.
10. Tough plantings chosen for ease of maintenance, no bugs/fungus/watering.
11.  Repetition of pots chosen, and their scale, color, shape.
12. Repetition of green.  All green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and serene.
13. Last column, foliage barely touching, Just Let It Touch.
14. Needing words in your garden a 'fail'.
15. Hospitality a layer of expectation good Garden Design provides.
16. Using grace as a design layer.
17. Big impact Garden Design visually, yet simple ingredients, few ingredients, easy to maintain.
18. Keep it simple sweetie.  This garden's simplicity is its super power.  Intellect oozes from this
      Garden Design.
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Up front, I bristled at Garden Design Rules.  What would I tell that girl now?  Get over it, waste of time, you won't reinvent the wheel, better, your originality lies within every Garden Design rule.  Promise.  Most importantly, learn how to break any Garden Design rule, that's a bit tougher, yet necessary.  Pay attention.  Pay more attention.  Pay closer attention.  See all.  See what's not there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

16 Shortcuts for Creating a Fabulous Landscape in Record Time

Carl Jung overlooked a common archetype.  How?  This particular archetype appears before parties on the home front.  I get the call.  At least a week ahead of their long planned, months, gathering.  "Tara, you've got to get the garden ready."
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What to do?  Not what you think.  With a party and little time, two necessities.  Fresh mulch, and clean lines.
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Clean Lines.  Huge Garden Design tool, party or no. 
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Brick edging, below, clean lines.  Garden, below, could easily go more formal with the edging.  Do you know how?  Soldiers.  What are soldiers in the garden?  Bricks as garden edging are called 'soldiers'.  Further, the higher the soldiers, the more formal the garden.
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Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
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Before the soldiers, below.  Shot the pics merely thinking job process, instead, another affirmation of clean lines.
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Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
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A lot of Garden Design here, beyond Clean Lines.  Focal points on axis, in enfilade.  So.  Everyone is a garden designer, label the focal points on axis in enfilade.  No?  It's one of the most common Garden Design tricks, used ad infinitum, on Garden book/magazine covers.
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Another Garden Design rule followed, above, flow.  Moving thru the space easily.
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Another Garden Design rule followed, above, Color Trinity.  Green-Brown-White is the historic favorite, and chosen, above.  Did your eyes/brain lock on that when you first saw the top pic?  Granite gravel, #89, and the livestock tank are the white prong of the Green-Brown-White here.  Table and trees, obviously, the brown.
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Another Garden Design rule followed, above, Color on Field Gathered Furniture all Painted the Same Color.
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Another Garden Design rule followed, Overdose Your Theme.  Small iron conservatory at middle of table, above, painted same green as chairs.
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Another Garden Design rule followed, Every Garden Needs a Water Feature.  More, I wanted the sound.  My chickens arrived, aged 6 days cracked, in this livestock trough with a heat lamp, now, it's another gift.
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Grading ahead of gravel, below.

Image may contain: outdoor
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Another table, below, glass topped metal, Overdosing on a Theme, painted same color as chairs.  Metal table used as buffet table, leveraging party time, with harvest table.
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Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
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Near the harvest table, below, Overdosing on a Theme, green furniture, galvanized pots/light fixtures, granite, terra cotta pots matching the red clay bricks used as edging, both burnt Earth.  Overdosing on a Theme isn't for spots of your Garden, it's for the entire garden.
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Image may contain: plant, tree, house and outdoor
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A reminder, below, to use clean lines.
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Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
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(Never answered my own question, above, about the focal points in enfilade.  What are they?  Did you label them?)
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Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
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Day ahead of our first gathering in our new Garden Room, above, Beloved/I were sitting at the table, above, tired, dirty, happy.  I was about to get happier, as a Cheshire Cat.
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Beloved says to me, eyes big, eyebrows raised, "We don't have enough chairs."  A best moment.  I've been dragging garden chairs home to this garden since we moved in 3 years ago.  Had a lot from my other garden, but I knew where this garden was headed.  Why was this a best moment?  Every chair I brought home, he complained about me junking up the garden, we have enough chairs, don't buy anymore chairs, you're wasting your money.
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Nope, didn't do the told-you-so, merely the Cheshire Cat smile.  His chair panic escalated, Let's move some chairs from the deck to here.  Nope, need those chairs for using the deck too.
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Our gathering arrived, some were spending the nite.  Guess what happened late in the evening?  Gathering for music, talking, laughter, stories, moved to the deck.  Strands of lites, above, were plenty of illumination for the deck too.     
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This gathering quite special, Beloved's friends from before kindergarten, literally.  Know many of their stories, and have requested I never know all their stories, "Don't worry Baby you won't."
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Tire swing, above, hanging when we moved in.  Knew I was going to cut it down.  Then my precious girls came with their dear mom, we had lunch and the girls ran/played, and were tire swinging in crazy ways never imagined.  They've been more, but  those were lunches on the front porch, time to get them back for lunch and tire swinging again, and dining nearby.
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Adore our new Garden Room, though living thru its cliche epoch.  Cliche epoch?  Trees & evergreen groundcover need to grow-grow-grow, own the space, diminish our input.  You know, the proper order of things.  Nature in charge, with merely a hint of us.
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Did you label the focal points in enfilade, from question, above?  Table to livestock trough.  At some point, not too distant, stone steps will lead from livestock trough into garden, extending the enfilade further.  Looking forward to making adjustments to scale/flow with that new layer.
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Hoop greenhouses going in at back of property for growing wholesale plants.  More wholesale plants will be outside under irrigation, coming close to the gravel terrace, above.  No worries, we'll plant a hedge, 5'-6', hiding the nursery, yet keeping trees, sky, and distant garden views in site. Probably tea olive, deer proof, fast grower, dense.
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Where are you on the Garden Design continuum?
Garden Design Rules, followed, above:
Use a Color Trinity
Green-Brown-White is historic classic Color Trinity
Flow
Overdose a Theme
Paint Field Gathered Furniture Same Color
Garden Party Top 2 Garden Preparations: Fresh Mulch, Clean Lines
Enfilade
Soldiers
Formal Soldiers
Informal Soldiers
Leverage Harvest Table with a Buffet Table
Focal Points on Axis
Every Garden Needs a Water Feature
Siting a Hedge: Constraints
Choosing Hedge Plants: Considerations
Keep Calm & Live Thru the Cliche Epoch

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to Take Charge of Color in Your Garden

A future client sent me a note recently.  Her car needs struts, the garden will have to wait.  No, her garden will not have to wait !
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Garden Design begins in your head.  Much to resolve ahead of choosing the first plant, type of stone, etc.
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Choosing your color trinity, below, for starters.  For centuries, all the great gardens, now including yours, have an exterior color trinity.  Green-Brown-White is the most used color trinity, a never fail color combination.  More, it's never a repeat.  You get to choose your Green-Brown-White, while your soil, humidity, land shapes, predominant trees and more dictate how color is 'seen'. 
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If you're new to gardening this may seem the start of someone mentioning trite rules you must follow.  Headstrong about recreating the wheel?  Head on out, rawhide, snap that whip, you'll be on-the-road-again, over/over, until you come in from the cold.  Been there, done that. 
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Found this fabric, below, recently.  Made me smile.  A client, at first visit, already had chosen, without awareness, this color trinity, Green-Brown-White with subsidiary color, ochre.  Years later, we are still overdosing on her theme.  Plants, stone, house, barns, furniture, fencing, even her custom stationary.
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Another aspect I adore about choosing a color trinity, once done, color is, mostly, a no-brainer. 

Image result for brown floral fabric
Pic, above, here.
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Green and white have been chosen with specificity for my garden, brown remains to be chosen.  Adoring brown transfer ironstone, I must bring several of my favorite pieces into the garden, siting them different places for sun/shade, north/south/east/west, and pull the trigger for my perfect brown.
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One of many Garden Design layers, the color trinity, requiring zero funds.  Be aware, full brain amperage, with extra kicking in, required .  Once chosen, your colors, must be backed with full confidence. 
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Another Peek into My Pantry | Content in a Cottage
Pic, above, here.

 pure joy 327 ...I'll have to find an excuse to use this somewhere :-P
Pic, above, here.
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Earlier this month our dining room finally painted.  Beloved is a yellow man, several yellows already in various rooms, but he is not a front-end chooser of specific colors.  Gave him 7-8 yellow choices, with chips, for the dining room.  Dining room is large, north facing.
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Walked him through the house, with the chips, holding them to the various existing yellows.
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Of course I had my favorite, but said zip.
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At each room with yellow, he easily axed some of the chips.
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Last room, dining room, and 2 yellow chips remained.
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He easily chose the yellow he liked for our dining room.
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A delicious funnel, shaped exactly like an armadillo trap.  Beloved choosing 'his' yellow.
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Ahead of me choosing color chips for him, I researched Mount Vernon, Monet, and Monticello.  Have been to all three homes, and knew they all had a good yellow, almost matching each others.  Nancy Lancaster was swirling in the mix too.
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 Monet's dining room "For a safer bet, try Benjamin Moore’s historic colors. They’re elegant but not splashy, and will match a variety of furnishings and fabrics. Time tested, they won’t steer you wrong. I’ve used Castelton Mist HC-1 and Beacon Hill Damask HC-2, but look at any of the first six HC colors."
Pic, above, here.
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Yes, Beloved chose, Pure Joy by Benjamin Moore.  My first choice.  I would have been happy with any of the chips he chose from.
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 The yellow interior beautifully complimented the surrounding Monet Japanese Prints
Pic, above, here.
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Almost 20 years ago I bought a vintage book with ikebana floral plates, done in color blocks.  Dozens of pages of  plates.  Choosing their frames, a no-brainer,  below.  More synchronicity, our dining room table is a large drop-leaf gate leg, and against a wall another drop-leaf gate leg table, folded down.  I bought them separately at antique shops long ago, realizing once in our dining room, they can be put together for larger gatherings, exactly as Monet did. 
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 Claude Monet house, France
Pic, above, here.
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A portion of this story was skipped.  Several coats of kilz and primer were needed ahead of painting our dining room, once Pure Joy yellow was a first coat, and Beloved saw it, he freaked.
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Ever seen a feral cat brought inside, and they literally bounce off the walls?
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Have handled that situation. 
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This color 'freak' wasn't my first rodeo.
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In addition to choosing our 'brown', a subsidiary color must be chosen.  It will be one of our yellows.  Great joy in anticipation of choosing.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Home Office & Garden

Garden Design begins inside your home.  Views looking out.  Especially your important views.  Your  office desk must have a good garden view.  Too bad cell phone/laptop/blogs didn't exist at the front end of my career.  Why do so many put their office in a basement, with views to horridity?  In a noticeable shift, many clients now put their home office in prime real estate, not the basement.
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Winston Churchill, below, at his Disraeli desk.
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Image result for disraeli desk
Pic, above, here.
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I had a carpenter copy, below, Winston Churchill's Disraeli desk from this photo, above, about 2 decades ago.  He had no dimensions to copy from.
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Carpenter asked what type of wood.  A bit showy, immediately answered, tiger maple.
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My office has been repainted the past week, not quite complete, with unexpected plaster repair.  Color?  Best color ever, and I did not choose it, this room was already painted lightest pink by previous owner.  Never a pink person, walked into the room, LOVE, at first sight.  As the days pass, almost 3 years in our ca. 1900 home, I love this pink more.
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 Image may contain: indoor
Pic, above, shot in my office yesterday morning.
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Tiger maple Disraeli desk, above, setting on a table awaiting Conservatory construction. 
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Pic, above, tiger maple Disraeli desk, shot in my office yesterday morning.
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Aside from making me happy, the pink walls have another super power, the pink changes drastically throughout the day, by the second.
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Found the exact pink for repainting, Benjamin Moore, Classic Colors, Key Pearl - 885.  If you've wanted a faint, magical pink, Key Pearl.
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Empty, my office echoes, have been doing many whip-poor-ill whistles, ridiculous, but oddly deeply, satisfying.  With furniture it's overstuffed, several pieces awaiting removal to that future Conservatory.
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As Matisse did with many works, my office and my garden have no threshold, they are one.  Vanishing Threshold.
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Wanting to give you a fabulous garden, wonderful, a home & garden without threshold, beyond wonderful.
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Now that you know, hope you already have this for yourself, if not, create it, own it, live deeply in it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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A few home office events, below.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Creating a Life of Roses

She sensed I was sinking.  I didn't know I was.
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With time, clarity.
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At the driveway between the Big House where she lived, and the Carriage House where I lived, backed by 50 acres of wood & pasture with horses & dogs & cats, and solitude, she slipped me a volume, 
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A life raft.




Written at Long Barn, above, the home she rented from, Vita Sackville-West, Morrow mentions a moment.  Coming into the room, a climbing rose tendril & bloom had fallen inside the open window.
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In that instant I was crying, heaving cannot breath tears.
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My life was horrible, and no where near having something as beautiful and sweet as a rose blossom falling into my house from the garden.



Jumping forward a decade+, I walked into my home office, upstairs, opened the window, and a climbing rose, dropped tendril & blossom softly onto my desk.
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This rose said, "You've been flying for quite awhile, you grew the wings you needed."   Until that moment, I had forgotten those heaving tears a decade earlier.  New tears, as unexpectedly, with the same heaving force, except I was catching breaths between laughter.
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Jumping forward 2 decades, I'm still in awe of these 2 roses, anchoring a decade, and the start of living.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics from Yale library, here.  This is my Janus, January, story, what is yours?
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Of course I read all of Morrow's books after the 1st gift.  Have given them as gifts.  Paying it forward.  Giving it your all?  Not happy?  Buy the book, hit the link.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Hepcat

Finally, met a HEPCAT, below.
My right hand on his dropleaf table at Scott Antique Market this month, he anticipated my intent, before I finished my sentence, he had grabbed my right hand & lowered to his knees. Firmly guiding my hand (me clueless) to a screw. They were loose on purpose.
Bought the Hungarian chest & too cute watering can, above, before I met my HEPCAT.
HEPCAT knew loose screws would make it quicker to get the legs off the table.
HEPCAT wanted $175 for the table, (me- intense eye contact), then he said $145? I said, "You think about that price while I wander the booths & come back." "$100?" "Sold, will you keep the table while I wander?" He grabbed my hand, "Let's shake."
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There was something intensely USA-of-my-childhood, real, true, honest, earnest, delightful, a light behind his eyes, spiritual, joyful, peaceful, warm, intelligent, been thru the fire & came out a phoenix within HEPCAT.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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HEPCAT, George, was at the location inside the perimeter & selling his wares outside on the sidewalk at the end of the building. Poppets, you do realize what these acquisitions are for? My new conservatory!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best Color Trinity

Towards the front end of your Garden Design, choose a color trinity for your exterior.  House, furniture, gates, light fixtures, pots, hardware, fencing, watering cans, door mats, knobs, etc.  In addition, choose a name for your home/garden.  Once you've done both, order note cards, name cards, using the color trinity.
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Green-Brown-White is the classic color trinity for over 2,000 years.  Chosen by the best minds across centuries, seemingly chosen by Providence.  Magic in Green-Brown-White ?  It's unique for all permutations.
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Where do I pull colors from for clients?  Inside the house.  Art, furniture, wallpaper, rugs, etc.  Uniformly, once colors suggested, "I love that !"  Of course.


Pic, above, here.
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In addition to Green-Brown-White, you get to choose a subsidiary color/s.  To be used as hints, and also pulled from interiors, especially your art.  Scrumptious Green-Brown-White, below.  Saved for colors but seems more a current USA political poster.

Padlet example of Medieval Mumblings, an introduction to Medieval History
Pic, above, here.
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Through many years of choosing exterior Green-Brown-White, something pops immediately.  At first painting, home/garden recede into their niche, radiating considered contentment, an air of inevitability, and timelessness.   

 Front yard inspiration-curving line to doorwY with bench along the path, plus arbor over front windows
Pic, above, here.
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Humbling, this moth, below.

 This Spanish moon moth is flaunting his good looks in the handful of days he has left to live. Unable to eat after emerging from his cocoon, the adult devotes all of his remaining time and energy to reproduction.
Pic, above, here.

 Charleston Single House-style home
Pic, above, here.

 'Austeja' (Lithuanian bee goddess) by illustrator Q. Cassetti. I think it would look great as a felted tapestry.
Pic, above, here.
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Aside from Green-Brown-White, above, all those subsidiary colors.  Be still my heart.
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There's little I encounter, not seen thru a Garden prism.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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An answer to my question, yesterday, about Lucinda Wharton:

"Curious about her parents, how they raised this old soul child."

Lady Rebecca Eildon Courtenay (b. 1969), is married to Jeremy Lloyd Wharton; they have three daughters: Alice Lucinda Wharton (b. 1998), Emilia Rose Wharton (b. 1999) and Tatiana Elizabeth Wharton (b. 2002).

-the above from Lucinda Wharton's grandfather's Wikipedia entry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Courtenay,_18th_Earl_of_Devon

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Thank you, The Hunting House, would not have known where to begin.  Lucinda's love for her home in the country, palpable. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Landscape Choices

Choices from the heart, below.  Why so rare?

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Pic, above, here.
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"Honesty has a power that very few people can handle."  Anon.
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 Basic Crone Attitude: "...I no longer put things in my stomach to please other people..." "By the time one reaches a certain age, one should be able, as Marianne Moore said, 'to have the courage of one's peculiarities'." in "Against Wind and Tide" - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Don't Wish Me Happiness. I Don't Expect to be Happy All The Time... It's Gotten Beyond That Somehow. Wish Me Courage and Strength and a Good Sense of Humor. I Will Need Them All

Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Truth--I always feel like I need to apologize or make up some fiction to cover the fact that I'm not actually doing anything they might consider "important", but which is actually crucially important for my sanity.

#INTJ #Capricorn #Female                                                                                                                                                                                 More
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Make the choices for the garden in your heart.  Manifest.  Live.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Color: Counterintuitive Paint Trim

Happy charmer, below.  Makes me want to go inside. 
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See a change, an easy change too, making the roof higher and house taller?
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Once I tell you the change, you won't believe me.
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But, true nonetheless.
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Know?

Front door paint colour in green. Curb appeal with blue siding #colorhunters #curbappeal
Pic, above, here.
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Paint the trim at roof line, a tone darker than the siding or a darker tone from the roofing material.  Seems counterintuitive.
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White jumps forward, and pulls down, at roof line.  Darker tones heighten a home by a 1', or more.  Promise.
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Can't finish without mentioning the 'Welcome' sign.  Banal.  Dinky is Stinky.
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Especially here.  The front door is screaming 'Welcome !' with incredible class & elegance.  Why diminish that impact?
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Be wary putting words into your garden.  Can be done well, but with care.
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Favorite sign in a garden?  Tea Room & Toilets .
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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More rabbit holes in this photo.  Those delicious lights, too perfect.  But, that is gardening.  Layers of delight here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mastering the Art of Garden Design: Not What You Think

At the front end of planning your garden, from personal experience, if there is a problem with the outcome, those problems reside in you, not the garden.
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Assumptions about where to begin, "What plants will I have?", wildly, achingly, charmingly, sweetly, misplaced.  Going a step further, I did, decades ago, realized my initial assumptions beyond arrogant.  Worse, arrogance aimed at Nature.  There for me to wield.  Ha.
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Before we have language, we see Nature.  For most that unspoken language, remains throughout life.  Seeing through a glass darkly, thinking as a child type of stuff.
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Getting the horticulture degree, still, did not unlock the door to creating a beautiful garden, understanding Nature's language.  Off to Europe for decades studying historic gardens.  Designing/installing gardens all the while as vocation.  Dots on the Garden Design map emerged, some connected.  Map is not territory. 
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Having lunch at a client's farm, decades from my starting dot, standing inside her kitchen, looking through to the potager, a dot, outside the realm of Garden Design, appeared, and connected all the  dots.  The master dot.  Epiphanies are a drug of choice.  This one simple, seen since birth, yet zero comprehension for decades. 
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Providence never separated ornamental horticulture from agriculture.  Man's folly, made the separation.  Separation dot date?  Onset of the Industrial Revolution, late 19th century.  Until then we  lived with Nature.  The dot was clear.  Without it, death.
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"The eighteenth century was the culmination of thousands of years of agrarian society.  The nineteenth century would bring in the Industrial Revolution to America.  Until then, most societies based their economies on the raising and trading of crops, so nature was always in control.  People measured the work day by the rising and setting of the sun, and one hailstorm or flood could ruin a year's work.  Everyday life was an ongoing struggle against nature.
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Historically when people have been able to raise enough crops and food to sustain a comfortable life, they have challenged nature even further by turning their outdoor environment into a living art form, a pleasure garden.  Most societies have even given the garden religious significance.
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A garden is a balance between measured, human control on one hand and wild, mystical nature on the other.  It is the place where humans attempt to create their particular vision of an idealized order of nature and culture.  A garden is not just the opposition of unpredictable nature and organized society; it is the mediating space between them.  Human intellect, intuition, nurture, and spirit meld together in a garden.  Since culture shapes both the form and meaning of a garden at a particular place and time....."  Barbara Sarudy, Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805.     

Bernard Hickie Garden & Landscape Design
Pic, above, here.

How little can you have in your Garden Design?  When I design a garden, the last question I ask myself, "What can I take away, and it holds together?"
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Inside a garden, above.  Outside a garden, below.
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Ironically, at every price point client, I'm told, "I don't want to spend a lot of money.  It must be easy to take care of."  These gardens, above/below.  Get it right.  Macro and micro.  Master dot.  Maximum pollinator habitat exists where hi density meets low density.  No, this garden isn't agriculture for man, it is agriculture for Nature.  Hence, us.
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Feed the bees. Without them we perish.  Basic.  Simple.  Nature knows, we forgot.  More to this Nature 'stuff', Barbara Saludy alluded to it richly, above.  Cadence.  Will get to that another day. 

 http://kum.dk/Documents/Publikationer/2009/Bygningsbevaring%20-%20HTML/images/s38.jpg
Pic, above, here.
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One of the most potent Garden Designs you'll see, above.  Tara Turf, meadow mowed at differing heights, with a mix of plantings suitable to the zone, attracting myriad insects, attracting myriad mammals, (reptiles too, love my lizards), in turn attracting different genres of insects, mammals to the hedging and wild wood beyond.  Nature in full cycle, master dot included, high density mixed with low density.  While providing for property value increases, HVAC expense decreases, less maintenance, no chemicals, no irrigation.  Easily maintained with unskilled labor.  Of course the goal is to maintain as much as you can yourself, placing mind/body/soul into Nature's realm, Nature's cadence.  As long as you can.   
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Designing gardens, I design simple.  As requested.  After the concept plan, it's normal to receive requests for more 'stuff'.  Here's the negotiation.  Put this plan in first, if you want more later, easy.  Of course the final plan always includes a few of those extras.  If I don't put them in, the client will liberally dose the garden themselves.  Better to be like Barney Fife, Nip It.
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With a proper garden design, epiphanies daily.  Epiphanies that will change your life.  How could Nature not do that for you?  Example?  It's almost fall, when the trees drop their leaves, baring themselves naked ahead of winter, they are being fed by what they let go of.
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Meditate on that.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pumpkin Pastiche

Not-one-bit-extra is an apt motto for my mom.  Poor dear was born into wrong era.  Her brain power seriously under utilized.  Married in the 1950's she had 2 kids and was a housewife and major volunteer.  Judge Judy never fails to amuse.  Especially her continuing success and earnings.  Why?  Mom could be Judge Judy, except bigger.  Mom could judge all the galaxies.  More, mom would pass judgment with the merest movement of her arched right eyebrow.  Clearly letting you know being stupid is the grander mistake than whatever brought you before that eyebrow.
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No surprise I grew up liking a little bit extra.  Not much.  Just a tad, or less.
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During the 1980's I worked at a garden center with many locations.  Christmas was a huge money maker for them, I still miss working there during Christmas.  Easter, Valentines and the other holidays were decorated too, lots of extra trinkets for sale.  I still use those holiday purchases.

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One Halloween/Thanksgiving I performed in a play during 3rd grade.  Evening performance, all the parents/siblings in attendance.  How was I to know?  Read the paper teacher had us take home?  My parents would really go?  I didn't want to go.  Quite elaborate, the play a celebration of Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims.  Speaking parts, singing parts, dancing parts.  About 6-7 kids chosen to line the front of the stage at floor level, no singing, dancing, speaking for them.  Each child with a large cardboard cut out tied around their waist.  I was one of those few kids chosen to be in front.  Each of us, a sheaf of wheat.
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My dad, the NASA engineer, keep in mind this was the mid 60's, and I was a sheaf of wheat, when astronauts were dying, yet Kennedy and USA needed man-on-the-moon.  Standing thru the entire play, a sheaf of wheat, watching my dad get angrier, angrier.  I knew.  Not a star of the play, or even a speaking role, a sheaf of wheat.  It got quite ugly during the car ride home.  Best result?  Dad never came to a school event again.
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Age 8, I didn't know it took a strategy to be a sheaf of wheat.  All of us wheat sheaves, should have staged a pop-up Wind Storm, singing a ridiculous song we made up, finally collapsing into a pile.  If dad was going to be angry, I should have, at a minimum, made it worth my while.    

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Pumpkins on our front porch, above, win zero awards for skill/talent, yet they pass my simple test question.  Does it make you smile?    
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Seriously, it's one of my Garden Design questions.  Does it make you smile?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Cute Kills is a Garden Design rule.  Hmm.  Every rule meant to be broken.  Another Garden Design rule followed, Overdose on a Theme.  And, a favorite Garden Design rule followed, Dinky is Stinky.  You over it with my Garden Design rules?  I was too, at the front end of learning Garden Design.  Now, I understand Garden Design rules for what they truly are, PERMISSION.  Limitations?  Hardly.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Garden Design: A Color Rule

Crisp & tidy, below.
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Whimsical.
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Copying a seemingly staid Garden Design Rule.
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What rule is that?
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Mark D. Sikes: Chic People, Glamorous Places, Stylish Things
Pic, above, here.
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Paint your garden furniture & accessories same color as your house trim/shutters.  Have loved this 'rule' for decades.
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Here, they've done more than classically phone-it-in-garden-design.
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They've let the color carry the weight of architecture.
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Does your garden tell me who you are at the curb?  Check.
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Is your garden so incredible I must go inside and see your home?  Check.
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It's one thing to deeply, truly, adore a color.  Another, entirely, to wield that color across your realm.  No fear.  Life is short, wield your color.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Irma residue is almost put away on our property.  Living in our ca. 1900 home for 2 years, we've done little Garden Design, it's mostly roads/drainage/shed renovations/drilling a well/pond updating/clearing invasives etc.  My personal gardening consists of a pair of aloe plants in terra cotta, and an echeveria a friend gave me, repotted into terra cotta.  Three little souls in terra cotta.  Last weekend, watering my trio on the back deck, they did spend Irma inside the house, I noticed one of the aloe did not fit in its pot, it was dwarfed by its pot by .5" diameter.  Hmm.
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Yard a debris field with fallen limbs, a new roof at the back of the house, lots of men covering ground here.  Hmm.  They are our men, all on our team.  Several employed by Beloved loooong time.  Hmm.  Thinking this one thru, my little aloe in its new pot.  If any of the men had broken the pot, I would have been told, "Miss Tara........"  Days pass.  Approached Beloved, on the deck, we were grilling dinner, "My aloe vera is in a new pot, and I know who did it."  He's looking at me all stoic, his Mona Lisa smile something his mom would recognize about age 6.  "You did it."  A day prior, I repotted that aloe vera into another terra cotta pot, an exact fit.  He looks at the pot, "If I had found a pot to fit, would you have known?",  "No.", "How did you know it was me?", "The men always tell me when something happens.",  "Hit it when I was blowing the deck.", "5 acres, loads of men, new roof, tree limbs, I'm a Garden Designer with 3 tiny potted plants to her name, you thought I might not notice?"
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Why are these type of stories so deeply amusing?  He almost got away with it.  Would have been fine if he had....