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

Monday, September 5, 2016

Choose the Classics: Add Your Character

This would be a fun Garden Show template, below.  All entrees must use a day bed, 2 wicker chairs, wicker coffee table, wicker end table, the same amount of space, but after that, no rules.  Color, cushions, accessories, free to choose.
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The classics with infinite variety.


Pic, above, here.
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Next to, above, I would like to see the entry belonging to modern cutting edge techno masculine.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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No budget for , above?  Hunt/gather furniture basics, paint all the same color, you're on your way.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inspiration for Front Door Color

Yes, your front door matters.  Whether you think so, or not.  Your front door can tell me who you are, or tell me you don't care, or more likely, I care but it's on the to-do list.
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Had to smile at this front door, below.  It's the most often color choice I make for front doors, and I don't mean the blue.  I search interiors for a recurring color in the house, important but not boastful.  Typically, it's found in several pieces of art on the walls.  Clients will say, "I didn't realize I had that color in all my art."  Of course the door color must work with exterior colors already chosen, it's rare not to have it work.
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When clients have a dark foyer, I like to put in the glass door, below.  Literally.  We buy a panel door, and have our carpenter replace the panels with glass.
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Ironically, a year in our ca. 1900 American farmhouse, I've not painted the front door, it remains the seller's blood red color.  Up front, total arrogance, I thought it must be painted quickly, MY color.  It's on the list.  Oddly, the arrogance has disappeared.  The blood red is working for me, until the time arrives and its list number has been reached.

In Good Taste:  Sullen Gregory Design:
Pic, above, here.

Look around your home, what color is 'popping' from the art?
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Does it scare you a bit, and excite you too, wanting to put it on the front door?  It's probably your color.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Footprint: Power of Color

Without the matching column, below, the house ends at the corner.  With the column's matching brick color, the house ends at the column.
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There should be a technical term, a word, describing this phenomenon.  It doesn't have to be matching materials, merely color.  The power of color.
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Using color to expand the footprint of the home, the shutters, front door, siding/trim, are all fair game choices.  Each situation dictates a more-correct choice from the trinity of choices.

A wrought-iron gate at the side of the house separates the back and front…:
Pic, above, here.
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Brick column, above, seems newer than the home, the brick is smoother than brick on the home.
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Perfect choice for stone step, above, its color melding into the garden, and rough hewn edge adding welcome/warmth verses a saw cut edge, in this situation.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Off topic, below.

She's whiskey in a teacup.:
Pic, above, here.

Found this, above, a few days ago.  How could I not think of my best ever older boyfriend, by decades, crush.  Studying historic gardens across Scotland for 2 weeks, our group of 23 stayed in small hotels, most had been a hunting lodge, or some other interesting thing a century or 2 ago.   Since it was Scotland I had bought a bottle of Laphroaig.  After touring all day, our group would retire to fluff & puff for dinner, meeting in the parlor before dinner for socializing a bit, before the splintering off to our tables.  First, I must mention my best ever older boyfriend was quite married, and his wife, and her sister, were in our group.  Adored them too, his wife adored me for taking her husband off her hands for a few minutes at breakfast and dinner.  Heading to the parlor before dinner, my roommate & I would be carrying a tea cup.  
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Sitting on the sofa, in the parlor, talking with friends, I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders from behind, then best ever older boyfriend dipped his head low over me.  He squeezed my shoulders quite tight, whispering into my ear, "Tara you're alright, you're just alright."
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Best ever older boyfriend had an instinct.  Doubting my tea drinking, he was leaning in to smell my tea cup, and definitely got the mystery solved.  The color of strong tea, it was, of course, Laphroaig, neat.
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Seeing the quote, above, brought back those halcyon days with best ever older boyfriend.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why Exterior Color Doesn't Always Travel

A past client moved from their much loved family home, not by their own choosing.  Circumstances beyond their control, poof, they're in a new city, new home.  Off I went, creating a new garden for them, garden #2.
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It was good being with them again, though this time, there was the gift of simply bearing witness, in memory of their previous home, turning the page, in joy, creating their new garden. Counterintuitively, home #2, regardless of circumstance, absolutely one of the happiest houses I've been in.  Partly, I think, from her use of the color salmon in many of their antique rugs, and on the walls.
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First garden I designed for them landed on the cover of a magazine, This Old House, here.
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Enough 'happy', remembering her salmon, and how it made me feel, I called her recently asking for the paint color.  The house we've moved into is about the same age as theirs, ca. 1900.  Our dining room similar in scale to, below.  Alas, it is a deep red, nice/good, but not for us.  I'm thinking her happy salmon, for our dining room.  A north facing room, it can do with brightening.




Another good salmon, below.  Salmon is a hard color to get right.  Which continent and where on the continent you live affects salmon.  A client outside Chicago loves salmon, alas it's not for her front door, the bricks won't work with it.

mnswick:
“ Good morning from Charleston!
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Pics, above, here.
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Notice the drip irrigation tubing, above?  Subtle, well done.  From the front door, I must know who you are.  Yes, I want to go inside, above.  Salmon in both pics, above, are not the same.
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Client, when I called her, said she needed me to come back, late this fall.  I will arrange for Beloved to tag along.  Their home is about equally west in Georgia, as ours is east, just below an imaginary middle Georgia line.  Important to note because our sky & sun & red clay are equal in their impact on salmon.  Studying historic landscapes across Europe for so many years, it's another thing I learned, sideways, exact colors don't always translate well to new locales.  Allowances must be made.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Color & Architecture's Relationship

It's outrageous what color can do, good & bad, for architecture.
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Painting or staining a fence coming off the front sides of a home, widens its architecture.  Enlarges the footprint of welcome, to the home.
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An easy concept, and wildly affordable relative to the huge impact gained.

Dark Blue Front Entrance A new metal-framed door matches the new windows.:

Pic, above, here.
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Great example, above, about purchasing a properly scaled doormat.  This poor mat, above, looks like it came from a Pin the Tail on the Donkey store.  Dinky is Stinky, is this doormat's trinity fail.  The doors are way too fabulous to be wearing this doormat.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Dinky is Stinky is a great save, protecting you from hunting/gathering the wrong things.  Another great save, 'We're not to that layer yet.'  Both from Susanne Hudson.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Following & Breaking Rules

Green-brown-white is the top historic exterior color trinity for gardens.  Who, ever, likes/wants rules?
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Late to the game, me, once I learned the trick to garden design rules.  I hadn't known or trusted garden rules deeply enough to wisely break them.  That's all there is too it.  Trust the rules, follow the rules, break the rules wisely.  Why the bother?
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Knowing the rules, breaking the rules, creates a garden & exterior more deeply 'you'.  Rules don't make every garden the same.  Rules make every garden potently different.
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Adored, seeing this garden, below.  In the pink.  I want to know this person.  Just from this pic, a tiny portion of their exterior.  More, I want to see the owner's interior.

Live Beautifully Outdoors:

Pic, above, here.
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Hope you realize that's what you're patio/deck must do, too.  Others must see it, and want to come inside.  Others must see it and 'know' who you are.  Those are garden design rules !
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How Color Choice Affects the Size of Your Home

Calm, rustique, classic, nestled, below.  What plays the major role in this Exterior Design?  Color.
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Imagine home, below, with white trim.  Pop.  The house just moved forward, got smaller, the roof lowered, the garden shrunk.  Merely, painting the trim white.  Ironically, this home previously had a teal blue trim.  Same effect, to lesser degree, than white.
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Everything is thriving, but we do need some rain - it's been very dry here in the Northeast. From my driveway, my house looks beautiful with the tan colored woodwork - it is such a change from the teal blue. Do you remember the old trim?:

Pic, above, Martha Stewart.

In an area that is small, or with disparate components, here's the color trick, below.  Did you already intuit the trick?  Everything should be the same color, or color family.

 My longtime housekeeper, Laura Acuna, set up some refreshments on the lower terrace parterre outside my kitchen. Some cool pomegranate iced-tea and some cheese wafers.:

Pic, above, Martha Stewart.
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Exterior color, if you haven't given it much thought, does potent work to every exterior.  Make sure your exterior colors are doing the right potent work.  Potent for good vs. potent for bad.  It's your choice.  Make every layer of narrative with color choices exterior/interior and you've just raised property value, and made every day in your home happier.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Backyard: Lawn vs. Gravel

From the 1st time studying historic gardens in Europe over 20 years ago, gravel changed every thought about a 'lawn'.
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Perhaps it was coming from a region of USA with ubiquitous patchy backyard 'turf' lawns.
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Gravel, below, set with a top rate template of plantings too.  No worries what the plantings are, below, use the best plants in your zone fitting the appropriate sun/shade, size, foliage evergreen/deciduous.
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Best plants?  Don't know best plants for your zone, USA?  Go to your county/state/extension office online.  Typical mission statement for the Extension Service,        

"Mission

Our mission is to extend lifelong learning to Georgia citizens through unbiased, research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families.

UGA Extension offers educational programs, assistance, and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap status. "

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Your county Extension Service will have a listing of the best trees/shrubs/groundcovers/vines.  Motivation is for the proper plantings, not to sell you something.
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Knowing the best plants for your specific location gives you liberty to copy good gardens world wide.
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Don't feel comfortable choosing the best plants for your garden plan?  Take a picture of what you want, perhaps below, and ask your Extension Service agent, or their volunteer Master Gardener to choose for you.  This service is paid for thru your tax dollar.

.:

Pic, above, here.
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Choosing gravel, align with color that may already be used with your home's exterior, or interior.  If there is a predominate stone in your location, choose it.  Measure square footage you want to cover with gravel, 2.5" thick and place your order.  The stone source you order from will turn your square footage/depth into 'yards'.  Small gravel is best, more residential.  Large gravel is commercial for parking lots or building construction.
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If you're fighting a poor turf lawn in your backyard, consider gravel.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO
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My 1st phone call to Extension Service was ca. 1985.  Going to the mailbox I noticed a vile odor.  Exploring, discovered ooze at the base of a large oak.  Their diagnosis?  Slime flux.  Solution?  Poor a mix of clorox/water on it.  It worked, and I'm still friends with the Extension agent helping me.  Weirdly, he's retiring next year.  How is that possible?  He's also the 1st person ever asking me to speak.  He created a new layer in my career.  In return I've never said 'no' when he's called asking me to speak for Extension.  About 6-7 years ago he asked me to speak on pollinators.  A disaster I thought, but said 'yes'.  Pollinators?  Boring.  How was I to know it would become one of my most requested lecture titles?  He called earlier this month, one of our 'peeps' is moving back to Georgia.  A young woman we watched grow in her horticulture career and are both so proud of.  She took a lot of my seminars, always asked the best questions, a great can-do attitude.  She moved away for a huge huge huge job, but Georgia family/friends are pulling her home.  He asked if I would give her a reference.  As if !!      

Monday, June 20, 2016

Design: House Meets Patio

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

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

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Exterior Color Trinity

If asked, "What color trinity did you choose for your garden?", what is your answer?
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Is your first thought to list the colors, or wonder what type of crazy question is this?
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For centuries choosing a Color Trinity for the garden has been a layer of garden design.
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Faded gray/green, charcoal & creme, below.
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Very nice.
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Knowing green/brown/white is the classic garden color trinity of-the-ages never stops me from seeing delicious color trinities from myriad resources.

Little Georgia Cafe in East London, between Hackney City Farms & Broadway Market walking north from Hackney Road on Goldsmiths Row. The most interesting, beautiful family and woman proprietor here as well.:

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Wish we could meet for lunch today at the Little Georgia Cafe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2 Most Common Mistakes with an Outdoor Kitchen

Helping, with Beloved, my mom buy a new car, I had a great chance at Garden Design.  Exactly, no life activity unrelated to Garden Design.
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Wonderful salesman, rapport was easy.
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During the sales process in his cubicle, he mentioned building an outdoor kitchen soon.
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Upfront I knew my job was to thumb thru a magazine looking bored, let the men handle it.  Beloved has bought dozens of cars/trucks/caterpillars/trailers/boats thru the years.  Me?  Not so much.
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His new kitchen perked me up, pronto.  I turned a page, drolly, looked up & into his eyes, "You're doing it wrong."    I quickly cut a glance to Beloved & went back to my magazine and droll, droll, droll.
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"What do you mean?", my salesman bit, "Draw me your patio & new kitchen.", paper & pen quickly provided every error of his ways.  Not my 1st rodeo.
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His errors?  Window views from the house to patio/outdoor kitchen should be of the patio and garden, not the outdoor kitchen.  When the outdoor kitchen is the focal point of the patio, the cook is most often, backside to his guests.  2 errors, easily remedied.
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Taking the salesman's drawing, I turned it over and drew it correctly.  Pushing it slowly with my index finger across his desk, back too him, with a smile.
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Instant epiphany, the salesman cut a look, first, at Beloved who did the quick squinched eyes & hint of shoulder squinch.  Then I got my look from the salesman, who received a quick smile, then back to droll, droll, droll with the magazine.
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The men continued getting mom a new car.
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It seemed Beloved was letting a certain small bit of $$$ float away.  Perhaps he was waiting for the kill?  I gave it some time, hmm, Beloved did not mention that particular bit of $$$.  Time passed, magazine pages drolly turned, then it seemed the men were about to handshake.  Oh dear.  That tiny amount of $$$.
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"What about _________", I asked.  Beloved looked at me with a smile, the salesman with an "Oh s***" look.  Bingo, I got mom that money.   If memory serves, less that $400.  It had been rolled into a sentence about taxes blah blah, but you know I wasn't drolly reading that magazine.  My ears were all about mom's money.
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Beloved got a handshake, I got a handshake and a hug from the salesman, mom got a new car.
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This kitchen, below, is incredible.  Especially with the small space available.  A real cook's kitchen, without the kitchen viewed from the house, and the chef is at least sideways to his/her guests.  And, if needed, items can be passed from inside to outside from a window.
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Salesman said he couldn't wait to call his wife about their 'new' patio.

The Most Amazing Outdoor Kitchens// Hamptons:

Pic, above, here.
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The more I look at the pic, above, the better I like it.  And it already had me at 1st glance fabulosity.
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Droll was my role.  Keeping my mouth shut, mostly.  Not in my element, buying a car or being quiet, being droll made me 'listen' better.  Oh dear, this seems to be a metaphor of some sort.

Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Touch of Black

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

outdoor dining at its best:

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Designing the Faux Path

Many times I've used a bit of woodland, buffer between neighbors, as a faux focal point. Occasionally, space allows for this much meandering path, below.  Most of the time, the path is a few steps leading to a faux gate.  In each interpretation the path is 'real'.
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In the moment, below, Nature's yearly leaf fall.  Took me an ancient amount of time to realize, the trees are fed and enriched by letting go.  And the same is true for us, if we'll let go.  During senescens the color of photosynthesis is lost, and the true leaf colors appear.  Another story written in plain view, by Nature, another metaphor.  Beauty in letting go.  

Василий Поленов - Женщина, идущая по лесной тропинке:
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Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Layer Garden Design

An excursion, below, that should be a destination in Garden Design.

Tuinontwerp - tuinontwerpen door tuinarchitect tuinontwerper Zuid-Limburg Brabant:

Pic, above, here.
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Using the 3 elements, above, of garden design, plan your garden.  A serious landscape, in vanishing threshold with interiors of your home, expanding lifestyle, all with ease, beauty, joy while amplifying your personal aesthetic.
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Don't know the 3 elements, above?
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Ceilings, walls, floors.  Put another way, trees, shrubs, groundcovers.  Another description, foyer, dining room, living room.  Yes, now you are seeing the trinity of elements in the design, above.
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Two types of ceiling, above.  Can you label both?  Sky & trees.  Three types of flooring, above, low meadow, gravel, a chevron pattern.  Three types of walls, tall shrubs, medium shrubs, contrasting texture shrubs.
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Pond is a nice focal point viewed from the foyer, yet equal in use to both living room & dining room.  .
Focal point on plinth, on axis with don't-know-from-this-pic.
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Never thought about a garden like this for your home?  This garden will take your further, faster, lasting longer, than most other types of gardens.
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Starting and ending points for this garden remain 180 from a garden beginning, "I want hydrangeas, peonies and..."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mix Matched Outdoor Furnishings?

Layers of narrative, below.  Color echoes a home run, for starters.  White to silvers, very nice.
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Curiosity too.  Hydrangeas, below, at left in foreground, then further back, to the right.  A photographer's styling?  Perhaps a stylist guiding a photographer?
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Did your mind go there at all?  The white hydrangeas merely props?
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Hardly the 1st thing I saw in this delightful pic.
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First thing?  Field gathered furniture, all painted same color.  Voila !
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Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades it was France teaching me that trick.  No worries about field gathering garden furnishings.  Paint them all the same color.
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Huge arrow in your quiver.

 :

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Almost a complete garden design course in this pic.  Canopy/understory trees, high/low density, scale, flow, focal point, simplicity, color, contrasts, repetition, ceiling/walls/floors, seasonal interest, winter structure, invitation, comfort, myriad uses, no chemicals, low maintenance.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Color. Color ? Color !

Remember, designing your landscape, I must know you from the street.
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Parse the words.  To know you from the street, you must design your garden from interior views, and the same brain waves of style, color, flow, texture, individuality from inside to outside.
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A trinity of pics, below, you should all be able to shoot, of your home.  This trinity, below, is a Garden Design, of the ages, quiz question.  
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Today, now, your home/garden, mentally shoot these 3 pics.  Can you produce?
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Every garden needs a color trinity, green-brown-white, is the classic for centuries.  No worries if it's not your flavor, choose your own color trinity.  Produce these 3 pics.  Quiz question remains the same.  Shoot & produce.
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Color.  Color?  Color!  Which will it be?  This is your singular precious life.  Stretch your intelligence, comfort zone, think without your wallet.  Perhaps you need my personal question, epiphanized after too many decades people pleasing, "What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid?"  When it comes to doing your garden, your best garden, I'm not the person you want to start a sentence, "I can't do that."  Those are 4 failure words.  Best 4 words I was ever told, "Be who you are."
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Studying historic gardens across Europe for 2 decades, this lesson about color, above, and within the pics, below, was intuitively learned.  This stuff, above/below, is not in garden design books.  It's merely in the best historic gardens across history.  Want to recreate the wheel?  Knock yourself out.  Everyone loves the outliers who do, with success.
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Since the start of designing gardens, color was easy to choose, I pull from interiors, what will work with the exteriors.
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Furlow Gatewood's home/garden is over the top with the color trinity.  He makes me see it fresh, as if he invented it.  Better, he owns it.
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Cuthbert House, on Furlow Gatewood's Compound, in Americus, Georgia, Photo by Max Kim-Bee~❥:

Pic, above, here.

rod-collins-furlow-gatewood:

Pic, above, here.
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Fern, viewed from the garden, pulls me in.  Then the brilliant audacity of double axis to the mirror with the fern.  Swoon.

 One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood: Julia Reed, Paul Costello, Rodney Collins, Bunny Williams: 9780847842520: Amazon...:

Pic, above, here.
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Nothing more to be said about your color trinity excepting, shoot it.  Picture worth 1,000 words.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Exterior Trim: Navajo White

I'm working at a project, craftsman bungalo, with good timing, exterior  paint was showing its last gasps.  Much better than paint with fresh new confidence, and the color is wrong.
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They like the soft blue lapboard siding, it will be used again.  Their white trim was so bright it owned the neighborhood.
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Of course they wanted white trim again.  Thankfully, they agreed, the existing white trim-columns-rails-step risers, much too white.
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Which white to choose?
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Navajo White, Benjamin Moore, below.
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Calm, receding, means business but doesn't shout new kid on the block.
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If Navajo White can 'sit back' with this much coverage, below, my client is safe, their Navajo White will let their home/garden speak, not the trim.

The brick is painted  Benjamin Moore Navajo White (as is the limestone), and the dark trim is a custom color, starting with a base of BM 161...:

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Major careers for this couple, 2 small children,  she loves to cook, and hired me because she wants the focus of her entire landscape, it's not large, to be potager, chicken coop, pollinators.  They're doing painting/repairs & tree work this spring, landscape this fall.  She had all the right cookbooks, several shelves, in her kitchen.  Quirky, but that's a realm of assessment, kitchens.  And, you know I don't mean the make/model of equipment.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Front Door: A Course in Beautifully Scaled Details

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



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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Choosing Color, Downsizing, Staging

She moved into her forever home many years ago, and finally, what she always knew, arrived.  Children out of college, grandchildren growing, the large family home/garden, too large.  Downsizing is her imperative.
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The house needs painting, the orange brick never looked 'right' with the white trim.  Yesterday, I chose new colors for trim, shutters, gutters, porte-cochere ceiling. and the front door.  (Shutters will be Iron Mountain, #9, below.)

9. BM iron Mountain, 10. BM Kendall Charcoal, 11. BM Chelsea Gray (all Benjamin Moore):
Pic, above, here.

Her proclivity for birdhouses and interesting garden subsidiary focal points, will be removed.  House & garden simplified to their bones, creating a boutique hotel 'feel', "Welcome, it's beautiful here, everything is done for you, relax, enjoy the good food, sleeping here a heaven, etc."

  White house, grey trim, charcoal grey shutters,:

Pic, above, here.

A woman with many incredible collections, most will be boxed, much donated, little will remain, below.

 Traditional Cream Second Floor Landing:

Pic, above, here.

The process is stressful upon many layers, chiefly, the unknowns.  Once staged, I told her she will miss the more personal art/photos that are in storage, yet once moved, she will prefer living in the 'staged' type decor, with some of the personal tossed back in.  More, she will not regret anything donated.  And to expect, once their new home is bought, to be able to donate more furniture & 'stuff', and finally, once moved in a few more things can be donated.  Culling has a definite pattern over time.  Ironic, 'seeing' at each layer is quite clear, yet all layers cannot be seen up front, it is the unknowns at play.
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I asked if she was willing to sell all of her furniture/rugs/art if the buyer offered.  Whoa, her 'yes' was fast, and with a smile.  Good, that helps in the staging and what goes into storage.
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She has a day job, they own their own business, and her grown children's/grandchildren's stuff-stored-at-mom's must be downsized to zero.  Most of her husband's downsizing she'll be in charge of.  Both facts a layer of stress.  I told her, though she's the boss of this move, she's going to need her family pulling together as a team.  Huge pause then laughter.  She knows it will be herding butterflies.
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She's already begun the process, and it's a wild chaos.  We walked her entire interior and garden, discussing keep/donate/store.  A good morning.  Now she knows the chaos is not reigning, it's merely part of the process.  Too easy to feel overwhelmed and not in control.
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This has been a wild spring for clients calling and telling me they are downsizing.  Then, worse, a friend, really 5 friends stopped for my garden/lunch last Monday & no I didn't make lunch we went to a charming cafe in the town square, told me one of my favorite gardeners, Helen Dillon, in Ireland, will be downsizing & moving.  Helen's garden was the only reason I went to Ireland to study historic gardens.  I'm still processing the potential loss of Helen's garden, you can see it here
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, March 28, 2016

Don't Design Bifurcate: Interior & Exterior

For years I would write the editor of a specific interior design magazine asking why they would show beautiful interiors with terrible views out the windows.  No reply, ever.
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However, the month arrived when that magazine had every interior photograph edited/photoshopped to its exterior views with a brightness as if a glare of a beautiful garden, all the ugly views, poof/gone.  And, the magazine has continued editing exterior views for years.  Nice story, yes?
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This, below, is not that magazine.
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Great interior, yet a bifurcation of decorating styles, life choices, from inside to outside.
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What to do?

SHELTER:

Quick thought, without seeing the rest of the home's interior, stain the deck a shade, or 2, darker than the walls, above.
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Poof, interior/exterior no longer bifurcated.
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Another solution, add a shutter to lower half of the window, leaving only vistas of sky, trees, birds...
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Money is no issue solution?  Enlarge the deck, choose a new rail, stain same color as walls, turn window, above, into French doors, fix a drink, put a new album on the turn table, enjoy.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic, above, here.