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

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.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Design: Speak Volumes With No Words

Live - Love - Laugh blares a painted garden sign, on the shelf, with price tag.  Next time you see any garden sign/plaque for sale think, "Danger Will Robinson.", while asking yourself the Dante'sque question, Does this path enlarge, or diminish, my thought?
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Mostly, if words are put into a garden Alexis de Tocqueville has been given another arrow to release at USA.  Mostly.  And that's one of the joys of designing your garden, knowing when to use your tiny percentage allowed, to break rules.
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In a garden it is important no matter the joys & sorrows amongst your days/years, you know you have a place actively nurturing sorrows and increasing joys.  Without effort.  This layer of garden design is rarely mentioned, but inherent.

Fun hedge idea:

Made me laugh, above.  No words.  Is it whimsy, or a pun?
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Doesn't matter.
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Secondary smile, above, at the height of the evergreen wall.  Noticed decades ago the economics of gardens and hedges.  The 4' hedge easily maintained by the owner.  The 6' hedge, still maintained by the owner, but a ladder is involved, or hired gardener.  8' + hedges pruned with scaffolding or cherry picker for hired gardener to reach.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Found pic on Pinterest, and it had no link to provenance other than what is stamped on the picture, Getty Images.
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"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.", Alexis de Tocqueville.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Elements of a Famous Garden: Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival

Shade encroached lawn, below, so it was removed & a gravel path was added with a row of boxwoods.
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Then, unexpectedly, a gift of huge pots with boxwoods, and an entryway was created, below.
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This is a new portion of Susanne Hudson's famous Douglasville, GA garden.  Her garden is on the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival tour this Saturday/Sunday.
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Aside from being in magazines, on TV and tours, Susanne's garden should also be famous for how easy it is to maintain.
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And, deer proof.
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Susanne's garden reads like a Garden Design Manual.
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Garden Design Elements:


  Complete architecture above, ceiling, walls, floors, doorways, rooms.

Hallway (gravel path)
Foyer (zone between arbor/boxwood in pots/end of gravel path)
Walls ( fence, side of house, hedges)
Color  (house/fence white theme)
Color ( layers of green, dark green, light green)
Color (granite gravel chosen to flow with white theme vs. brown river pebbles)
Ceiling (sky is designed by framing with canopy & understory trees)
Entryways (the more entryways a garden has the better a garden is)
Ballroom (invitation to the ballroom via the arbor, implied mystery, the garden beckons you)
Parlor (invitation to the parlor thru the large boxwood pots)
Art on the Wall (house is backdrop to the garden)
Art on the Wall (one focal point/area is the macro rule, here it's the arbor)
Flooring (gravel, low meadow)

Garden Design is Interior Design with different arrows in the quiver.  When you see a garden you like, there is a language to describe every element.  Learn the language, in this lone pic, above, and your quiver will be full for any garden you see moving forward.

When I give this lecture, I move to a new pic, use the laser pointer, and let the audience shout out what it is.  By the 3rd picture all are fluent.  Even those that were skeptical.  Name it to claim it is true for garden design.  Once you can name it, you can put it in your own garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic taken by Susanne Hudson.  Spent the night with Susanne earlier this week, preparing for my lecture at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival this Saturday, 2pm, in the new courthouse.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What the French Gave: Monocoloring


Credentials I have, yet my true Garden Design education spanned 2+ decades and several continents.
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Smiled when I saw this, below.
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France gave me 2 huge arenas of learning, 1 is below.  
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MonoColoring.
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Language is no barrier to studying the best historic gardens across the globe.  Gardens speak Gardenese.
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Applying a French Garden Design lesson, below.
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If you field gather garden chairs, no worries about style, beyond comfort of course, paint them all the same color. 
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This lesson holds true at every price point home, castle, gated community, farm, villa, pied a terre, section 8 apartment balcony, townhome, even in my little working class cluster home neighborhood.
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Chairs, below, have a choice of colors for monocoloring.  Use trim color from the house, or an interior color that is prominent in the best artwork owned or from the carpet, perhaps a wall color.

Mismatched woven chairs and a teak table set the scene for meals in the outdoor entertaining area of this California cottage.   - CountryLiving.com

Of course more needs to be done, above, in this sweet garden room.
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Vine maintenance, above, is about a month overdue.  Bring a ladder to the French doors landing, with jackhammer drill, mortar screws, galvanized wire, install, finally, threading vine across top of French doors.
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Stay there, and hang the lantern, from the second step, centered above the French doors with the bottom of the lantern hanging 3 courses of bricks above the top of the French doors.
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Done with the ladder, put a level on the pot at the right of the French doors and get it level.
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Finally, use some spare bricks from home construction and raise the serving table, next to the house, 4 bricks high.
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All of these changes, are what my brain does, all of the time, driving or looking at Pinterest.  My brain 'fixes' gardens.  A well-honed skill.
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My brain can rest from this particular form of Garden Design OCD when camping at beach/mountains, and joyfully in my friends gardens.
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When a client garden is headed for Garden Tour it is amazing the to-do list we create for an already fabulous garden.  Pages long.
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If your garden is ready for a garden tour, but you've not done one yet, I strongly encourage you to do it.  Your garden will go to another level.
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You will never have been so driven in your life, promise.  Aside from weeks of exhaustion and hunting/gathering, your checkbook will provide, in a manner that feels like Zen but prior to the tour felt like fear.  It gets worse, you will begin new garden layers, to be finished prior to the tour, you never anticipated.  Providence, supplying epiphanies and inspirations, and you will be Peasant in Chief, happy to oblige. 
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Did you just smirk at this?
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Then YOU are the one that will do all described.  Promise.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
Pic from HERE.  






Monday, April 27, 2015

Planning a New Garden

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



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

 paint colors for 1900 farmhouse - Google Search

Pic via here.

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

  

Pic via here.

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

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

Pic via here.

 farmhouse porch | Farmhouse-porch-view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nancy lancaster

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

Plates display and details on table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pic via here.

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recognizing 'Flow'

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

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

Same home, below, pic taken, 1934.

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

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Color: Banish Hodge Podge Lodge

Viewing the Great Smoky Mountains, below.
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The century old Glen Ella Inn would be inappropriate to its era if it were 'fancy'.
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Coming up from the garden, below, the owner's heart & intellect spoke, and made me smile.
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For many centuries the best gardens across the globe have shared an oddly piquant quality, and much needed.  The poverty cycle.
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My smile, below?  The air-conditioning units painted the wall color, and rocking chairs painted the door color.


Studying historic gardens across France taught me the connection of paint color and field gathered furniture.
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Been doing it in client gardens for decades.  I'm not one to ignore the brilliance of earlier garden designers.


Another smile, with color.  Have designed umbrellas into a client's barns/acreage.  Using any color amongst her exterior color trinity.  (Remember, every garden must have a color trinity.)
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Ironically, the chairs on the front porch of Glen Ella, yesterday's post, were created during a true poverty cycle, and now, are quite expensive.  Hence, the style change with the back porch rocking chairs.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara

Monday, January 5, 2015

Best Place to Copy Front Porch Design?

Bed & Breakfasts speak to myriad layers of design.
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Their needs, specific.  They must be inviting, tidy, comfortable, safe, feed all your senses, and perform through all seasons.
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B&B's are on a budget of money & time.  
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Perfect, just like home.
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Glen Ella, below, has been welcoming guests for a century.  
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History, color, repetition, comfort, and welcome at Glen Ella's front porch, below.


One of the first rules of Garden Design, copy.
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Not your style, above?  Doesn't matter, the design rules apply.
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For 30+ years I've had the good fortune of having a family place nearby.  Better fortune, I've not been the one to buy the family place & pay upkeep !  Glen Ella is still beside a dirt road and its Smoky Mountain views not harmed by gentrification.  Throughout the years I've never had a bad meal here and know to make reservations.
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Now, whenever I go to Glen Ella a walk alone in the garden & meadows is deeply anticipated.  Enjoying the present, yet remembering other days/evenings/meals here with deeply loved friends, already gone.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Makes a Garden: Vanishing Threshold

Studying the best historic gardens in Italy, decades ago, it was obvious their gardens are in relationship to the home/villa.
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USA landscapes, I was taught in college, are to be designed from the street, looking at the house.  Preferably by testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch.  (Zillion situations where this is fine, too.)
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Easy to understand the joy/love getting my horticulture degree, yet agony in its belief system.  Hence, trotting off to Europe for decades,  truly learning about gardens.

Yesterday, on Pinterest, I saw both homes, above/below.
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Zero school needed, to decipher which garden is European or USA style.
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One garden is in relationship with its house, the other, tacked-on quite adequately.  
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Yet, both gardens have the same ingredients.

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When a garden is not in relationship to the house, aside from it likely being the builder's special du jour, I call them Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey gardens.
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2 pics, all you need to become an expert at deciphering a garden in relationship to its house or a pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey garden.
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I adore learning thru pictures.
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Vanishing threshold gardens are first designed from inside the home, not the street.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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The thing about 'judging' anonymous gardens is unfair.  Please don't think I'm doing it here.
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Too many reasons a garden cannot be judged.  One never knows if it's a job loss, elderly widowed owner, alcoholism or other addiction may live inside, major health issues, working too many hours with travel included, some people are happily oblivious with deep interests elsewhere, & etc,
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  For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
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Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
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Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
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Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
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What do YOU want?
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Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
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Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beautiful Easy Landscape: Green, Brown, White


At her kitchen porch, below.  Her color theme is the beautiful landscape classic: green, brown, white.
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With 300+ acres everything must be simple.  No care.  More than pretty & easy, her landscape must leverage her life.  What does that mean?
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Your beautiful landscape must work for you.
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A large local nursery advertises it's- fun- to- play- in- the- dirt.  Really?  That is a landscape?
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Beautiful landscapes, in my realm, work for me.  How?  Increase property value, decrease HVAC, attractive to pollinators/guests/me, little time 'playing in the dirt'.  Instead, hours are spent in my garden reading or having meals in the Conservatory, cutting flowers to bring inside, having lunch in the potager on a sunny winter's day, awakening to the scent of tea olive, playing with my pets, or enjoying the harvest table on the patio as I've spread out materials and laptop to create a power point, and etc.
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Play in the dirt?  Sure, a part of my realm to enjoy, but merely a sliver of what beautiful landscapes provide.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic shot at a client's home yesterday.  Would love a flower show display of 12 landscapes all with the green-brown-white theme set on a small terrace with 2 chairs + table.  Same story, new each time.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Design: When is it Time to Change Bedlines?

I visit my childhood home often.  Instead of biking its few roads as tradition, I walk them.
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The house originally on this site, below, was my favorite in the neighborhood.
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A confluence of hurricane & money conspired for it to be torn down, another lot bought, and this home fills the new space.
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Behind this home is Clear Creek meeting Galveston Bay, salt water meeting fresh.
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Remember the time before these trees were planted.  Stunning to accept, trees grow, shade arrives, time passes.
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Approaching, the classic color trinity, green-brown-white, never fails to delight.
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Nor the evergreen groundcover, Asiatic jasmine.  Especially against St. Augustine lawn.


Proof of time's passage, below.  St. Augustine being shaded away.
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Time to reshape the beds.
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Instead of focusing merely on the present, reshape bedlines into the future, below.


 Now that you are an expert Bedline Garden Designer, you see your next project, below.


Curious, which visit will I walk by and they've reshaped their bedlines?
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A small garden design touch with huge results.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Beautiful landscape, above, ready for more than mow-blow-go.  Want my pruning expert to release the trees & shrubs from their prison of electric trimmers.  Take away the ca 1980's subdivision builder brain and enter into the myriad histories of le jardin rustique from across the globe, and centuries.  At this price range, more than a few dollars can be made in real estate value.
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Ca. 1980's subdivision builder brain?  Still in use at new construction.  And, like a new car, value drops the moment ownership is signed.
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Shot pics in Nassau Bay, Texas, my home town.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Garden Design: Enlarging Color Echoes, by Pamela Harper

My team finished a student housing project last week in Auburn, AL, below.  



After, above, before, below.


Pure pride in our work, the most common response, is widened eyes and a comment, "Student housing wasn't like this when I went."  Zero comments about our work !


As the project completed, the interior team color echoed the exterior team.  Without collaborating.  A sign the owner chose his teams wisely.  Everyone, on mission.  Team players.



Pamela Harper wrote of Color Echoes in the garden ca. 1994, and I heard her lecture about this during her book tour at the time.
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Of course my concept of color echoes is larger than Pamela Harper's,  Why?  Houses & gardens are equal in garden design in a vanishing threshold.
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Interior decorator, above, put me on her team for a house she designed both architecture/interior.  You know the house, it's in the previous 2 posts.
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Surveying our work, then seeing her interiors, this SMU grad sounded like a total Auburn Tiger.
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At the pool table, above, is exactly what you must do for your interiors/exteriors, vanishing threshold.  AKA, color echoes.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics shot last week and earlier in the summer.  Loved the day palm trees arrived on the bed of an 18-wheeler.  Perhaps the day the pool filled was better?  Notice the pool decking?  It's travertine pavers set in gravel.  They are echoed at the entry to the formal lobby.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Why You Need to Know Dinky is Stinky


Aside from repetition- contrast- color- copied the window boxes are screaming one of my favorite Garden Design rules.
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Dinky is Stinky.


At the entry way to this hotel, above/below, are begonias.


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When I'm asked a question, and the answer is, 'Dinky is stinky", I know what comes next, widened eyes & complete epiphany.
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The best gardens know, Dinky is Stinky.  A treat to come across a commercial garden getting their garden right.
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Nothing dinky or stinky here, of course we stopped for a refreshing summer cocktail on a hot afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains.
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 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics shot last weekend.  Gin, elderberry, cucumber, lime, sublime.
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Those begonias !  Remember well, a tiny era during the 80's when interesting begonias were easy to find.  Those days, long gone.
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Collateral information, if you can count the number of flowers, you don't have enough.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Front Porch: Remove the Rails

No rails.


Shutters are full length door scale, adding 'height'.  Screen door with long top panel, and a plain bottom panel, again adding height.
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Gravel to the house.  Yes.  Downspout is piped away, and round, very nice.
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To enlarge the space further, add step across entire front & side.  More flow/movement.  Cole Porter's, Don't Fence Me In.
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Wonder how the shutter color is being used inside, curious about the color on the ceiling.
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Ironically, everything is done with a sure hand except the pots.  They seem like mere filler (or magazine staging at its pinnacle of pots/pillows) until the correct pots are chosen/planted.
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Historically designed, low maintenance.  Unskilled labor could easily keep this in shape.
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Maria Killam had this pic recently & nailed it on the color.  Made me laugh, all I could see was the 'entire' excellent garden design, color included.  Of course I'm always happy seeing a front porch rail liberation. Would like an architect to do a post on this pic next !
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.