Showing posts with label Contrast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contrast. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2016

Contrast Makes Your Garden Pop

Contrast is the basic ingredient of Garden design.  Both pics, below, use the same type of contrast.  Can you label it?
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I grew up, as most Americans, without a vocabulary for gardens.  Worse, after receiving a horticulture degree, I still had no proper, historic, of the ages, vocabulary for Garden Design.  Garden Design and horticulture are 2 different professions.  Toss in Agriculture, and you have 3 professions.
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That's another rabbit hole of conversation, so, back to labeling the contrast technique used in the pics, below.
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I've taught horticulture and Garden Design for over 20 years at a local college, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  One of my favorite teaching tools is adding proper vocabulary to Garden Design photos.  Name it to claim it.  Never more be moved by beautiful garden photos, yet unaware how to describe them in detail.
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Of course there is an entire TV industry of garden shows thriving on viewers lack of knowledge.  Most often the ambush garden show, with fast before/after, are comedies of the wrong sort, dark comedy.  If you know horticulture, aka plant care/culture/habit, you know how quickly the 'after' garden will fail.  Discussing merit of those Garden Designs, mostly what I learned in college, incurves and outcurves, planting beds, drifts, accent plants, landscaping, all well represented.  If you want any of that stuff, don't hire me.  I won't do it.  Historic, of  the ages, that's my venue.
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Beyond beautiful, below, it's historic Garden Design, and the plantings show deep knowledge of planting materials, aka horticulture.  What is the contrast, below?  The main contrast is spikey with rounded, followed with contrasting color of foliage, and contrasting foliage sizes, and contrasting layers of height.  Four more elements, huge, below.  You know horticulture well if you have already labeled the last 4 elements.
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Drought tolerant plantings, below.  Deer proof plantings, below.  Disease resistant plantings, below.  Insect resistant plantings, below.  The last asset, below?  All year interest, plenty of structure left for winter interest.
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Pic, above, here.

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Pic, above, here.

Same Garden Design conceit, above, but the plantings, aka horticulture, could be either fabulous or problematic depending upon your location/zone/elevation.  Peonies & foxglove, classic spike/round combination.
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In the deep south peonies can do well, but not the lush abundance of northern climates, and a dry, hot, southern spring/summer, will invite spider mites to the foxglove, and irrigation will be needed.  Also, above, this section of the garden will be bare, empty, with so many herbaceous plantings during winter.
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A lot to consider, above, about Garden Design, and personal choices of what you wish to look at in winter.  And, excellent examples of using spike/round contrast.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

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, August 18, 2016

Anna Wintour has Tara Turf?

Age 8, saw my 1st garden like this, below, in Augusta, GA.  The adults were content to stay inside & chat.  I did the rude child thing, and begged to go outside.  They were glad to get rid of me.  Had to be, I was more than glad to be gone from them.  Not until I saw the movie, Beetlejuice, did anything describe how I felt, going outside that house, that day, into the garden.  Another world.
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The garden was entirely green, wild, mischievously wild.  Looking ahead, left, right, the garden was telling me to go everywhere, all a fabulous mystery, yet speaking to me in a language I knew.  And, that feeling of being alone, in this adventure, perhaps explains more fully, in adulthood, studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades.  And creating the garden for myself.
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Few ask for. or understand, this type garden, up front, in USA.  I design as much of them into the ubiquitous requests, as I can.  A tiny handful, across 3 decades, have asked for the full monty.
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I was caught by this garden, below, being presumptuous.  It's owner, in the public eye for decades with an international successful career, and public persona so Cruella Deville, Meryl Streep played her in a movie.  The garden, below, takes her mask off.  Anna Wintour's garden, below.    












Pics, above, here.
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Full article from NYTimes, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Language of a Garden's Entry: Not What You Think

Are you aware there is a classic repertoire of garden design language?  You know, the one without words.

A witty welcome, below, shouting, 'Come in'.  Restraint, grandeur, provincial, elegant, color, while informing reams of information about the house and its owner/s.



The language of garden design is quite simple, contrasts.  Simplicity with decadence, rustic with formal.

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Designing an orchard next to this garden room, above, is obvious or at least it should be.
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I've known this fact for decades, since 1st studying historic gardens across Europe.  Only later, much later, an embarrassing slug's pace, did the epiphany arrive, Providence never separated agriculture from ornamental horticulture.  They are entwined, they are one.
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Amusing, and sad, how many elementary school gardens are planted with vegetables & herbs, without their contrasting ornamental garden.  Why sad?  It is the ornamental garden adding up to 80% increases to agricultural yields.  How?  Pollinators.  Worse, the full language of a garden is not passed to the elementary school students, nor their teachers.
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Another way to look at the top pic and garden design?  Most often, in USA, a stone wall leading to an estate or high-end gated neighborhood is fabulously planted with a cornucopia of ornamental plants & monoculture lawn, everything irrigated, chemicaled, maintained.  Ironically, copying the best high-end apartment complexes.  Often, also, a piece of farm acreage purchased to construct a fine home, builds a couple of stone plinths connected with a gate then a few plantings tossed in.  Their new neighbors wondering, "Did that land sell-out to build a starter home subdivision?"  
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Oh my, the language of garden entry ways.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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Pics from NaramataBlend.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ralph Lauren Garden ca. 1988

Do you like this garden?
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For many years I could not abide these types of gardens.
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Clipped, formal, severe.
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Already laughing, because you know what is coming?
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I love adore honor & am humbled by this garden.
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Design them for clients.
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Evergreen, simple, easy to maintain, inexpensive, functional for games-parties-tents.
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Of course there is a garden room next to it with 'flowers', maybe a fruit tree orchard, or a 'shrubbery', perhaps a 'wild wood', a meadow with mown paths. 
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For many years I was clueless about the narrative of these gardens.
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Thought gardening was all about ME, what I liked, wanted, narrated.
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Garden Design, in USA, is too young, too righteous in proving, Tocqueville, without effort, correct.
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Slow down, did you smirk at the dry humor, above?
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It was ME, in the early years, "..too righteous in proving, Tocqueville, without effort, correct."
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What happened?
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Hungry to learn, I went back to college and got another degree, horticulture.  Knew at the conclusion, it was rotten.  Off to Europe to study historic gardens.
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A rule for Garden Design, pictures of your garden must not place its era or continent.
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 Don't think your garden has a narrative?  Wrong, every garden has a narrative.  Best to make sure it's a narrative enriching to your soul.
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That's enough to keep anyone happily occupied for life.
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Photo, above, 1988 Ralph Lauren.
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Saw the pic on Pinterest this week.  Had to know more about it.  Once I saw, Ralph Lauren ca 1988, I smelled the garden. 


Freshmen year of college, ca 1977, this was the fragrance.  Dorm rooms, dorm halls, dorm lobbies, dorm elevators, dorm cafeterias, freshman mixers, classrooms, campus sidewalks, ALL, smelled of this.  Memory !
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Like the fragrance, it was just on too many girls.
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Perhaps, I should seek the fragrance, now.  Let it tell me more about myself.  Just as Ralph Lauren's garden, above, tells me, in great narrative, about a my life trajectory in  gardens.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Formal vs. Rustique: Spotting the Difference

I delight in this perfect, imperceptible, detail.  See the difference between Formal vs. Rustique ?

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Of course it made my Pinterest Board, Outdoor Living & Exterior Design.  
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Spot the 'le jardin rustique' element?
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Though a formal landscape design, above, a skilled gardener contrasted with much needed le jardin rustique in this tiny space.
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Contrast is a top Landscape Design 'rule'.
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 In this garden, lapping gravel to the tree trunks is a major landscape design choice.
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And, the right choice.
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What was the 'formal' choice?  Boxing the tree trunks with cobblestones.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Design Your Landscape --The Ultimate Guide

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


I see an entire Landscape Design course in this picture.  What do you see?
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Name it to claim it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic via Pinterest, here.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Keeping & Fixing

Along the side of her home, below, a mass planting of hosta.
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Most of the year these hosta are herbacious.
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During fall they are literally senescence yellow.  With tired mulch.  Two layers of death !  Welcome home.
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She asked for a design in front & back.
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How could I not address the hosta along the side?


My ego isn't about ripping out & starting over.  A bigger challenge is, keep offensive plantings & turn them to delight.
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In the South, blessedly, sasanqua thrive.
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Two sasanqua have been planted & will be espalier pruned flat against the wall.  No trellis or wires needed.
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And all that hosta?  Remains in place.


Soon, these 3 gallon espalier sasanqua will be lush plantings, diminishing the impact of gas-a/c.  And the fleeting impact of the hosta.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite this month.
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Sasanqua espalier are often in my Southern garden designs.  Never do we install already espaliered Sasanqua.  Too d&*% expensive.  Instead, we do the pruning.
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Of course we have to rip plantings out.  Decades of plant-shape-only installed by builders helps no one and literally decreases property values while sometimes cracking foundations-drives-paths.
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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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Front Porch: Formal + Informal


Design Rule: Contrast.
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A touch of the Queen + Ellie Mae Clampett.
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Urn on Plinth + Galvanized Buckets hanging with ropes.

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Your garden must tell me who you are before stepping inside your home.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic taken this month.  Jeri Farmer's lovely home/garden was on the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival Garden Tour.  Jeri & Susanne refreshed the garden this year and time/money were both running short yet pots were still needed for the ferns.  Of course Susanne said, "Put them in galvanized buckets."
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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.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Screened Porch: Furniture Texture


Furniture textures are important.  In addition to color.



A new covered screened porch, above/below, with warmth & welcome.



Patio/deck/porch/garden furniture is too often in 'sets' with matchy-watchy pieces too.
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What is this hold garden furniture ads have over popular imagination?
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Of course they want you to buy sets.
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Most often, why would you do that?
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However, there are lovely exceptions.  
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Be sure you are one before embarking upon sets of matchy-watchy garden furniture.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pics this week in a client garden.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Transitioning Style: Garden Rooms Different than Interior Rooms

Beyond the house, in their garden, is the rose garden with cottage.
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Formal.
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Quite obvious what type of garden room is next.


Rustic, and wild, below.


Truly, one of the best waterfalls, any continent, residential/commercial, I've ever seen.
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Garden rooms are easy to style.  They contrast formal to rustic and back again.  For many centuries now.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in the Paul/Lisa Brown garden.
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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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Elements of a Garden: What do you see?


Formal with informal.
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Designed garden with controlled woodland.
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Garden rooms flow in contrast to each other.
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Color theme, green-brown-white.
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High density & low density for maximum pollinator habitat.
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Every garden room needs at least 1 cone shape.
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Cone shapes draw eyes to the sky.
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Cone shapes are hard to design, easy to do too many.
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Pair of cone shapes at an entry way expand the invitation.
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Contrasting shades of green,
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Contrasting sizes of foliage.

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Designed for structure 12 months of the year.
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Clipped hedging.
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Axis.  Double axis.
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Paths easy to walk.
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Fencing & gates chosen to flow with the house.  How do I know?  I just do.
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Stone in the paths matches stone elsewhere in the garden and on the home.  How do I know?  I just do.
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What did you see when you looked at this pic?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Lost provenance on the pic.
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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.
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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, May 5, 2014

Design is in 2 Directions: Double Axis

Walking further into the back garden from the house, below, 


At the back of the garden, below, waking toward the house.


Same focal point, double axis.
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Gardens MUST be gorgeous in both directions.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in the garden of Paul/Lisa Brown.  It will be on the Atlanta Botanical Garden Connoisseurs tour Mother's Day weekend, May 10-11, 2014.
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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.