Showing posts with label Curb Appeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curb Appeal. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Garden Design: Aging in Place

Keep- it- Simple- Sweetie works, every time.
.
Perhaps my Garden Design rule breaker, Overdose- on- a- Theme, is how you want to garden design, in spots, instead.


If this were the only garden space, above, I had until age 89 it would be my life's goal/mission to be the sole soul maintaining this sweet garden.
.
Why?  Means I would be climbing a ladder to clip the espalier fruit tree or gather fruit, in season.  Oh my, the joy of clipping the low hedge and spiral.  Puttering about with the pots, bulbs, mentally deciding thru the years how to out-perform the previous year/s in fabulosity.
.
If this little garden design did need a hired helper it merely needs unskilled labor twice a year.
.
 Beautiful, low maintenance, mentally stimulating through the years, no chemicals or watering needed, fruit to eat, turn into jam or give away.
.
These little doorway gardens are quite common in historic gardens across Europe.  History is the best teacher.
.
Lawn with foundation plantings, fertilizer, insecticides, pre-emergents, and a plop of colorful annuals twice each year?  Mr. Mow-Blow-Go-Commodify-All-I-Touch on contract to arrive weekly?
.
Not for me.  Mentally & spiritually soul crushing along with being bad for my physical well being.
.
Aging in Place.  Make the choice in your garden for type of garden design, the beauty, mental paths and joy in the maintenance whether you do it, or a helper.  Take the joy.  Joy, it's always there, whether you think so or not.  Take joy, Tasha Tudor's favorite saying.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
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 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.
.
The house originally on this site, below, was my favorite in the neighborhood.
.
A confluence of hurricane & money conspired for it to be torn down, another lot bought, and this home fills the new space.
.
Behind this home is Clear Creek meeting Galveston Bay, salt water meeting fresh.
.
Remember the time before these trees were planted.  Stunning to accept, trees grow, shade arrives, time passes.
.
Approaching, the classic color trinity, green-brown-white, never fails to delight.
.
Nor the evergreen groundcover, Asiatic jasmine.  Especially against St. Augustine lawn.


Proof of time's passage, below.  St. Augustine being shaded away.
.
Time to reshape the beds.
.

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?
.
A small garden design touch with huge results.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
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.
.
Ca. 1980's subdivision builder brain?  Still in use at new construction.  And, like a new car, value drops the moment ownership is signed.
.
Shot pics in Nassau Bay, Texas, my home town.
.
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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Garden Design Class: Flow

 “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir, 1838-1914, American naturalist, author, and wilderness advocate

Arriving at jobsite yesterday morning, below.  Already knew: 3 generations, 80 - 7 mos., gather here, 400+ acres, cattle, 3 acre lake, view a mile deep from the back porch.
.
Matriarch wants a new gate, below, patriarch a stone column.  Will match stones to the house, field gathered from the property, smaller stones as plinth with fieldstone topper as done a century ago.  Sourcing historic farm gates from England making every effort to keep this gate's frame & let an iron monger copy our new (old) idea.  



Do you know what an Alice In Wonderland house is?  They get bigger the closer you walk.  That's this house.
.
Go slow reading this, v e r y s  l  o  w.
.
What is missing, below?
.
Flow.
.
Cole Porter wrote about this house, don't- fence- me- in.
.
Coming off the right side of the porch, I've put steps.  
.

This door, below, leads to the kitchen.  What do you think I designed here?
.
Seriously, design this, right now, in your head.
.
From the corner of the front porch, and along the entire side of the house I've put in local gravel, 26' wide, straight to the foundation of the house.  A priority making things simple for the matriarch & matriarchs she's raised.  Aside from being historic they must unload groceries easily from their car.  


What else did I do, below?
.
What would you do?
.
Remember, Cole Porter.
.
Have sited fieldstone steps, gathered on site, into hillside.
.
More about 'exactly' where they go in another post.  Very easy, stay tuned.
.

View, below, from the back porch.
.
Have removed the 1st fence, not needed for cattle anymore, and put a gate, needs to be sourced, into the second, with a stile too.  A path of invitation to the lake, adding a flagstone terrace, fire ring, and Old Town canoe with tiny motor attached.


Do you see, below, Cole Porter again?  Where?
.
Help, I can't get on/off the porch at the side of the house.
.
At the open end of the porch, below, I have put in steps.


Fireplace, and 2 pair of French doors are inside this screened porch.
.
Help, I can't get out.
.
A pair of screen French doors have been designed into the far right panel, on axis with an interior pair of French doors, with stone steps.  You knew that, right?
.




 You should be in the swing of this 'flow' thing.  Finish the song.
.
1 thing left to do, below.
.
What is it?
.
A pair of steps off the left side of the front porch.
.
Voila, FLOW.
.


Garden design, for plants, must be vintage with no maintenance.  What do you think I did?
.
Sleep on it.  Will post the plant design soon.
.
Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
.
Pics shot at the jobsite yesterday morning.
.
This patriarch is one of the closest copies to John Muir I've met, though he looks exactly like Deke Slayton, who lived around the corner and my dad designed booster rockets for, with Wernher von Braun, and trained at the controls .  The matriarch?  I bow low in praise of her.  Met one of the matriarchs she produced, close to my age, at a jobsite we shared, and how I came to the work.  Matriarchs are a special love of mine.  Yet many do not produce matriarchs themselves.  Odd, yes?  When women of a certain age have not crossed into the matriarch zone it is Joseph Campbell, 'if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.'   Discovered Garden Design 'flow' at Lake Rabun, the family home I married into/out of.  Would marry that alcoholic again solely for what I learned about Garden Design at Lake Rabun.  Driven for Garden Design?  A bit.  Toss in decades of studying historic gardens across Europe.  Yes, I was anal enough to add a motor to the Old Town canoe !
.
Flow is done in a Garden Design first.  Not plants.
.
Please pass this post to any of your friends who are interested in Garden Design.  It's that important, aka it took me 30 years to be this simple, and sure.  And, my work for Hedgerow Farm.  

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.
.
Dinky is Stinky.


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


.
When I'm asked a question, and the answer is, 'Dinky is stinky", I know what comes next, widened eyes & complete epiphany.
.
The best gardens know, Dinky is Stinky.  A treat to come across a commercial garden getting their garden right.
.
Nothing dinky or stinky here, of course we stopped for a refreshing summer cocktail on a hot afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains.
.

.

 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Pics shot last weekend.  Gin, elderberry, cucumber, lime, sublime.
.
Those begonias !  Remember well, a tiny era during the 80's when interesting begonias were easy to find.  Those days, long gone.
.
Collateral information, if you can count the number of flowers, you don't have enough.
.
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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Garden Design Ideas: Double Axis

Garden Design is almost a features game.  A template of features show up in every good garden for over 10,000 years.  Literally.
.
Focal point on axis, below.



Focal point on axis, below.


When the same focal point is viewed in 2 axis you have a Double Axis.
.
You must have Double Axis with your Garden Design.
.
At a minimum.
.
But don't stop there.  Sissinghurst Castle has a male nude statue on axis from 5 main views.
.
Do the math, that's 10 axis views.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Slow down, go back to the 10,000 year remark.  Why did I put it in?
.
A little point made, you will not recreate the wheel.  Instead drive the known wheel, make it travel where you want.  That, alone, is enough to keep you occupied for a lifetime.  
.
I shot the pics last month.  

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.
.
Gravel to the house.  Yes.  Downspout is piped away, and round, very nice.
.
To enlarge the space further, add step across entire front & side.  More flow/movement.  Cole Porter's, Don't Fence Me In.
.
Wonder how the shutter color is being used inside, curious about the color on the ceiling.
.
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.
.
Historically designed, low maintenance.  Unskilled labor could easily keep this in shape.
.
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 !
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Warning: Strawberry House

Viewed from the front of the house, below, the Strawberry House sits calmly at the side of his antebellum home.


Viewed from the back of his antebellum home, below.




When told it is his 'Strawberry House' the game changed.
.
My life must include being able to say, "Let's walk to the Strawberry House."
.
Until yesterday I was clueless about the lack of a Strawberry House in my garden & vocabulary.
.
Adore anyone forcing me to up my game.  
.
These are the moments keeping me in gardens across the globe.  
.
The hunt. For delight.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken yesterday in the same garden as previous post.
.
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, August 18, 2014

On Houzz: Stone Steps in Waiting

Recently on Houzz here, below.
.
Modern renovation to vintage home.
.
Seriously good modern.
.
Made me laugh.
.
Why?
.
Happens all the time with new architectural construction.
.
Tunnel vision harking back to the old map makers, "Beyond this point there be dragons."


With long term clients, they learn to finish 'certain' landscape items sooner rather than later.
.
How do I know?
.
They tell my general contractor, "Don't tell Tara, we will not do XYZ yet but please put in those 3 stone steps so she won't be so upset."
.
This beautiful old home with new renovation, above, went international with its 3 gorgeous stones 'not complete'.  In Tara Talk those stones are jewelry-for-the-landscape.  Setting is complete, stones are bought, please let the jeweler do their work.
.
Best part of this home/garden?  Nothing has to be 'undone'.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
 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, August 11, 2014

How to Design Your Landscape --The Ultimate Guide

Lush in early summer, minimalist during winter.
.
Views into the home considered, views from home into the garden considered.
.
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?
.
Name it to claim it.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pic via Pinterest, here.
.
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, August 5, 2014

How to Layer Your Garden, Save Money & Create Less Work

Espalier apples, below, layered with flowering plants increase yields to 80%.


 Flowering trees, bushes, ground covers, above/below.  Chosen for sequence of blooms, toughness against drought/disease/insects, position for layers, and, attractiveness to beneficial insects & song birds.


Once mature, garden layers eliminate need for mulch & fertilizers, less or no mowing, prevent weeds, and enrich soil.        

                                         What garden center wants you to have this type of garden?  They cannot sell you annuals, weed killers, fertilizers, mulch.  Yearly.  For decades.
.
When is the last time Suze Orman saved homeowners this much money, and costly effort/time, while benefiting Earth?  And put healthy, tax free, inexpensive fruit/vegetables on the table, with garden layers increasing property value while reducing HVAC expenses.  Suze, who?  Go me.  And you.


Did you know nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers kill soil mycorrhizal fungi & earthworms, & are toxic to the water supply?



Unexpected 'majesty', aka stateliness-dignity-beauty, in my little garden's layers, above.



Through the apple orchard, above, Laura. 
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken yesterday at the Bay Terrace, aka front yard.  Today, working at the table Laura sitting on, above.  Stopped for apples last month at the grocery store.  Asked the clerk if she had the product correct, each apple was over a $1.  Hello fruit trees, and veggies in my garden !!
.
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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nurture Your Creativity

Ca. 1950 ranch.  Front yard, house on the golf course.
.
Drawn on site.  Folding table/chair moved a dozen times.
.
Don't mess with how I work.
.
How the potter molds clay, similar to how I design.
.
Feet in the garden, eyes/mind/Spirit/hand, in symphony.
.
Performing.


More regions of the brain activated, than sitting in the office on a computer.


Designing on the computer would be like playing the violin by hooking it up to wires and tapping on the computer keyboard to get the sweetest sounds played.  Not !


Whence my creativity, I know.  And, nurture.


Within that zone of creativity, is, I imagine, what others gain from cocaine.  Don't know, never tried it.  Don't need to, got better.  

 "Some get a kick from cocaine**
I'm sure that if I took even one sniff
That would bore me terrific'ly too
Yet I get a kick out of you."   Cole Porter



Each time a plan completed the awe in time.  Felt like seconds, yet hours passed.  Little in life allows me to forget time, or hunger.
.
" My general formula for my students is "Follow your bliss." Find where it is, and don't be afraid to follow it. 

Joseph Campbell
The Power of Myth
pp. 120, 149 "
.
.
Great fear, indeed.  Campbell should have added some in your life add to that fear, not trusting the path you've chosen.  
.
My father was horrified at my career choice, and embarrassed.  And vocal.  My engineering degree unused, the horticulture degree supporting me.
.
What I do for a living, and how I do it, are the best life choices, for me.  Bucking my dad literally made me ill at times.  
.
Best choice I've ever made, and the hardest.
.
Garden  & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics from jobsite this spring.
.
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.