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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Foyer in the Garden

The door is open, below, welcoming you into the foyer.

Oscar de La Renta's Lush Garden in the Dominican Republic Photos | Architectural Digest:
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps a foyer is what your garden is missing?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Love seeing ferns growing in the palm trunk, above.  My parents lone, huge, palm in the front yard has asparagus fern & azaleas growing in/up its trunk.  Of course, her dog almost died biting into a pod off a sago palm in the backyard.  Sago palm, above, bottom right.  Love the wildwood/chaosy/rusticity, above.  It's Oscar de la Renta's garden, you know it drips slowly into a comfortable tropical refinement.  With a bit of searching online, the foyer table, above, must be on cross axis with a door at the house.  Must be !

Friday, May 26, 2017

Front Door: Color & Font

Rarely do I design commercial projects.  When I do commercial, it's most often for the owner of the business who has already hired me for their home, deciding later to strong arm me for their business.  Most of the commercial work has been small businesses, though I've done one the size of a college campus in a small town.  Never have I felt out of my element, curious that I don't seek commercial too.   Oddly, when first asked to do commercial I always say, No.  This type of 'No' is pure catnip to all who've made the request.  A rabbit hole for another day.
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Yesterday Pinterest got into my veins with several pics of commercial front doors.  Pinterest is my go-to quick time filler.  What's the harm of beauty, inspiration and a little sideways learning?
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Banner Pinterest day, yesterday, learned with a commercial storefront, a small business, all you need is Color & Font.  They draw the eye, then through the window/s, a focal point.  If you've read my blog any time at all, you know 'trinities' are magnetic sparkly pixie dust to me.
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Here's the golden nugget I can't translate.  Yet.
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If a small business only needs Color & Font to draw the eye, with delight, what is the equivalent pairing, for a residential front door?  And what is the residential focal point prong, creating a trinity, with the pairing of Color & Font.  At present I think the answer is fluid within a fixed realm.  Dynamic in a static setting.  Further, once deduced, I know there will be several templates within the residential front door design.
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Pure delight, a shiny new discovery to be made.
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About age 6, I remember vividly finding the old 'toy' clock Santa brought me 'years' earlier, in the back of my closet.  Surely, time to throw it away.  Before throwing it away, I HAD to know how the inner mechanism worked, to move the hands.  Went to the kitchen, got a steak knife, went back to my room, hacked into the back of the clock, and saw all its plastic moving parts, and figured out how it worked.  Which was a lot better than merely learning to tell time.  Fate wasn't kind, mom passed by my room, clock & steak knife in hand.  "What have you done?"    Yep, got in trouble.  Can you believe it?  I couldn't either, all I was doing was learning.
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Adore the phase of reaching toward discovery.  As much as discovery.  This time, you're in the mix.  Tell me, How does the pairing of Color & Font translate to you, for your residential front door?

coiffeur:
Pic, above, here.

 one cannot go to Laduree too often, n'est pas?:
Pic, above, here.

 .13 Rue d"Elzevir Paris 3eme:
Pic, above, here.

 Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France. Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.:
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Yesterday also had another major quirk.  Two appointments attended required standing & saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Voices & words rang strong & sure in both rooms.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prune an Arch Into It


Prune an arch into it, below.
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Pruned arches were a take away from all my historic garden design study tours across Europe for decades.  Especially nice is using the 'pruned arch', not only 'saving' an existing 'bad' landscape, but saving the plant too.
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Often, mid-century, & newer, subdivision homes are completed with a front foundation planting of green meatballs, and a larger 'something' at left/right corners.  Those corner 'somethings' lend themselves for pruning an arch into.  Not always, but often enough.
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Whether designing on site, or long distance, the moment pruning an arch is mentioned, the light bulb moment with my client is pure joy to experience.  What had been a problem, gains an easy, pretty, functional solution, and likely saving the plant/s from execution.  

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic,above, here.
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More than the pruned arch, above, this lone garden pic is a Garden Design class.
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Ceiling, walls, floor, stone set into gravel, furniture in the garden, contrasting foliage color/texture, pot cluster subsidiary focal point at the focal point of the door, pruning, flow, mystery. scale, timelessness, invitation, simplicity,
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Am designing a family cemetery plot now.  At its entry a pair of Japanese maples 'Bloodgood', pruned into an arch.    'Pruning', a layer of the design.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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First putting pencil to paper with the cemetery plot, tougher than expected.  I know the family, designed their backyard.  Surviving spouse wants the plot to look like their backyard.  Much.  Tougher.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Southern Living Magazine: A Garden

For 20 years of my career, Southern Living magazine was 'the' resource for clients.  Most had pages dog-eared or torn out ready to show the garden of their dreams.  In return, equally, it was gratifying to reproduce those beautiful images.  Aside from reading Southern Living myself, for pleasure, I 'had' to read it because it was an expectation of clients.  
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Then came John Floyd's retirement in 2008, the editor for those glory years my clients adored.
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After John Floyd, Southern Living became a magazine for Southerners written through the prism of those outside the South.  Dropped my subscription after an article that can only be described as snarky & demeaning, lacking in inspiration, choosing the trite & hackneyed, without intellect or stewardship, time enriched became time wasted.  How could they.  Get John back.
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Oddly, another magazine had just been founded a year prior to John Floyd's retirement, Garden & Gun.  What a title.  It sputtered, as all businesses did during the debacle of 2008.  Time passed, about 5 years ago clients would start a sentence, "Did you see the latest Garden & Gun"?  Never was it about a garden, but someplace to eat, travel, or an article richly configured splaying open an epiphany, or two.  Three years ago, after buying a few copies on news stands, knew I had to get a subscription.  Zero disappointment.  However, the 'garden' part of Garden & Gun seems shallowly formulated, still in its infancy.  Don't care.  The rest of the magazine gives more than enough.
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Saw a garden picture, below, recently and love it.  Enough love, had to discover its source.  Well, go team, Southern Living magazine.  Hope this spark turns into a fire and I get 2-3 clients saying, "I saw this in Southern Living...."


Front Porch with Green Rocking Chairs

Just wow, above/below, simple, comfortable, easy to maintain, leveraging life, not sucking the life out of you trying to keep it up, and historically accurate.
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Monteagle, Tennessee Cottage

The story gets better with this garden, above.  The Southern Living article includes the interior.  This is a second home for the owners, and part of their joy in this home is sharing it with others, whether they are there, or not.
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Yeah, Southern Living magazine is back on the radar.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Oh irony.  Garden & Gun hired a lot of staff from NYCity, relocating them to the South at its founding.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's Missing from this Front Porch?

Sitting on the front porch swing, below, yesterday before dinner.
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Furnishings are functional, still not 'permanent' after moving here 2 years ago.  Awaiting back deck staining & building a conservatory, both may pull furniture from front porch.  Until then, no worries, I like using the front porch.    Floor, below, still needs staining.
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Chair, at front door, below, leverages me coming/going from my car for work and grocery, always something to set down.  Better, that chair has the best packages delivered upon it.  Moving in, a friend told me, because I was now in middle of nowhere, You've got to get amazon prime.  Never considered that a need.  Now rural, it's a need.
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3 ceiling fans are a need.  Rural insects dine upon livestock patties, growing to impressive sizes, while having a higher IQ than their city counterparts.  They're born knowing my name, where I live, and adoring my hide.  Worse, they love going for car rides.  
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Notice what is missing below?
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Huge.
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Ironic for a Garden Designer, yet a point of particular pride.

Image may contain: outdoor and indoor

Posted this pic, above, on my facebook yesterday.  Asking same question, What's Missing?  Got a quick answer from hilarious source.
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Surprisingly got answers that I wasn't looking for, but were true answers.  People are rarely a component of my Garden Design photos.  During my formative era, Garden Design photos rarely had people in them.  But there was a stronger reason for having no people.  Money.  With a roll of slide film, I could only afford usable pics that would last decades.  People & cars date a garden pic.
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Still life pulls me greatly.  Interior/exterior.  An invitation to enter.  Someone noticed that too.  A+ to him, he left me a bit stunned, as if he'd found a 'secret' !
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That friend knowing immediately what's missing, above, was the daughter-in-law of my former boss.  Her father-in-law owned the nursery/florist I worked for doing propagation work for 2.5 years.  Learned much from her father-in-law, and always enjoyed seeing him at industry events for decades.  A good man, gone many years.  Now, she & her husband own that nursery.  It's obvious what's missing right?  Plants.
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Not to that layer yet, excitedly anticipating growing small topiaries in terra cotta pots, a Bunny Mellon layer, and in a funny twist, interesting begonias.  A particular begonia from a friend's grandmother's plant, and here's the twist, that nursery I worked at as a propagator has an outstanding variety of old fashioned begonias.
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Until the plant layer arrives, I'm enjoying the anticipation.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Front Yard: Simple, More Simple

Seems so simple, below.

tuinontwerp Maastricht Zuid-Limburg:
Pic, above, here.

More simple, below.

 Ooohhhh yes please...I'll take it ❤️ @decorpad:
Pic, above, here.
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Austerity of great depth.
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Richness in choosing 'no'.
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A garden must say who you are from the curb.  A garden must say you really do want to come inside.
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Amazing array of good choices, that list is not short, made for both houses & gardens.
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How simple can you make your landscape while giving it, and your home, deep riches ?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saul Zaik: Integrated Indoor & Outdoor Spaces

Zipping with speed thru pics, this deck, below, stopped me.
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A hearty bravo to the brainwave.  Then, overdose-on-a-theme, the roof !
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Another bravo to whoever designed the interior of this home, from my favorite vantage point, the garden.  Landscaping along the windows is a bit odd, glass rectangle edged with ferns, creating a terrarium'ish style.  What to do instead?  (First, replace sofa with a pair of similar styled chairs, that turn 360.  Why the fortification of sofa only looking in?)  Remove ferns & existing path, replace with bluestone rectangles, sized in width from outer edge of deck, fully to the house, scaled in length to each window, spaced the same distance apart as the window frames.

Speaking to his original design, architect Saul Zaik says, “We were really just building boxes with a bunch of windows but experimenting with how you integrated indoor and outdoor spaces.” The house has seven different openings to the exterior, allowing different courtyard or patio settings for a range of outdoor activities, including seating for a gathering on the street-facing side. The Milfords hired Lilyvilla Gardens for the landscaping around the house, including variegated bluestone st...:
Pic, above, here.
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Color of patio chair, echoed inside with the bowl, and dark gray from chimney top to foundation.
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Next.  Axis looking into the home is marvelous.  What is its opposite axis?  Double axis.  If you have a focal point in one direction you must have another in the opposite.  Has me curious.
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Lawn & large shrub at corner are thriving, sculptural.
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Almost a Garden Design course in a single pic.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Notice the gutters at the roof line?  Great example of darkish color rising up into the roof.  Too often, gutters are painted much lighter than a roof, pulling the height of the roof lower.  Another counterintuitive Garden Design layer.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Front Door: Choosing Color

Thirty years I lived in this architecture, below.  Looming driveway/garage, wall with large windows, finally, a teeny tiny sliver, and voila, the front door.
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Garden Design's focus, at the front of the home, is the front door.  More than knowing you by your front door, I should know you from the curb.
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Fun opportunities ahead for this home, below.
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A few changes to make in the coming years, below.
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Move the flag holder from the column to a corner of the house.  No need to crowd the front door more, and zero design sense having 2 focal points side/side.  Garden Design rule, one focal point per area.
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Add stone, left/right of the sidewalk at the front door.  Take out the shrub, below, to the right of the front door, place stone, and to the left of the front door, remove the shrub, add stone.  Finally, breathing space.  And the front door 'stoop' opens to the left, and to the front.  Place a classic iron urn on plinth on the stone, to the right of the front door, at the brick wall.  Plant it seasonally, never more put a wreath on the front door.  Nor, have a cluster of pots at the base of the column.  They're crowding the space, shortening the column, and hiding a portion of the zone's best feature, a proper round column.
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Shutters, at right, below, need to be replaced with properly scaled shutters, with an arc at top.  Yes, very nice.
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Let's spend more money.  In addition to the stone already added, stone the front walk, and the front porch step.  Replace the light fixture.  Theirs is nice and more than acceptable.  Light fixtures are jewelry for the house, go for it.  More money?  Replace shutters at left with custom shutters too.
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Brick exterior with black shutters, greige trim and Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue front door. Kylie M Interiors E-design, Edecor and online color consulting

These pics are from a color consultation by Kylie M. Interiors.  I've done exterior color choices for 30 years with my Garden Designs.  Along with patio/deck furnishings, views into windows with window treatments/furniture arrangement, lighting, urns, all in an effort to get clients OUTSIDE.  Never as an extra profit center, what a quaint world my career began in.
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Black front doors are hard to get right, when they are, wow, shazaaaam.  Mostly, black front doors look like a void, as if the door is open, not there.
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In addition to choosing a front door color to coordinate with house siding, roof, trim it must also, for me, pop from the interior art & textiles.
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Blue, below, is excellent.  However, I would need to go inside this home, see their art, and other color choices, before a final 'blue' choice.
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Choosing color this way is too fun, "Oh I love that color."  Well, I know, you've chosen it in your art.  A zone that makes you HAPPY.

Brick exterior with black shutters, greige trim, Wythe Blue painted front door. Kylie M Interiors Edesign and E-decor color consulting online
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design choices for, above, I see 'instantly'.  Having a brain 'fixing everything' is tiresome while driving thru neighborhoods.  How many times has Beloved heard, "Gosh I want this whole neighborhood." ?
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A past client posted a pic on Facebook yesterday, she's bought a new home out of state.  Many comments congratulating her.  Me?  It's obvious my comment to her, "You need me !!!!!"
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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Client needing me, above, a lot like me, no kids, doesn't cook.  I designed/maintained her townhome garden for several years, decades ago, every Friday.  Chose that day wickedly.  Her townhome was in the hi-rent zip code of Atlanta, and Fridays were the best estate sales.  And I drive a truck,  A nice match, still living with many of those pickings.  One Friday, she was cleaning out her fridge.  She had left a large tin of lasagna in her fridge so long it had eaten thru the tin.  More stories with her but they cannot be written in this forum.  So, what kind of forum?  A lunch with me in the Conservatory, just a few of us gals, wine, laughter, everyone's stories.  There is my gold, for writing.  Wish I had been taking notes all these decades.  There is a safety in women's sharing.  All share, none will tell or they'll be exposed too.  Yes.  Total safety.  You men should be worried what is shared.
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No worries, I know the reverse is true with men !

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mid-Century Ranch: A New 'After' Pic

Most mid-century USA ranch homes still wear their 1st landscape installation.  A landscape predicated by banks for builders to close their construction loan, and get the certificate of occupancy issued.
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Starting from that point, for improvement, using existing plants, moving a few, getting rid of some, adding 1-5.  Copying the aesthetic, below, "With a little imagination.", (Anne of Green Gables), a landscape suffering the uglies for over half a century, enters the new century, with beauty, simplicity, and a setting for the home instead of a detractor to the home.
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Truly, this landscape design, below, is art.
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Great for a non-gardener, and even better for Aging-In-Place.  Within a subdivision, if those original ranch landscapes decided to reform into, below, the entire subdivision would experience a bump up in value.  No small feat to transition from ugly to pretty.  Happy, is the result.  Home value bump, lovely, but happy is the hunt, priceless.          

Gardening:
Pic, above, here.
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Casting bread upon the water here.
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Good bread.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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This garden, above, is the fine line of green meatballs/bad vs. green mounds/good.  Yes, love the piquant success of this landscape, above.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Enlarging Territory

Another Garden Design tool, below.  Does it pop to you too?  I'll be starting a new project in a couple of weeks, have already been to the site, and know it will have a variation of this Garden Design tool, below.  At present the new client has a horrid little sign tacked to a post, Private Road.  Their home not visible from the road.
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What to call this tool?
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It's always a good day when your Garden Design quiver gains a new arrow.
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Columns, below, Enlarge the Footprint of the home.
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Often, I use this tool, Enlarge the Footprint of the home, in subdivisions too, where the road is not a concern in the least, but scaling the home properly is.
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Back to the columns, below.  Four columns seems a lot.  Amazingly, this Garden Design arrow-in-your-quiver will also work if there were only a single column, below.
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Two mental models, below.  Place a single column, below, at the right of the lane.  The lane becomes 'public property'.  Next, place a single column, below, to the left of the lane.  The lane is 'private property'.

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Pic, above, here.
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Yes, am curious why there are 4 columns, above.  Pure ego, drama queen stuff?  Oversold by the landscape architect, getting that commission check?  Entry to a compound of several homes on acreage?  Perhaps those 4 columns are much older than the house, above, and owner of the house decided to keep them all?
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What do the 4 columns, above, say to you?
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Lastly, imagine the home, above, without any columns.  Hmm, not so good.  Needs at least one column to enlarge its footprint.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Friday, November 25, 2016

Paired Down Richness

Minimal embellishment, below, yet, I want what they are selling !  Whatever it may be.  At the front door, they have me.
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Color, potted plant, and font.
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Oddly, there's a great example too of Garden Design and downspout color.  At right, below, downspout color is the wise choice.  At left, below, must be neighbor's downspout.
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Best proof, ever, white jumps forward, and tries to act like a 'column' with a downspout.

p1070229:
Pic, above, here.
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A richness, above, having nothing to do with filthy lucre, and everything to do with warmth, confidence, come-inside, you won't regret it, for there is joy within.  And, you'll be back.
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My favorite Garden Designs are the ones with the fewest ingredients & richest living.
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Notice how they handled the slope, above?    Becomes a non-issue.
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I'd like to keep these in my phone to empower myself from time to time.:
Pic, above, here.

 christian dior:
Pic, above, here.
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Intuitively I sense, owner/s of Brassica live/breath, quotes, above.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Easy Garden Furniture

Furniture in the garden has intrigued me from childhood.  Thankfully, my parents had a cool iron chair, I adored.  Bought new in the 60's, it had arms, tall back, detachable iron 'bonnet', separate foot rest, it turned 360, rocked, and had nice cushions.  I rocked, whirled, read books, and even napped, with my orange marmalade cat, Tigger, in that chair on the screened porch with deep overhangs, Galveston Bay always hot/humid.  Most memorable moment in the chair, awakened from a nap by a loud chorus of tree frogs.  Looking around, none visible.  Still, the chorus.  Found them, by the 100's, rimming the underside of the chair cushion.  Managed to hop out faster than an Olympian, without harming a single tree frog.  50 years later, I cannot see a tree frog without thinking of that chair.
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Time passed, mom gave the chair away.  I see those chairs occasionally in advertising, or at antique shop.  None, complete with bonnet & foot rest.  A good thing, I would probably buy the chair, if it were complete.
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Dad had the worst end of the deal with that iron chair.  Cleaning the patio, hosing it off, he had to move the chair at least once a month.  Maybe it was him, glad to give the chair away.
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Now, easily moved garden furniture is the hunt.  Aside from lightweight, it must have arms, a back tall enough to rest the head back, and nap.  More than the personal, garden furniture must leverage having friends in the garden.  Create a setting for conversation, laughter, lingering.  Especially after meals.

sigmund freud with chow chows 1933:
Pic, above, here.
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Have the good fortune of sourcing 3 of the wicker chairs, above.  Each for a song.
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Amusing to see Freud in a photo new to me, attracted by the outdoor furniture, round circle of iron in the railing contrasting so well with squares of the French doors, and those chows.  Freud.  Not my cup of tea, more Jungian.  Thankful for both.
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That balcony.  So much narrative, without a word, wisely playing backdrop.  Yet, take away the man/dogs, the backdrop narrative immediately jumps forward, owning the stage.
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These are the things I design in gardens.  Some, too rich, think it's all about a few bushes and a little garden furniture.  Those, are not my tribe.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Masters Class: Adding Subsidiary Focal Points to a Focal Point

Focal points in your garden must be so wonderful they are fought over at your estate sale.
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One focal point per garden room, subsidiary focal points allowed.
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Pots in your garden must be so marvelous they never have to be planted.
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Tara's Trinity of focal points, above.
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The best focal points are placed on axis seen from myriad directions, and better, if each of those axis is not visible from the others.
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Focal points must have a focal point view in their opposite direction.
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No matter the slope of your land, focal points must be level.
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You must know these focal point tips within your DNA.
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A delight, below, seeing this pot recently.  Pretty all year, even when the herbacious plantings are dormant.
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What did you think, first seeing the pot, below?  Did the plantings, and their year-round essence enter into contemplation?

garden with pinks & purples:
Pic, above, here.

Moving on. More details about siting and living with a focal point.  Contemplating a single focal point's effect upon your life, a Providential gift, using my focal point, below.
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Up front, seeing the urn & plinth, below, at a wholesale nursery, I was there buying items for a job, not to get myself a pot/plinth.  After making the purchase for the client job, in a hurry, my feet moved me over to the pot/plinth, you knew they would.  My DNA knew more than my lizard brain which kept saying, You're in a hurry, no time for this, and certainly no money.
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Wholesale pot/plinth were expensive, and wildly heavy.  Had 4 men put it into my pick-up truck.
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Into my garden, below, direct axis from the large bay window fronting my home, my previous 30 year home.



With the urn/plinth at my back, below, this is the view into that bay window.  Now you're entering the realm of Living with your focal point.  Not merely having your focal point.  Huge difference.  Huge.

TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white:

Inside the bay window, below.  Living more deeply with the pot/plinth, having meals at the table, bringing my laptop to the table and working, putting together more journal pages at this table.

my bay window, drop-leaf table, chairs with cane seats, drapes, garden views, vanishing threshold, heart of pine wood floors:

With the focal point urn/plinth at my back, below, turned to a different axis view, a subsidiary focal point.  Ironically a subsidiary focal point, within a subsidiary focal point.  Go me !  Know what I am talking about here?  Hope so.  The blooms of wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' are owning the day, once finished the dovecote recovers its dominance.

TARA DILLARD: A PEAK AT MY GARDEN:

Turning to another axis, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, is another subsidiary focal point.  A planting designed to greet me as I enter/leave my driveway.

TARA DILLARD: Driveway Planting:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, Laura watching me, totally acting as if I'm not there.

Laura, backdrop to my garden today.:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back.  This view another subsidiary focal point within a subsidiary focal point.  Who can deny the Chinese snowball is dominant?  After flowering the pair of adirondack chairs take their rightful place as subsidiary focal point.  And, destination.  When the snows of spring are this pretty, not about to walk to the chairs, harming the petals on the ground, or sit in the chairs, harming the petals in the chair.  Instead, swimming for days in the intoxicating beauty of the petals.

My front yard today.  Lawn?:
Bottom 7 pictures, shot in my garden.
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More fabulousity with this urn/plinth, above, the house is at the street with 7 neighbor's homes crowding in.  Do you see them?  Do they exist?  Not in my realm.
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This is garden design as Garden Design, capitals for the same reason as using it with Providence.
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Creating a focal point with the Garden Design 'rules' above creates Sacred space.  A moat of grace around your home, and life.
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Today, and for the past 14 months, my urn/plinth have been lying in the materials yard, on their side on a pallet, awaiting placement in our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Clearing invasives, renovating garden sheds, building new outbuildings, grading, drilling a well, renovations to the house, have all come ahead of starting the Garden.  Before moving I tried to tell Beloved what my Garden meant to me.  No words existed.  I have those words now, having been without my Garden for so long.  My Garden was my best Friend, unconditional love.
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Missing my Friend.
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Today, I'll do something I've only done 3-4x's.  I discovered it by accident, at present it's the most potent feel good drug I know.  I will sit in my materials yard for lunch, with accoutrements from my previous garden, about 10 pallets, Friends awaiting placement in my new Garden.  Sacred made Palpable.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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At the opposite of creating a Sacred space, I was on the phone yesterday with a client who had to remove an odd/ugly covered porch addition the previous homeowner had added.  More than ugly, more than unusable, the space felt 'evil'.  Didn't want to be in it or walk thru it to get to the back yard, or even see it.  The owner felt it, and her friend, a client who referred me, felt it too.  The 'evil' room is  now gone, a new space built, with subsidiary gifts.  All the 'evil'?  Gone !

Thursday, October 6, 2016

When Front Door & Back Door are Aligned

This morning I'm expecting a couple of pics to arrive by text.  An out-of-state client sent pics of her interior & exterior via Dropbox.
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An axis of interior views wasn't directly shot, but it seems her front door is on axis with her back door.  Of course I called her, wanting to know if it's true.  'Mostly', she said.  Good enough for me !
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Cannot wait for those pics.  Drawing focal points on axis, at back door and front door, each to be seen from along that central axis, inside, of front door to back door.  From several windows too.

Roger Vivier, Toulouse France:
Pic, above, here.

I don't know what the 'power' is behind creating a double axis of focal points off a front door and a back door, but it's palpable.

tumblr_na42334fee1rvnhllo1_1280:
Pic, above, here.
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Her land is suitable at front door & back door for creating a double axis, more, beyond the front yard is a road, and beyond the back yard is a neighbor's home.  I get to make them disappear.  In beauty, no less.  Not hide them, but, they will be gone.
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When cellulose = protein                                                       …:
Pic, above, here.
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This is so fun.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Interior Art is your Exterior Color Trinity

I adore this painting, below.  Selfishly, love the entire canvas.  Is it good art?  Don't know.  I do know, this painting would be my starting point for choosing exterior colors.  Shutters, trim, front door, patio cushions, furniture, stone, etc.  Color answers are in this painting.  

Collins:
Pic, above, here.
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Every garden must have a color trinity chosen, green - brown - white is the classic.  Not mandatory, in the least.  Nor is choosing a color trinity limiting or cliche.  Instead, a Garden Design tool that has worked for centuries.  Within a color trinity are limitless selections of shade.  Making your choice of trinity, uniquely you, and more intensely you.
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Aging is never a bore.  Younger, I could not abide this style of art, above.  Now, love it.
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Not chosen a color trinity for your exterior?  Look inside your home, at your art.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Front Door: Changing a Few Things

'There you go again', said during a much earlier debate.  Architecture, below, with a big fat garage, teensy front door, and a room at the end to finish the story.  I lived in one of these homes for 30 years, the entire neighborhood stuffed with them.  Built in the 80's a few newer neighborhoods outlawed the style in their deed restrictions.  Why?  Not street friendly, not conducive to neighbors knowing their neighbors, hulking garages with their landing strips dominate the entire neighborhood, front doors entered from their service court, not thru the 'garden'.  Very little, friendly.
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No worries, all easy fixes.  Remember, I had 30 years of this particular game.
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First, bravo the style, below, of front door.  Using a ubiquitous 6 panel door would lower the roof height. The long bottom panel, below, heightens the space, then the windows add a warm welcome with a bit more height, wonderful.  Have changed many front doors this way thru the years.
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Beyond this point there be dragons, early map makers wrote at the edges of their maps.
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First dragon I will completely ignore, it is so obvious, the huge conifer.  If you say it must be kept, ok.  Move it closer to the house, and keep it a bonsai espalier against the wall.  Learn how to do it properly, and it will be a pleasant few minutes each year.
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Next dragon, faux stone pavers are designed much too narrowly.  Total function, zero form.  Add more faux stone pavers.  Left of the front path, between drive/front walk, add stone pavers entirely where there is now mulch and those ornamental grass looking things, from house to front step.  Add more faux stone pavers to the right of the path, from the second front step, to the front door.  Why?  Creates a wider foyer, instead of this pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey front door & path.  In addition, instead of a narrow rigid walking path to the front door you've opened up a large landing.  Incredibly affordable too, most big box stores sell these faux stone pavers, and unskilled labor, aka you, can install them nicely.  Hint, if you are doing faux stone pavers yourself, always pull a string.  Always.
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Dragon- of- flat is next.  How to 3-D the walls at the front door?  Add a bell to the wall, preferably to the right of the door.  Either historic or artisan, and scaled properly.  Example, at bottom.
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Dragon downspout, another common issue.  But whoa, the white downspout at left corner.  This situation a bit of an exception.  Normally, paint downspouts copper color.  Here, the white house trim, tight space is all encompassing.  A lot going on with horizontal and vertical white trim, a mosh pit.  Boldly creating an exception, I would only paint the section of downspout, copper color, fronting the brick wall.  Why?  The rest of that downspout is blending with white eve and white vertical trim.  Will include the electrical socket with this dragon, at the left of the front door in the brick, paint it copper color too.
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Dragons on the wall to left of the front door, below.  I cannot see clearly what the 2 white rectangle squares are.  Paint them same color as shakes, they recede, instead of jump forward, look-at-me-look-at-me.
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Dragon, lighting.  Cannot see a light for the front door.  To keep the space feeling large, perhaps a simple recessed lite, in the eve, above the front door or a matching light on the wall, to the left of the front door, matching the light, below, to the right of the garage door.
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Dragon, dead brown mulch.  And it must be replenished yearly.  Plant an evergreen groundcover, done.  Warm & lush vs. dead & brown.
    

blue door | Highland Custom Homes:
Pic, above, here.
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Your turn.  What dragons, above, did you see, that I missed?  How would you change the dragons I did mention?  Please note, I've used affordable changes.  Of course I have changes for a different price point.  This home is lovely, I would truly like to see a stone path/steps.  And, I would add another bonsai espalier conifer, a dwarf conifer, to the left of the front path too.  A tighter espalier than the conifer at right of the path.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Image result for bell at the front door
Pic, above, here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inspiration for Front Door Color

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Footprint: Power of Color

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Good Looking Green Meatballs

This exception, below, was too many years arriving.  Good looking, year round interest, not too much maintenance.
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What's the exception?  These are green meatballs that look great, have an intellect, and finally proved me wrong about how horrible green meatballs are.
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Most often green meatballs evolve in default.  Perhaps you have some now, maybe you can look at them thru this prism, below.  Poof, voila, create good green meatballs from bad.

Formal & Tailored Gardens | Boxwood spheres 'randomly' placed in minimal…:
Pic, above, here.

30 #Quotes #About #Life That Will Leave You Completely Amazed, You Will Love…:
Pic, above, here.
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Who knew even ugly green meatballs could have new life chapters?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

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