Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Road Trip: Verges

Decades would pass, majority of my life really, before I knew they had a name.
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From age 3, I knew where the best was to be found.
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Yards were St. Augustine & a few bushes, palm trees, Spanish moss, an oak here/there, oleander, bottlebrush, hibiscus, rubber plant, gardenia, after a rain crawdaddy's came to the curb from their home just inside the grates, peak interest, only at night, the hoot owl.
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What was the best?  Always, the ditches.  Mysterious things grew in the ditches, lush, loose, even the birds were different than in the yards.
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Fragrance too.  Decades later Pat Conroy described this particular love, I had fallen, early, for the charms of pluff mud, always present in the ditches.  I grew up on a tiny sliver of land between marsh, bay, creek, lake.
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This isn't about pluff mud, it's about the verges growing in pluff mud.  First love.
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Elsewhere, most-where, verges are redolent of man's lack of stewardship.  Great irony when a deer lays dead upon a shorn verge.  A narrative thick with layers of abdication.  No worries, this isn't about that either.  Let's get to the heart of the matter, that great love.
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Beautiful verges, below.

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Pic, above, here.
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A spot, above, in England, budget cutbacks, less mowing of the verges.
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Pic, above, I shot in Elk Horn, Kentucky.
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Wish I could head for Elk Horn, KY today.  Meander every verge, not reaching, not even close, the speed limit.  Staying with my friend Diana, at her farm, open/wooded, meandering stream, with tall verges, of course.
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There are seasonal road trips, train trips, biking trips to enjoy scenic Fall.  The best, well advertised.
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Why not seasonal road trips for the best verges?  Where is the advertising for that?
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Both verges, above, due to the same spirit.  Lack of budget to mow more.  (Can-we-get-an, Amen.)
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Lady Bird got it about verges.  Long gone, she'll continue doing more for USA than her husband did as president.
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Much happens, for our good, in verges.  Of course, the verge is a prophet without honor.
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Enjoy your verges.  I'm so greedy I wish I could see/know what is in all of yours.
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From age 11, to present, I've had the American Pie soundtrack sentence, tweeked, in my head, looking at beautiful verges, 'Can understanding this, save your mortal soul?'  Verges & gardens are my music.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Designing a Dark Dank Backyard Corner

Hydrangeas, below, were already planted.  I was hired to design the dark, dank, space behind them.  That was all they said, every choice was mine.  Hope you realize constraints/restrictions make Garden Design easier.  Putting in the defined path between the hydrangeas was easy....the rest was for Muse.
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Meeting the clients,  they lived outside Atlanta this was an overnite job,  walking their entire garden, seeing their interiors, and how they flowed to outside views/paths, took about an hour.
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Brought my folding table/chair & drawing board to this back corner, below.  Alone, finally, with Muse.

The Complete Guide to Growing French Hydrangeas | SouthernLiving.com:

Pic, above, Southern Living.
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Zero clue, once I was set up, what Muse would suggest.
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A few minutes of walking nearby garden rooms, then back to my mobile office.
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Muse doesn't speak, Muse does place perfect visuals into mind/heart.  
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Muse sent mental pictures of this small corner having an 'L' shaped conservatory, gravel flooring, and a chandelier hanging from the tree with a table underneath.  Yes, poof, voila, Muse was enchanted with this corner.
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Have no clue what my clients were expecting.  Probably a 'planting' plan.  I must remember to ask.
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Told of ideas for their dark, dank, corner, their faces got that really good look.  The one saying Muse did a great job, and they were fully on board.  Beyond imagination, they had access to a historic home recently condemned, for reason, and could haul away as much as they wanted.
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Muse certainly knew more than me about this couple and their soon to be built conservatory.  As if pre-ordained.
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Within a year the conservatory was built, garden planted, gravel poured, and they were on a garden tour.  Somehow, Southern Living magazine heard about their conservatory & sent a photographer, above.
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Later, This Old House magazine discovered their conservatory & put it on their cover.
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This is the best kind of work.  Each layer f-u-n.  Every layer a win-win-win.
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Doing your own Garden Design?  It's the hardest to do.  Every idea directly links to your bank account, which hinders your Muse.  How to get around that?  Write a mission statement for your garden.  How you want it to look, how you want it to make you feel, how it connects with your home, what you want to do in your garden for pleasure, and don't forget to choose a color trinity.  It may take a week, or 2, to write your mission statement.  Then, make a date with yourself to design in your garden.  Nothing rushed.  Suspend every thought about filthy lucre.  Follow your mission statement.  You will draw a nice garden.  I find most everyone is an intuitive garden designer, excepting most everyone gets caught in the trap of not knowing Garden Design is counterintuitive.  Nor trusting simplicity.
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When finished drawing your garden, ask yourself, "What can I take out and the garden still holds together?"
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Often I am a 2nd or 3rd designer on site.  What went wrong, why hire me after others were hired?  Two reasons, first, ideas were not coalesced into a mission statement to give the 1st designer, second, the designer was all about sales plants-plants-plants with drifts, incurves, outcurves, foundation plantings, no thought given to garden rooms, focal points on axis, making the garden part of the house, nor flow throughout the entire property, and a color trinity never applied.
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Hope this helps, if you are DIY, or considering hiring a Garden Designer.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Do you think, in a zillion years, I wanted to design a conservatory so I could get it in a magazine, 2 magazines, onto the cover of a magazine, it would happen?  Nevah.  Why did this conservatory go viral?  I had fun, Muse had fun, clients had fun, client's Muse had fun.  F-U-N    Once client's had their plan, it was obvious, pack your mobile office and get out of the way !!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Monty Don: Kent-Brown-Repton TV Show

A great wheelbarrow path, below.  Single wheel of course.  Double wheeled wheelbarrows are easier, less weight to balance, and my preference.

Monty has suffered a stroke in recent years and Nigel severed his spinal cord in 2008

Pic, above, here.

Discovered Monty Don, above, when his, The Prickotty Bush, arrived on my doorstep in the early 90's.  Read many times, loaned, never returned, had to buy again.
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Of course he's on my google word search list, and of course I will not loan the book again.
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Yesterday, a Monty feast arrived into my inbox.  Too much not to share.
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Monty Don has produced a TV show about Kent, Brown, Repton.  Personal takeaways studying across England for decades, all, from that trinity.  Their style changed the course of international gardening.  And me.
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The TV show is within this article about Monty Don.
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I watched the show on my phone, will watch it again on laptop, then finally figure out the chrome-stick-thingy and watch it in glorious large screen.  One particular segment is shot from a helicopter over a Brown garden.  Now I want a drone.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Completing my horticulture degree I could not, to my mind/heart, design a garden to save my soul.  Off to historic European gardens for decades of study.  Ironically, yesterday too, came across an expensive seminar teaching how to draw gardens to scale, and how to design a garden.  Taught by former instructors from my college.  OMG.  All that mow-blow-go, incurves, outcurves, drifts, foundation plantings, design- it- from- the- street- view, still being taught.  With all the giddy-up-&-go verbage of sustainability....
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Note from the universe, teach-what-YOU-know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vertical Lawn

Vertical lawn, below.  Vine or espalier woody shrub, no worries, either can be your vertical lawn.

image:

Pic, above, here.
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Plenty of lush, above, without a traditional USA foundation planting.
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Instead, gravel to the house.
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First time I saw this style of Landscape Design I was moth to a flame, still am.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls', below, is a diminutive wisteria, purple, fragrant, won't eat your house, blooms 1st year.
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Pic, above, taken in my previous garden.  Dug no plants when I moved, merely took the ones in pots.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Designing the Faux Path

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

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Layer Garden Design

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

Tuinontwerp - tuinontwerpen door tuinarchitect tuinontwerper Zuid-Limburg Brabant:

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

Window View is Your Life View

“The Soul selects her own Society.” 
― Emily DickinsonThe Complete Poems
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Inside/outside narrative.  Vanishing Threshold, below.
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Recognize her window?  Emily Dickinson.  A recreation at New York Botanical Garden.

This is the view from the Homestead, the poet Emily Dickinson's home, recreated as part of an exhibit about her gardens at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It's a lovely exhibit, interspersing her poetry, much of which was inspired by nature, with flowers and plants.:
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Pic, above, here.
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A salesman called, about 15 years ago, selling vinyl double paned windows.  "How could Emily Dickinson have written her poetry with those windows?", I asked.
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Now, the science & math are available for keeping historic windows vs. replacing with new double paned windows.  Adding storm windows to historic windows creates less energy loss.  Greater money savings.
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Alas, the divide of souls knowing this inherently in their DNA vs. those who will never get it, is well beyond to the moon & back.
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Young man selling the vinyl double paned windows?  He did pause.  Then resumed his scripted sales pitch.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

Vanishing Threshold, below.  Interior & exterior, married.  The full monty.

The Devoted Classicist:

When a client hires me for the garden, if needed & it's within my scope, I design interior spaces too.  What does that mean?  I know my scope.  Outside, my scope has no restrictions.  Inside, my scope is sourced off-the-shelf, antique shops, thrift stores.  Inside, if special order stone, textiles, furnishings, removing/adding walls, are the playing field, I have an incredible interior decorator on my team.
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Yesterday's jobsite, 60 of the most beautiful acres, streams, meadows, woodlands, gracious sloping views, in the last of the Piedmont before turning into Coastal Plain, are not a challenge in the least to Garden Design.  Thorn on the acreage?  The house.  A ca. 1980's ode the Bee Gee's named aptly, Stayin Alive.  Who wants to merely stay alive?  Thriving is the choice.
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Working with the interior decorator on this project and the homeowner has been quite a team.  There was an obvious wall removed inside, then magic, the interior decorator added a wall to an area I would have never 'seen', yet once designed, of-course-the-wall-must-be-added.  In return, I knew the front porch had to wrap the house, creating a new heart to the home.  Interior decorator never 'saw' wrapping the porch.  Indeed, we are a happy team of cheerleaders for each other.  In addition to giving/teaching each other a new 'eye'.
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Drawing, above, sums up having a home.  Vanishing threshold.  House & Garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic, above, drawn by John Tackett.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Let It Touch

From the 80's, I've noticed, this focal point conceit, below, used in magazines & books.
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Just let it touch.

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Pic, above, Here.
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If you can't just-let-it-touch, perhaps add a small leafed ivy to clamber your focal point a bit.  Though it could easily be a clematis too.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interior: A Reverence for Nature


"A reverence for Nature...", is how the caption begins in Architectural Digest, for the pic, below.

Edie Parker accessories designer Brett Heyman and her family tapped decorator Mark Cunningham for their Connecticut home. In the white-washed entrance hall, a table helps to center the space. | archdigest.com:

Pic, above, here.
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So true.

Pic, above, here.
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People only see small glances of us throughout the day and then make judgments off of that. Stay true to yourself and be proud. #life:

Pic, above, here.
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Stewards of Nature seem to be sprinkled lightly across continents, and eras.  How odd to be finding each other through this thing named, Social Media.
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Happiness is not external, but internal:


Pic, above, here.
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Adore how they think, top pic.  Their foyer a full narrative.  Their garden a vanishing threshold with the foyer, more pics here.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mix Matched Outdoor Furnishings?

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

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Garden Design: Flying Buttress

About 3 weeks ago we installed a pair of flying buttresses in a potager I designed.
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Choosing an evergreen shrub, then sourcing it in 3 different sizes proved impossible locally, state wide, region wide, and flyover country wide.  Finally, sourced on the west coast.  It's the new normal sourcing plants for real gardens.
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Flying buttresses were not part of the college curriculum for horticulture, in USA.  Of course I discovered them studying across Europe for decades.  1st garden in 1st country toured, literally.  No one seemed to have a name for them, nor did any of my peers seem as excited about them as I was/am.
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Their use, below, quite apparent.  These, below, are the high end of fancy.

209 - Frank Thuyls > Landelijke Gilden | Plattelandsvereniging voor jong en oud:

Pic, above, here.
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Evergreens, above, pay the rent (for me), the herbaceous perennials do not.  Peaking for a mere 2 weeks/year, deadheading, dividing, weeding, staking, blank in winter.  Nope.  Instead, I would fill their space with flowering shrubs, a succession throughout the year, and bulbs.  Perhaps a lone flamboyant Clematis roguchi clambering a single buttress, as it dances with sunlight.  Yes, now I'm pleased, and amused.  With no down time & significantly less labor.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bad Things in the Apple Orchard

"   Bad things have been happening in parts of the garden too, below, where a beautiful ancient apple orchard has made way to a rather strange and curiously alien "Tudor" garden. Someone is trying too hard here.",  Ben Pentreath.

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Context, for quote, above, and pics, here.

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Came across a good quote recently, "If stupid could fly, you'd be a jet plane."  Of course it's funny.  Trouble is, as I'm flying, I'm like Toad of Toad Hall, Wind in the Willows, zero clue it's AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
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Scene from Victor/Victoria, writ large in the garden, above.  You know the scene, in the restaurant, the cockroach scene, the waiter finally says to Toddy & Victoria, "....It's better to be a moron than a horses ass."  What's the difference between the two?  A moron thinks it up, a horses ass plants it.  Which is Toad all over again.   And me, in my early 20's, 1st planting a landscape, the era between having an engineering degree, the horticulture degree & studying across Europe for decades still on the horizon.
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I remember asking my grandma, "What is this flower?", holding it in my hand, I had picked it from the backyard of her new home, "A hydrangea.", she said.  I was in college, when I asked her that question, not knowing, much later, I would be president of the American Hydrangea Society.
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That feeling of knowing I could still be Toad, or hearing the Waiter, in Victor/Victoria, never goes away, designing any garden.  Ever.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Designed Garden vs. Plantswoman Garden

Several correct labels can be attached for the garden, below.  But that isn't the focus here.  Events have conspired recently magnifying differences in a Designed Garden vs. a Plantsman's Garden.
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This garden, below,  is both, a Designed Garden & a Plantsman's Garden.
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Decades ago, and for several years, my Cottage Garden was a Designed Garden & a Plantswoman's Garden.  I changed.  Time changed.  Abandoning gardening due to lack of time, not an option.  'Away-away', went the Plantswoman's Garden.  Welcome, Designed Garden.
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Is it all gibberish, above?  It won't be, for many seconds more.
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How to change the garden, below, into a purely Designed Garden?  Remove/replace the perennial borders with flowering shrubs or espalier evergreens or evergreen hedges or a mix of them.

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Lovely, above, but not for me, personally, anymore.  Adore this mix of Designed Garden/Plantswoman's Garden elsewhere.  Accepting the down-time of perennials, their dividing, cutting back, herbaceousness, mulching, manurering, weeding, edging, deadheading, no, not for me.  I hunger for a garden with everyday Designed Garden AND flowering beauty.  Solution?  In place of perennials I use flowering shrubs, bulbs, or evergreen hedges, or evergreen espalier flowering shrubs, sometimes espalier hydrangea too.
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With 2 pics, and their captions, now, you know, the difference between a Designed Garden & a Plantswoman's Garden.
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Which are you?  Perhaps a Hybrid?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Thank you Ben Pentreath for today's pics.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Overdose A Theme

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers.” Cecil Beaton.
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Younger, perhaps prior to age 6, I would have agreed with Cecil Beaton.  Everything he says about yourself, is for yourself.  Zero thoughts 'against the play-it-safers.'  They shouldn't enter your realm, they matter why?  Who has time?  Isn't the battle between lizard brain & heart enough?
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Because I didn't like garden design rules, at the front end, I've created quite a few.  After intense study, in historic gardens across the globe, in addition to books/magazines/tv/movies/degree in horticulture.
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What a knocker, below.  Broken, it's still marvelous.
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Garden Design Rule: Overdose on a Theme.
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Thrilling rule, you choose the theme.  Following it through, to the max, from macro to micro.  Seems obvious, and simple, but, trust me, you'll scare yourself at times.  Many nights, in bed, thinking, "Should I really do ______ , .........."
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Wise advice I was given after sharing some night thoughts with a friend, "Never make a decision after sunset & before sunrise."  Quite liberating to be released from those chattering monkeys of the dark.

DOOR KNOCKER: Barcelona - Entença 002 h; Cases dels Cargols. Architect: Carles Bosch i Negre:

Pic, above, here.

Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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In college for my engineering degree, test days in the classroom were hot.  Literally.  Summer/winter, both, hot.  Will never forget walking out of a thermodynamics exam, and the professor remarking how many more BTU's a working brain puts out than brains at rest.  Hence, the hot rooms.
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I'd rather put my brain BTU's to good use, not waste a single precious unit proscribed to me during my short time upon this Earth.  Give a unit toward the play-it-safers?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Color. Color ? Color !

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

Pic, above, here.

rod-collins-furlow-gatewood:

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

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

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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Exterior Trim: Navajo White

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Formal into the Wild Wood

"And, I don't want anything formal."
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Gets me every time.  In the early years I would explain how 'formal' is your friend.  Now, I just let it rip, playing with formal elements, don't mention the word, and enjoy, "I love this."
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Because I know what is most important in life, I checked Pinterest late last nite, hoping something new popped up for Furlow Gatewood.  This pic, below, may not be new but I had never seen his allee of mophead hydrangea from this angle.
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Gatewood's allee has sailed a fleet of ships since its debut in Veranda in July of 2013.
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Adore how he smashed formal into wild wood.
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His wild wood of canopy-understory-walls-floors, a total home run.
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Another home run?  No dinky-is-stinky here.
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Further south than my garden, I look at Gatewood's hydrangea, nostrils flared, right eyebrow cocked/loaded, in a momentary whiff of envy.  No near decade of leisurely late freezes, in March/April, taking out hydrangea buds.
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No, there is not next year to get this decadence, below, back.  It is several good 'next years' in a row, to get the decadence back.
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Before you think this is a problem to maintain, notice front/left, a clearly exposed drip irrigation tube.
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Unpaved driveway lined with potted blue hydrangeas - Furlow Gatewood's home in Americus, Georgia:

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Another 1st Rule of Garden Design

Design your garden, 1st, from inside your home.  Design your garden, 1st, for the depths of winter.
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If your garden is gorgeous in winter, it is gorgeous all year.
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The Garden In Winter, by Rosemary Verey is perhaps the best Garden Design book.

TARA DILLARD: THE QUEEN'S POT:

Pic, above, from my previous garden.  30 years, creating a cottage garden.  Moved no plants/field stone/bricks when I left last May, only brought focal points & potted plantings & 7 large quartz stones.  Weeks later, seeing the pile of cottage garden 'stuff' at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse I knew it was inappropriate.  Beloved had his large work truck and 5 of his men on site, I let them gather 2 truckloads for the thrift store.  I stood and pointed and watched the bits/pieces making up a garden seen on TV, in magazines/books, tours, drift away.  Bits/pieces that made up my life.  Nothing to be done but take swift action.  Impossible to live a new life chapter, dragging past chapters.
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The view, above, is now all lawn.
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Christopher Lloyd said, The garden dies when the gardener dies.    
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Because money was nonexistent during early decades at my cottage garden I volunteered at garden symposiums, to get inside free.  Wildly, it was Providence placing me where I should be.  How else to have had lunch & traipse gardens with Christopher Lloyd when he came to lecture, how else to have had lunch & traipse gardens with Rosemary Verey when she came to lecture?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Use the Wonk Factor


Charming.  No element appears new-construction.  Yet much must be either repaired or new.  What a lot of WONK !  As in, this-is-perfect.  Each layer a feast of intellectual intent.  A home & garden with narrative.
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Of course they used ogee curves for the illusion of greater height to the front porch.  Of course they chose a historic lattice, creating a sense of greater space, single shutters down, double shutters up.  Oh my, the front door panels lending greater height, and interest, versus using a ubiquitous 6 panel door.  Color makes the house larger too.  All white, this house would shrink.  Scale & flow maximized, inviting you in.  Photographer capturing fleeting shadows, a story line.

Benjamin Moore Exterior iron mountain color | Benjamin Moore- Iron Mountain and China White | Exterior Paint:

Pic, above, Southern Living.
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There is WONK here.  Every garden & home needs some WONK.
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WONK takes your heart & head.  Often WONK arrives unbidden.  "Oh no, we're keeping that, it's WONKY."  I delight in keeping the WONK factor, it makes a better design.
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WONK is official, it's in the dictionary, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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From the 50's, as building to code has become ever more tiresome to the eye, a little WONK gives outrageously good results.