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

Monday, December 10, 2018

Top 3 Garden Design Rules

Which major Landscape Design rule do you see, below?
.
Which subsidiary Landscape Design rules do you see, below?
.
If you had this single garden pic, below, to teach a Garden Design course, what does your hand-out look like?  What are its headings?

ᏇᎥɲɬҽɽ`ʂ Ꮗakเɲǥ Ɗɽҽαɱ ❅~
Pic, above, here.
.
Great wisdom, above.
.
Choose a pot so wonderful, it never needs planting. 
.
What else about this pot, above, must be copied in your garden?  For every pot, focal point, and piece of garden furniture you consider, ask yourself, "Is this piece so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
.
Another bit of wisdom from, above?
.
A garden designed to look beautiful in winter, will be beautiful all year.
.
Best Garden Design book ever written, is titled, The Garden In Winter, by Rosemary Verey.
.
How best to site groupings of plantings?  Contrast foliage textures, colors, sizes, contrast shapes of plant silhouettes, mix evergreen plantings with deciduous, create architecture of a room/s with ceiling (sky)-walls-floors, include art/function/change thru the seasons, site focal points on axis from main views of the house, plantings must include scent/blooms/fall color/berries, plantings must be deer resistant/drought tolerant/bug-fungus proof and cycle with interest throughout the year.
.
This is fun, from a single garden pic we've already started a nice Garden Design course.
.
Urn, above, is a delight, in memory at my own stupidity, ahead of epiphany.  How do you think I was able to have an empty pot epiphany?  Seriously, anyone out there had the Empty Pot Epiphany too?  Found a quote this year my mom wrote down, "Genius may have its limitations but stupidity is not handicapped." 
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Yes, these bits of Garden Design are this important, for me to repeat, repeat, repeat.....  If you don't have The Garden In Winter, plenty of used at good prices with the link. 
.
Copied a simple historic garden room, in our ca. 1900 home this year, a life moment arrived recently, and beyond measure that garden room, and Nature, tended, in great love,  not only a life moment, but the entirety of my life.  Why do you want to Garden Design?  I know why I do, it's for those moments, knowing another may never come.  And that is fine, what has been received already is beyond measure.

Friday, November 16, 2018

An Interior Design Trick To Use In Your Garden Design

Garden Designs are Interior Designs.  I cannot do a Garden Design without seeing a home's interiors.  Table & chest & mantle surfaces dictate, happily, how I will design particular spaces in a client's garden.  Obviously, more in a home inform a good Garden Design, but only using the table/chest/mantle surface feast, below, for now.
.
My grandmother, Laura, could play the piano from newspaper/magazine/book writing.  When you're Appalachian poor, you figure it out.  Using interior surfaces for Garden Design 'playing' comes from my grandmother Laura, I assume, and glad of it.
.
Garden Design, below, is a backdrop hedge, pair of evergreen large shrubs or a pair of trees, and a drift of 2 shrubs, with a single accent shrub modestly sited as focal point from the drift of shrubs.
.
Easy, yes?  Now you understand my grandmother Laura too. 

This beautiful southern Ontario holiday home is decorated by designer Alison Habermehl for a young family. To complement the home's elegant...
Pic, above, here.
.
This Garden Design, below, a bit more challenging without seeing the rest of the house.  A backdrop hedge, pair of understory trees, evergreen groundcover carpeting the space, and a focal point  subtle in scale at center. 

 An antique dresser & mirror paired with vintage ticking fabric on the chair.
Pic, above, here.
.
Now you are good at table/chest/mantle top Garden Designs too, yes?
.
Been doing this so long it's an amusement to peruse a home the first time, looking for copied echoes.  Have not had a home with different brain wave surface decorating between rooms yet, they all flow.  Interesting.
.
Many times a client hires me because they've become 'stuck', not knowing what to do next in their landscape.  Historic Garden design is so modern in its templates there is never a reason to truly be 'stuck' for Garden Design ideas.
.
With good gardens on tour it's enjoyable noting the interior shapes/forms moving from inside to outside.  The best gardens never display their true genesis.  Inside & outside are one, Vanishing Threshold.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Interesting New Garden Design for Mid-Century Ranch Homes

Furniture in the garden has always intrigued me, since becoming aware of furniture in the garden as 'a thing' watching an episode of Miss Marple on PBS in my early 20's.  Furniture set upon the lawn for tea?  Really?  Move it there?  Move it away? Never meant to stay in place......  Are you stupid?  It's obvious I was raised in a once-and-done family landscape culture. 
.
This isn't technically about specifics of garden furniture, instead, Garden Designing with garden furniture. 
.
Perhaps this garden, below, is in France.  Perhaps it's quite 'fine', aka expensive.  No worries, Garden Design isn't about expensive, can be, but it's not. 
.
Garden, below, makes me see mid-century USA brick ranch homes in a new way.  Do you see it now too?

It's Only Natural.
Pic, above, here.
.
Imagine this home, above, as a USA mid-century ranch burger, take away some of its original foundation plantings, leave 1-3, and espalier them flat against the house.  Add gravel, furniture, almost done.  What's left?  Do you see it clearly too? 
.
Exterior color trinity, above.  Historic gardens are designed with an exterior color trinity.  Green/gray/black, above. 
.
More.  Add a hedge, 3.5'-4', evergreen, toward the street.  Why sit in your garden, above, and look at traffic, worse, breath in traffic's toxic particulates?
.
For the mid-century ranch I would also get the next size larger, of the pots, above, and place them on a subtle plinth.  Do you know the importance of this?  Huge.  May seem a bit 'off' yet it's brilliant.  With a bit larger pot, they can be left empty all year, or planted at whim.  Your life, you decide.  No wrong answer.
.
Do consider, strongly, drip irrigation if you plan on having containers planted.   
.
Too much lawn/space for all gravel?  Keep the lawn, Tara Turf, hopefully you already have some trees, if not.....you'll want an interesting tree, or more....  More than the simplicity of this new Garden Design it's also less maintenance, zero chemicals/fertilizers, and maximum pollinator habitat, greater use of a new garden room, higher property value, lower HVAC  expenses if HVAC considered with plant placement. 
.
It's humbling how many mid-century ranch USA homes still have their original builder installed landscapes.  Pruning of hollies wanting to be trees, kept for over half a century at green meatball size.  Humbling?  Deeply.
.
Seeing the inertia of human foible, keeping something because it's already there.  Harmful, but there.  Easier to keep, than change.  As if I see all life layers this easy !

Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Make Your Landscape MORE YOU

What is the first rule of Garden Design?  Excellent question, knowing rules are not for me.  Excepting, when rules make me, MORE me.  Same template for the well-heeded mantra, Less-Is-More, yet occasionally that mantra best completed with, More-Is-Less.  Perhaps knowing when Faux Geometry is more geometric than true geometry.
.
Get the point?  Good.  The best life points have no clear words.
.
Back to you, and making you More you with Garden Design rules.  First rule of Garden Design, COPY.
.
Garden Design, below, has been created at all price points and throughout recorded history, thousands of years.
.
Vanishing Threshold, simplicity, sky, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal point, color, texture, flow, seasons, scent, sound & etc.
.
What brings this Garden Design alive?  In the moment, it is dogs playing.  Perhaps your permutation of this Garden Design, below, would have a sundial, about where the dogs are playing, maybe your grandchildren, perhaps a harvest table and dear friends for dinner.....

Imagem relacionada
Pic, above, here.
.
Writing this post I 'see' the portrait, history, and a memory.  Studying historic gardens in  England, we were on a ferry and our teacher pointed to a stately home on shore, large, pretty, extensive gardens, old, "The man who built that home was in the slave trade, international slave trade."
.
Visceral knowledge, no words.
.
Gardens & politics are often combined.  Not going there, today.  Excepting the pairing of gardens as refuge from the evils of politics.
.
Amazingly, Gardens as refuge, is the same as, the-more-we-go-inward-the-more-we-outwardly-connect.
.
Odd but true, use Garden Design rules to be more YOU, delve deep into your garden lifestyle, and connect more to the World.  Would believe none of this, excepting the living of it.  Was not seeking any of this, merely, a pretty garden.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
All Garden Design Rules are in previous posts....I know...must do that ebook, finally.  Ironic, 5 books written with real publishers, set on the coffee table, yet no ebook.  Saw my childhood piano teacher last week.  She shared with Beloved how I was a hard student to teach because I wanted to be in charge of what I played, so she worked in that framework, and the rest, is music, and a pupil taught well.  Receiving my horticulture degree, knew it was junk, and that was the start of decades across Europe studying historic gardens.  Only mention these odd things because I was certainly not the personality to follow ANY rules.  Kept digging, and what did I find?  RULES.  Providence laughs.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Questions You Ask: Are They The Right Ones?

What type of landscape is best for you?  What type of landscape are you best for?  What type of landscape do you need?  What type of landscape do you want?  What type of landscape do you have?  What kind of landscape do you have time for?  What type of landscape do you want to have in 5 years?  What will your life be like in 5 years?  What plants do you want in your landscape?  What are the best plants for your landscape?  Describe your perfect landscape.  Describe the landscape best for you.
.
Accidentally losing my hair this summer continues to elucidate.  Worse, or is it better, the results are humbling, unexpected, and pure Rolling Stones, It's not what you want.....

ɢᴀʀᴅᴇɴs • ᴘᴀᴛɪᴏs
Pic, above, here.
.
This table, above, is quite dear, and multi-functional.  Used most often for florist staging, it's also a quick lone-lunch destination, and with little more effort, a dinner table.  Table, below, is ready for its florist staging.  Can't know what that should look like florist staged without seeing the interior of their home.
.
Both venues, above/below, lean heavily upon simplicity, form, function.

 trees, yard, patio
Pic, above, here.
.
More of the same, below, merely a different proscenium.  What is your proscenium for your outdoor table to have meals, and florist stage with simplicity, form, function?
.
Hopefully I've already veered off your path for how you've been thinking about your outdoor eating area, especially if it's not what you want.  Not meaning, you should lean completely in to what you do want.  Outside, spaces want simplicity, form, function.  Nature is giving, yet capricious.  Not the same mandate when designing your interior spaces.
.
How do I know these things for exterior dining, yet not my own hair?  It's not often I feel like Providence has treated me to a life lesson using..........  humor?
.
Long, fine, Jan Brady blond hair for over 50 years, by choice.  What I know for sure about my newly short hair?  More complements in the past few weeks than all previous decades, combined.  Worse, most complements are from people I don't know.  People I do know pass by, zero recognition.  Both spectrums fascinating.
.
More, the new hair meets the outside trinity of simplicity, form, function.       
.
Outdoor – ombiaiinterijeri
Pic, above, here.
.
Out to dinner, below, Beloved shot the slick backed hair.  Fun having the choice of slick backed, then loosened, all in the same day, or not.  Behind my head, there is no pony tail, bun, braid, twist, nothing.  And it feels good, no plans to let my hair grow.  After the initial week of drama, who knew that could or would be my consensus?
.

.
At the front end of gardening, in my 20's, this landscape, below, would have been 'off' my radar.  It's on my radar now.  Why?  Easy to maintain, deer proof, accentuates the architecture, structure all year, can easily be dolled up for a party yet doesn't need to be, classic thru several centuries, puts the focus on you and your lifestyle with family/pets/friends, not creating a lifestyle of garden to-do lists each season.
.

Pic, above, here.
.
These landscapes, above/below, too stark for you?  No worries, start simple, add more later, if you wish.
.
 
Pic, above, here.
.
Simpler landscape choices amplify your relationship to Nature.  Not stuff.

 Quem é dorminhoco não come!
Pic, above, here.
.
Simpler landscape choices let you have more of this, below, than worrying about garden chores.  Whether doing them yourself, or finding the right person to handle the chores.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
In Garden Design less is more, yet exceptions exist, sometimes more is less.
.
Read those Garden Design questions at the top again, you've already intuited they are about you getting the landscape you need.
.
You Can't Always Get What You Want by Tomos Wilding, via Behance
Pic, above, here.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
How I lost my hair, the great debacle, here.
.
Carolina Herrera Cross Pendant - Carolina Herrera Jewelry Looks - StyleBistro
Pic, above, here.
.
Carolina Herrera, my new hair template, with her combined necklaces.  Adored her hair/clothes/jewels at 1st site.  A freshwater multi-strand pearl with semi-precious stones necklace mom gave me decades ago, lay unworn, until I saw this pic.  Have added several new crosses to my collection and have worn that pearl necklace many times, with various crosses, since the hair debacle.  How did mom know it was the perfect pearl necklace for me?  How did I not know?   And, what a cross Mick Jagger is wearing, above.
.
    Meghan Markle attends day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on June 28
Pic, above, here.
.
Another, fashion copy, above, learned during time of hair debacle.  Beloved bought me similar hat, above, in the Yucatan and my college Ray Ban aviators were 'somewhere'.  Have worn hat & Ray Bans dozens of times this summer.  Ray Bans hadn't been worn since college.  The hat, not at all.
.
Miss long hair?  No.  Whew.  Why does that get-what-you-need have to arrive, most often, with such drama/trauma?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Backward Method of Design for Your Backyard Dining Table

Nothing in your backyard?  Want a pretty backyard?  Begin backwards.  Install function first, do not consider overall form, nor a single plant.  Seriously, this is a zero plant Garden Design first round.
.
Consider this your backward backyard Garden Design Mini Course.  Free.
.
Site first your table/chairs/umbrella & brick pad, similar to, below.   Siting near house, sited near a door of the home.  Ease of use.  Rectangular or square tables are best, they have multiple uses beyond dining, and for dining, can be placed end-to-end for larger groups.
.
Choose table/chairs/umbrella hardy to life, and aesthetics to your interior.  Aesthetics includes style & color.  Little funding?  No excuse.  To me.  At a minimum copy Martha Washington's strategy at Mount Vernon.  It was expected she would host/entertain whoever showed up at her doorstep.  Many did.  Martha Washington used saw horses with planks atop, and a tablecloth.  Done.  More than economical, functional, pretty, easy to set up, easy to remove.
.
If you are field gathering table/chairs for your backyard, aka thrifting, garage sales, curbside garbage collection days, & online no worries about their scavenged appearance.  None.
.
Choose your exterior color trinity, Green-Brown-White, is the historic exterior color trinity, and paint/stain table/chairs, all, one of the colors from your trinity.  Poof, scavenged becomes curated. 



Pic, above, here.
.
Once your table/chairs/umbrella/pad are in place, at least a year, you're ready to think about phase 2.
.
Phase 2 considers shapes, not plants.

 Linear hedge rows and lines of trees in lawn space create elegant and simple modern landscape with a lot of interest.
Pic, above, here.
.
Perhaps, above, a hedge of evergreens and an allee of trees for shade?  Scaled to your site/needs.  Considerations are mature tree height, speed of growth, how you will prune your trees (pleached/natural/etc.), how tall do you need your hedge, how many openings do you need in your hedge, and etc.

  A new build with old charm. Like the look of the exterior of this house.
Pic, above, here.
.
Maybe you don't want a rectangle of hardscape for your table/chairs/umbrella.  All gravel, above, hardscape connected to other backyard hardscape, below.

 Klinkers
Pic, above, here.
.
Plants in containers, below, create super fast plant scale.  Add drip irrigation to your pots, easy caretaking.  Skip planters with drama, go classic with evergreen button tops, below.

 Donvale project
Pic, above, here.
.
All gravel, below, for your backyard table/chairs/umbrella and allee of trees with square green boxes at base.  Scaled appropriately for your site.
.
Lighting.  If you have spotlights, put them on dimmer switches, first making sure light bulbs used can be used with dimmer switches.  Strands of LED lights needed.
.
 French. Gravel courtyard. Symmetry. Exterior.
Pic, above, here.
.
If you've been in your home awhile and still don't have a pretty & functional backyard, no excuses now.  None.
.
Almost off topic, plants.  Consider only plants that are drought tolerant, deer proof, disease/insect resistant, and speed of growth for ease of maintenance.  Consider your age, and the size of plants you purchase.
.
Hope you already have meal ideas swirling in mind for serving al fresco.  And the fun of assembling plates/glasses/silver/napkins/candles...
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Backyard is public-speak for the garden behind your home.  A sacred space.  If it's not, to you, why not?  If you've read this far, it's obviously in your heart to 'do' something to make it so.  Life is short, daylight's burning. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Pop the Champagne: Surprise Double Axis

I was in the shed a couple of months ago, and this was the view, below.  Interesting.  The table/chairs/gravel/trees were designed from another vantage point, from atop the deck, with zero relation to the shed.

Image may contain: people sitting, table and plant
Pic, above, shot from inside the shed, below.
.
Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, house, outdoor and nature

Speedy Double Axis views, above, no waiting a decade, or more.
.
Seems an accident, but this is what I know about designing historic gardens, they are simple, yet historic garden design is playing 3-D chess, with the international champ.  Simplicity of both pics, above, took every layer of my skills, fearlessly wielded.
.
Fearless?  My Garden Design must be deer proof, drought proof, bug/disease proof, little maintenance, gorgeous, maximum use alone & with groups, easy to manage when I turn 80, pair of trees for summer shade/winter sun, most importantly, NOW.
.
Bought the variegated Boxwood, above, upon a whim over a decade ago, had never seen one before, expected it to die.  Instead, thriving.  Moving from my 30 year garden, 3 years ago this month, I only brought the few plants in large terra cotta pots, this variegated Boxwood included.  Feels incredible having it back on the job.  A dear friend, dignity returned. 
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
With Historic Garden Design, good surprises included.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Wrote about creating this Garden Room, above, here.
.
Double Axis?  If you have a focal point, you must be able to stand at that focal point, turn 180, and shoot another focal point on that axis too.
.
International Champ?  Nature, of course.
.
Cannot wait for my Kentucky garden friend to come visit, she understands the need to celebrate this surprise Double Axis appropriately, champagne.  Perhaps you don't think it's a big event, just wait until it happens to you.  Pop the cork.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why the Classically Designed Garden is Today's Modern

At the front end of designing your garden there's a common halting point.  Language.  No words to describe the form, function, style, flow, Nature, abiding your life to house to garden, and etc.  There are layers of meaning in what is lost.  A trinity of margins listed, above.  Life happens in the margins. 
.
Somehow, that language is in your soul's DNA.  Once heard, immediately, "Of course."
.
Several generations of Americans have grown up with foundation plantings needing harsh pruning, lawns needing toxic fertilizers/chemicals, annuals swapped 2x/year, put it on contract, mow/blow/go. 
.
Back to language.
.
What Garden Design language do you see, below?
.
Made me smile seeing this pic.  Have seen 100's of gardens designed in this manner.  Humble cottage, to manor born.
.
If you had to label this Garden Design, below, what are your labels?  No worries, it's your head/heart, and those labels may be far better than mine. 


Alexander Cameron, Virginia Woolf, and Leonard Woolf stand outside Bowen's home. Bowen's Court (Cork, Ireland), 1934
Pic, above, here.
.
Garden Design, above, Gravel to the House, Formal, Wildwood.  Margins at house to garden, gravel to formal, formal to woodland.
.
A trinity of Garden Design styles, a trinity of margins.  Where margins meet, pop.
.
Beyond intuiting classic Garden Design, above, decades ago, I was a slow learner about its true depth of purpose.  Do you know what I'm about to say about this style?  Go you, hope you do, Earth is a better place for you knowing it.  And I'd adore knowing how you learned it, intuited it, how old you were at the time.
.
Classic Garden Design, above, is also designed for maximum pollinator habitat, Wildwood next to open meadow. 
.
House & Garden are one, Vanishing Threshold. 
.
Another value to Classic Garden Design?  No toxic fertilizers/chemicals, less maintenance, lower HVAC expense, increased property value. 
.
Ironically, classically designed gardens are unique in every permutation.  Guaranteed. 
.
More, classically designed gardens are 'fast' to 'show'.  Instead of a decade, or more, classically design gardens are felt/seen upon completion of gravel, planting, etc. 
.
Sustainable, eco, organic, pollinator habitat, potager for yard to house, and other buzzwords, each contained, inherently, in Classically Designed Gardens. 
.
Classically Designed Gardens are Today's Modern.
.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Already spot Virginia Woolf, above ?  Cannot count the times I've read, To the Lighthouse.  Look forward to reading it many times more.
.
Decades gardening classically, a new layer was reached, without anticipation, once I got chickens, 8 heirloom chickens.  I scoop their poop from the coop daily, and toss around plant margins, not atop the roots.  Cannot imagine, decades missing out on this.  No regrets, at least I know it now.
.
Once Chickens arrived to my garden I also gained a gift, a change in perspective, away from merely  'gardening' to one of Stewardship.  The honor of Stewardship.  Washing of the servant's feet.
.
The door of Stewardship is all encompassing.  In every good way.   

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Hubert de Givenchy & Bunny Mellon: Garden Design Titans

Grandeur of place, below?  Yes, in the mundane ubiquitous manner of magazine writings.  All nice, especially the teaching/learning of color, scale, flow, function, contrasts, axis, light & etc.  Extrapolated by you, from magazine writing focused upon material goods and their rarity/quality/cost, not spirit of the life lived in this home.
.
Grandeur of place, below?  Yes, in a life of joy and stewardship, anticipatory, participatory, simplicity.  Accoutrements describing a pace of life lived, below, no words needed.  Garden beyond brought inside, Vanishing Threshold.
.
Heart of a gardener, in that basket, below.
.
Knowing there is time, soon, to go into the garden, with everything needed.  Perhaps the basket was set the night before, or early in the morning.  Items set in the basket across moments of time, and thought, wanting to be sure nothing is forgotten.  Is the basket set and ready to go?  Is the basket set after coming in from the garden?  Don't know, and adore the not knowing.
.
Perhaps that basket a gift from a dear friend, Bunny Mellon?

Habitually Chic® » In Memoriam: Hubert de Givenchy
Pic, above, here.
.
Finally noticing the garden beyond the doors, above, so much delight in the basket, a kindred spirit.
.
Had seen a similar garden, above, and saved it, also deposited to Garden Design of the Ages brain file.
.
Garden Design of the Ages, below.
.
Without searching for the creator/owner of the garden, below, I had found it without intention, above.
.
Hubert de Givenchy, home/garden, above/below.
.
Habitually Chic® » In Memoriam: Hubert de Givenchy
Pic, above, here.
.
Image result for hubert de givenchy bunny mellon
Pic, above, here.
.
Door to the garden, from Bunny Mellon's home.  Birds of a feather.
.
From the Sotheby's magazine, A World of Her Own, by Sarah Medford,
.
" Nearly 50 years ago, when couturier Hubert de Givenchy was at the height of his career, he set about improving the gardens at Le Manoir du Jonchet, his estate just outside Paris. A keen gardener, he nonetheless sought help from his close friend Mrs Paul Mellon, who understood the transformation that would be necessary to bring the landscape, which had been laid out in the Louis XIV style, into keeping with the Renaissance-era manor house. “Bunny helped me with plant choices, placement and juxtaposition,” Givenchy recalls. But in a move that took his breath away, she also helped him with the larger precepts of suitability and scale. “She had a model tree made of wood that she would fix big and little arms onto,” he says, noting that they would move the replica around the grounds as they worked. “She wanted to see how each silhouette would fit in. The end result always appeared to be simple.” He pauses for a moment. “She went for perfection.”
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
.
How do I know so much about the basket at the front door, top pic ?  Exactly how I garden.  A basket is set, filled over several hours, finally, life at its richest, out the door with my basket, into the garden, cats following.  Eternity here, begins.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

18 Garden Design Rules You Need to Use: All in This Seemingly Simple Garden

Get 'the' Garden Design memo, below?  Aside from 'the' memo, what are the bullet points for the memo in macro, not merely micro?
.
Garden Design course in a single photo, below.  Not the entire curriculum, but enough for major memo about Garden Design.
.
Seriously, if you were teaching this Garden Design course today, what bullet points are in this photo, below?
.
Wish I had you in a real classroom, no more than 20 of you.
.
I was a fully fledged adult arriving to Garden Design, the engineering degree not-so-much help.  Aside from intuitively knowing Garden Design was a process, its machinations were so magic in effect, layers remained indecipherable.  No words, no language to process a good Garden Design.
.
Worse, went to get another degree, this time horticulture, and the same thing happened, zero language or understanding of historic Garden Design principles were taught.  But , baby I had 'credentials'.  Junk in the trunk.  Monster junk, harmful to Earth, body, spirit.  That's another book/article/lecture/post.
.
Off to Europe, late 80's, studying historic Garden Design 20+ years.
.
This garden, below, made me smile at first site.
.
Why do you think it made me smile?

Rachamankha Hôtel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I didnt know about architect Khun Ongard Satrabhandhu until today when I saw the very cool…
Pic, above, here.
.
Pair of stone animals, (are they cows or horses?), at the entry, above.  At a distance, even, performing their duties.  Sentinels announcing, "Yes, come this way, enter, you're welcome, we want you to walk this way."  In their wordlessness of welcome, and direction, a benediction, grace.  Remember, if you need words in your garden, it's a fail.
.
Already, you're getting a Garden Design bullet point from the garden, above.
.
Imagine the same pic, above, yet a small sign placed at the front of the steps, Entry.  Oh dear, that would be banal, gauche, worse, lacking in grace.
.
Walking a garden with a kindred spirit, seeing such a sign, 'entry', in an otherwise beautiful setting, we'd merely make eye contact, make a face, move on.  Pure understanding.  However, walking in this garden with a kindred spirit, our feet would not be touching the ground.  Looks between us, total joy & grace, move on, hungry to see more, time & reality have ceased to exist, life is only the garden at hand, and perhaps a good cup of tea with a scone, or such, when we alight on a chair.  Perhaps a glass of wine, cheese/crackers, freshly quartered blood oranges?  Exactly what happened with friends while visiting a private garden in Alabama last week.  Another post, promise.
.
Notice the world's most historic Garden Design Color Trinity?  Green-Brown-White.
.
Contrasting foliage, above, large leaves next to small leaves.
.
Foliage at the far right column following the Garden Design Rule: Just Let It Touch.  Especially love that rule, made it up myself, one of many, noticed across Europe yet never put into words anywhere I've read, or heard in conversation, lectures.
.
Garden Design Layers: Canopy, Walls, Floors, each designed & executed.  Better, purest simplicity.
.
Crunch of gravel underfoot, Sound in the garden, in addition to wind thru foliage, and hopefully the sound of water is in this garden, above, too.
.
Subsidiary color to the main Color Trinity?  Noticed already?  Lead color for pots, bench, windows/doors, railing.
.
Pruning shape, rounded, for plants in pots, contrasting formal with the informal of canopy tree foliage at far right.  Furthermore, choosing to prune potted plants rounded, in contrast to the square columns.
.
White chosen is creamy.  Bright white would jump forward, making the space feel smaller, especially the terrace.
.
Repetition of pots and their plantings.  Repetition of Green.  All Green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and the most serene.  A simple plant selection, not too much diversity, calm, and tough plants too, less maintenance/disease/watering/bugs.
.
What did I miss for this Garden Design course in a single photo?  What shouts to you?  What makes you smile?
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Garden Design Rules Executed in the Garden Above:

1.  Pair of focal points announcing an entryway.
2.  Color Trinity chosen: green-brown-white.
3.  Canopy-Walls-Floor designed, executed.
4.  Contrasting foliage sizes, large leaves next to small leaves.
5.  Contrasting foliage pruning, formal & informal.
6.  Sound designed, wind thru foliage, crunch of gravel underfoot.
7.  Subsidiary Color chosen, lead, for pots, furniture, windows/doors, rails.
8.  Creamy white chosen instead of bright white, creating a large space for a smallish front porch.
9.  Small variety of plants chosen, simplicity, greater visual impact.
10. Tough plantings chosen for ease of maintenance, no bugs/fungus/watering.
11.  Repetition of pots chosen, and their scale, color, shape.
12. Repetition of green.  All green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and serene.
13. Last column, foliage barely touching, Just Let It Touch.
14. Needing words in your garden a 'fail'.
15. Hospitality a layer of expectation good Garden Design provides.
16. Using grace as a design layer.
17. Big impact Garden Design visually, yet simple ingredients, few ingredients, easy to maintain.
18. Keep it simple sweetie.  This garden's simplicity is its super power.  Intellect oozes from this
      Garden Design.
.
Up front, I bristled at Garden Design Rules.  What would I tell that girl now?  Get over it, waste of time, you won't reinvent the wheel, better, your originality lies within every Garden Design rule.  Promise.  Most importantly, learn how to break any Garden Design rule, that's a bit tougher, yet necessary.  Pay attention.  Pay more attention.  Pay closer attention.  See all.  See what's not there.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to Turn Tree/Bush Trimmings Into Landscape GOLD

How few have 'seen' this, below, seeing a pile of sticks/branches in a compost pile?
.
From this starting point, below, take it, own it, play with it, see what happens in your garden.

2.Rose basket Magical Forest shop 1- now that is a big delivery of flowers.
Pic, above, here.
.
At a bridal shop, below.  Owning the fence, owning it inside/outside, owned by the garden.  More, who knew onions were a historic sign of long life?

 enclos*ure – Page 2 – Life in gardens — old and new.
Pic, above, here.
.
A new way to 'see' sticks/vines.  More, onions too.
.
It's the way you carry it #WiseSayingsforLife
Pic, above, here.
.
No reason not to try this, ingredients are free, with eyes to see.  And now you have them !  I've never been too proud to shop for my garden at curbside on garbage days. 
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why Your Health & Property Value Are Better With This Hedge

Most notably, in the garden, below, is the hedge.  Yet not the only notable element.  At the front end of reading this post, make your list of reasons the hedge is a good idea.  Perhaps your list is all negatives with the hedge, fine, make that mental list.
.
At a point long past, in USA, the petite hedge lost favor, foundation plantings gained the upper hand.  Ignoring centuries of Garden Design history.
.
After WWII, USA had a building boom, and builders had a certificate of occupancy to gain before being able to sell their new homes.  Landscaping was part of that package for the CO.  A fact remaining in force.
.
:
Pic, above, here.
.
The style of a home's architecture does not influence whether or not to have a similar hedge, above.
.
Subdivisions, city scapes, a home close to the road, are viable territory for a hedge, instead of a foundation planting.
.
See the hedge, above?  Now, go inside the hedge, go into the garden, go into the home, look toward the sidewalk and road.
.
Gone.  Sidewalk, road, cars, now blocked to your view, at a minimum diminished. 
.
More, depending on the height of your hedge, and ground elevations, a hedge will obliterate most views of cars passing by.
.
Multi-tasking, a hedge hiding the view of cars, from your home, filters myriad toxins cars release from engine/tires.  Did you know living at a busy road, with car/truck toxins spewing, is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes/day?
.
A hedge is also your starting point for a garden room.  Paradise, in derivative, is a walled garden.  Blocking the ogre of cars/traffic/toxins begins your sanctuary, with a hint of privacy.  More, a layer of control, better, controlled by you.
.
What do you want to do inside your hedge?  A pair of benches inside the hedge, facing the house, focal points on axis, and a place to sit.  Perhaps a pair of stone terraces either side of the front walk, the list is long on choices, your choices. 
.
A home, or neighborhood, with the garden design choice of front hedges, has increased property value.  If an entire neighborhood is conceived with all homes having front hedges, it will be of greater value than a replica neighborhood without front hedges.  Why?  Good landscaping increases property values. 
.
Good landscaping also benefits health.  More layers of a good garden design, around your home, has more of the bacteria for our body's microbiomes.  Our bodies formed in synergy with Earth.  Without the bacteria of Earth, inside our bodies, we die.
.
What are your thoughts about a hedge in front of a home?
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, April 9, 2018

5 Top Secrets of Historic Gardens

At the 'very' front end of creating gardens professionally, in my 20's, I wanted to create these gardens, below.  Went to college again, got that degree, yet no closer to the skills to create this garden, below.  USA curriculum taught me how to be a guy in a truck, mowing grass, weed-eating, pruning, planting, mulching, swapping annuals 2x/year, installing irrigation, and dowsing yards with poisons toxic to animals/insects of land/air, designing with incurves/outcurves and a right smart focal point tree at the right corner of the home.  Really?
.
2 decades studying historic gardens across Europe.  Truly.  Now, been designing gardens, below, for decades.  A blessed life.
.
But, not where this is going.  Garden designing, below, is outrageously counterintuitive.  Take what you know, turn it around, flip it upside down, add a 3 layer chess board, bingo, you can design the garden, below.
.
More, in an epiphany, knew the artistic/scientific rules of designing gardens historically applies to other arts, and life layers.
.
Édouard Vuillard, Repast in a Garden, 1898
Pic, above, here.
.
Time to jump to shoes, following historic Garden Design rules, in my mother's closet.  Mom has the best clothing taste of anyone I know.  Born/raised in Augusta, GA, her Aunt Pink owned a local dress shop, Pinks.  Aunt Pink went to New York City 2x/year, ordering clothes for her shop.  From birth to wedding honeymoon departure, Aunt Pink dressed mom.  I wore that same wedding dress too.
.
Mom's feet have had a few issues recently, we wear the same size shoe, mom told me to take any of her shoes.  What an offer !
.
Several hours over the weekend, going thru shoes for me, shoes to thrift store, shoes mom can still wear.
.
Yes, trying on so many shoes, I started to get lazy.  Didn't really like some of the shoes, decided not to try them on.  Then, remembered how Historic Garden Design is a Template for Life, and mom's impeccable taste, I tried on every pair of shoes I didn't like.
.
Exactly as in a garden, those shoes POPPED.  What was I thinking?  Trust.
.
 Wearing Trench coat is always a great Idea. 45 Casual Work Outfits For Women In Their 40s
Pic, above, here.
.
Unfortunately, some of the shoes I adored did not fit.  However, learning, yet again, the potency of Historic Garden Design rules I did not mind, the shoes left behind.  It's always all about a garden for me.   Pay dirt, again, living this way, gorgeous shoes.

Outsource your Monday-Friday wardrobe to an expert stylist who gets you.
Pic, above, here.
.
Best Historic Garden Design Rule, above, ever.  Evah !  Did you see it immediately?  Hope so.
.
"I want a Garden that says, 'Listen to me,' not 'Look at me.' "
.
Look at the top pic again.  It's a garden begging you to listen, and more, listen to your heart, listen to Providence, listen to Nature, listen to friends.  A garden letting you slip the bonds of here/now.  A garden gifting you eternity, now.
.
Historic Garden Design is counterintuitive.  Trust that in all your affairs.
.
5 Historic Garden Design Facts:

1. A Garden Design must create a 'Listen to me' world around your home/life.
2. Know Historic Garden Design rules are counterintuitive.
3. Follow Historic Garden Design rules.
4. Trust Historic Garden Design rules for YOUR garden.
5. Trust Historic Garden Design rules for your Life.
.
Seems simple, 5 Historic Garden Design Facts.  Ha.  Yoda simple.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

16 Shortcuts for Creating a Fabulous Landscape in Record Time

Carl Jung overlooked a common archetype.  How?  This particular archetype appears before parties on the home front.  I get the call.  At least a week ahead of their long planned, months, gathering.  "Tara, you've got to get the garden ready."
.
What to do?  Not what you think.  With a party and little time, two necessities.  Fresh mulch, and clean lines.
.
Clean Lines.  Huge Garden Design tool, party or no. 
.
Brick edging, below, clean lines.  Garden, below, could easily go more formal with the edging.  Do you know how?  Soldiers.  What are soldiers in the garden?  Bricks as garden edging are called 'soldiers'.  Further, the higher the soldiers, the more formal the garden.
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
Before the soldiers, below.  Shot the pics merely thinking job process, instead, another affirmation of clean lines.
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
A lot of Garden Design here, beyond Clean Lines.  Focal points on axis, in enfilade.  So.  Everyone is a garden designer, label the focal points on axis in enfilade.  No?  It's one of the most common Garden Design tricks, used ad infinitum, on Garden book/magazine covers.
.
Another Garden Design rule followed, above, flow.  Moving thru the space easily.
.
Another Garden Design rule followed, above, Color Trinity.  Green-Brown-White is the historic favorite, and chosen, above.  Did your eyes/brain lock on that when you first saw the top pic?  Granite gravel, #89, and the livestock tank are the white prong of the Green-Brown-White here.  Table and trees, obviously, the brown.
.
Another Garden Design rule followed, above, Color on Field Gathered Furniture all Painted the Same Color.
.
Another Garden Design rule followed, Overdose Your Theme.  Small iron conservatory at middle of table, above, painted same green as chairs.
.
Another Garden Design rule followed, Every Garden Needs a Water Feature.  More, I wanted the sound.  My chickens arrived, aged 6 days cracked, in this livestock trough with a heat lamp, now, it's another gift.
.
Grading ahead of gravel, below.

Image may contain: outdoor
.
Another table, below, glass topped metal, Overdosing on a Theme, painted same color as chairs.  Metal table used as buffet table, leveraging party time, with harvest table.
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
Near the harvest table, below, Overdosing on a Theme, green furniture, galvanized pots/light fixtures, granite, terra cotta pots matching the red clay bricks used as edging, both burnt Earth.  Overdosing on a Theme isn't for spots of your Garden, it's for the entire garden.
.
Image may contain: plant, tree, house and outdoor
.
A reminder, below, to use clean lines.
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
(Never answered my own question, above, about the focal points in enfilade.  What are they?  Did you label them?)
.
Image may contain: people sitting, table and outdoor
.
Day ahead of our first gathering in our new Garden Room, above, Beloved/I were sitting at the table, above, tired, dirty, happy.  I was about to get happier, as a Cheshire Cat.
.
Beloved says to me, eyes big, eyebrows raised, "We don't have enough chairs."  A best moment.  I've been dragging garden chairs home to this garden since we moved in 3 years ago.  Had a lot from my other garden, but I knew where this garden was headed.  Why was this a best moment?  Every chair I brought home, he complained about me junking up the garden, we have enough chairs, don't buy anymore chairs, you're wasting your money.
.
Nope, didn't do the told-you-so, merely the Cheshire Cat smile.  His chair panic escalated, Let's move some chairs from the deck to here.  Nope, need those chairs for using the deck too.
.
Our gathering arrived, some were spending the nite.  Guess what happened late in the evening?  Gathering for music, talking, laughter, stories, moved to the deck.  Strands of lites, above, were plenty of illumination for the deck too.     
.
This gathering quite special, Beloved's friends from before kindergarten, literally.  Know many of their stories, and have requested I never know all their stories, "Don't worry Baby you won't."
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Tire swing, above, hanging when we moved in.  Knew I was going to cut it down.  Then my precious girls came with their dear mom, we had lunch and the girls ran/played, and were tire swinging in crazy ways never imagined.  They've been more, but  those were lunches on the front porch, time to get them back for lunch and tire swinging again, and dining nearby.
.
Adore our new Garden Room, though living thru its cliche epoch.  Cliche epoch?  Trees & evergreen groundcover need to grow-grow-grow, own the space, diminish our input.  You know, the proper order of things.  Nature in charge, with merely a hint of us.
.
Did you label the focal points in enfilade, from question, above?  Table to livestock trough.  At some point, not too distant, stone steps will lead from livestock trough into garden, extending the enfilade further.  Looking forward to making adjustments to scale/flow with that new layer.
.
Hoop greenhouses going in at back of property for growing wholesale plants.  More wholesale plants will be outside under irrigation, coming close to the gravel terrace, above.  No worries, we'll plant a hedge, 5'-6', hiding the nursery, yet keeping trees, sky, and distant garden views in site. Probably tea olive, deer proof, fast grower, dense.
.
Where are you on the Garden Design continuum?
Garden Design Rules, followed, above:
Use a Color Trinity
Green-Brown-White is historic classic Color Trinity
Flow
Overdose a Theme
Paint Field Gathered Furniture Same Color
Garden Party Top 2 Garden Preparations: Fresh Mulch, Clean Lines
Enfilade
Soldiers
Formal Soldiers
Informal Soldiers
Leverage Harvest Table with a Buffet Table
Focal Points on Axis
Every Garden Needs a Water Feature
Siting a Hedge: Constraints
Choosing Hedge Plants: Considerations
Keep Calm & Live Thru the Cliche Epoch

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How to Take Charge of Your Ugly Landscape

Heads-up, every garden, below, uses the same 'Garden Design'.  Centuries old yet new in each incarnation.
.
If you've found your way here, you've at a minimum considered what a real Garden Design is vs. mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch landscapes. 
.
More, you've tried Garden Design, your way.  Literally, the famous, Frank Sinatra, My way.  It didn't work. 
.
How do I know?  Me too.  Excepting more stubborn, more original, too much more of the full-monty.  Zorba the Greek said it best, The full catastrophe.   

390a4222bca125474cf620398da2627a.jpg 640×960 pixels
Pic, above, here.
.
With Garden Design, intuitive isn't the best path.  Garden Design is counterintuitive.
.
After finally getting your Garden Design correct, you've got more layers.  Installing your Garden, plants, hardscape, focal points, just a few layers.  Hope I mentioned, how your Garden Design interacts with your home's architecture, paramount. 
.
Garden Design does not begin in the Garden.  Garden Design begins inside your home.
.
Look, awhile, at pics above/below.  They are the same Garden Design.
.
Draw all these gardens, pencil on paper. 
.
List why they are the same garden, in words.
.
Most don't have a vocabulary to describe any Garden.
.
I certainly didn't, at the front end. 
.
 Miranda Brooks Portfolio
Pic, above, here.

 The wide open spaces of Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
Pic, above, here.
.
I still purchase Garden Design history books.  Adore reading about the same gardens across history via different authors.  Layers of elucidation, daily.  Three decades after beginning my Garden Design Journey.
.
Garden Design doesn't limit itself to era, location, size, budget.  Nor plane of thought.  Intriguingly, plane of thought.  Anthropomorphic, literal, metaphorical, spiritual.  Casting about history and Garden Design, spiritual is bound tightly to Garden Design.  Being a USA citizen, too, there is something given, inherent, from birth, from our Declaration of Independence.  Pursuit of Happiness.
.
"Among the many surprises this country (USA) holds in store for its new citizens… there is the amazing discovery that the “pursuit of happiness,” which the Declaration of Independence asserted to be one of the inalienable human rights, has remained to this day considerably more than a meaningless phrase in the public and private life of the American Republic. To the extent that there is such a thing as the American frame of mind, it certainly has been deeply influenced, for better or worse, by this most elusive of human rights, which apparently entitles men, in the words of Howard Mumford Jones, to “the ghastly privilege of pursuing a phantom and embracing a delusion.”  Hannah Arrendt.
.
"The grandeur of the Declaration of Independence… consists… in its being the perfect way of an action to appear in words. And since we deal here with the written and not with the spoken word, we are confronted by one of the rare moments when the power of action is great enough to erect its own monument.
What is true for the Declaration of Independence is even truer for the writings of the men who made the revolution. It was when he ceased to speak in generalities, when he spoke or wrote in terms of either past or future actions that Jefferson came closest to appreciating at its true worth the peculiar relationship between action and happiness."  Hannah Arendt.
.
"Like Whitman, who believed that literature is the seedbed of democracy, the Founding Fathers were greatly inspired by the literature and philosophy of the Renaissance — particularly by the “men of letters” of eighteenth-century France. Arendt traces the chain of ideological influence across time, space, and culture to the French Revolution and its ideal of “public happiness,” which Jefferson appropriated. In a paper penned two years before The Declaration of Independence, he argued that the ancestors who had left Europe for America had enacted “a right which nature has given all men… of establishing new societies, under such laws and regulations as to them shall seem most likely to promote public happiness.” He then incorporated this insistence on happiness into his blatantly obvious yet somehow stealthy revision of The Declaration of Independence, changing the formulation of inalienable rights from “life, liberty and property” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
That such a subtle one-word revision of language can effect so profound a revolution in ideology may be strange, but not nearly as strange, Arendt points out, as the fact that it was undebated in Jefferson’s day and went practically unnoticed as it reoriented the entire national ethos for the centuries that followed."  Maria Popova
.
"Tyranny, according to ancient, pre-theoretical understanding, was the form of government in which the ruler had monopolized for himself the right of action and banished the citizens from the public realm into the privacy of the household where they were supposed to mind their own, private business. Tyranny, in other words, deprived men of public happiness and public freedom without necessarily encroaching upon the pursuit of personal interests and the enjoyment of private rights. Tyranny, according to traditional theory, is the form of government in which the ruler rules out of his own will and in pursuit of his own interests, thus offending the private welfare and the personal liberties of his own subjects. The eighteenth century, when it spoke of tyranny and despotism, did not distinguish between these two possibilities, and it learned of the sharpness of the distinction between the private and the public, between the unhindered pursuit of private interests and the enjoyment of public freedom or of public happiness, only when, during the course of the revolutions, these two principles came into conflict with each other."  Hannah Arendt
.
"Every modern theory of politics will have to square itself with the facts brought to light in the revolutionary upheavals of the last two hundred years, and these facts are, of course, vastly different from what the revolutionary ideologies would like us to believe.
[…]
The rediscovery of action and the reemergence of a secular, public realm of life may well be the most precious inheritance the modern age has bequeathed upon us who are about to enter an entirely new world."  Hannah Arendt.

Gardens began, enclosed.  There was much to keep out.  Animals, and worse, other people.  Centuries of walled gardens.  The world was not a safe place.  Locked walled gardens prevail over the majority of Historic Garden Design. 
.
Only recently, barely 4-5 centuries of process, have gardens been designed, open facing & welcoming to the outer world.  For most of those centuries, only the wealthy had access to creating a designed garden.  The entire world was a poor place, few with means beyond subsistence.   
.
Growing up USA post WWII is the aberration, not the norm for historical Garden Design.  Ego about Garden Design, in the macro people population, private & commercial, is killing bees, other wildlife, poisoning groundwater, and ourselves.  Historic Garden Design, still reigns. 
.
Intuitively, I glommed onto historical Garden Design.  Alas, getting into true historic Garden Design has meant having neighbors call the police, 3 times in 30 years, about my garden.  Why?  Too many flowers, no lawn.  My garden was different from their green meatball foundation plantings and lawn. 
.
A life satisfaction about those police visits, 2 men, 1 woman, was receiving an apology from each. 
Each adored my garden.  Go me.  Indeed !

 Bunny Mellon’s Cape Cod Estate
Pic, above, here.
.
Go me, without any victory is the more appropriate truth.  Why do the majority of homes with landscapes have fear about Historic Garden Design?  Why fear being 'different' from their neighbors? 
.
Seems the choice is clear, but I'm weird-other-strange-eccentric (a few recent adjectives thrown my way).  Each time I'm given an adjective about my personality, my reply a heartfelt, Thank you. 
.
Trust the path of being faithful over being effective.  I didn't always trust my heart over head.  Was raised to use my head.  Upon reaching the dark wood Dante wrote so well about, I knew, life moving forward would be with my heart.  A fork reached in the dark wood now?  Two questions.  Does this path enlarge me?  Does this path diminish me?  And a knowing, Don't force a solution.

 Green and white landscaping
Pic, above, here.

 West garden | Tom Stuart-Smith
Pic, above, here.
.
Historic Garden Design, all pics above/below, time tested upon continents, eras, regimes, cultures, ages, sexes, people, livestock, wildlife.  Results?  Aside from beauty and happiness.  People & Planet thrive.
 David Hicks' garden at The Grove, Oxfordshire UK
Pic, above, here.
.
Had to include David Hicks garden, above/below.  His deeply copied homage to Historical Garden Design.  More, he chose a change of seasons within his simplicity.  In leaf, above, deciduous, below.
.

 darn good looking pool: David Hicks
Pic, above, here.
.
A last pic, below, of David Hicks garden, above.
.

  Bellis Vintage
Pic, above, here.
.
Every Historic Garden Design, above, is a trinity of  Hedge-Meadow-Woodland. 
.
My garden, 3 police in 30 years?  I broke no HOA rules, all was abided by.  Excepting the county chicken clause requiring an acre of land.  With my home and a recently purchased house as a rental, indeed I owned an acre of land in the county.  The law did not stipulate someone must own a contiguous acre. 
.
Still, most landscapes meet minimum for HOA & certificate of occupancy when their house was built.  I wonder why people desire "the ghastly privilege of pursuing a phantom and embracing a delusion."  Howard Mumford Jones.  This is too narrow, too harsh, most churches follow the same type of HOA garden design.  Spirit is allowed inside the walls, not outside.
.
Why all this kerfuffle?  What a lot of 'stuff ' written above.   Few Garden Whisperers are born each century.  Few to keep the candle lit.  That candle leading to great inner joys, and manifest happiness in action, the meeting of body to Earth as Providence intended. 
.
Pace of life, deep intuitive epiphanies, joys of change thru the seasons, days, hours.  Living territory not map.  Living signal not noise.  Living one with Earth. 
.
Of course higher property values are nice, teamed with lower utility bills, having a Historic Garden Design.  Perhaps scientific studies about improved microbiome health and historic gardens should be inserted here.
.
Humor of Providence, all I wanted was a pretty garden.  I got that, and a life.
.
All the gardens above are quite formal, low maintenance, yet rustic.  Balanced with Nature.  Gardens to live in, Gardens giving back to your life more than you put into them.
.
How to take charge of your ugly landscape?  Use Historic Garden Design principles.  Unique in each permutation, promise.  More, the world will adore seeing what you add to the canon of Historic Garden Design.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara