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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Garden Design Rule for Eyesores & Terrible Garden Gifts


This client was not home at the start of my work.
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I lasted an hour before I HAD to Move-The-Duck.
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Wish they had hired me before the new concrete walkway, and electrical outlet.
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Not much to do, if the dressed duck must stay.  Did you know there is a Garden Design Rule for this situation?  If you have an eyesore, place a focal point nearby.
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Doubt my professor imagined this dressed duck as a focal point.
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However, when children, grandchildren, or the toughest, a bit too prickly daughter-in-law are involved, the fill-in-the-blank must be 'displayed'.


Now, the dressed duck is drawing the eye away from the electrical box and providing welcome at the steps.
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A mentor said, "It's what we do with what we have."
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This garden has a child.  The duck will happily stay as long as the dressed duck magic is needed for her.
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The prickly daughter-in-law?  Easy, use her gift prominently in the garden for a few months then it has an 'accident'.  Tree limb, wind, ice, when it is safely taken to the thrift store.  In one garden the offensive item, a resin dollar store birdbath, could not be easily 'lost', that daughter-in-law had prickles of toxic steel.  The birdbath was horrendous.  Epiphany !  I designed a creeping fig at the base to engulf the offensive birdbath turning it into something lovely.
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Knocking at a friend's door for a lunch date I locked eyes on her new wind chime, melted glass beer bottles hanging from fishing line on a bit of tree root, then her.  She merely said, "My step-daughter."  I replied, "It fell and broke into shards."  Now you know the story of that thrift store item.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite this spring.  In the South terrible garden gifts are received with a smiling exclamation, "You shouldn't have, bless your heart."

For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elements of Simplicity in Garden Design


Plain?  No, totally designed.
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 Embellishment?  Why?  What is that about?  Lack of confidence, knowledge of the wrong sort, arrogance against Providence?

 Tara Turf.  Gravel from the local river.
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Century old bricks made in Milledgeville, GA, an hour's drive.
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I designed the buttress copying an antebellum cotton warehouse seen near Atlanta.
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The walled garden was the client's idea.  
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It was my good fortune to design & site it.
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Oddly, with total confidence.
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Whence does that come?  Truly, a subdivision child ca. 1960, living in a subdivision still.
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Degreed in USA horticulture, not taught how to  design a good garden to save anyone's soul.  Much less my own.
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Off I went, $20 bills stuffed singly & slowly, somehow paying for 2+ decades of studying the best historic gardens across Europe.
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With this project, 300 acres, I learned what the real focus of those decades had been. 


Garden design working with land & home.
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More, mind/body/spirit.
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Land & home, team members with the garden design.  Literally, the best performers with the most talent.
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That college degree in horticulture?  Training to work against the land, ignore every gift of Providence.


Doubt any of my college professors could give a concise sentence about the style of Henry Repton.  In, "Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Repton wrote:
“The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the four following requisites. First, it must display the natural beauties and hide the defects of every situation. Secondly, it should give the appearance of extent and freedom by carefully disguising or hiding the boundary. Thirdly, it must studiously conceal every interference of art. However expensive by which the natural scenery is improved; making the whole appear the production of nature only; and fourthly, all objects of mere convenience or comfort, if incapable of being made ornamental, or of becoming proper parts of the general scenery, must be removed or concealed”.
The garden views, above/below, totally designed.  Providence reigns, human arrogance replaced with a pride in unveiling Nature's gifts.


Henry would know this garden.
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Beyond the Tara Turf, above, is my best design work.  Views across a Natural pasture into woodland.  .
Curiously, this type of gardening is perfect for the starter home on a postage stamp with little budget.  Instead, that type of home is built with an expensive landscape.  Lawn with mowing/chemicals/fertilizers, bushes needing regular pruning & mulching, nothing to shade the house reducing hvac, nor fruit trees to feed the household, certainly not any focal points on axis with the house to feed the spirit.
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Truth, with your full intellect, if you demand more from your landscape you will have it.
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By the time anyone hires me, that choice has been made.  Incredible to work for people who have engaged with their own lives.  Same, when I lecture.  Every chair filled with people who have engaged with their life.  They aren't there for me, nor am I, we are there for the same reason as Henry.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite earlier this year.
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The capitalized words? Used in the vintage sense.  Underlined sentence at the top?  Describing myself on the front end.  This has not been a boring ride !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Site the Perfect Backyard Fire Ring

Fabulous begins here, below.  Alas, merely a few minutes old.  Mulch, literally a dead brown color, is prominent while evergreen groundcover, dots of green below, grow into a mass sheet of lush green.
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Slope is nice, not long.  Did you notice the trick creating greater drama & depth?
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Steps lead from wider to narrower.  
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Steps are pre-cut, cheaper to install than natural fieldstones.
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Fire ring with circle of Adirondack chairs.  A no-brainer siting the fire ring on axis with the steps.  
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Chairs are new, curing, and will be stained  to flow with color choices from the home's colors.
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More, this is a double axis.


Looking back at the house, below, the steps & fire ring are sited on axis with the gable's peak.

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Landscape design is not voodoo or what feels 'fun' or includes 'stuff' just-because-you-can-afford/rescue-it, but a true science, with sprinkles of art.
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From your home's architecture most landscape design flows.
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The house dictates, then land, then distance from the house aka 'use', then sun/shade.
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When this garden, above, is ready for entertaining how many guests will realize the myriad layers of thought about the steps or siting the fire ring or choosing color for the Adirondack chairs?  Doesn't matter, they will know it 'feels' right.
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Often enough, true geometry for axis siting cannot be done due to 'blah-blah'.  Surprise, faux geometry works.
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Notice where the Adirondack chairs are sited, in addition to circling the fire ring?
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Perfect distance for resting the feet on the fire ring stones.
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Yes, made the clients sit with me & my general contractor and we adjusted the chairs.  Of course the rest of the team was working/digging/installing irrigation and see us sitting with our feet propped up !  
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Love my job.
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Another design element, fire ring stones are unmortared fieldstones.  Wanted the contrast of rustic, at this distance, to the formality of the home.
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This rustic-ness an element of the 'poverty cycle'.  Studying the best historic gardens across the globe for decades it is obvious which elements are consistent in each.  And, the poverty cycle is one of those elements.
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Neo-similar to Temple Grandin, I pay attention deeply to patterns in visuals of good gardens.
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If you haven't seen the movie about Temple put it in your queue.  Amazing, and humbling, learning from another so different from oneself.

Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Took the pics at a job site this spring.  When is siting a fire ring not about merely siting a fire ring?  Always.   
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Best Table to Choose for Landscapes

Martha Washington never knew how many to expect for dinner.  
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Often she placed planks on sawhorses with a cloth on top.
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Still a good choice.
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Buying a table for your porch, deck, garden?
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Choose simplicity & function.
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Square or rectangular tables are both.
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They can be used singly, placed end-to-end, placed next to a rail or wall.



Round tables don't have that diversity.


Buy 5 of the table, below, and you have choices.

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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Bottom pics shot stopping for apples at Target.  Left without the apples.  Small bag of measly looking apples was over $7.   Stopped, on the way home, no-extra-gas, at an IGA & bought 5 gorgeous huge gala apples at over a $1 each.  Still crazy but at least worth eating.  
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Friendship is to Bare Witness


No time for cooking she finessed a curried chicken salad over arugula, added fresh fruit and a poppy seed vinaigrette.
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Beautifully served & delicious it's in her DNA along with interiors & gardens.
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She's the friend you don't speak with for months then conversation picks up mid-sentence.
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The friend warping time, hours are minutes.
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The friend knowing every terrible thing about you & loves you more.


In her new home for a year, I hadn't seen it yet.


Her grown child has a life-threatening illness.  Her choices, hard.  She never chooses the easy road.


For a decade I have watched, listened.  Of course we've done a lot of laughing.  How else to get thru?


 First is was her house she surrendered, then a series of other abodes.  Each smaller.  Every time more antiques sold.



Never has she lived without beauty, love, or laughter.  Nor tightly bound to them, tears, frustration, fear.


This is her smallest home yet.  A masters class in which pieces of furniture, art, books to keep.  What is needed, useful, beautiful.
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We have no less fun, or love, than in that huge 1st home.
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Instead, more.


This time she's landed with a roof top garden.  
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Not a garden of her own.
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She's not had a garden of her own for a long time.
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She's never complained
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Hard choices, hard truths, rich living.
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We grieve together, some.  Mostly, we are enriched & grow love in our friendship.  
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As friend, it has been my job to bare witness.
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In return, she's watched my hard choices, ugly truths.
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We speak plain to each other.  True grit.
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Mostly, we laugh.  And love one another.  No matter what.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics at my friend's home.  Sun was hot on my legs/toes and felt like the best hot steam sauna ever.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Handling Tulips & Dog 'Business' in the South.

She doesn't ask for much.  Her backyard is tiny, she has a beloved large dog, mostly shade, a bit of sun.
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She wants a pretty little garden to look upon from her new screened porch, convenience for her dog's 'business', a few vegetables-herbs, and TULIPS.
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She's awaiting several surgeries: hips, knees.
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No mobility to be in her tiny garden.
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Full-time job.





5 shiny new galvanized garbage cans will hold her veggies-herbs-TULIPS, aka potager.
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Lined up in the sun.
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Everything in her garden designed for unskilled labor, at most 1/month.
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Drip irrigation to her galvanized garbage cans and newly planted shrubs.
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Old House Gardens, and, Brent and Becky's Bulbs are the sources I've given for her TULIP order.


Horticultural humor using the garbage can lids as plant saucers.
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Sign-up for the newsletters, above.
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“A little studied negligence is becoming to a garden.”
— Eleanor Perenyi, 1918-2009, American author of the modern classic Green Thoughts
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Old House Gardens, always begins their newsletters with a quote, above.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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I took the pics last year at James Farmer's store in Perry , GA.
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For Heidi, her dog, a wide gravel path curves thru the entire garden.  Fat gravel, is unable to lodge in a large dog's paws.  Easy to pick up Heidi's 'business' with a pet scooper.  Tulips are mostly annuals in the South, they perform best from containers.  Cannot wait to see which tulips she orders, I know she has a purple fetish.
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My design included the new screened porch and my team completed it earlier this year.  We are sourcing furnishings now.  Yes, we are having fun !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Three Best Mistakes to Make in Your Landscape

Choose to make garden mistakes on the side of too simple, too little, too plain.
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Better to want more later than dig-up, move plantings, replace a now-thought-cheap/tacky-bench, regret the shape-style-color-of.....
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Long term, cute in a garden grates.  Whimsy is better.
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Be wary of 'words' in a garden.  They hold thoughts hostage that should flow randomly, Cole Porter's, Don't Fence Me In.
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Of course there are exceptions to all of the above.  Indeed.


This morning, above/below, Tomato & Hydrangea.  Perfect name for a spiked tea & scones cafe.


Feeding cats & chickens, assessing what the night wrought & will it rain today.


Tomato still in its peat pot with cellophane wrap & tags.  Awaiting a much larger pot & bamboo cane trellis.  Perhaps this weekend?  Hydrangea blossoms hanging lower, petal margins crispier, will I cut to dry or leave to enjoy from the windows?


Calm.  Boring is good.  Idle chit-chat in the head.
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Something new to learn about Social Media.  Facebook cannot control pictures during war.  Images seen cannot be unseen, merely absorbed into a safe, prayerful, place.
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Again, my Garden working for me.
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Have you watched the award winning foreign film, Burnt by the Sun ?    "The film depicts the story of a senior Red Army officer and his family during the Great Purge of the late 1930s in the Stalinist Soviet Union. Like a tragedy bySophoclesBurnt by the Sun takes place over the course of one day."  Wikipedia
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Oddly, it's beautiful. 
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Glad it taught my heart to assimilate what I saw yesterday within mundane ubiquity of beauty in a tomato & hydrangea.  The gift of choices, health to act upon them, perhaps a dinner party in late summer honoring the last of the tomatoes.  With dried hydrangeas in a vase.
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This is freedom.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden this morning.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Unmentioned Design Element in the Garden



Yesterday, blowing my conservatory, I realized no one mentions a salient fact, lamps/sofas/tables/etc must be blower proof.


Pruning/blowing/digging/etc in the garden is my chance, on Earth, to experience in metaphor,
"When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples (John 13:4), He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. "



Intuitively I know if I stop honoring/practicing Servant layers in my garden there is great chance I shall never do those layers again.
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Atonement.  The shining word, above all others, I feel in my garden.
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A friend's word, Abiding.


Never do I wish to stop dropping to knees, feeling Earth on my skin, or sweat begin to drip, nor forgo the bruising/scrapes gifting my soul.
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And, oh my, the engagement of intellect.
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Nature always wins.  Me win?  Decades past that embarrassingly small desire.  At times my garden lets me flow pure with Nature.  (What does that mean?  Experiencing, as "Joseph Campbell wrote " with a quote from Ovid's Metamorposes, " ... And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.")
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If someone else is paid to do the work of my garden, where then is my atonement?  The delight of eye-hand-mind-spirit.  More, where to gain the epiphanies, friends, career..........


Many layers of good garden design, above.  A garden design class, almost, in a single picture.
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Yes, this garden room can be blown without destroying how it looks.
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Yet, a broom is always at hand.  At present broom & fallen crape myrtle blossoms are the soliloquy of atonement.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics Penelope Bianchi.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Vanishing Threshold: Get Yours

With Garden Design do you know the most important Demarcation Points?

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With the Demarcation Points, above, I'm rolling in wet sand as the waves roll up.
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(A child of Cape Canaveral & Galveston you understand my happy metaphor.)
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The Romans, bce, never built a home without a vanishing threshold.
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Amazing, a horticulture degree obtained, decades of seminars attended, libraries of books read, and not 1 source referenced vanishing threshold.
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Then my epiphany, in Italy of course.
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House & garden are 'one'.
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You see it here, above.
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From the garden, above, you see vanishing threshold looking into the window.
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Nicky Haslam always knew about vanishing threshold.  Study his book, Folly de Grandeur.  
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Next?
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Create yours.  A lifetime of joy, and grace, melding the strength of your intellect against this desirable challenge awaits.
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Biggest irony of vanishing threshold?  Increases property value, reduces HVAC, and maximizes pollinator habit up to 80%.  Needs no irrigation, fertilizers or chemicals.  While cutting in half the amount of maintenance. 
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Beginning to understand the lack of education about vanishing threshold?
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As garden centers & mow-blow-go companies are structured, now, not much money to be made.
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Those companies are dependent upon your turf needing chemicals/fertilizers/irrigation/maintenance.
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And etc. etc. etc. as Yul Brynner said so well.

Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Visit my Vanishing Threshold board on Pinterest.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.: