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

Monday, September 26, 2016

Contrast Makes Your Garden Pop

Contrast is the basic ingredient of Garden design.  Both pics, below, use the same type of contrast.  Can you label it?
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I grew up, as most Americans, without a vocabulary for gardens.  Worse, after receiving a horticulture degree, I still had no proper, historic, of the ages, vocabulary for Garden Design.  Garden Design and horticulture are 2 different professions.  Toss in Agriculture, and you have 3 professions.
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That's another rabbit hole of conversation, so, back to labeling the contrast technique used in the pics, below.
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I've taught horticulture and Garden Design for over 20 years at a local college, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  One of my favorite teaching tools is adding proper vocabulary to Garden Design photos.  Name it to claim it.  Never more be moved by beautiful garden photos, yet unaware how to describe them in detail.
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Of course there is an entire TV industry of garden shows thriving on viewers lack of knowledge.  Most often the ambush garden show, with fast before/after, are comedies of the wrong sort, dark comedy.  If you know horticulture, aka plant care/culture/habit, you know how quickly the 'after' garden will fail.  Discussing merit of those Garden Designs, mostly what I learned in college, incurves and outcurves, planting beds, drifts, accent plants, landscaping, all well represented.  If you want any of that stuff, don't hire me.  I won't do it.  Historic, of  the ages, that's my venue.
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Beyond beautiful, below, it's historic Garden Design, and the plantings show deep knowledge of planting materials, aka horticulture.  What is the contrast, below?  The main contrast is spikey with rounded, followed with contrasting color of foliage, and contrasting foliage sizes, and contrasting layers of height.  Four more elements, huge, below.  You know horticulture well if you have already labeled the last 4 elements.
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Drought tolerant plantings, below.  Deer proof plantings, below.  Disease resistant plantings, below.  Insect resistant plantings, below.  The last asset, below?  All year interest, plenty of structure left for winter interest.
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Pic, above, here.

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Pic, above, here.

Same Garden Design conceit, above, but the plantings, aka horticulture, could be either fabulous or problematic depending upon your location/zone/elevation.  Peonies & foxglove, classic spike/round combination.
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In the deep south peonies can do well, but not the lush abundance of northern climates, and a dry, hot, southern spring/summer, will invite spider mites to the foxglove, and irrigation will be needed.  Also, above, this section of the garden will be bare, empty, with so many herbaceous plantings during winter.
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A lot to consider, above, about Garden Design, and personal choices of what you wish to look at in winter.  And, excellent examples of using spike/round contrast.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Garden Design Class in a Pair of Pics

Attracted to the marvelous sliding doors, below, the wood stoop and small planters had me send this fabulous home & garden to my Pinterest Changes board.  Lastly, a 3rd issue from garden to kitchen for the Changes board.  Especially a home with young'ish children and these gorgeous interior wood floors.  
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A mini Garden Design course in 2 photos.
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Do you see all 3 changes immediately?
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I'll give you a moment to look at both pics carefully.  There is an easy inexpensive solution for the stoop, and a better, not inexpensive solution for the stoop.  At the open sliding door threshold is a minor 4th issue.  See the easy fix for issue 4?
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Classic mistakes, below.  Human nature !  At the front end, before getting a Horticulture degree, then traipsing Europe for 2+ decades studying historic gardens I made the same mistakes too.  Once you know what the Garden Design mistakes are, your eye is trained to see them, correct them, easily, every time.
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Of course there may be zero mistakes, below, solutions could already be designed, just not installed.  A likely scenario if you take a tour of the interior, here.
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Look at the pair of pics, below, again.  Got your Garden Design solutions?

Custom double sliding doors


Beautiful 1920s House Tour 00004
Pics, above, here.
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Change #4, the door mats inside & outside should match.  The tight space will enlarge, flow, and become more of a 'foyer' between inside/outside instead of the current abrupt divide.  My choice would be a pair of door mats, large, similar in looks to the existing mat inside the home already.
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Change #3, transition from beautiful stone terrace to gravel to wood stoop to interior of home.  This change makes me smile, I made the same mistake as a garden designer in my 20's.  Matching stone from the terrace should be installed into the gravel transitioning to the wood stoop.  Why?  Significantly reduces amount of gravel stuck in shoes, or paws, to be tracked inside, and gouging/scratching that beautiful wood floor.
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Change #2, Dinky is Stinky, need much larger pots at those sliding doors, and wider apart, setting them left/right off the wood stoop.  Remove 2 bushes at right of wood stoop, replace their planting bed with more gravel.
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Change #1, will start with cheap/easy do it today.  Stain the wood stoop same color as sliding doors.  The house is much too elegant for this wood stoop left over from the set of F Troop.  A more expensive change to the wood stoop, replace it with a single slab of stone, custom cut the same or a bit deeper.  Wood stoop vs. stone landing.  Already the verbage is a nicer story.
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Again, seeing the interior of this home, I think the 'Change' layers I've mentioned are already on their to-do list.  Their attention to detail quite wonderful.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Put that green extension cord under the gravel.  I know you already thought that.  A funny thing about gardening, the small victories.  Just getting the cord buried is a big deal, having the door mats match.....

Monday, September 5, 2016

Choose the Classics: Add Your Character

This would be a fun Garden Show template, below.  All entrees must use a day bed, 2 wicker chairs, wicker coffee table, wicker end table, the same amount of space, but after that, no rules.  Color, cushions, accessories, free to choose.
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The classics with infinite variety.


Pic, above, here.
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Next to, above, I would like to see the entry belonging to modern cutting edge techno masculine.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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No budget for , above?  Hunt/gather furniture basics, paint all the same color, you're on your way.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Detail & Restraint

Vanishing threshold, below.  Amazing detail and restraint.
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Detail and restraint, something to ponder.  More, once achieved, it must clearly be who you are.

love this, perfect for an herb garden or growing tomatoes wothout all the pests…:
Pic, above, here.
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Home, above, is in Carmel by the Sea, complete house tour, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, August 29, 2016

Good Looking Green Meatballs

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

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

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Garden of the Mind: Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe

Immediately made me smile, the pun, below.  Then, more closely, I marveled at the contouring.  Please tell me you see the pun too.
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It's in the filled space vs. open space, the stone bridge.  Wicked good.  What a devious mind.
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Back to the contouring.  Who knows what this site began with.  I do know the equipment & men to create it.  I know the sound of the caterpillar, men's voices, shovels.  Time.  Finally, I know the sound of shovels stopping when I arrive, all those men's eyes, totally on my body language.  My job is the finished garden, their job is getting it there.  My boss is the client, their boss is Beloved.  Even Beloved does that little 'freeze' thing, focused on my seeing the nearly completed project.  The men know up front, it takes Beloved a bit longer, when I speak, I mean it.  "The front right corner needs to be raised 3", and what's going on with the mid section of the upper rill to the left, didn't you pull a string on that, good job on the wonky tree, but why did you place the entire rill/pond/waterfall further up, I told you earlier the upper waterfall would need faux geometry..... ?", for starters.  Each concern has a detailed answer.  Sometimes Nature cannot be manipulated, I give in, other times a new solution must be found, while looking the same, other times, I am adamant.  My job, at this critical juncture, is to be fierce.  The men love the theatrics of this phase.  Beloved with his 30 years experience, me with my 30 years experience, in discussions.  Beloved's boss is the cash register.  Tick-tock with men, equipment, materials, ring-ring goes the cash register.  Hundreds of dollars/hour, every hour, just to be on site.  Once all of the, above, has occurred there is another sound, men & shovels & caterpillar back to work, sweet.  Sweeter still, a completed garden.    


Pic, above, here.
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Another bite of humor, above, squares & straight lines.  In college is was all the incurves/outcurves blah-ti-bla-ti-nightmare to the 29th power.
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I liked this garden, above, so much I had to follow the links, hoping to discover the designer.  Great answer, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe.  Alas, having met and been able to spend time with Christopher Lloyd & Rosemary Verey, Sir Geoffrey got past me.  A friend, director of Atlanta History Center, many years ago, hired Sir Geoffrey to pull together a master plan/vision statement for the center.  Didn't learn of the visit till well past the event.  So close....so close.
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 Image result for shute house wiltshire geoffrey jellicoe
Pic, above, and to order, here.

Great title, above, exactly what Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe's gardens do to me, get in my mind, and stick.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Expense for labor, travel, materials, regulations, insurance, layers of government Atlas Shrugged, make operations needle sharp.  For decades if a client pulled men off our work in the bid to clear a patch of kudzu or haul away a pile of debris, not in the bid, we could absorb.  Now, the men are only allowed work within the bid.  What seems merely a few guys spending an hour on weeds, is now several hundred dollars plus, at times, pushing travel into rush hour traffic, adding hundreds more dollars, toss in rain, delaying a day.  The amount of money 1 hour of work outside the bid adds is outrageous.  Then, the ridiculous expense of adding a 'tree'.  The extra tree has its own pricing without reductions for quantity , from the nursery from the original bid, delivery overhead, and voila, that extra tree, costs as much as several of the original trees.  Wildly crazy, but true economics of today's business model.  Now, it's a change order for that pile of debris or pulling out kudzu.  Never thought my industry would become like this.
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Some neighborhoods have a fee for using their roads.  One client, a large job, told us a few days into the work he did not want us working past 5pm.  The bid was priced on work from sunrise/sunset.  We lost, aka, added 3 days time to the work.  Not listed in our bid, we absorbed the loss.  Yep, pricing from sunrise/sunset now in the bid, change quitting time to 5pm, not a problem, change order.
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Early this summer we filed for a work permit in the city of Atlanta.  At the front end of the process we saw a local newscast, the city of Atlanta had fired most of its building permitting office including the director, corruption.  Cost us almost a month of waiting, and other jobs were on a timeline with signed contracts.  It gets worse, but all is done now, 97% done, we are so close to fall, their fescue backyard should wait, then all is 100% complete.  I think of these things as getting another MBA.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Classic Garden Design: For Every Price Point

They got the memo, below, siting urns on plinths.  Sitings, below, work equally well at gate keeper's cottage, head gardener's home, mid-century brick ranch burger, a new Spitzmiller & Norris.

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Pic, above, here, Stoke Edith House.

Never think elements of garden design are not for your home, counterintuitively, classic Garden Design works at every style & price point.
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Needed a huge stone plinth with ball finial at a client's project, to match existing.  Huge.  There was no budget for it.  Got it anyway, and with great age.  Built exact replica, to scale, using wire mesh meant for concrete road paving, used a glass ball from a light fixture, planted English ivy.  No one the wiser, OUR stone plinth, not stone.
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Garden Design rules work everywhere.  It works if you work it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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It is gift & curse knowing what to do in gardens.  Driving thru any neighborhood, my 'eye' fixes everything.  No shutting it off.  Excepting rustic, farm, Nature, the beach, Stone Mountain, wide open prairie.  Already perfect.  The 'eye' is content.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Anna Wintour has Tara Turf?

Age 8, saw my 1st garden like this, below, in Augusta, GA.  The adults were content to stay inside & chat.  I did the rude child thing, and begged to go outside.  They were glad to get rid of me.  Had to be, I was more than glad to be gone from them.  Not until I saw the movie, Beetlejuice, did anything describe how I felt, going outside that house, that day, into the garden.  Another world.
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The garden was entirely green, wild, mischievously wild.  Looking ahead, left, right, the garden was telling me to go everywhere, all a fabulous mystery, yet speaking to me in a language I knew.  And, that feeling of being alone, in this adventure, perhaps explains more fully, in adulthood, studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades.  And creating the garden for myself.
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Few ask for. or understand, this type garden, up front, in USA.  I design as much of them into the ubiquitous requests, as I can.  A tiny handful, across 3 decades, have asked for the full monty.
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I was caught by this garden, below, being presumptuous.  It's owner, in the public eye for decades with an international successful career, and public persona so Cruella Deville, Meryl Streep played her in a movie.  The garden, below, takes her mask off.  Anna Wintour's garden, below.    












Pics, above, here.
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Full article from NYTimes, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pure Delight: Garden Tunnel

When I was in elementary school, we had dinner at a co-worker's of dad's several times, another NASA engineer.  Their daughter's about the ages of my sister & me.
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I adored being at their home.  In an upstairs bedroom their dad had made a small opening in the wall near the floor, with a slide-away panel.  Moving the panel, and crawling in on all 4's, an attic tunnel led to a larger opening.  No lighting, we had to carry flashlights, and crawl this way/that to get to the 'secret' room.  Everything we did immensely exciting in our attic hideout.
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Hope you adore this tree tunnel, below.  It's a subliminal part of childhood, pure delight.
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Pure Delight, a layer of garden design.

/ / . Marc Bolton:

Pic, above, Mark Bolton Photography.

Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Family with the secret tunnel & room in their attic moved away decades ago.  Visiting home, driving NASA Road 1, toward Kemah, I pass their old house.  It doesn't seem to have been remodeled, and I wonder, Is that secret tunnel & room still in the attic?
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When I was a little girl, NASA Road 1 was a 2 lane road, few red lights.  Now, 6 lanes, red lights almost every side street.
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When I pump gas for mom during my visits home there is a visual slice, while pumping, unchanged since childhood, NASA Building 1, below ca. 1964, excepting the trees, oaks, pecans, palms, now, huge/gorgeous.  In 1964 we had only 1 car, mom would drive to the curb at the front door, below, sister/me, in the back seat, oh so bored, waiting for dad to walk out.  There he is, no, there he is, no, that one, that's dad, more waiting, finally, dad would be almost to the car.  In those days, all the dads were thin, wore pocket protectors with their shirts, same pants, shoes, short haircuts.  We literally couldn't pic our dad out of the crowd, they were so similar.
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Pic, above, here.
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You know our family loved getting that 2nd car.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Consider: Arc of the Sun & Prevailing Winds

Consider your prevailing winds.  A buffer against prevailing winds lowers HVAC bills.  
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Consider the arc of the sun.  A deciduous buffer against the sun for summer shade, lets the sun shine through in winter.  Reducing HVAC bills.
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Pic, above, here
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More than lowering bills, designing your garden with these considerations is stewardship.  More than sustainable, designing your garden with these considerations is regenerative.  More than selfish in lowering bills, your footprint is reduced in what you take from our Earth, grace.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Man of Fairies & Unicorns

I watched an early mentor pile layers of seemingly weird into his repertoire of living.  Bits of gleanings, taken from this century or that, this character or that, this art form or that, incarnations of old worn new, for starters.   Adoring each layer, paying attention, I was not a lone audience, he mentored many, performed for all.  Time passed.  Finally, it happened.  He became every bit of those gleanings, and more.
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You have no idea the good fortune for those of us in Atlanta, partaking the welcome he gave, into his realm.  As time passed, his realm became international.  Of course it did.
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Understand, he gave full access to his unicorns and fairies.  His abundance overflowed, a few of us were bold enough to say, Yes. Thank You, I accept.
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How many times, in metaphor, has someone said, below, to me?  I cannot count.  Each time, I trust the unicorns and fairies more deeply, appreciating greater, if that's possible, a mentor's gifts.
  

@sparklyrainbows 365 Happiness Project 2015 – Quote 39:

Pic, above, here.

Last week this man, died.  Cooking dinner, his house caught fire.  He went outside for a garden hose, went back into the house to save his dogs.  All perished.
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A week of phone calls, stories, connecting with others who accepted his fairies & unicorns.  So much laughter, so many stories that cannot be written.  
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This man so changed the gardening landscape, in Atlanta, and beyond, I was able to make a career in Garden Design.  More than a career, and income, my life.
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When I found out this man passed, I leaned forward and hugged my unicorn's neck.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Will introduce you to this man next week.  I cannot do it today, need to ride my steed a bit more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Watering Cans: Leverage Time/Effort

Took me several years to acquire an interesting watering can collection.
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Interesting, and affordable.
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Once hunted/gathered/sited I learned they were more important as 'helpers', they leverage time/effort.
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2-4 months each summer are hot/drought.  I don't want, or like, a landscape that must be meticulously maintained, or watered.  However, there always seems to be plantings that are young/not established yet against extreme hot/dry.  Those plantings are never begrudged early nurturing.
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Having the watering can collections in prime dry positions, it's an easy pour & go.  Seeing something dry never happens when time is luxurious, dry plantings await my exodus meeting a tight timeline, then announce their thirst.  Every time, it seems.
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No worries.  The watering cans are full.
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Mosquitoes not an issue, the water never stays in long enough for breeding.  At leisure they are filled, in a rush poured.
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Along with Tess, my car, the watering cans are my top employees.

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Subsidiary Focal Points

Exactly why gardens should be simple, below.  Let Nature speak, play, sing, work, be in companionship to your life.

A Fiddlehead and A Fledgling | Content in a Cottage:

Pic, above, here.

 Cat with a Georgia Gerber cat bronze statue:

Pic, above, here.

Did you know your garden is a proscenium for spectacle?  I love the small moments, the never imagined, unbidden.  Perfect.  Tear drops of laughter, amongst time & galaxies.  
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Creating these moments, name it to claim it.  Macro rule, 1 focal point per area.  Micro rule, subsidiary focal points allowed.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Will never forget the years of lunches in my previous garden, during summer, and hearing the hummingbirds zoom over my head.  Do you really think I knew to design my garden for that to happen?  My best Garden Design learning was finally understanding classical Garden Design rules, FINALLY copying them.  Once accomplished, Nature arrived.  Nature more like Tinker Bell than can be explained, excepting through letting Nature reign.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lighting: Jewelry for the Landscape

Light fixtures are jewelry for the garden.

Splendor in the South:

Pic, above, shot by Doug Hickok of Charleston, SC, here.
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Have not changed light fixture at front door since moving into our ca. 1900 American farmhouse last year.  On the list.  Previous owner chose wisely for pure function.  Variable timer, white to match white siding.  Alas, looks appropriate for a Holiday Inn exterior hall light ca. 1972.  Have spent too much time online looking for the 'right' light, and quit, either too elaborate or too farmhouse cliche.  Will have a light made, from historic lighting parts appropriate to 1900.  Jewelry for the house, remember !
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Notice the depth of field Doug Hickok used?  Amazing.  Love his shot, framing, lighting, everything.
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How many husbands have I looked directly in the eye over this topic, on their own property?  Upfront their only worry was their wife hired a garden designer and there would be too much expense with the plantings.  How quickly I disabuse them of that notion.  My posture, my gaze, their wife silently standing still, watching, with a smile, while their husband receives my gaze.  The gaze.  Transferring 2 pieces of vital information, without words, I am right, I don't play.  Love those moments, another husband bagged.  They've joined the team, game on.    

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Best Way to Create a Beautiful Unique Landscape

Completely formulaic, below, and completely enchanting.  A miniature of what survives in a garden after several centuries, meadow-wild wood-stone focal point.  A balanced mix of ornamental horticulture & agriculture.
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The rule about focal points, 1-focal-point-per-area, below, head-on beautiful.  Then the other rule, the rule I observed after decades studying historic gardens, entry ways in a garden are focal points, and, you can never have too many entry ways in a garden.  You're looking at 4 entry ways, below.  Do you see them?  All 4?   There are no exits in a garden, only entry ways.
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"Eager (and less-talented) designers often get confused about this instruction, turning it into: "It doesn't have instructions, therefore it's simple."

Seth godin
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Seeing gardens, below, as a beginner, I thought I knew how to design them.  Discovering, over decades, the layers of design narrative about gardens, below, I can design them in myriad permutations, keeping every important layer, understanding the difference between agricultural/ornamental, and more.  There is both total simplicity, below, and rich complexity.  It wasn't work, learning the complexity, more, it is taking in air to breath, a life necessity.  And, blessedly, I'm still learning.  Loved Seth's quote, above, seeing myself at the front end.
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Hope you will take the link to this garden, below.  A team of gardeners, a team of brains, are responsible.  This garden pic, below, is an entire garden design course.

Font Garden: photograph by Marianne Majerus:

Pic, above, Wollerton Old Hall.
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"If you want to change people's minds, you need more than evidence. You need persistence. And empathy. And mostly, you need the resources to keep showing up, peeling off one person after another, surrounding a cultural problem with a cultural solution."  Seth godin

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Seth's quote, above, would be incredibly mundane, without his knowing to add, empathy.  Thought of Wendell Berry reading the quote.  He's made his entire life, in empathy, no judgment, about cultural problems and cultural solutions.  Stewardship.  The garden, above, is a text book to Seth's quote, above.
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"Organized bureaucracies thrive on compliance. It makes it easier to tell people what to do.
But contribution is the only way that tribes thrive, the best way to make change happen and the essence of being part of a community.
It's a shame that we spend so much time teaching our children (and our employees) to comply. Far better to seek out contribution instead."

Seth godin
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Getting my 2nd college degree, Horticulture, I knew I couldn't design a garden a donkey would approve of.  Why?  Seth put words to it, above.  College taught me to be compliant with the USA manner of garden design.  Foundation plantings, lawn, a tree or 2, best managed with a maintenance crew, mowing, replacing mulch-annuals on schedule, pruning, etc, all on contract.  Monetize the landscape to fit the monetized contract.  Outsource the stewardship.  Live life complying to the norm, never seek to make a contribution.  Seems simple, that simplicity thing again.  Not understanding the riches gained, in making a contribution.
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"Shannon Weber decided that there wasn't enough love, recognition or connection in her world, so she did something about it. When she finds an unsung (don't say 'ordinary' hero) she makes them a cape.
Caping people, catching them doing something right, shining a light on a familiar hero. 
It turns out that this is way more difficult than being cynical, or ironic, or bitter. Being closed is a lot easier than being connected. It takes guts.
What kind of impact does one act of kindness make? It can last for years.
Go, cape someone."  Seth godin
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Having a garden, learning about the layers of narrative in the photo, above, put me thru the side door of caping someone.  A lot of someones.  In return, my life was built.  Living in a new town/home after 30 years, I knew I would meet incredible people, be able to have a personal life filled with great characters.  Often, caping someone, is being aware, seeing the full picture of someone, and letting them know you see.  Especially when it is good news in their life.  Seems intuitive, honoring good news.  Most often, when I've called or written a note, congratulating someone, their response is so sad, "Tara, you're the only one who's said anything."  G*d bless gardens for teaching me so much.  And I thought I was after learning how to design a garden!
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"Tracy Chapman was outsold by the Doobie Brothers by 40:1. But the Doobie's aren't 40 times as singular an artist as she is.
Lou Reed was outsold by Van Morrison at least 40:1. But again, our image and memory of Lou compares to Van's, it's not a tiny fraction of his.
Singular is the one that we can tell apart, the one we remember, the one we will miss when it's gone.
It's entirely possible that creators with scale are also singular (like Van, or Miranda), but it's not required. Many of the artists, leaders and teachers that have had an impact on you and on me have done so with very little popular acclaim.
It doesn't pay to trade your singular-ness for scale.
Singular might lead to scale, but popular is not enough."  Seth godin

Garden Design rules were anathema to me at the front end of learning Garden Design.  Don't tell me what to do !  My gardens will be fabulous & unique.  How well did that work?  Works now, making me laugh at myself.  Worse than not being fabulous, not being unique, not following Garden Design rules, was the time wasted.  More money can be earned, more time cannot.  Garden Design rules were figured out by wise/brilliant brains centuries ago, best, they are unique each time used, no 2 sites are the same.  Knowing the rules, deeply, you'll understand where best to break them.  Following the rules in Garden Design, you create a garden MORE you.  You are singular, and so your garden will be too.  This fact, following Garden Design rules, is like most of gardening, counterintuitive.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Seth Godin, here.

Monday, July 18, 2016

How Chickens Came to be Garden Designers

Notice the small evergreen hedging, below, along the gravel?  Thought low hedging was done as a garden design element, in the beginning, as in at least before the era of Christ, literally.  Then, I had a client with a cutting garden.  I did the classic potager shapes, large boxwoods at all the corners, brick edging, gravel paths, but no low hedging, wanted it easy to walk into for cutting flowers.  Unfortunately, it was easy for the chickens to walk into also.  Where was the best place on the chickens 300 acre farm to scratch & kick & toss dirt onto gravel paths?  The decision to hedge-in the cutting garden beds was made and planted.  It worked, chickens don't walk into the cutting garden beds anymore.  And, we had a good laugh, realizing where the garden design conceit came from, boxing-in plantings with low hedges.

vignette design:

Pic, above, here.
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An odd thing about chickens and old gardens, are old garden books.  In all my years collecting old garden books, none write about chickens in the garden.  Interesting.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Color & Architecture's Relationship

It's outrageous what color can do, good & bad, for architecture.
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Painting or staining a fence coming off the front sides of a home, widens its architecture.  Enlarges the footprint of welcome, to the home.
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An easy concept, and wildly affordable relative to the huge impact gained.

Dark Blue Front Entrance A new metal-framed door matches the new windows.:

Pic, above, here.
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Great example, above, about purchasing a properly scaled doormat.  This poor mat, above, looks like it came from a Pin the Tail on the Donkey store.  Dinky is Stinky, is this doormat's trinity fail.  The doors are way too fabulous to be wearing this doormat.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Dinky is Stinky is a great save, protecting you from hunting/gathering the wrong things.  Another great save, 'We're not to that layer yet.'  Both from Susanne Hudson.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Vertical Lawn

Vertical lawn, below.

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Pic, above, here.
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Note the tiny planting pockets, above, for the vertical lawn.
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My favorite vertical lawn, residential, are espaliered woody shrubs.  No wire, no trellis, merely simple pruning once a year.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Friday, July 8, 2016

Picture: Garden Design Course

Pulling the gate/columns forward, below, welcomes you from the wide world into their private world, elongates the entry, and adds a foyer to the front door.  Painting the columns same as the house adds them to the footprint of the home, enlarging the home's territory.
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Painting the columns a different color, or if they were stone, still adds good features, excepting they become part of the garden, not the house.
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Great wisdom leaving the tops of the columns empty.
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Front door & light fixtures chosen well, they make the house seem taller.
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Note the gutters, below.  Copper color, not the brick color.  Well done.
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Roof, below, is like jewelry for the house.
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Repetition of square shapes, below, highlights the fabulousity of the tall round urns at the windows.  Super contrast.
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This garden design has been done for centuries.  Have seen it on several continents, and at all price points.  Done it myself, more than once.  Looks fresh & new with each reincarnation.
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Even the front door handle was chosen with care.  Drapes vs. blinds, again, well done.

/\ /\ . D. Keeley:

Pic, above, here.
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Copy, enfilade, axis, cross-axis, color, contrast, repetition, flow, welcome, focal points, ceiling, walls, floor, simplicity, has all the right Garden Design rules checked.
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I have a weakness for Garden- Design- Course in a single picture.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Design Solution: Deer & No time

Last week I completed a Garden Design for a local family.  Their home is new construction on 35 acres of beautiful farm land, open, wooded, pastures, broad slight slopes.
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The pool is near completion, the pole barn completed, the house has its exterior, now awaiting wall board and layers that follow.
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The home is huge.  They have young children.  Deer thrive on their acreage.
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Plantings, aside from deer proof, must be no care, they have no time for landscape maintenance.  None.
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What to do?  Farmesque is the theme I chose.  With pool at the back, the front yard is open, mostly flat, short meadow.  I sense the front yard will be THE play yard.  Still, what to do with the Garden Design?
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At the far side of their front yard meadow, I designed a small pecan orchard, 8 trees, 2 rows of 4, with harvest table and strands of lights, for trunks and canopy.  Trunks to be lit nightly.
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More than meals, a gathering spot for projects, or lounging with a book.
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Dinner in the backyard ...:

Pic, above, here.
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Whew, saved by an orchard.
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And, simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T