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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Following & Breaking Rules

Green-brown-white is the top historic exterior color trinity for gardens.  Who, ever, likes/wants rules?
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Late to the game, me, once I learned the trick to garden design rules.  I hadn't known or trusted garden rules deeply enough to wisely break them.  That's all there is too it.  Trust the rules, follow the rules, break the rules wisely.  Why the bother?
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Knowing the rules, breaking the rules, creates a garden & exterior more deeply 'you'.  Rules don't make every garden the same.  Rules make every garden potently different.
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Adored, seeing this garden, below.  In the pink.  I want to know this person.  Just from this pic, a tiny portion of their exterior.  More, I want to see the owner's interior.

Live Beautifully Outdoors:

Pic, above, here.
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Hope you realize that's what you're patio/deck must do, too.  Others must see it, and want to come inside.  Others must see it and 'know' who you are.  Those are garden design rules !
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, June 24, 2016

Walled Orchard

With an engineering degree backing my horticulture degree there is always an element of wishing I had been there at construction while studying historic gardens across Europe for decades.
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About 4 years ago a client said she wanted a walled orchard.
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Oddly, I knew where it should go, how it should look, how big it should be, how many gates it should have, and what each gate should look like.
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The Orchard is coming into its own this year, and will be ready for showtime pics next year.  I've taken pics starting with virgin pasture.
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Sideways learning.  Knowing, with confidence, how to design the orchard.  Century old bricks, each gate custom.  Yes, the expense matches its wonder.  Building a pool or walled orchard, without confidence, I would have to step away.  Too much money on the line, for mistakes.  More, it's building someone's dream, one they will have to live with.  No margin for error.
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image:

Pic, above, here.
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       "He started to worry though that he would get stuck in a job doing something he didn't believe in, so he quit and moved to Spain with his wife and he started to write poetry."            .

I come across sentences, above, humbly pausing.  Deciding to pin the safety of life's earnings upon a garden design career, with huge blow back & fear mongering from family.  Even years of pitiful earnings, never swayed my choice.  After 2008's debacle to the economy, and my career trajectory stronger/better, all the previous years mount into decades, it's obvious, best choice ever.
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Joseph Campbell is right, Follow your bliss.  When you get into the pure groove, all types of unseen hands, the universe itself, partakes in your bliss, along the way you get private acknowledgements that you're indeed in your groove, someone asks you to design/build an old orchard, oddly you know exactly what to do, and already have the experienced talented team to execute.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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There was a question about the orchard, one of the corners too close to the gravel lane.  One of my favorite aspects, the lane evolved around the orchard, not the reverse.    Corner & lane built as designed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Backyard: Lawn vs. Gravel

From the 1st time studying historic gardens in Europe over 20 years ago, gravel changed every thought about a 'lawn'.
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Perhaps it was coming from a region of USA with ubiquitous patchy backyard 'turf' lawns.
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Gravel, below, set with a top rate template of plantings too.  No worries what the plantings are, below, use the best plants in your zone fitting the appropriate sun/shade, size, foliage evergreen/deciduous.
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Best plants?  Don't know best plants for your zone, USA?  Go to your county/state/extension office online.  Typical mission statement for the Extension Service,        

"Mission

Our mission is to extend lifelong learning to Georgia citizens through unbiased, research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families.

UGA Extension offers educational programs, assistance, and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap status. "

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Your county Extension Service will have a listing of the best trees/shrubs/groundcovers/vines.  Motivation is for the proper plantings, not to sell you something.
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Knowing the best plants for your specific location gives you liberty to copy good gardens world wide.
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Don't feel comfortable choosing the best plants for your garden plan?  Take a picture of what you want, perhaps below, and ask your Extension Service agent, or their volunteer Master Gardener to choose for you.  This service is paid for thru your tax dollar.

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Pic, above, here.
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Choosing gravel, align with color that may already be used with your home's exterior, or interior.  If there is a predominate stone in your location, choose it.  Measure square footage you want to cover with gravel, 2.5" thick and place your order.  The stone source you order from will turn your square footage/depth into 'yards'.  Small gravel is best, more residential.  Large gravel is commercial for parking lots or building construction.
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If you're fighting a poor turf lawn in your backyard, consider gravel.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO
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My 1st phone call to Extension Service was ca. 1985.  Going to the mailbox I noticed a vile odor.  Exploring, discovered ooze at the base of a large oak.  Their diagnosis?  Slime flux.  Solution?  Poor a mix of clorox/water on it.  It worked, and I'm still friends with the Extension agent helping me.  Weirdly, he's retiring next year.  How is that possible?  He's also the 1st person ever asking me to speak.  He created a new layer in my career.  In return I've never said 'no' when he's called asking me to speak for Extension.  About 6-7 years ago he asked me to speak on pollinators.  A disaster I thought, but said 'yes'.  Pollinators?  Boring.  How was I to know it would become one of my most requested lecture titles?  He called earlier this month, one of our 'peeps' is moving back to Georgia.  A young woman we watched grow in her horticulture career and are both so proud of.  She took a lot of my seminars, always asked the best questions, a great can-do attitude.  She moved away for a huge huge huge job, but Georgia family/friends are pulling her home.  He asked if I would give her a reference.  As if !!      

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Copying a Simple Historic Garden

Great minds, or, so much for original thinking?
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First, below, I noticed the rusticity, my oeuvre.
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Then searched the enfilade, how far can the eye travel?  Are there cross axis, below?
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Oddly, I sense the loss of canopy, below.  Seeing what isn't there, but had been there for many years.
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Do you see the missing trees too?
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Finally, oh my gosh, design plan, almost exactly, for my new home, a ca. 1900 American farmhouse.
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Ironic, at the front end of my career I was far too 'good/smart/unique' for a design like this, below. Me be ubiquitous, by choice?
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3 decades later, humble enough, and excited, to copy what has worked since before Christ's era, BCE.
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My iteration, George Lindsey Tabor azaleas, deer don't seem to bother Southern Indica azaleas so very much, and fruit trees, along with yet-to-be-determined trees.  Of course I could go ahead and choose all the trees, but what fun, contemplating choices.
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Instead of the water feature focal point, below, a harvest table/chairs, under an arbor, gobsmacked with white roses, 4 huge pots exploding with hydrangea, and 4 sentinels, camellias, at the far corners, beyond the Tabors.  Coming home to my first trinity, created 3 decades ago, Tara's Trinity of the Southern Garden: Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Camellias.
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Paths will be #89 granite gravel, the quarry a mile from home.
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Why so simple?  Age.  Preparing to be elderly in this home, wanting this garden to see-me-out.  Deer proof, drought proof, bug/fungal proof, unskilled labor proof, enjoyment vs. labor percentage totally in my favor, most importantly, beautiful.  A garden to be viewed from the house, and to be enjoyed within.
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More amazing, date of the garden, below, is the era of our farmhouse.
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Boxwood not included in my garden, alas the killing fungus.

Colonial Gardens full ,nypl.digitalcollections.510d47d9-a7ba-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w-3

Pic, above, here.
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Do not be afraid to copy.  Fact, copying is unique at each site.  Another fact, if it's pretty in another garden, it will be pretty in yours.  Last fact, gardening is recorded in written form for over 11,000 years, you will not recreate the wheel, roll with it.  Cheaper, faster, prettier to roll with it.  I got the memo, go me.  Younger, that memo was stupid & not meant for fabulous me.  How do you think I became a Garden Expert?  Made all the mistakes bigger & more thoroughly than you could ever imagine.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Make it Easy on Yourself: Garden Design Equation

Karen asked a great question about her backyard.  Once their old deck comes off the house, she wants to replace it with steps down to a stone terrace.
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After that, she doesn't know what to do.
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Garden Design is not voodoo, or, I-think-I'll-try-that.  It's a science thousands of years old.
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First, she needs to write a mission statement for what she wants from, and for, her backyard.  Nothing complicated, no more than 2-3 sentences.  If you aren't a mission statement type of person, describe the elements of your completed garden.
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Once seeing a pic of her space, reading her mission statement, and seeing the inside of her home, and how the window views, and doors interact with the backyard, it's time to use my Garden Design equation and draw her garden.
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Garden Design Equation?
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How could I not see an equation?  Studying historic gardens across Europe & USA for decades, there is a template to what lasts & what works.
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With my Garden Design Equation you'll never be 'stuck'.
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There is an order to designing a garden.
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Design your trees.  They are the ceiling of your garden, and will give shade in summer, sun in winter, adding more than pleasure to your garden, yearly HVAC savings.  Canopy trees, and understory trees.  At my last home, tiny garden, I 'stole' canopy trees from several neighbors, they were my view too, and designed in understory trees solely.  Many people are lucky, their trees already exist.
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Design your paths.  How will you get around your garden?  Lawns are paths.  Flagstone or gravel terraces, are paths.  Beware trying to have lawn if you are shady.  Shade wins, and groundcovers will have to suffice.  Have sunny areas and shady areas?  Nice to have paths of stone, or gravel in sunny/part sun areas, and wood chip paths/edged with tree limbs 3" diameter, in the shade.
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Focal points.  Place focal points on axis from main views of the house.  The best focal points are a focal point from several axis.  Often I have put a bench into a backyard, seen from every window at the back of the home upstairs/downstairs.  Often I've put a pair of benches into a backyard, opposite from each other, on axis with each other and window views at the back of the home.  Remember the Tara Rule for buying a focal point, "Is this focal point so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
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Evergreen shrubs.  They are the walls of your garden, you'll want tall/medium/short.  Backdrop to focal points, and screens against the dreaded reality of eyesores, and perhaps a neighbor's view into all you do.  At this phase of designing your garden have zero concern for which evergreen shrubs.  Merely know their height, and that groupings of shrubs should contrast with each other, big leaves next to small leaves, dark green next to light green, you get the idea.  More, you want little diversity.  Simple gardens are potent gardens.
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Deciduous shrubs.  Design shrubs that go naked in winter, after you've put in evergreen shrubs.  Otherwise you will have a naked winter.  Muck better having naked sticks backed with evergreens.  Add daffodils to the base of your deciduous shrubs, once they leaf out the daffodil foliage will be going yellow, and hidden.
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Groundcovers.  Beware what you 'like'.  Choose, instead, what does the job with minimal care.  Often I've put in 'dreaded' groundcovers because they are tough & easy to take care of and my client turns their nose up until I describe how much caretaking their favored choices are or they go away entirely in winter.  Consider plant choices to be hiring choices.  Set the job requirements, and stick to them.  Be tough.  You'll enjoy your new employees, if they make life easier, make your world beautiful, make you money monthly with HVAC savings, and make property value increase with better curb appeal.
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Annuals & perennials.  If you must.  I use only self seeding annuals, and only tough low care perennials.
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Bottom line, I want to enjoy my life.  Anyone who knows my day-to-day life knows my garden is a place of filling the spiritual well, not a place to work.  A garden that needs working in more than enjoying in, 20% work to 80% pleasure should be about right, until the garden ages to maturity, and the work is 10% to 90% pleasure.  Yet, that 'work' is blessed in grace to me.  My relationship to Nature.  Living biblical metaphors.  Tending my garden is washing-the-servants-feet to my soul.  Work I'm honored to be given, and perform.  Gratitude.

Collage of Life:

Story of a beloved garden, above, here.
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With my Garden Design Equation, it's impossible to get 'stuck'.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Each section of the Garden Design Equation has allied narrative, hence, why this blog is so easy to write, gardens are never dull.  At the front end of learning about gardens I rebelled against 'rules'.  Using the Garden Design Equation, or perhaps you're able to copy a beautiful garden entirely, you will always create a garden that is unique, and deeply your personality.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Exterior Color Trinity

If asked, "What color trinity did you choose for your garden?", what is your answer?
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Is your first thought to list the colors, or wonder what type of crazy question is this?
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For centuries choosing a Color Trinity for the garden has been a layer of garden design.
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Faded gray/green, charcoal & creme, below.
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Very nice.
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Knowing green/brown/white is the classic garden color trinity of-the-ages never stops me from seeing delicious color trinities from myriad resources.

Little Georgia Cafe in East London, between Hackney City Farms & Broadway Market walking north from Hackney Road on Goldsmiths Row. The most interesting, beautiful family and woman proprietor here as well.:

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Wish we could meet for lunch today at the Little Georgia Cafe.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Garden Books for Readers with an IQ

Books for real gardeners.  That is a quest.
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Rosemary Verey wrote for real gardeners.  Her, The Garden In Winter, perhaps the best garden design book ever.  Never tire of reaching for it after 2+ decades.  Always see something new.
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Sir Roy Strong's use of space, Creating Small Gardens, is a favorite for garden design overall, not merely small spaces.  If you are starting out with your gardening, each garden in the book will mesmerize you for hours, the book will take years to absorb.
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Christopher Lloyd, of Great Dixter, lived in a Lutyen's designed garden, he transformed it into something unique, and world famous.  In recorded history, that has not been done often, with an already famous garden.  The Well-Tempered Garden, is more gardening than garden design, and blessedly written for adults with an IQ.

Gunillaberg, Småland:

Pic, above, here.
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Of course I have shelves of garden books, alas still in boxes a year after moving, but the trinity, above, is core.
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Not quite true, above, I did pack necessity garden books for use in my office, maybe 200, and they are shelved.  Rest of my library, feels like the loss of a dear friend, still boxed in a shed.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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Because, partially, of Sir Roy Strong's, Creating Small Gardens, I can design gardens like, below.
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A small front yard, above.  Created a couple of years ago, perhaps some of my best work.  This was the 2nd home designed for this couple.  A great selfish sadness, the couple divorced before implementing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2 Most Common Mistakes with an Outdoor Kitchen

Helping, with Beloved, my mom buy a new car, I had a great chance at Garden Design.  Exactly, no life activity unrelated to Garden Design.
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Wonderful salesman, rapport was easy.
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During the sales process in his cubicle, he mentioned building an outdoor kitchen soon.
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Upfront I knew my job was to thumb thru a magazine looking bored, let the men handle it.  Beloved has bought dozens of cars/trucks/caterpillars/trailers/boats thru the years.  Me?  Not so much.
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His new kitchen perked me up, pronto.  I turned a page, drolly, looked up & into his eyes, "You're doing it wrong."    I quickly cut a glance to Beloved & went back to my magazine and droll, droll, droll.
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"What do you mean?", my salesman bit, "Draw me your patio & new kitchen.", paper & pen quickly provided every error of his ways.  Not my 1st rodeo.
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His errors?  Window views from the house to patio/outdoor kitchen should be of the patio and garden, not the outdoor kitchen.  When the outdoor kitchen is the focal point of the patio, the cook is most often, backside to his guests.  2 errors, easily remedied.
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Taking the salesman's drawing, I turned it over and drew it correctly.  Pushing it slowly with my index finger across his desk, back too him, with a smile.
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Instant epiphany, the salesman cut a look, first, at Beloved who did the quick squinched eyes & hint of shoulder squinch.  Then I got my look from the salesman, who received a quick smile, then back to droll, droll, droll with the magazine.
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The men continued getting mom a new car.
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It seemed Beloved was letting a certain small bit of $$$ float away.  Perhaps he was waiting for the kill?  I gave it some time, hmm, Beloved did not mention that particular bit of $$$.  Time passed, magazine pages drolly turned, then it seemed the men were about to handshake.  Oh dear.  That tiny amount of $$$.
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"What about _________", I asked.  Beloved looked at me with a smile, the salesman with an "Oh s***" look.  Bingo, I got mom that money.   If memory serves, less that $400.  It had been rolled into a sentence about taxes blah blah, but you know I wasn't drolly reading that magazine.  My ears were all about mom's money.
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Beloved got a handshake, I got a handshake and a hug from the salesman, mom got a new car.
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This kitchen, below, is incredible.  Especially with the small space available.  A real cook's kitchen, without the kitchen viewed from the house, and the chef is at least sideways to his/her guests.  And, if needed, items can be passed from inside to outside from a window.
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Salesman said he couldn't wait to call his wife about their 'new' patio.

The Most Amazing Outdoor Kitchens// Hamptons:

Pic, above, here.
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The more I look at the pic, above, the better I like it.  And it already had me at 1st glance fabulosity.
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Droll was my role.  Keeping my mouth shut, mostly.  Not in my element, buying a car or being quiet, being droll made me 'listen' better.  Oh dear, this seems to be a metaphor of some sort.

Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Road Trip: Verges

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

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Designing a Dark Dank Backyard Corner

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

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

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Monty Don: Kent-Brown-Repton TV Show

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

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

Pic, above, here.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vertical Lawn

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

image:

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Designing the Faux Path

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

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Layer Garden Design

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

Tuinontwerp - tuinontwerpen door tuinarchitect tuinontwerper Zuid-Limburg Brabant:

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

Window View is Your Life View

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

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

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

The Devoted Classicist:

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Let It Touch

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

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interior: A Reverence for Nature


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

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

Pic, above, here.
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So true.

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

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


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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mix Matched Outdoor Furnishings?

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

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Garden Design: Flying Buttress

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

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

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