Showing posts with label Edwardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edwardian. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Weddings, Graduates, Joy, Rudeness


Greatly anticipated, I went to a bridal shower last weekend.  
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The bride, fresh master's degree, and new career, made a brilliant choice for her new married life.  He will be in law school, in another state, while she is thriving in her new job.   Copying her parents commuter marriage, she will have the same.
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Her thinking never entered my head, graduating college in the 80's.  You go girl !
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Enjoyed meeting her pack of well educated girlfriends.  Another common thread amongst them?  Like the bride, they are a posse of old souls.  Strongly sense, decades of threads between them, sometimes tight, often at a great distance, but never further than the phone.
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I brought the rudeness, with intention.  Arrived early to get pics of the garden, it's a favorite home/garden.  And, knew the husband would still be there for a walk/talk.  He was taking out a bag of trash while I parked.  Indeed, my skills of timing rudeness are well honed.
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He forgot the rest of his chores, and off we went, lost in our little world of gardening.  I knew his wife needed him.  Your point?
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Quite a few things to show off, and a huge dilemma.  We both knew our time was limited, but we fit it all in.
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My ultimate rudeness, at the end of this tale.


Eggs from their chickens, a cooking lesson for her famous banana pudding.


Their home is new construction, to look old.


Seated at several tables, luncheon was served in courses.
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Appetizer was Barefoot Contessa tomato soup, shredded Gruyere cheese on top, served in a white ironstone coffee mug, set on a plate with homemade herbed butter & petite cornbread.
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Lunch was chicken salad, mixed green salad, and a frozen jello fruit/vegetable medallion.
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When the banana pudding arrived, it was in a punch cup, with silver spoon, on a plate with a surprise, homemade fudge brownie & a pair of decadent ripe strawberries foliage still attached.


Buying a ca. 1900 home, I went thru my friend's home with new eyes, a great seminar, without words, only examples.
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Historic accuracy, below, with ceiling, moulding, picture rail, painting arrangement, curtains, her master bedroom.  Amazingly, her corner cabinet, small white table, lamp, painting, I already own close variations of.


 As promised, my ultimate rudeness, below.


Never saw an azalea potted like this, almost a bonsai.  Toad, of Toad Hall, could not have been more expedite in wanton selfishness than I.  Eight year old Tara, on full display.  Here's the thing about serious, into the DNA, gardeners, their 8 year old self will respond to you.  Nothing is rudeness, it's necessity to life/breathing.
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"Where did you get that?"  "A man I know does them."  "Can I have one?"  "Yes, I can get you one next week."  "No, I'm moving, I'll want it in July."
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Haven't moved in, and thoughts are swirling where this new treasure will be placed, immediately, and in the long term.  Perhaps on a step to the new Conservatory that won't be built for at least a year.  Why a year?  How could I possible know sooner?  Must LIVE in the house, the land, discover the axis and so much more.
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Didn't I have a most successful bridal shower?
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Garden & Be Well,     XOTara
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Pics taken at the bridal shower.  Facebook has been a joy the past couple of months.  Friends children graduating college and many becoming engaged.  Exciting times.  And, thank you to the parents, USA needs the children you've produced and educated.  Unable to have children, cannot imagine my cats driving a car, moving away for college, or their own lives.  Nope, kitties stay with me.  How you parents are doing this, I don't know !

Monday, April 27, 2015

Planning a New Garden

Learned decades ago I cannot design a garden without seeing interiors.  Moving into a new home?  Difficulties designing the garden?  Of course.
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Grieving leaving my garden, but oh my, the excitements of anticipating the new garden.  I'm in a new relationship.  House, garden, me, well trod territory, and favorite.  Slow down, did you notice the trinity?  Is this trinity, house-garden-you, yours?
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Ignore this trinity at your peril.  It is not in the least selfish, instead the opposite, giving.
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Counterintuitive.
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It's the airplane cliche, put the air mask on yourself before helping others.
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Once house & garden are leveraged fully, they are your ally in times of need, a spiritual base and retreat.  Beauty, ease, activity.  Another cliche, the more you go inward the more you outwardly connect.
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This isn't where I'm going with you, another day.
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Not in my new house/garden yet, I cannot design the garden.  How could I?  Don't know how I will live inside the house.
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I do know I'm designing for my 80 year old self, deer, drought, unskilled labor, and my own needs for beauty, simplicity, grace,   The property has no barn, garage, conservatory, chicken coop.  They are for me to choose, not a bad bargain.
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Built 1900, 4.5 acres, wooded/open, pond, American farmhouse architecture, 1 story, deep front porch across entire front, and a dogtrot 9' wide x 50 feet long.  A dairy farm next door, with beautiful views of meadow, lake, rolling hills, Piedmont forest, and cows.  Thorns in the roses, but those are another day too.
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Exterior colors?  White on white is the classic for 1900, below.  Along with basic gray porch flooring and blue beadboard ceilings.



Pic from here.
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Close to the street, I immediately thought of low fencing, friendly, with 'X' pattern, below.  Alas, my 2 chimneys, after inspectors report, had to be removed.  Repairing/replacing them not an option at this layer.  Asked the current owner if I could have the bricks, realtor texted after chimneys were down, the bricks are stacked and waiting for me.

 paint colors for 1900 farmhouse - Google Search

Pic via here.

30 years in my home/garden, a garden cat always in attendance.  Will take this, below, and style for my own architecture.

  

Pic via here.

For my dogtrot, below.  Door, table, door, the perfect enfilade.

 New southern Greek Revival residence with gas lanterns in GA - Historical Concepts

Pic via here.

 farmhouse porch | Farmhouse-porch-view

Exterior lights, above, are long gone, replacements chosen without regard to the home's age/architecture.  Finally, will get to purchase lighting from the man I refer to all my clients.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's. A game room in Bunny Mellon's Oak Spring Farm Estate

Pic via here.
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There is no library, above, in my new home, this cannot be.  Great joy in anticipating where it will be built.

 Rachel "Bunny" Mellon with a gathering of her topiaries, photographed at a window of her Virginia home (Vogue, 1965). Photo: Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast Archive. AD Remembers Design Icon Bunny Mellon

Pic via here.
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Terra cotta, above, and galvanized metal will predominate with my pots at the new house.

 The antique lantern and the brass stool in the master bedroom are Lebanese. The ebonized slipper chairs are Italian, and the club chair, by O. Henry House, is clad in a Robert Kime ticking stripe; the bedside tables are from John Rosselli Antique

Pic via here.
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Ceilings are 11' tall, above, and I've spent too much time researching how high to put curtain rods.

This dining room of Bunny Williams has been one of my favorites since her book came out. I love the chinoiserie panel, she is married to John Rosselli, and the large gingham Slipcovers are fab.

Pic via here.
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Will slipcover, above, some of my furniture, some in big check, the rest plain.

nancy lancaster

Pic via here.
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The master bedroom is shaded and needs a bright Nancy Lancaster yellow, above.

Plates display and details on table

Pic via here.
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Dishes, above, will go on the walls.  Which dishes and which walls, too fun, the anticipation.

Charles Faudree. This exuberant room from one of Faudree’s own homes lit up Traditional Home's April 1991 cover.

Pic via here.
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Cloth on table, above, again, where, more than one?

 rambling path creates a sense of adventure . Bunny Williams' Litchfield Hills home

Pic via here.
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Have done variations on this garden entry, above, for decades.  The joy of knowing they will be designed, but not knowing where, for now.

 Not very comfortable looking but oh so elegant!  Furlow- Gatewood ~ from the book /OneMansFolly

Pic via here.
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My new home can lend itself formal, but I won't go there, wanting a blue striped rug, above, somewhere.

 beautiful vignette, love the demilune, the green table and chair, the botanicals and painted plank walls

Pic via here.
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Have chosen the best room, very Enchanted April, for my office, above.  A fun day when I can set the stack of 5 books I've written in their new resting place.  Better days coming soon when I start writing my new books.  3 in the pipeline.  Which to choose 1st?  Adore these  sorts of 'problems' !

 Choose an elegant lean-to | conservatory | country | Country Homes & Interiors  For sheer elegance and simplicity, the lean-to conservatory wins hands down. Its single-pitched roof is ideal for a limited space such as a terraced house or to fill the side return at the back of many Victorian houses. Find similar aluminium conservatories at Alitex  Read more at http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/country-conservatories-10-of-the-best-1#KCf3cUlvtJ5SoEX7.99

Pic via here.

No conservatory, I'm considering this type, above, placed backside a small barn in the orchard.  Neither barn/orchard existing anywhere but in my head.  Already, they are on perfect axis with each other, house, and garden views.
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Amazing how little I know what to do in my new garden.  In the macro, yes.  Fine tuning exact placements, flow & scale, no.  Life is good.  My next job is to get moved in, and live.  Choose interior colors, place furniture, art, lamps, library.  And litter box.
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This ride has already begun.
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Blessedly my new home is not Victorian, it is Edwardian.  A favorite era.  A little later and it would have been Depression era Poverty Cycle.  It will be included for history, and necessity, yet the elegancies from the Edwardian will each be a joy.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Getting my homes ready to sell has about done-me-in.  Fourteen trips to thrift store with stuff, packing boxes, and staging, all at the same time.  Gardens included, and alas both garages.  Made the choice to use a realtor because of my day job.  30 years in my home, only 3 years with office/guest cottage.  Have written about staging a friend's hard to sell vacation cabin, 6 years on the market with 3 realtors, I sold it on Zillow for-sale-by-owner, renting it on AirBnB while for sale.
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Staging works.  Both of my homes have a signed contract, last week, with the first person who looked, then made an offer less than 24 hours later.  No, homes were not priced too cheap.  They were priced dictated by nearby comparables.  Quite a week, last week, still not believing the speed life is happening.
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Grieving leaving is intense.  The outreach I'm receiving is helping immensely.  Humbled, and giving thanks, at this unexpected chapter of grace.
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None of the above is 'afforded'.  I must write about the financial devastation of being married to an alcoholic, college sweetheart, for 3 decades, and losing every dime to my name.  Repairing the financial damage as a Garden Designer, on my own.  Alcoholic did not aim his misery at me, I was merely collateral damage.  Was a victim for 15 wasted minutes.  Was fortunate to pass thru survivor stage in fewer minutes, thankfully, to years of thriver.
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At lectures, local/national, and in my open gardens I've had many opportunities with other women, hugging them, tears down their faces, smiles too.  Why are they crying?  They had the epiphany, If she can do it, I can too.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Copy from those at the Peak of their Game

You do a thing in the garden with your full IQ, passion, energy, wallet, time.  Influenced by era.

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At my front door, above, if you know the 80's, you're seeing Horticulture magazine, covers of Smith & Hawken catalog, and articles, pages long, from House & Garden magazine.
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So, where do you think I'm going with this?
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History.
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That trinity of resources, above, was from the best brains at the peak of their game.
  Drenched in the poverty cycle of the Great Depression & rusticities of turn-of-the-century Lutyens/Jekyll with generous splashes remaining of the Belle Epoque.
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So, when asked what plant should go in a certain spot or what is wrong with their lawn.  I pause, long.
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Themistocles comes to mind, " "I cannot fiddle, but I can make a great state from a little city."
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So, when I'm told, "I want a garden but I don't have a lot of money."
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Winston Churchill comes to mind, "....when he was asked to cut arts funding in favor of the war effort, he simply replied, "Then what are we fighting for?"
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The best thing I've ever done in my life was to say, Yes, when my soul told me to have a garden. 
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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If you want a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, and causes you to tap the brake pedal, as you look in the rear view mirror heading out, become my client, local or on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
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Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Doorstep Gardening


A bit of vine & gravel to the house.


Repeated across continents for centuries.
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Affordable to install, inexpensive to maintain.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic via A Bloomsbury Life.  After years of lust for gravel & vine I did it for myself.  Still curious why I waited so long.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Edwardian Simplicity

Pecan Orchard needs a gate. A simple gate.Visiting an English country house & garden I fell in love with this gate.
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Simple, but not.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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This gate starts a conversation, Pecan Orchard needs a taller/wider gate. The garden, above, typically English, a wildwood beyond a gate luring you away from the formal garden. Wondering, finally, if you'll find Sirens, Nyads, Dryads, Satyres.... The last 2 sentences summing up the best of Landscape Design !

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Depth in Simplicity

Simplicity. Flat wall softened into 3-D with: light fixture, bell, foliage, arbor. Kinetics of bell, gate, foliage, light, invitation for eye & foot. Repetition of color. Just inside the gate, below.
Piquant surpise, below, look closely, an outdoor shower.


Not far away, below, more depth in simplicity with stones in the wall.

Surprise, a second gate, below.
A curve, using iron instead of brick & wood amplifying depth in simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken in Athens, GA last month. Same Italianate garden as previous posts. Begun in the 70's this garden is still evolving, enjoy walking thru it. A landscape design class could be taught here.
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Notice the diminutive light fixtures? Perfection. Leaving intact a design feature of th Edwardians.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

ATTACHING VINES TO YOUR HOUSE

Gertrude Jekyll, Englishwoman & world's 1st landscape designer, said, When I design a landscape the first thing I consider is what to put on the house. Fascinating. College degree, uncountable lectures attended and not one person ever, ever, mentioned what to put on a house. I design with vines and espaliered woody shrubs on homes.

You can vaguely see the wires on the house, below. Vines with outward growth add a dimension of lushness & softness.
In winter, the wires are barely visible. Entirely cloaked in summer.

Run galvanized wire in horizontal lines 2' apart.
I use masonry screws for brick walls & a jackhammer drill. Copper wire doesn't carry the load of galvanized wire.
Woody shrubs espaliered against a home need no wires or trellising. Use espaliered shrubs for low maintenance.
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I took the pics last month in England at Wisley, Royal Hort. Society.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Saturday, February 21, 2009

PLINTH: QUESTIONS & FANTASIES

Waking at 2am last night I dwelled upon this man. His PLINTH entertained me. He's Edwardian, placed in an English Park surrounded by homes older than he is. Pedastals and bases are plinths. Made of stacked bricks, limestone, marble, &tc.
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Questions about this plinth:
* Did the sculptor choose it?
* Did a committee choose it?
* How was its height, length, width decided upon?
* Who chose the material and why?
* Who placed the plinth/statue within the park?
* How was the location on the plinth chosen to place the statue's foot?
* Who decided which direction to face the statue?

What I do know:
* The sculptor lived in a house facing the park.
* The sculptor is famous (sorry, didn't get pic of the plaque).
* The sculptor left the statue, in his will, to the park.

What I want to know:
* Which house the sculptor lived in.
* Where was the statue placed at his home?
* What type of plinth was it on?
* Is this the original plinth?
* Did the sculptor leave precise directions for placing the statue, plinth in his will?

What I fantasized about this man:
* He was given to me.
* Placing him in my landscape.
* Cutting plinth lower to properly scale it for my tiny garden.
* Getting rid of his plinth and putting his lovely foot on a local granite boulder.
* He looked great in front of the bay window.
* He looked great in the hedge in my backyard on axis with summerhouse.
* He looked great on axis from my office window.
* Fell asleep before I placed him.


Lovely thoughts of a man's PLINTH.
Ha, what do you think about at 2am?
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Took the pic last month in England.
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Garden & Be Well, XO T

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

EDWARDIAN IDEA TO COPY...SIMPLICITY

I've seen these steps across Europe. If they're good in someone else's landscape they'll be good in yours. Lutyens did them many times. A bit art deco?
Simple, a 5 bar gate. The Edwardian house understated but grand. Choosing simple wasn't due to low funds but good landscape design. Contrasting formal elements with the informal adds drama. A formal gate, easily afforded, would have ruined the effect of venturing into the Wild Wood. A pleasure garden. Their name before tv, internet, phone........

A stone step without mortar. Flagstone pavers and stone risers. They won't move dug into a gentle slope. The stone wall is drystack, no mortar. Contractors easily oversell this situation with mortar.

Garden & Be Well XXOO T

EDWARDIAN LUST


After lecturing last week in England it was off for the backroads, hedgerows, B&Bs, tiny villages and gardens. I was in the Midlands/Cotswolds/London areas. The garden above is Edwardian. I lust after these landscapes. This is a side view of the home, now a Trust Property. Notice the expert use of espaliered plants. A winter garden and gorgeous. The dormant plants provide summer's glory. The bench is a destination. The round gutter contrasts the many squares. Gravel crunches underfoot. A romantic, functional landscape.