Showing posts with label Hedge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hedge. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

More Than You Want to Know About Starting Your Garden Design

What type Garden Design survives, centuries, in gardens?
.
Easy trinity, with limitless permutations; Wild Wood, Meadow, Stone Focal Point.
.
Meadow, Urn, Hedge, below.  Classical trivium of Garden Design.  A structure for adding more layers, if desired.
.
Used at the front end of Garden Design it is a manner of thought toward your personal lifestyle, preferably, one you've chosen to make you a better person, at a minimum, a happier person.  Within the larger context of stewardship toward Nature. 
.
Your choice. 
.
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and freedom."  Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor.


Pic, above, here.
.
Once I discovered what type of gardens survive for centuries, after studying historic gardens across Europe, it became obvious how to start a garden.  Start a garden with how it will end.  'It matters how we arrive at our ideas.'
.
The classical trivium turned thought & writing into logic, grammar, rhetoric.  This isn't too small, for garden design, you can add more later.  With the classical trivium you are 'imparted the 7 liberal arts of classical antiquity.'
.
  
Pic, above, here.
.
Going beyond the classical trivium, above.  Easy to see, removing flowers, the garden becomes its end state quickly, meadow, hedge/wildwood, stone focal point.  (Labeling the garden in design terms, above, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal point.)
.
It's important to have the language for a garden, to create one.  It's important to have the history for a garden, to create one.  It's important to have the logic for a garden, to create one.  You realize this isn't about your garden.  It's choices about your life.  God almighty first created a garden.  We all ate that apple.  No choice in the matter, I want back in the garden.
.
Having the vocabulary to design a garden lets your mind "...collect and analyze information and to draw conclusions based on that information; it demands self-discipline and instills virtue (the ability to do what is right despite one's baser inclinations); it produces.........think, understand, solve problems and follow through on a wide range of interests.  It requires a student to examine moral and ethical issues.  A classical education is multi-cultural in the best sense of the word.  Because it takes history as its organizing principle, students learn the place of their lives, families, and communities in the broad landscape of human existence and achievement.  It imparts skills and passion for thinking and learning that allow a person to teach herself for the rest of her life.  Classical education is systematic and rigorous; it has purpose, goals, and a method to reach those goals."  Noval Classical, from here
.
This is more than you wanted, but have included it, aside from living it, because it is how George Washington gardened, and garden designed.  More than agricultural, more than elegance, he gardened to show his political, educational, and religious beliefs.  Born into a slave holding family, what was the impetus George Washington had, to free all his slaves? 
.
Slaves in America are part of historic garden study.  In Europe, for too many eras they had subsistence workers.  Ignorant, I had to ask a head-gardener what that meant, "They worked for food.  No pay, no housing, no clothing given.  At the end of the day they return into the woods."  Serfs were another layer of garden labor, not technically slaves, they worked for the manor house, were given a plot of land for their own to work, and could take those earnings, yet were not free to move about, they had to be granted permission to leave a manor's employ, which was not a given. 
.
End of serfdom coincided with the bubonic plague.  So many were killed, there were few left to work the fields.  Finally, after the plague, workers were paid for their labor.  And, allowed freedom to move about.
.
Historic gardens, which truly flourished after the plague, ca. 1400,  took another turn after WWI, so many were killed the grand estates did not have enough laborers to keep their properties up to prior WWI standards.  This is when 'my' trinity of historic gardens appeared.  WWII was the macro end of agrarian gardens, and beginning of industrialized landscapes we have today. 
.
Industrialized landscaping parallels, unfortunately, global factory farming of livestock.  Won't go further into that realm here beyond noting George Washington's gardening choices, and life choices. 
.
In the garden, beyond making design choices based upon a trivium, choosing to engage the brain in addition to body, spirit & community, there is the garden itself, with some life forces equal to ours.  At times, appearing sentient, perhaps behaving with sentience.     
.
Does the neo-sentience of a garden affect our thought processes when in our garden, or woodland, or fields & streams?
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
How do you like History, thru my Garden prism? 
.
From the Mount Vernon website, below.
In his will, written several months before his death in December 1799, George Washington left directions for the emancipation of all the slaves that he owned, after the death of Martha Washington.
Washington's slave census in this 1799 will and testament
Washington was not the only Virginian to make provisions to free his slaves during this period. In 1782, toward the end of the American Revolution, the Virginia legislature made it legal for slave holders to manumit their slaves, without a special action of the governor and council.
Of the 317 slaves at Mount Vernon in 1799, 123 individuals were owned by George Washington and were stipulated in Washington's will to be freed upon his wife's death. However, these conditions did not apply to all slaves at Mount Vernon. When Martha Washington's first husband Daniel Parke Custis died without a will, she received a life interest in one-third of his estate, including his slaves. The other two-thirds of the estate went to their children.
Neither George nor Martha Washington could free these dower slaves by law. Upon her death the slaves would revert to the Custis estate and be divided among her grandchildren. By 1799, 153 slaves at Mount Vernon were part of this dower property. Forty more slaves were rented from a neighbor, while another man, Peter Hardiman, was rented from the widow of Martha Washington's son. All these people would eventually return to their owners.
 In accordance with state law, George Washington stipulated in his will that elderly slaves or those who were too sick to work were to be supported throughout their lives by his estate. Children without parents, or those whose families were unable to see to their education were to be bound out to masters and mistresses who would teach them reading, writing, and a useful trade, until they were ultimately freed at the age of twenty-five. Washington’s will stated that he took these charges to his executors very seriously: "And I do moreover most pointedly, and most solemnly enjoin it upon my Executors...to see that this clause respecting Slaves, and every part thereof be religiously fulfilled at the Epoch at which it is directed to take place; without evasion, neglect or delay, after the Crops which may then be on the ground are harvested, particularly as it respects the aged and infirm."
In December 1800, Martha Washington signed a deed of manumission for her deceased husband's slaves, a transaction that is recorded in the abstracts of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Court Records. They would finally become free on January 1, 1801.    

Thursday, May 16, 2019

"I Want to Have a Relationship With You"

The physical of a garden is obvious.  House, meadow, hedge, porch with table/chair/vase, color, form, texture, flow, breeze, sound, temperature, scent,
implied actions. 
.
This garden, below, becomes interestingly intentional if there's a cluster mansion just the other side of the hedge.  Indicative of clear choices made with a firm hand.  And life.
.
Odd, the alchemy of hedge & meadow creating expansive space, physically & mentally.
.
Фания Сахарова
Pic, above, here.
.
Nature takes the physical of a garden, metaphysical.  Psychologists proclaim a: 'Fertile Solitude = Basic Unit of a Full & Contented Life.'
.
About solitude in Nature, "...one's inner voices become audible (and) in consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives."  Wendell Berry.
.
Porch & garden, above, give layers of fertile solitude & the sound of our own inner voice, merely from a photograph.  This garden, above, is totally designed, though looks not designed in the least.  "Intelligence + Diligence + Wisdom  vs.  Letting It Be."  No one needs to be a garden expert to know what a letting-it-be attitude does to a landscape.
.
"We die.  That may be the meaning of life.  But we do language.  That may be the measure of our lives."  Toni Morrison.  Gardens were a language long before man arrived.
.
Deciding to have a Garden is 2nd order positive thinking.  "A real advantage is conferred on people who can do things that are 1st-order negative, 2nd-order positive.  Especially if these 1st order negatives are very visible costs with no immediate benefit in the short term and a non-linear benefit at some future time."  Shane Parrish. 
.
A previous client moved from their home/garden 2 years ago.  Recently, near that home, I did the stupid thing, a drive-by.  Foot went to brake, and I just stared.  Their garden, on the edge of out-of-control, had bushes screaming, "Come, prune us, you'll have a nice couple of hours, and that problem you're most worried about, it will be solved when the pruning is done, your house will be framed in love again, and your attitude lifted, nurtured."  More precisely, I kept thinking, Don't you see, don't you hear? Your Garden is shouting in joy to you, "I want to have a relationship with you."
.
Seriously, I saw their garden communicating with them, heard the exact words, "I want to have a relationship with you." 
.
"...clinging to what you already know and do well is the path to an unlived life."  Parker Palmer.  Gardens are 2nd-order positive thinking.  How odd to finally 'hear' a quote from a Garden, "I want to have a relationship with you.", yet it was someone else's garden, speaking to them, not me.  I got the metaphor. 
.
You may not hear the Garden speaking to you, 'I want to have a relationship with you'.  Be assured, it is. 
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Pair of Landscapes: Exactly Alike Yet Opposites

Within constraints of sacred vs. profane the world takes away so much of our life, why give it more?  Merely targeting industrialized residential landscapes ca. 1945 to present, in USA. 
.
This pair of landscapes, below, are opposites in style, yet both have style centuries older than industrialized landscapes.  What style is that?  Agrarian/pastoral.  More, both landscapes focus on the house and its inhabitants/guests, as proscenium and star.  A sweet pairing, life is the focus, not life maintaining the landscape. 
.   

Pic, above, here.
.
Top pic appears modern, bottom pic appears historic.  More, their style, appropriated to other sites, becomes new again, unique.
.
Ambition and aspiration are both of great value.  Yet how they are mixed, and their changing percentages given across our life, even a day, show in our material lives.  Ambition and aspiration should be in the landscape, with aspiration weighted heaviest, they've made the best landscapes for centuries across continents and cultures. 
.
Industrialized landscapes stop at mere ambition.  Agrarian/pastoral landscapes, even with a bit of industrialization tossed in, have ambition, but their aspirations are greater. 
.
What does this mean?  'Ambition is what we want to achieve and aspiration is who we want to become.' 
.   
 Maurice Fatio Designed Significant Home - Landscape outside of Dallas Estate Property
Pic, above, here.

 Mary Oliver's Top 15 Quotations
Pic, above, here.
.
Seeing agrarian/pastoral landscapes as a child, there were a few, compared to thousands of industrialized, I saw generosity of spirit, welcoming arms, a rich conversation, fun, intelligence, secrets, home, love.

If Iris Apfel says it, then it must be true!
Pic, above, here.
.
Hedges, trees, & a meadow/gravel terrace is the trinity for agrarian/pastoral, and the new modern industrialized landscape.  Be like Iris, know how you can get away with anything.       

 Quotable - Joan Didion
Pic, above, here.
.
Grief, when it comes, I take into the garden.  At least I know what the garden will do.  A new grief?  Never know what it will do.
.
 
Pic, above, here.
.
Your landscape should tell me who you are from the curb.  If I see a photo of your patio, it must be so fabulous I have to go inside your home, and wander the garden.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
Gardens have always been places of light and love, to me, from earliest childhood, and respite from the darkness & hate that comes in measure to all.

 
Pic, above, here.
.
Perhaps it was not being able to have children, I never had to give her, above, up.  Ever.  No worries if you've never gardened this passionately, there is no age limit to start. 
.
Get dirty?  When I garden there are bruises, blood, time ceases yet expands, hunger doesn't exist, epiphanies arrive, grief has a place to harbor for awhile, forgiveness is given but feels like a bestowal.....
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sighting A Hedge for Screening

Hiding a view, the closer your plantings the faster the hiding.
.
Neighbor's house, below, is quite close already, the design/placement of planting close, an automatic.
.
If the neighbor's house were 100' away, still site the evergreen hedge where it is.  Not near the property line.  Especially if you want to have early morning coffee on the terrace, in your gown.

Habitually Chic® » Sag Harbor Secret Revealed
Pic, above, here.
.
The closer the hedge, the faster the screening.
.
Put that in your memory bank.
.
You may not need it, but a friend might.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT
.
Placing large evergreens for screening recently, 'husband' wanted them in a certain spot, near the property line.  I mentioned a spot closer to his home, providing much faster privacy for his screened/roofed porch. Which was his focus.  He paused long, "That's where my wife said to put them."  Sweet moment, she loved it when I told her.