Showing posts with label KISS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KISS. 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?
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Easy trinity, with limitless permutations; Wild Wood, Meadow, Stone Focal Point.
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Meadow, Urn, Hedge, below.  Classical trivium of Garden Design.  A structure for adding more layers, if desired.
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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. 
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Your choice. 
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"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.
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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.'
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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.'
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Pic, above, here.
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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.)
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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.
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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
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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? 
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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. 
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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.
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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. 
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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. 
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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.     
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Does the neo-sentience of a garden affect our thought processes when in our garden, or woodland, or fields & streams?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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How do you like History, thru my Garden prism? 
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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.    

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How to Arrange Furniture in Large Garden Spaces

How to section a large terrace or deck into cozy areas? 
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Learn from the best, below.  Why are they the best?  Their livelihood depends upon layers of good design, ease of maintenance, simplicity for staff to serve, and, enriching comfort for guests.
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Habitually Chic® » Mezzatore Hotel and Thermal Spa
Pic, above, here.
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Large pots, multiple seating areas, repetitious furniture, color theme flowing throughout & accouterments. 
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Beautiful pots, furnishings not in the budget?  Field gather, junking/garbage day curb side/thrift stores/garage sales, paint all the furnishing the same color.  Paint all the pots the same color.
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Become a fan of square and rectangular shaped tables.  Square/rectangular tables can be pulled together or set against walls, multi-use. 
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How easy this terrace is to blow.  Few obstructions.  Simple pot plantings.  No major replanting needed at change of seasons.
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At the end of an Open Garden a lone woman remained, sitting on my 6' Teak bench.  Tired, I went straight to her and sat down.  She began to cry.  Heaving breaths, big round tears.
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Divorce finalizing, she was losing her large sacred landscape.  How could she live without it?  Looking around that garden room of mine, she said she had to, ".....HAVE THIS."  The beauty of a garden in its full context.  More tears.
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So, we held hands, she cried a bit more, and I waited, knowing exactly what to say to her.
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"You can have this, my garden is less than 1/4 acre, 8500 SF, and that includes house & driveway."
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Not the first time bearing witness to a woman's life change.
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Never think beautiful garden photographs merely represent what can be done in a garden with $$$, pic above.  Beautiful gardens are about beautiful relationships.  Gardener to Nature. 
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Never saw that woman again.  Yet, I know she's thriving.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pot Narratives

Choosing pots for your garden, choose pots fabulous empty.  Another aid in choosing a pot, ask yourself, "Is this pot so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
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Within threads of choosing pots choose for color too.
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This pot, doesn't need to be planted, will look marvelous empty.
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Perhaps the pot planting, below, is a 10" plastic pot sold as a hanging basket, with the hanger clipped off.

wishespleasures​  ♔  Natures Beauty on We Heart Ithttp://weheartit.com/entry/113128392/via/kendra_day_crockett
Pic, above, here.
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Get your pots at the right height.  Use a plinth, above. 
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This pot is doing heavy lifting in the Garden Design realm.  Did you notice already?  More than merely a focal point for this photograph.  This pot, above, is a focal point from more than a single direction. 
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The more axis a focal point has, the better the focal point.
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See it, do it.
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Funny how much narrative the Garden Design realm performs.  Seems so easy at the front end.  Until someone points out your focal point needs a plinth, and multiple axis.  In addition to that estate sale question.
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See it, do it?  Easy?  Requires that Johnny Cash bit, Meditate-on-it.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT
 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sourcing for the Seasons: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years

Creating a container, or several, for the upcoming holidays.  With beauty, and without angst.
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Ingredients easily transposed to what you can source.  Sourcing includes what is 'found' and what is purchased. 
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Focus on the shape of your container/s, and the silhouette of your arrangement.  Shapes to copy, below.  Not your traditional garden container shapes/plantings, more, taking from the realm of Florists.
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Winter Container Garden Ideas
Pic, above, here.
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Containers, above/below, expensive, even sourced 2nd hand.  Broaden your scope, retaining visions of these, yet transposing to finds at thrift store, junk shop, side of the road on garbage pick-up day.

 Winter Container Garden Ideas
Pic, above, here.
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Pic, above, here.
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Adore this Halloween party, above.  Pure stage decorating, feels like a true Birthday party celebration for hallowed souls....
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Transposing, above, I've already sourced velvety & feathered red cardinals to set upon branches sprayed white, going up just after Thanksgiving, and remaining thru New Years.  Branches from my woodland, and those cardinals sourced at dollar store.  Two for a dollar to be exact.
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Easy.  I like pretty, and easy.  And the fun of the hunt.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Top 2 pics look like Deborah Silver's work, but didn't see her credited. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Simplicity of Narrative

Last question, finishing a Garden Design, What can I take out and it holds together?
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There is so little here, below.  Yet overwhelmed in layers of narrative.  I see a story/stories, below, you must, too.
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Not, simple-gardens-are-the-best, it is simple gardens including narratives of classic aesthetics across the ages, tied to the life of their home's interior, and owner, with an ease of maintenance, those are the gardens lasting centuries.

new orleans by laura stefan.:
Pic, above, here.
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Front door, above, reminds me of a story I was told by a friend, decades ago, in Savannah, GA.  The story teller lived in the historic district.  The story told happened ca. 1950'ish.  An elderly widow lived in elegant deep decay in a large historic mansion.  Her handy-man, an African-American, took care of her, the house, garden, and it was well known he brought her food from one of the best restaurants, he waited tables there several nights a week.
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More, they lived outwardly their proscribed rolls. Yet, within her home they were lovers, in a committed relationship.  Further, the city knew, yet lived the lie.  Protecting both, beloved members of their community.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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The lady in the story, born 19th century, lived the story in 20th century, I'm telling you in the 21st century.  Her home still standing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Masters Class: Adding Subsidiary Focal Points to a Focal Point

Focal points in your garden must be so wonderful they are fought over at your estate sale.
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One focal point per garden room, subsidiary focal points allowed.
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Pots in your garden must be so marvelous they never have to be planted.
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Tara's Trinity of focal points, above.
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The best focal points are placed on axis seen from myriad directions, and better, if each of those axis is not visible from the others.
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Focal points must have a focal point view in their opposite direction.
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No matter the slope of your land, focal points must be level.
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You must know these focal point tips within your DNA.
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A delight, below, seeing this pot recently.  Pretty all year, even when the herbacious plantings are dormant.
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What did you think, first seeing the pot, below?  Did the plantings, and their year-round essence enter into contemplation?

garden with pinks & purples:
Pic, above, here.

Moving on. More details about siting and living with a focal point.  Contemplating a single focal point's effect upon your life, a Providential gift, using my focal point, below.
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Up front, seeing the urn & plinth, below, at a wholesale nursery, I was there buying items for a job, not to get myself a pot/plinth.  After making the purchase for the client job, in a hurry, my feet moved me over to the pot/plinth, you knew they would.  My DNA knew more than my lizard brain which kept saying, You're in a hurry, no time for this, and certainly no money.
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Wholesale pot/plinth were expensive, and wildly heavy.  Had 4 men put it into my pick-up truck.
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Into my garden, below, direct axis from the large bay window fronting my home, my previous 30 year home.



With the urn/plinth at my back, below, this is the view into that bay window.  Now you're entering the realm of Living with your focal point.  Not merely having your focal point.  Huge difference.  Huge.

TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white:

Inside the bay window, below.  Living more deeply with the pot/plinth, having meals at the table, bringing my laptop to the table and working, putting together more journal pages at this table.

my bay window, drop-leaf table, chairs with cane seats, drapes, garden views, vanishing threshold, heart of pine wood floors:

With the focal point urn/plinth at my back, below, turned to a different axis view, a subsidiary focal point.  Ironically a subsidiary focal point, within a subsidiary focal point.  Go me !  Know what I am talking about here?  Hope so.  The blooms of wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' are owning the day, once finished the dovecote recovers its dominance.

TARA DILLARD: A PEAK AT MY GARDEN:

Turning to another axis, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, is another subsidiary focal point.  A planting designed to greet me as I enter/leave my driveway.

TARA DILLARD: Driveway Planting:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, Laura watching me, totally acting as if I'm not there.

Laura, backdrop to my garden today.:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back.  This view another subsidiary focal point within a subsidiary focal point.  Who can deny the Chinese snowball is dominant?  After flowering the pair of adirondack chairs take their rightful place as subsidiary focal point.  And, destination.  When the snows of spring are this pretty, not about to walk to the chairs, harming the petals on the ground, or sit in the chairs, harming the petals in the chair.  Instead, swimming for days in the intoxicating beauty of the petals.

My front yard today.  Lawn?:
Bottom 7 pictures, shot in my garden.
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More fabulousity with this urn/plinth, above, the house is at the street with 7 neighbor's homes crowding in.  Do you see them?  Do they exist?  Not in my realm.
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This is garden design as Garden Design, capitals for the same reason as using it with Providence.
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Creating a focal point with the Garden Design 'rules' above creates Sacred space.  A moat of grace around your home, and life.
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Today, and for the past 14 months, my urn/plinth have been lying in the materials yard, on their side on a pallet, awaiting placement in our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Clearing invasives, renovating garden sheds, building new outbuildings, grading, drilling a well, renovations to the house, have all come ahead of starting the Garden.  Before moving I tried to tell Beloved what my Garden meant to me.  No words existed.  I have those words now, having been without my Garden for so long.  My Garden was my best Friend, unconditional love.
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Missing my Friend.
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Today, I'll do something I've only done 3-4x's.  I discovered it by accident, at present it's the most potent feel good drug I know.  I will sit in my materials yard for lunch, with accoutrements from my previous garden, about 10 pallets, Friends awaiting placement in my new Garden.  Sacred made Palpable.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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At the opposite of creating a Sacred space, I was on the phone yesterday with a client who had to remove an odd/ugly covered porch addition the previous homeowner had added.  More than ugly, more than unusable, the space felt 'evil'.  Didn't want to be in it or walk thru it to get to the back yard, or even see it.  The owner felt it, and her friend, a client who referred me, felt it too.  The 'evil' room is  now gone, a new space built, with subsidiary gifts.  All the 'evil'?  Gone !

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Taking Historic into the Modern Realm

Clearly a master's touch, below, playing with history, cunningly modern.
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Sint-Job-In't-Goor Sleutel-op-de-deur

Whimsy, below, in the metaphor of sanctity.  What?  Taking the choice, below, to walk into the garden, you must bow your head, at the shrine of espaliered trees.
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Soon, hedging will shield the house from the outer world, flying buttresses, arc-boutant, to the nave within.
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Is your life worth anything less?
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Stewardship of self.  In all its layers.

Sint-Job-In't-Goor Pastorij


Sint-Job-In't-Goor landelijke woning

For good measure, several ball rooms planted into the back yard, above.

Sint-Job-In't-Goor achtertuin

The long hallway, above at right, a promenade, lit in the manner of le jardin rustique.  With hedging at the backyard too, another nave, a double cathedral built,
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Someone, at the top of their game, above.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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We are still tending structural  outdoor necessities at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse garden.  Pouring more gravel, putting in paths, lighting, plantings, must wait.  One of those 'necessities' a well.  Beloved has worked with the well diggers many times during his construction career, he trusts them.  Good, fine.  My concern is flagrantly obvious.  Where will they find water?  How will it affect designing the garden?  
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We chose similar lights, above, for a renovated shed.  Once installed, I knew those lights would be perfect for the rest of the garden, on posts along pathways.  Imagine my surprise seeing the pic, above.
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What a day I had on the old Kubota tractor yesterday.  Wounded pride, newbie mistakes.  Hilarious being an 'expert' and embarking upon a new learning curve in the garden.  Details sketchy, pride still ruffled.
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Pics from here.

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

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 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, January 13, 2015

Why Boring-is-Good is Your Best Design


"Build your own prison", he said at the start.
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She laughed.
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3 years later, pieces of the start have already been undone.
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She laughed then too, remembering his words.

Boring is Good
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I design gardens for a living, he of build-your-own-prison, installs gardens commercial/residential, for a living.
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We have 60+ years in our livelihoods.
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Take our words at the front end.
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If you don't, the epitaph is not propitious.
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Worse than money lost, you will have frittered time.
Money can be earned.
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No one can earn time.
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Build your own prison.  Boring is good.
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Keep it simple sweetie.
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Outside a client's hedge, below.
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It's packing a punch.


Inside the same corner of hedge, below.


Several cars park here, on view from every back window of the house.
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Boring is good, but includes intellect, wit, function, delight to the eye in every season, attractiveness to pollinators, easy to maintain, raises property value, lowers HVAC, & etc....
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Counterintuitively, wickedly boring gardens showcase your inner joy, laughter, intellect, and are more unique than any garden you could conjure with your lizard brain.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

This client now sees into the soul of person as they walk/talk with her in her garden.  What they see, or don't see, and spontaneously respond/react to informs reams about their heart.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Ways to Get Subsidiary Focal Points Right

Not a focal point, below, but a grand subsidiary focal point.
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Garden Design Rule: One Focal Point per Area.
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Not my rule, but agreed to.
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What to do?  Invent another rule.
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Focal Points are allowed subsidiary focal points nearby if they recede, touch foliage, don't draw attention.   Can be numerous if properly chosen & sited.
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Focal Points & Subsidiary Focal Points must both be so wonderful they will be fought over at your estate sale.


Pots must be so wonderful they can remain empty.  This young man, above, has dead plantings and he's fabulous.
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More, he flows with the style of the home's interior.
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Dogs, 3 young children, parents each own a business, they have farm property nearby, and a lake house.
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Get the picture?  Zero time for the garden.

Designing for women 80+, taught me how to truly design with tough love.  A huge honor, and weight.  They demand beauty, must have unskilled labor to maintain & little of it, something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, focal points on axis from inside views into the garden.  Nothing can go wrong with the garden.  Nothing.  Health issues arise, the house needs a new roof, a toilet floods.  If the garden has issues, they may decide to move.  It is my goal, their garden gives strength & joy to carry on in their home.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic this week in a client garden.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elements of Simplicity in Garden Design


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

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


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


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


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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Three Best Mistakes to Make in Your Landscape

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


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


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


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


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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garden Design Course: Free in a Single Pic

Under a pecan tree not much grows.
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Tara Turf is best.
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Why?
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Increased pollinator habitat increases crop yield up to 80%.
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 Susanne Hudson found herself with 4 benches needing a home.  Exquisitely, they found a home.
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Please put this on one of your Pinterest boards.  It's a free Garden Design course !
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Garden Design: backdrop, canopy-understory-groundcover aka ceiling-walls-floor, color, texture, scale, flow, garden rooms, mystery, serene, poverty cycle, curb appeal, focal point, subsidiary focal point, vintage theme, simplicity, low maintenance, pollinator habitat, urban gardening, structure all year.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic snapped with my phone last week.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Burn Your Light

Light from the garden, below.


Interesting legs, garden light a few of my favorite things.
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Oh my the criticisms, for decades, for leaning inward, to seemingly insignificant small joys.
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Edna St. Vincent Millay, "My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!"
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I met Peter Pan yesterday, and he wasn't lost.  With a bigger life I doubt I would have known.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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My bedroom, above, renovation still needs yellow/white French check draperies a la Charles Faudree.   Walls, Benjamin Moore - Sundress.  Hence you won't see more till then!  Painting by, Christine Gholson.  Truly, the light in my home is enriched by the garden.
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A quote in NYTimes long ago, "The more you go inward the more you outwardly connect." Pure permission, be-who-you-are.
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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.
                                                                                 .
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gardener's Kitchen


This, below, has already gone to my contractor.



A gardener's kitchen.


All about the garden view.
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Contractor's response, "You can't afford to lose cabinet space."
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Whatever.
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Sitting in the kitchen now, I'm imagining how much more garden I will see.  Wind, birds, blooms, snow, rains, fall foliage, exfoliating bark, berries....
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics via Cote de Texas.  Of course new counters & painting too.  Kitchen is almost 3 decades, my starter kitchen, a relief to discover its next chapter.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the Porch with Drapes

Nothing was here, below, a few days ago.  


The porch, below, when we began.



The corner 'before', above, and 'after', below.


Lamp, above, seen from the garden, below.


Porch 'before', below, viewed from the garden.


 Of course you want to look in the window, above.


 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics of Porch Garden I created with Susanne Hudson at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival earlier this month.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Covered Screened Porch

Garden view, daybed, lamps, table w/chairs, blue/white, cozy, stuffed with amenities.  Staycation is too small of an idea for this room.


Flowing from garden to kitchen with doors, & views from master bedroom and living room.


This couple is always doing something with their grown children & spouses with grands.




Tipping point for the TV is obviously the grands.


Daybed, slounging chairs + a table with chairs for projects/computer?  Perfect trinity.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics same house/garden as previous post.  It's obvious Susanne Hudson has put her skills here.   I have a strong weakness for grandparent/grandchild relationships.  Mine still fills me with incredible strengths.