Showing posts with label Meadow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meadow. 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.    

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. 
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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.
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Odd, the alchemy of hedge & meadow creating expansive space, physically & mentally.
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Фания Сахарова
Pic, above, here.
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Nature takes the physical of a garden, metaphysical.  Psychologists proclaim a: 'Fertile Solitude = Basic Unit of a Full & Contented Life.'
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About solitude in Nature, "...one's inner voices become audible (and) in consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives."  Wendell Berry.
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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.
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"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.
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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. 
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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."
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Seriously, I saw their garden communicating with them, heard the exact words, "I want to have a relationship with you." 
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"...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. 
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You may not hear the Garden speaking to you, 'I want to have a relationship with you'.  Be assured, it is. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

How to Start Your Garden Design: 101

Once you've toured historic gardens across Europe, twice minimum, a theme appears from the oldest, 2-4 centuries, gardens.  The oldest garden design theme is a template, process, equation, road map, truth, facts, information, trinity, whatever you wish to name it, and finally, what I name it, Wisdom.
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Habitually Chic® » Easter at Chateau de Wideville
Pic, above, here.
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If we're lucky, we understand.  If luckier, we intuit Wisdom.
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You're looking at a garden design, above, using every element of the oldest gardens.  Can you name the trinity?
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If Earth's oldest gardens are a trinity, "Why not start a garden with what it ends with?"
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What are you looking at, above?  Trees, meadow, stone focal point.  Historic trinity of garden design, trees can be formal, above, or an existing wild wood.  Meadow can be pasture, or lastly, lawn, myriad shapes, or formal lines.
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Stone focal point, often a dried fountain, long ago unable to hold water, balustrades, terrace, plinth, folly, urn, statue, ruins of a stone house/castle.
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Trees are most often forest, a wild wood, bosque, nothing showy, yet with canopy & understory.
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A decade passed before understanding Wildwood next to Meadow.  Do you know the significance?  .
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Wildwood next to Meadow is maximum pollinator habitat, gift from Providence for survival.
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Recently, a new fact I discovered about trees, and Providence,

 "Other than God and people, the Bible mentions trees more than any other living thing.Matthew Sleeth.
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Did you know that?  Matthew Sleeth, also linked to Charles Spurgeon, The Trees in God's Court
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Do you know who the garden, above, belongs to?  Have seen it several times thru the years, online, this time with provenance, Valentino's, Chateau de Widevill.
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Oddly, the trinity of Trees-Meadow-Stone Focal Point is greatly suited toward mid-century ranch homes & the flurry of split-level 70's-80's homes, calming industrialized architecture with agrarian/pastoral grace.  All homes & price points, not merely grand estates. 
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Why, exactly, start your garden design with what it will end with?  Less maintenance & expense, reduced HVAC with shade in summer, sun in winter, mental health benefits of beauty, physical health benefits Providence designed into our microbiomes without which we become ill or die.  Earth friendly, no fertilizers/chemicals toxic to groundwater, fungi, bacteria, agriculture, insects, wildlife, humans.  Friendly to even, yes, deer & armadillo, without noticeable damage. 
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Next layer, if you wish more in your garden, go for it, have fun.  No worries, if it fails, history proves it will, you'll still have a gorgeous garden Trees/Meadow/Stone Focal Point friendly to Nature, Earth and You.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T       

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Free Garden Design

Modern 2,000+ years ago.  Modern today.
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No need to be an expert, to understand why garden centers are not 'on board'.



Calm.  Facade, bench, pots, gravel, fade their colors into each other.  I see the silhouette of branches in winter striking the house, and gravel.  I hear the leaves, wind rustled, see their fall colors.  Gravel crunching underfoot.
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This house doesn't make the Garden Design special, instead, the choice to have this Garden Design is special.
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Free Garden Design.  Equally at home with a brick ranchburger ca. 1963, pioneer cabin, starter home, $2 million home in a gated community.
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Myriad choices made with this Garden Design.  Especially adore all of the 'no' choices.
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Why is this Garden Design harder to choose than keeping foundation plantings, installed by the builder, and a pocked lawn needing mow/blow/go, fertilizers poisoning groundwater, zero aesthetics to increase property value, no choices for plantings to reduce hvac expenses, no thought for color, or pulling the foot outside to enjoy Nature?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Picture from here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A.S. Byatt: Le Jardin Rustique

 "You must learn now, that the important lesson – as long as you have your health – is that the divide is not between the servants and the served, between the leisured and the workers, but between those who are interested in the world and its multiplicity of forms and forces, and those who merely subsist,  ......."  A.S. Byatt




Before computers & cell phones, handouts at my lectures had the quote, above, at their top or bottom.   USA landscaping is broken, knew this decades ago.  My big discovery, above, Le Jardin Rustique.  Blessedly discovered, in Europe, decades ago.  Created from thousands of years of refinements.  Le jardin rustique's have created, & refined me.
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Never tire of experiencing another's awakening to le jardin rustique.
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High, medium & low meadows, above.  Came home with Tara Turf at first siting.  A well known blogger, saw similar and said, "they even have daisies in the grass."  He saw, without comprehension.  And, he's a degreed residential architect, USA of course.
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What is this enfilade, above, to le jardin rustique?  Survival of mind-body-spirit.  Literally, and metaphorically.  
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Aside from beauty, unskilled labor to maintain, no chemicals or n-p-k poisoning groundwater/killing pollinators, no irrigation system, canopy-understory-walls-groundcover plantings to increase pollinator habitat & shade/sun the house as needed thru the years/seasons, increased property value/decreased HVAC, increase of crop yields by 80%, scientifically proven need of our bodies to harbor beneficial bacteria given to us from these habitats reducing auto-immune diseases, ADD, depression & more, there is a simplicity of relationship with Earth, as we intellectually engage, Earth provides & sustains beyond what we know we need.  
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We all need a-room-of-our-own, Virginia Woolf, “When a subject is highly controversial, one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold.” 
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If you have read this far, and have a mow-blow-go-testosterone-on-wheels-commodify-all-I-touch-landscape, why?  Rejection with those landscapes was upfront with me, without knowledge of their replacement.  Decades have been spent finding the answer.  More than resonate, hope your inner core, from your gut, feels the words, above.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Jung knew, "Our lives are about getting the outside to match the inside."  The time this takes & riches to be found are, indeed, our life.
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Links to scientific studies meander in previous posts, no time to look them up today.
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Pic via Pinterest
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" ‘Like life,’ said the painter. ‘We eat and are eaten, and we are very lucky if we reach our three score years and ten, which is less than a flash in the eyes of an angel. The understanding persists, for a time. In your craft and mine.'” – from “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary”, by A.S. Byatt
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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.
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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.
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NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
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Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
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Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
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Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
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What do YOU want?
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Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
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Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Manipulations: How Many Do You See?

Do you see the manipulations, below?


Seating to create a gathering spot, figs for summer shade/winter sun over the benches, drystack stone wall cut into a slight slope forcing foot traffic into defined directions, formal boxwood framing pastoral views, tapering stone wall allowing only small machinery into the pasture from this direction, gravel terrace ready for men-trucks-heavy equipment, horses, or a catered soiree for 100.
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And, of course, it must all look a century old, be easy to maintain, and provide interest 24/7.
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When something appears simple, it rarely is.  Same is true of people.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Pic at a jobsite last week.
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Do you know the maximum pollinator habitat, above?  Seriously, can you verbalize what creates the best pollinator habitat above?  Answer at bottom.
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Being simple requires each of the decades I've been learning about gardens.  Better, being simple in a garden, takes me where Joseph Campbell says our eternity is.  Ironic, in this American life/era, to have found my bliss in work.
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  1. Joseph Campbell - Wikiquote

    en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
    Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own .... And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.
  2. More, being simple connects me to the message/life work of Wendell Berry & E.M. Forster.  
  3. Wendell Berry Earns Highest Humanities Award, Lectures on ...

    sojo.net/.../wendell-berry-earns-highest-humanities-award-lectures-econo...
    Apr 24, 2012 - On Monday evening, Wendell Berry delivered the 41st annual ... The title hinges on E.M. Forster's 1910 novel Howards End, which Berry said, ...
  4. .
  5.  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.
  6. Answer to question, above,  High density/low density, open meadow/dense woodland.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trees vs. Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels

I've taken Christopher Lloyd to bed again.  Already 2nd-3rd time for his books.  He's new & fresh, each time.



"By exercising  a little vision you will come to realize that the tree, which has a possible future, perhaps a great one, may be more important than yourself, nearing your end.  So it's worth thinking more about the tree and giving it a good start in life in the right position than about yourself, except in so far as it is a great delight to see the tree responding and developing under your sympathetic treatment."
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Cool your house in summer with an understory deciduous tree, it will warm you in winter too.  Site an evergreen tree in path of winter's winds.  Sited properly trees increase property value.  Chosen properly  insects/wildlife expand pollinator habitat.
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Studying Landscape Design across Europe for decades it's obvious what survives: trees, meadow, stone focal points.
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Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels commodifies landscapes into grass to mow, bushes to prune, annuals to plant, chemicals to treat, irrigation system to install.
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Ok, I'll stop here.  Too quick getting from trees to Mr.-Mow-Blow-Go-Testosterone-On-Wheels.  Not enough time to pontificate fully today.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic taken at a client's property last month.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Gate In Croatia


She is Spomenka.  We call each other 'Sister'.  From Croatia, she has family there.
Sister sent me this last week, from Croatia.
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Sister knows EXACTLY what will pull heartstrings.  What is unique yet timeless.  Simplicity.
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And when we're together again, Sister's porch or my conservatory, she'll describe how this garden smelled, sounded, types of insects, birds, wildflowers,  temperature, humidity, a house nearby & more.  Sister will also tell me I was there with her.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Italian Meadow


Studying historic landscapes across Europe for almost 2 decades I was lucky to 'get it' about the use of meadows in Landscape Design.  Meadows stole my heart.  Meadows near Lucca, Italy save me from the tedium of traffic, standing in line & etc.  Give me an unpleasant task, or person, and my brain/spirit leave for Lucca.   

 Of course I have a meadow, above.  Set in the 1" spaces between gray flagstones in the formal Tea Olive Terrace.  (Alas, the stone you see is my foot trail.)
Rimmed with the formality of an abelia prostrata hedge & etc., above.
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In my meadow (can the start of a sentence get better?) English daisies bloom in Spring, rudbeckia fulgida x fulgida bloom summer-frost, annual blue ageratum bloom late summer, mazus reptans has it's tiny orchid blooms numerous months, then weeks with only stone.  Cold stone formal.  And I delight in that change.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Sir Edwin Lutyens put meadow straight up to, and touching, Sir Christopher Lloyd's Great Dixter.  THAT is where I 'got it'.  Hope you know about Lloyd's mother too.  An early naturalist.  A DEMENTED person offered to pull up my meadow recently.  Thinking it was weeds.  My college for ornamental horticulture & landscape design in USA?  It was horrible, teaching me to landscape like Mr. Testosterone-On-Wheels-Mow-Blow-Go-Commodify-Everything-I-Touch.  And to design from the street looking at the house.  Still makes me cringe.  Before Jesus even the Romans knew where to start a landscape design; from inside.  Loved my time in Israel studying landscapes.  Oh my, Puppet Barbuda came out to play a bit this morning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Subtle Invitation

Between the pecan trees, below, a table. An invitation. How to leverage the invitation? Will add 'shot' pea gravel.
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Table/chairs can be used after a rain, table can be leveled more easily, lovely crunch underfoot, edging of old brick leading to meadow & letting gravel 'lap' onto roots of pecans. Oddly, once the gravel arrives it will say, "You WANT to come here.", vs. the existing, "Oh, that's nice."
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken earlier this month.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Landscape Components

Susanne Hudson recently styled this porch. Recognize the magical component?The lamp. Poppets, that jewel stays ON.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Susanne Hudson sent me this pic 2-3 weeks ago.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mission Statement, Focus, & Have Fun

"It seems no wonder if our ancestors regarded Friendship as something that raised us almost above humanity. This love, free from instinct, free from all duties but those which love has freely assumed, almost wholly free from jealousy, and free without qualification from the need to be needed, is eminently spiritual. It is the sort of love one can imagine between angels." C.S. Lewis, from, The Four Loves.Arriving at the Barn Dance Friday, below. Is it obvious Pecan Orchard & I designed the meadow & gravel drive? No? Excellent, fabulous, wonderful!
Wildwood cleared, figs rescued, below, a new roof, fresh paint, broken glass replaced &
the old Dairy Barn, inside below, is alive again.
Almost a century old, its terra cotta block construction, with original paint, below, has more centuries to serve.
Couldn't resist showing you the desert table, below.
Tea Table too, below.
Heirloom chickens in their new home, below, next to the Dairy Barn.
17 piece orchestra (3 members from the Atlanta Symphony), below, setting up in the tractor barn.
Tractors were gone, below, for the wine/canapes.
Pecan Orchard bought the land and derelict home with dependencies about a year ago. Her mission statement to live a gardening lifestyle AND be of service. A lifestyle witnessed living abroad for decades. Horses, sheep, heirloom chickens, potager, gardens, goats, ponds, meadows, woodland, barns & etc. A lifestyle including church, master gardeners, beekeepers, tennis, horse shows, family & Friendships.
Meeting new people at the Barn Dance & hearing stories of grace bestowed via friendship with Pecan Orchard is a rich cord connecting us.
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Pecan Orchard's choices ripple far beyond her community. Without the intention of leaving a footprint Pecan Orchard is already leaving something larger-deeper-richer, wing beats.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken Friday nite. Hope it's obvious Pecan Orchard has brought copious amounts of grace into my life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scruffed Up Is A Choice

Months of the year my formal stone terrace is, indeed, formal. But I adore Scruffy Landscapes, & meadows. (Lot's of blather, internationally, about how tough meadows are. Ha, it seems I'm a Meadow Whisperer !)
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Yesterday morning, below, annual blue ageratum gracing my stone terrace & Just Touching the variegated Boxwood-In-A-Pot.
Further along the stone terrace, below, Rudbeckia fulgida fulgida, is gracing the other variegated Boxwood-In-A-Pot.
Early this spring, below, English daisies graced the pots &
Scruffed Up my formal stone terrace. How I adore this !!!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Poppets, Scruffed Up landscapes are a choice! Boxwood-In-A-Pot works most anywhere across time, continents, styles, incomes & etc. Each of the above flowers self-seed, require zero watering and came into my life by serendipity. A bird gave me the 1st English daisy. Ageratum came in the soil with peonies I dug up from Aunt Tilly's garden after she died. Working at a nursery, decades ago, a customer gave me the Rudbeckia fulgida fulgida.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tara Turf & A Big Mouth

Tara Turf, below. Meadow of whatever the wind blows in & bulbs-clover-herbs-whatever you want, mown at different heights. (Discovered during my first garden study tour in Europe almost 2 decades ago.) Sunday, a client's soiree. She invited dozens. Meeting a delightful man & describing to him Tara Turf. Further,
telling him 'some locals' did not want her to have Tara Turf, aka meadow. Too many problems with tall meadows 'they' said. Full sail, go Tara Go, describing Tara Turf's fabulousity.
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Tara Talk personified, fully Tara'izing.
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Dahlings, you KNOW what's coming.
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That man? Quietly said, "I cut these fields for decades."
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Hmm. THE local. Hmm. Exit quickly. Silly girl, into another social pickle. Find Rabbit Hole in the meadow quickly....
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last Sunday at Hedgerow Farm. I adore Tara Turf: pollinator garden, no irrigation, no chemicals, fragrant, little mowing, gorgeous, fabulous. Tara Turf has worked for centuries throughout the globe. I adore history.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are Your Window Views Paintings on the Wall?

In the original part of her century-plus home, below, Hedgerow Farm is taking her time with interior decorating. With the garden, she is on speed dial.

Incomplete, the music room is not lacking pastoral views.
Pecan trees, above, with tall meadow. Hedging at the far side of the house, above, encloses a potager. Both, viewed from a pair of windows in the music room.
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Do you think these timeless views were here? NOT.
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Design techniques used to design views from the Music Room: Hedges, potager, tall meadow, short meadow, copy-scale-axis-historical-enfilade-line-color-form-texture-simplicity-repetition-contrasts-Vanishing Threshold-deer/bug/drought proof plants-pollinator attracting plants-unskilled labor for maintenance.
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And you thought it was a trinity of: pecan trees, meadow, hedge?
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Adding simplicity is an art.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Oooooooooooh, Poppets, learning to let go of my ego for simplicity took time. Knowing the landscape at Hedgerow Farm must look as if I was never there. More, as if time stood still; from a century ago. Yet, creating a vital, serene, exciting, kinetic, everchanging landscape to delight the eye and grace the soul.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ENTRIES

Landscapes cannot have too many entries.Not always gates or doors. Use pair of: trees, bushes, urns, stones, wattles, columns & etc.
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Entries in gardens are PROOF of garden magic. No matter the direction, they are always entries. Something I try to remember about life. It may feel like an exit but it's always an entry.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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pic via It's About Time. From door, bricks, edging, vine, vista, colors, lichens, meadow, season, I can feel the coolness of the bricks on the palm of my hand, the push & sound of the door trying to open it further & smell the air.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

CALLANWOLDE & FREDERICK LAW OLMSTEAD

Circa 1920, a dowager survives demolition, 1971, in a neighborhood Olmstead designed. Ceiling of trees outside, ceilings inside, below. Proof, again, of what survives landscape design: TREES & MEADOW. Please, dahlings, you must begin your garden with TREES & MEADOW.



I lectured at Callanwolde, (Dekalb Federation of Garden Clubs was host), this week. All original, below.


I realized I was taking Callanwolde for granted. I've lectured & attended many events here thru the decades.


The courtyard was enclosed, above. A little fetish of mine, enjoying the styling of refreshments garden clubs provide. Charm straight from the heart.


Front terrace, above.
Hand-painted silk panels in the dining room, above.

Hand carved front door, above.
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Garden clubs weave a tapestry of nurturing around their communities. Most members don't realize the potency of their actions.
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Many Garden Club meetings I've sat thru, waiting to speak. Learning who has died, been sick, had a baby, moved out/in, crime issues, new fundraising plans to benefit xyz, holiday plans & more.
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Garden Clubs are the last bastion of civility in our neighborhoods.
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If I were to get a Phd in horticulture, Garden Clubs & Society, would be my topic. That's my soap box & I'm staying on it!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took the pics this week at Callanwolde.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

FURNITURE ON THE LAWN

Timeless perfection, deeper than you think, below. Why? Have you deduced wisdom in the plantings? Dwarf conifers, deer resistant & once established zero irrigation.
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Combined by design: contrasting textures - colors - forms, use of backdrop, focal point - furniture on the lawn, & no down time; showy all year.
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Tara Turf: pollinator zone, feeds beneficial insects, fragrant, attractive to butterflies & honey bees, needs zero irrigation-chemicals-fertilizer, & less mowing than tradition lawn.
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I'm a GARDEN WHISPERER, are you?. Did you know this wasn't just furniture on the lawn?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic from The World According To Isa

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

POWER OF NUANCE

Meadow, trees, house. A trinity complete. A landscape design of choice, above. Dramatically static. Aristocratic courtship of man & nature.
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Can't you see this throughout the seasons?
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Plain? No. I see a flamboyant language. Elusive truth. A repertory of expectancy.
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Symbolist mystery with modern directness.
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Disparate harmony.
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Humble? Not in the least.
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Status in a meadow. Nature's & man's.
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I live in a subdivision. Of course I would love to live in a home looking across meadow into trees. Instead, I've created many garden rooms as a moat of grace around my home. And my life.
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I didn't know that when I began to garden.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic by Borjanna Eghbalian, Schloss Kasel, via Green & Stylish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THE SECRET OF FABULOUS LANDSCAPES

Entering Great Dixter, below, the household drive. Tires crunching along the gravel, scent of meadow.

Passing thru the yew hedge into this, above.

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See the landscape design secret?

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No?

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Back your car down the drive, park it on the road, get out, walk up the gravel drive, slowly, and thru the yew hedge.

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Notice the contrast of meadow to clipped lawn? Formal to informal?

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Ha, the secret tool of the worlds most famous landscapes is

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CONTRASTING FORMAL & INFORMAL GARDEN ROOMS.

Did you think this gravel drive & meadow were 'natural'? Ha, not one inch of this drive or meadow were unconsidered. TOTALLY DESIGNED.
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TARA TURF was born in this meadow over a decade ago. And the epiphany of what the best landscapes create, FORMAL GARDEN ROOMS NEXT TO INFORMAL GARDEN ROOMS.
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CONTRAST.
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Yes, contrast flower shapes/colors, tree forms, foliage colors/shapes & etc. Knowing, contrasting FORMAL/INFORMAL is the most important.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Lucky me, taking the pics at Great Dixter while Christopher Lloyd was alive. Note: In another area of Great Dixter meadow is designed up to, and touching, the house. Ha, remember the Tara Rule of Just Let It Touch?
Oh, meadows have been sustainable-organic-eco-low maintenance-beautiful since before language was invented.