Showing posts with label Tara Turf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tara Turf. Show all posts

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Suzanne Somers: Botanist & Soil Expert

With tea, toast, cats, & a fever I'm on the sofa with Suzanne Somers & Katie Couric on tv.  Who knew Suzanne Somers would say the profound?
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But first.
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At 66 Suzanne Somers is a ripe peach.  Touting her health, mental happiness & sex life.  Poor, (should have borrowed Somers make-up artist & hairdresser) Katie Couric was a peach pit, her eyes cannot smile when her mouth does & it's painful to watch (to be fair we all have a bad day here/there).   Feverish me was not yet peach compost.
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Suzanne bubbles on, and on, then, "...we have to take mineral supplements because the way we grow our food has destroyed that ability......"
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Statement of the obvious, and truth.
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Organic gardening does not mean, only, not using chemicals.
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N-P-K fertilizers are not organic.  
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They kill mycorrhizal fungi & poison groundwater & can make a bomb.
Mycorrhizal fungi help roots take up minerals from soil.  
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A Providentially planned relationship similar to the good bacteria in our digestive track.
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2 + decades ago & my first study tour of historic European gardens.  Discovered Tara Turf, above.
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Why did USA ever stop?  No chemicals or irrigation needed & less labor expense.  A trinity of money saving there.  Pollinators abound, soil microbes thrive.  Food from this soil, above, is healthier, and safer, than big-ag food.
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Sure, the supplements Somers sells are not 100% science but the food big-ag sells is engineered to ward off insects, weeds.  Doubt Suzanne's products can make that claim.

Where is the crystal ball?  20 years from now would like too see Somers/Couric on tv together again.  If Summers is still the ripe peach with a great sex life her empire is assured.  And I'm buying.
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Yes, this is long but it took years to discover even with a USA horticulture degree.  The learning was in my head.  It has since passed to my heart.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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If you want a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, and causes you to tap the brake pedal, as you look in the rear view mirror heading out, become my client, local or on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
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Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Val-Kill, Royals, Tara Turf



FDR & Eleanor hosted the King/Queen of England at their home.  Appearances mattered greatly in this era.
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A dip in Val-Kill's pool, above, was included amongst the entertainments.
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Tara Turf touches the coping, trailing to a dirt path & wild wood.
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Contemporaneously with pioneering Tara Turf it was intuitive, Tara Turf is a status symbol.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Put, This I Remember, by Eleanor Roosevelt on your list if you haven't read it yet.  Cote de Texas has more about the royal's visit with Roosevelt's, here.
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Amazing path, Tara Turf as status symbol.  A meadow or pasture, life itself, are merely empty spaces to be taken at whim for financial gain in popular culture.  Truly heart rending.
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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.

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, ...
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  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.
                                                                                     .
    Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon.
  6. Answer to question, above,  High density/low density, open meadow/dense woodland.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Orchard Wall & Gate

Credentials.  Every element designed.  My general contractor had the audacity to ask if I sited the daffodils.
Receiving my gimlet eye, no words, he quickly backed away a couple of feet.  Literally.


I was at the jobsite this month siting the newest layer of plantings.  The guys loaded them from the grower, above, early in the morning.  My contractor spent over a week sourcing them.


Caterpillar had to be used to move each plant.  Planting holes had to be dug by hand due to electric/gas/water.
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I staked location flags for the load of plants then zipped the acreage shooting the pics you've seen the past several days.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Some of 'the guys'.  Hardworking, pleasant, humble.  Without them, no gardens.
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Considering the top pic for a logo.  Still amazed every element is designed, newly built/installed, yet Jane Austen rustic.  Everyone got it right.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Poverty Cycle Into the Music Room


The library across the hall, previous post, is moody with northeastern light.  The music room, below, hums in southeastern light.


Eastern light, below, in the mirror, southern light, window above.


The garden view, below, is one of my proudest achievements.


I took the garden, a century old, to its Southern roots in time & place.  Using the Poverty Cycle.  Looking in the window, below, seen, above.


Tara Turf to the foundation, granite curbstone step instead of green-meatball-foundation-plantings, drifts of daffodils as-if-they-were-always-there.
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Plenty of areas to play & show off in this garden, and I have, but without using the Poverty Cycle the garden would lack soul, character, integrity, & have too-much-uneducated-ego.  Of course you've deduced, this is my ego, above.  This is a portion of the front porch, hence, double ego!
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken last week at jobsite.  Same garden as previous several posts.
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Ego for doing-the-right-thing makes me unemployable to the largest design/install companies across USA.  Why?  It's all about sales.  Are you beginning to understand the prevalence of green meatballs & foundation plantings and, and, and?
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Oh my, a little Puppet Barbuda this morning.  Uneducated ego?  Testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch-get in fast-get out fast-sign my contract-pay me every month.  Sad, you'll pay later in lower house value, higher HVAC, increase maintenance expenses, poison  ground water with fertilizer, destroy pollinator habitat, and worse, harm your spirit with ugliness.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Practically Perfect

This would never happen 'new' in Atlanta, GA.  

And isn't that sad.
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Why does everything have to be so perfect?  Mary Poppins knew 'practically perfect' was better.
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This feels like a one sided conversation with Jane Austen.  Of course we know what type of character she would let live here!
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic via Pigtown Design.  Can't you smell the Tara Turf?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Garden Designers Round Table: Lawns

Lawn should have sections, arriving at, and touching, your home.
 Lawn around your home should be cut lower-tidier, above, than lawn further away, below.
 The best lawns are not monoculture, perhaps they are great for sports, they are Tara Turf.  A mix of grasses, bulbs, herbs, and what the wind  blows in.
 Tara Turf, above, in the cracks of a formal flagstone terrace.  Well, formal when the Tara Turf is 'dormant'.
 Low Tara Turf, above, enhancing the view and a place to play, sit, picnic.
 Spotty Tara Turf, above, a century old home with owners over 70 years old.  Easy to take care of, no fertilizer, no chemicals.
 What began as a design statement, above, enhances pollinator habitat.  And greater change thru the seasons.
 Lawn, above, a harbinger of spring.  And the owners.
 Lawn, above, until I realized the maintenance required.  Now, flowering shrubs.
 Lawn to the house, and it feels good.  Zero foundation plantings.  Lush planting in pots.
 Charming vignette, above?  Yes, AND, helping to pollinate fruit trees, vegetables.  Did you know 80% of pollination is from wild sources?
 At Sissinghurst, above, formal lines are mown into Tara Turf.  Tall lawn under fruit trees?  Increases yields 80%.
Tara Turf doesn't need watering, it enhances landscape design.  A detail within simplicity.
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One of my clients has a large potager, flowers/herbs/vegetables, her potager caretaker tried to talk her out of hiring my services.  She didn't need ornamental flowering plants coming into bloom every 2 weeks all year, she needed only plants feeding wildlife or people.
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We all learned something, BIG.  Her potager is outproducing any that he has created in his career.  Instead of getting 1-2 bloom cycles on her vegetables she's getting 3-4 bloom cycles.  Her yields are 100% higher, in many instances, than what he is familiar with.
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Why?  She created a landscape with something new coming into bloom every 2 weeks.  Birds, insects are in great activity everyday.  She has a mix of hi-density plantings with shrubberies/flowering trees and low-density areas with Tara Turf.
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Tara Turf is part of the equation for maximum pollinator habitat.  Beauty, low-maintenance, no expense for water, chemicals, fertilizer.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
.This month on Garden Designers Roundtable, We’re talking ‘Lawn Alternatives’, and we’re very excited to have the Lawn Reform Coalition joining us for a blogging extravaganza! The Lawn Reform Coalition is Thirteen gardening and environmental advocates from across the U.S. promoting change in the American lawn, a loose coalition of writers and activists (including lawn-haters and lawn-improvers) pooling knowledge of up-to-date solutions to the many problems caused by a lawn culture that demands perfection, conformity, and the overuse of water, fertilizer and pesticides. To learn more about the Coalition, and to join in the revolution, visit www.LawnReform.org.
We’ll be joined this month by the following Lawn Reform Coalition members:
Susan Harris
Susan Harris – Coalition instigator and head wrangler, Susan is a garden writer and blogger who promotes lawn alternatives and organic lawn care.  Online she blogs for independent garden centers, publishes a website about Sustainable-Gardening, and co-founded the national team blog GardenRant.com. Susan also co-founded the DC Urban Gardeners and Green the Grounds.org, a campaign encouraging First Families to landscape their official residences sustainably. Her individual blog Gardener Susan’s Boomer Blog, goes radically off-topic to answer the question: What Turns Boomers On?  Susan gardens and teaches gardening in the Washington, D.C. area.
Billy Goodnick
Billy Goodnick – Billy is a landscape architect based in Santa Barbara, CA, specializing in designing public and residential landscapes. His freelance writing and his Cool Green Gardens blog at Fine Gardening Magazine instruct and encourage readers to adopt a more sustainable approach in their landscapes. Billy also co-hosts an educational and humorous regional television show,Garden Wise Guys, that emphasizes water conservation and lawn alternatives.
Evelyn Hadden
Evelyn Hadden – Evelyn has been writing about nature-friendly, chemical-free, do-it-yourself, low-maintenance landscaping since 2001, when she founded the informational website LessLawn.com.  She gardens in Minnesota and travels across the country speaking to other gardeners about ecological gardening, lawn alternatives, and ideas for shrinking your lawn.  Her most recent book, Shrink Your Lawn: Design ideas for any landscape, won a silver medal in the Independent Publisher’s 2009 Living Now Book Awards for promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Evelyn works with the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate to find and share ways to build a restorative human culture.
Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt – Saxon is a professional garden photographer whose images are well recognized in hundreds of magazine and book credits. In his work he seeks to change the aesthetic of what we expect to see in a garden photograph so that the media portrays authentic and sustainable gardens. ”The American Meadow Garden” and his two most previous books, Hardy Succulents, and Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, were all awarded prizes by the Garden Writers of America as “outstanding books”. He owns the stock photography library PhotoBotanic and blogs regularly atGardening Gone Wild.
Ginny Stibolt
Ginny Stibolt - Ginny is the “Transplanted Gardener” from Maryland, where she received her MS degree in botany, to NE Florida.  Her column for Jacksonville’s Florida Times Union is posted on her website and onFloridata.com, Many of her columns have been republished in Master Gardener newsletters and elsewhere, and she also writes for Vero Beach Magazine.  She’s the author of Sustainable Gardening for Florida, published by the University Press of Florida.
Of note, two of our own members here at Garden Designers Roundtable are also Lawn Reform Coalition Members. Susan Morrison and Shirley Bovshow will also be posting today.
Garden Designers Roundtable is also very excited to announce in conjunction with this month’s topic, that one of our own, Pam Penick, has a new book coming out in February of 2013 entitled “The Alternative Lawn”, to be published by Ten Speed Press. Look for more information here and on Pam’s blog Diggingas we get closer to the publishing date. Congratulations Pam!
Now without further ado, may we present to you our readers, ‘Lawn Alternatives’! Just click on the links below and Enjoy!
(and no, you’re not seeing double, Susan Harris has contributed two posts!)
Several pics I took, some I've lost the resource, some are from Paul Gervais.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Early Naturalist

The Lloyd's house was already old when they purchased it a century ago.  It had to be shored up & gardens created. Their good fortune was hiring Sir Edwin Lutyens.  And Mrs. Lloyd wanted her landscape to be 'natural'.  After all, landscapes were then the Edwardian conceit.

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This is the path I first came upon at Great Dixter.  Had never seen a garden like this, yet it imprinted on my DNA as the way to garden.
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Hedges, meadows, topiaries, flowering shrubs, trees, paths, vines, stone, brick, water, axis, benches, focal points, rain butts, potting sheds, subtleties, compost.  Yes.
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But I don't do the herbaceous borders, too much maintenance.
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If this garden room is informal, above, what do you think the next garden room is?
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Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
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Assignment: Go To Great Dixter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Checkerboard In Tara Turf

Pair of conifers at the entry, a pencil shaped evergreen on axis, and a checkerboard path in Tara Turf leveraging the drama.

 Pink Crape Myrtle adding seasonal drama.
Mary is the queen, designing this garden room, it's adjacent to her parking court, and acquiring most of the contents FREE.  She did the work herself.
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 Since starting to post about Mary's garden, a few days ago, her age has gone up daily.  I said she was 60's.  Nope, she sent a note, she's 71.  Well, a day after that she sent an email saying she was embarrassed at her math skills, she's happily 73.
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Are you getting my point?
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Garden & Be Well,                  XO Tara

Friday, July 22, 2011

Landscape Design: Proud Of G*d's Dirt

One of the best landscapes, below, I know.
 A landscape NOT to be used in national magazines.  Why?  Tara Turf & G*d's Dirt.
 This is real landscaping.  She's into her 60's, busy & on a tight budget.  Watering, chemicals, fertilizer?  Not needed here.
 Don't look dear viewers lest pics of G*d's Dirt offend.  Tara Turf + G*d's Dirt.  (National magazines, large audience garden radio shows, Mr. Testosterone-On-Wheels-Mow-Blow-Go-Comodify-Everything-I-Touch,  & nurseries would have to change their business model for my type of gardening.  Not much to sell.  Yet my business model supports me.)
 Roundabout with focal point, above/below.
A Landscape Design feature 1,000's of years old.
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Why pimp it for a tidy monoculture lawn needing weekly mowing, edging, water, chemicals, fertilizer, lacking fragrance, change thru the seasons & pollinators?
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How we treat our pollinators is how we treat ourselves.
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Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
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Do you know the science of Mary's garden vs. the typical national magazine garden?  Cytokines released by myriad plants in nature boost white blood cell counts, fighting cancer.  Monocultures reduce nature's bounty.  Read this study recently.  Had no idea, prior, about our symbiotic relationship to myriad plantings.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunny Mellon Style

A garden, below, needing tending or a garden tended to perfection?
Is this garden, below, your idea of heaven or a mess? (Have this garden, below, in any post 1985 deed restricted subdivision & you'll get 'nastygrams' from the HOA demanding it be 'weeded'.)
A fairy tale, below, or needs pruning?
Bunny Mellon likes it SCRUFFY !!
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A woman to love.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Oddly, I've always been repelled by deeply manicured landscapes. Repelled & disgusted by tidy landscapes omitting an intellectual component entirely. Is Puppet Barbuda being too vague in her dislikes? Puppet Barbuda abhors subdivision tidy landscapes installed by the 'builder' and maintained ad nauseum thru the decades; as if tidiness is an excuse for a 'decent' landscape or an intellect.
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Vanity Fair has a lovely article, where the pics came from, about Bunny Mellon here.