Showing posts with label gravel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gravel. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vertical Lawn

Vertical lawn, below.  Vine or espalier woody shrub, no worries, either can be your vertical lawn.

image:

Pic, above, here.
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Plenty of lush, above, without a traditional USA foundation planting.
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Instead, gravel to the house.
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First time I saw this style of Landscape Design I was moth to a flame, still am.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls', below, is a diminutive wisteria, purple, fragrant, won't eat your house, blooms 1st year.
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Pic, above, taken in my previous garden.  Dug no plants when I moved, merely took the ones in pots.

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Layer Garden Design

An excursion, below, that should be a destination in Garden Design.

Tuinontwerp - tuinontwerpen door tuinarchitect tuinontwerper Zuid-Limburg Brabant:

Pic, above, here.
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Using the 3 elements, above, of garden design, plan your garden.  A serious landscape, in vanishing threshold with interiors of your home, expanding lifestyle, all with ease, beauty, joy while amplifying your personal aesthetic.
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Don't know the 3 elements, above?
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Ceilings, walls, floors.  Put another way, trees, shrubs, groundcovers.  Another description, foyer, dining room, living room.  Yes, now you are seeing the trinity of elements in the design, above.
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Two types of ceiling, above.  Can you label both?  Sky & trees.  Three types of flooring, above, low meadow, gravel, a chevron pattern.  Three types of walls, tall shrubs, medium shrubs, contrasting texture shrubs.
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Pond is a nice focal point viewed from the foyer, yet equal in use to both living room & dining room.  .
Focal point on plinth, on axis with don't-know-from-this-pic.
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Never thought about a garden like this for your home?  This garden will take your further, faster, lasting longer, than most other types of gardens.
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Starting and ending points for this garden remain 180 from a garden beginning, "I want hydrangeas, peonies and..."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dowager Duchess at Edensor House: Gravel Paths

Dinner tonight in honor of a friend's beloved grandmother.  She would have been 99.  Grandma's chocolate pie will be the star, and focused conversation for all, about grandmothers.  
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A dinner ritual for many years, I was unaware & suppose my continual mention of my grandma earned me an invitation.
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Days a bit longer and  will be able to see my host's garden before last light.  Designed her garden about 2 years ago, and they are totally DIY.
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Snakes are a problem at their home, and they have 2 young daughters.  
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Gravel is designed up to the house, and stones within the gravel, as needed for easier main paths.
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Gravel with pathway stones has been done for thousands of years.
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Another benediction for gravel with stones, below, Debo, Duchess of Devonshire, if Debo does it, case closed.



Duchess of Devonshire, below, at her dowager house, above, Edensor House, an old vicarage, she called, Old Vic.  Note, exquisite pruning, below, to the right of the door?




Centuries old, below, the backdrop landscape behind the Duchess is no accident.  None.  

The Duchess of Devonshire, photographed in 2010 by Emma Hardy

Old Vic, below, rendering to be sold at Sotheby's.

Painting by Catriona Hall, Old Vicarage, signed with artist's monogram, £600 - 800

The Duchess, below, was keen on many outdoor activities, in one of her books, can't remember which, she mentioned how cold/wet/mucky some pursuits were but the game was on for all included, Show No Discomfort.  




Before pie, we'll walk the new gravel paths.  Today, temps are freezing, winds gusting to 20mph, and we will do our best to show-no-discomfort.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics from Sotheby's .  The Style Saloniste has a bit more about the Duchess, here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Copy a Large Landscape into Your Small Space

Great example of historic/classic garden design in modernist disguise, below.

nelson byrd woltz landscape architects / hudson highland cottage, new york:

Don't have a rural property?  Your home is a classic 60's ranch in a sea of other 60's ranches?  Yes, you can have this landscape in your front yard.
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How?  What exchanges to make?
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The meadow/woodland, above, are the street & neighbors homes, so, block that view, keeping the rest of this incredible landscape design.  Behind the stone/cement walls, plant an evergreen hedge.   Choose for zone, height, drought tolerance, resistance to insects/disease, and deer.
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This landscape, above, is pure jewelry for a 60's ranch house in comparison to their builder installed  ubiquitous foundation plantings long ago pruned into green meat balls & meat loafs.  
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More, depending on the size of your site, this design, above, has plenty of room for a golf cart to zip around.
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Most odd, copying this landscape design, above, into a 60's ranch front yard provides the same elements of space, calm, and beauty as in the larger setting, above.  Promise.  It's one of those odd things you learn after decades of designing gardens.  The sky provides different types of magic, and confers 'size' to small spaces.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic from Gardenista.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Best Dimensions for A Gravel Patio

Perhaps my little stories about gardening should be set within proper context, of their owners.  Every garden designed demands honoring its site, architecture of the home, and lives of the owners.  More than the mundane of plants liked, features wanted or where the main views from inside the house are, well designed gardens must travel with the owner's hopes & dreams, salve arrows & defeats, enrich beyond expectation.  And more.
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Last week, I went to an unexpected new client.  Friend of a client's garden I was at, she phoned & laughingly told my client she should bring me to her house when done, if I had time.  We did.
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Miss Unexpected owns an unexpected home.  Divorced/working, children, she rented a home as a base while looking for the 'perfect' new home.  Her landlord called, the rental house was being sold.  One child was very ill, she had zero time/energy to move again.  She bought the rental.
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Interiors mostly renovated, the landscape ripe for its turn.  A modest home, a covered/screened porch had been added at some point.  Not cheaply made, alas, poorly designed.  If a group of psychiatrists needs a setting to guarantee depression for all who enter, for purposes of testing new methods of healing, this is the space.
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Trying hard to salvage, at minimum, the roof, I could not.  Best plan for the existing screened porch, dumpster in the driveway, & hauled off.
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Once children are thru high-school Miss Unexpected will be moving to acreage she was raised on, and build a home.  Providing me a timeline & budget.  No matter the budget, one must live beautifully each day, life is not the end point, it's all the days leading there.    
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Gravel.  Beautiful, easy labor, cost effective.
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A kitchen door, solely, opens onto the new gravel terrace.  I added another door in her family room, now, a window.  Better flow, more use.  Game changer for how they live in the house, and entertain.

courtyard

Pic from here.

Miss Unexpected has a slight slope in her backyard, stones, as below, must be used to edge the gravel, and ease of leveling the space.
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Pinning purely for those egg chairs - I love them, althought hey would need a big squashy pillow inside..
Pic from here.
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Minimum size for a patio terrace, 12' x 18'.  Less than this, don't bother, it will hardly be used, too cramped.
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We measured & set flags for her new gravel terrace, and I added a metal shed roof over 1/2 of the new space.  Ceiling fans/chandeliers, of course.
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Cost.  Amazingly, with stones/gravel delivered, she can do the labor herself.  She plans to, not to save money, she grew up on a farm and thrives upon the activity.
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Further away from the house, I put in a gravel terrace with a stone fire ring, and Adirondack chairs. Mom, her kids, dogs, friends who come over and that hunk of a man she's dating, have a new playground.
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Garden design with life story included, Mary Poppins completed her mission, off to another home/garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What the French Gave: Monocoloring


Credentials I have, yet my true Garden Design education spanned 2+ decades and several continents.
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Smiled when I saw this, below.
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France gave me 2 huge arenas of learning, 1 is below.  
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MonoColoring.
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Language is no barrier to studying the best historic gardens across the globe.  Gardens speak Gardenese.
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Applying a French Garden Design lesson, below.
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If you field gather garden chairs, no worries about style, beyond comfort of course, paint them all the same color. 
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This lesson holds true at every price point home, castle, gated community, farm, villa, pied a terre, section 8 apartment balcony, townhome, even in my little working class cluster home neighborhood.
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Chairs, below, have a choice of colors for monocoloring.  Use trim color from the house, or an interior color that is prominent in the best artwork owned or from the carpet, perhaps a wall color.

Mismatched woven chairs and a teak table set the scene for meals in the outdoor entertaining area of this California cottage.   - CountryLiving.com

Of course more needs to be done, above, in this sweet garden room.
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Vine maintenance, above, is about a month overdue.  Bring a ladder to the French doors landing, with jackhammer drill, mortar screws, galvanized wire, install, finally, threading vine across top of French doors.
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Stay there, and hang the lantern, from the second step, centered above the French doors with the bottom of the lantern hanging 3 courses of bricks above the top of the French doors.
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Done with the ladder, put a level on the pot at the right of the French doors and get it level.
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Finally, use some spare bricks from home construction and raise the serving table, next to the house, 4 bricks high.
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All of these changes, are what my brain does, all of the time, driving or looking at Pinterest.  My brain 'fixes' gardens.  A well-honed skill.
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My brain can rest from this particular form of Garden Design OCD when camping at beach/mountains, and joyfully in my friends gardens.
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When a client garden is headed for Garden Tour it is amazing the to-do list we create for an already fabulous garden.  Pages long.
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If your garden is ready for a garden tour, but you've not done one yet, I strongly encourage you to do it.  Your garden will go to another level.
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You will never have been so driven in your life, promise.  Aside from weeks of exhaustion and hunting/gathering, your checkbook will provide, in a manner that feels like Zen but prior to the tour felt like fear.  It gets worse, you will begin new garden layers, to be finished prior to the tour, you never anticipated.  Providence, supplying epiphanies and inspirations, and you will be Peasant in Chief, happy to oblige. 
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Did you just smirk at this?
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Then YOU are the one that will do all described.  Promise.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
Pic from HERE.  






Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Metal vs. Wood Arbor


Recently finished a Garden Design adding a similar metal arbor, below.


New construction, the home is American Farmhouse, mostly, architecture.
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She wanted an arbor for harvest table & twinkle lites.
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Lapboard siding home, a wood arbor would have been 'too much' more wood.  And the scale 'clunky'.
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Original brick patio, quite pretty, is postage stamp in size, and common to its size, never used.  I enlarged the space with gravel.
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Done.
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Now, finding this particular construction specialist, custom metal arbor.
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Adore simple solutions with elegance & function.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic via here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Renovating a Landscape: Before - After

A jobsite desk this week, below.


New homeowners bought the 30+ year old home/garden last year.
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Gut renovation.
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Sadly, previous owner let the landscape degrade into majority invasives.
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Had to use the Caterpillar to remove them.  Dumpster in the driveway hauled them off.
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After clearing, below, silt fencing added, topsoil was brought in & contoured, irrigation ditches dug.


Fescue sod, below, chosen to match the historical theme of the home's renovation.
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Beyond the new #89 gravel path, below, is a stream.  A destination.
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Where margins meet, drama reigns.  Here it's formality of lawn, rustication of path, and finally, wild wood.
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Kitchen view, below,  Foundation for the Summer House was built into the modest swale.  Neighbor's rainwater had flooded the back yard for decades.  15 minutes work with man/Caterpillar, water flows in desirable watershed management to the stream.


 There is an order to installing landscapes.  Here: clearing, contouring, placing paths/edging/gravel, laying sod, next, plantings.
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Another view from the kitchen, below.


 Homeowner chose white for the home.  Cannot wait for that phase to be completed.  My Landscape Design included French doors from the terrace level, into the garden, plywood, bottom right, Of course a few windows and bricks had to be knocked out.  Ironically, husbands think a Landscape Designer will waste their money on 'flowers'.  The force-of-Tara is quickly realized when they see I've knocked holes into their home.  Big holes.  Flowers, indeed.  One must see flowers easily, and get to them freely.

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Cobblestone edging is used nearer the home, rustic rubbles further away in the Wild Wood.
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Crazed week with this project.  Client panicked during the process.
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Once the invasives were gone she wanted groundcovers to be planted first.  No.  Will trample them to oblivion with equipment/materials if that is done first.  "Oh."
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Truly panicked.  It's ok.  The process is older than Christ's birth, no voodoo.  A scientific template.  Trying to direct men/equipment/materials, client created great angst for herself, and my team.
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Every delay created, men/equipment standing idle, cash register bells rang, good weather fading.  Hence our angst.
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Finally, when the bones of the garden, above, went in, her panic eased.  She could 'see'.  Their was a method to all the men, machine, materials, dirt.
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Cannot wait for her next changes to the landscape installation.  They will arise from context, not panic.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pics taken this week.

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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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.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Formal vs. Rustique: Spotting the Difference

I delight in this perfect, imperceptible, detail.  See the difference between Formal vs. Rustique ?

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Of course it made my Pinterest Board, Outdoor Living & Exterior Design.  
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Spot the 'le jardin rustique' element?
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Though a formal landscape design, above, a skilled gardener contrasted with much needed le jardin rustique in this tiny space.
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Contrast is a top Landscape Design 'rule'.
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 In this garden, lapping gravel to the tree trunks is a major landscape design choice.
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And, the right choice.
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What was the 'formal' choice?  Boxing the tree trunks with cobblestones.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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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.
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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.
.
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.
.
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
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
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.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beautiful Easy Landscapes: Design Course Free in this Pic

Beautiful easy landscape design course, below, in a single picture.

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What is here?
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Scale, flow, invitation, axis, double axis, mystery, color theme, contrasting textures, path, mall, historical theme, lighting, focal points, canopy of sky, understory trees, pots so wonderful they can be planted- or not.
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  The most important landscape design element, aside from easy to maintain? 
 Creation of a beautiful backdrop to life. 
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Prior to age 40 most clients want gobsmacks of stuff in their landscape.  Past 50 most clients want strong editing in their landscape, and, demanding it be beautiful backdrop to their lives.
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This is you demanding your landscape leverage your life, in all layers.
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Favorite question I ask myself about every landscape design, "What can I take out, and it remains a beautiful landscape?"
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Garden Design: Hydrangeas in Pots

Ripe. 
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 Notice, below, the color echo?  Wonder where the axis leads from the paired entry?  Garden design tenants are rife: spikes with rounds, all layers accounted for sky-canopy-walls-floor, contrasting textures, mystery, repetition, copied, color theme, change thru the seasons, low maintenance, maximum pollinator habitat, no chemicals needed, a historical template.
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Does your garden tell me who you are?  This one does, as all good gardens must.
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Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes, her sister asked, "Have you seen her house."  Frances knew, she's asking, "Who is she, what is she like?"
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Hydrangeas do great in pots.  Choose mopheads, PeeGee, Tardiva, Limelight, etc.
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Worried about hydrangea's brown sticks in winter?  Move on from that chapter, it's too shallow for you.  Good Garden Design backdrops normal changes thru the seasons in beauty.
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Focal points change by the day.


Tara Turf, above/below.  Garden Design is fierce in this garden.
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Fierce?   Simplicity is hard, keeping elements of the poverty cycle is hard, good Garden Design is hard.
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 Getting to this iteration of his garden, I know the gardener grew through, and blew through, many life chapters.  Many.
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 Self -will ended.  Gardenese is spoken here.  A life language.  More, the language of Providence.


Garden Design's status symbols, above, are now gravel drives, no edging.  Tara Turf.


At the front end of studying the best historic Garden Design across Europe I 'got' that.
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If you want this type of Garden Design, I can do that for you.
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If you want a Garden Design to meet HOA requirements, and no more, I will not do that, anymore.
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If you wish to push your HOA rules to the max, and have to ask for approval, I will be happy to do your Garden Design.
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Understand, I've blown thru chapters and books, and continents, to get here with Garden Design.
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Ripe.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken this month.  Top pic best shows the humidity in the air.  Was with Susanne Hudson, Liz Tedder, and poor Martha Tate (we missed yo) had to zip in/out ahead of us.
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Think you can do Hydrangeas in Pots like this?
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Takes the full arsenal of Garden Design.
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Which is either simple or will take you a life time.
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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.

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.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Site the Perfect Backyard Fire Ring

Fabulous begins here, below.  Alas, merely a few minutes old.  Mulch, literally a dead brown color, is prominent while evergreen groundcover, dots of green below, grow into a mass sheet of lush green.
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Slope is nice, not long.  Did you notice the trick creating greater drama & depth?
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Steps lead from wider to narrower.  
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Steps are pre-cut, cheaper to install than natural fieldstones.
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Fire ring with circle of Adirondack chairs.  A no-brainer siting the fire ring on axis with the steps.  
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Chairs are new, curing, and will be stained  to flow with color choices from the home's colors.
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More, this is a double axis.


Looking back at the house, below, the steps & fire ring are sited on axis with the gable's peak.

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Landscape design is not voodoo or what feels 'fun' or includes 'stuff' just-because-you-can-afford/rescue-it, but a true science, with sprinkles of art.
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From your home's architecture most landscape design flows.
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The house dictates, then land, then distance from the house aka 'use', then sun/shade.
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When this garden, above, is ready for entertaining how many guests will realize the myriad layers of thought about the steps or siting the fire ring or choosing color for the Adirondack chairs?  Doesn't matter, they will know it 'feels' right.
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Often enough, true geometry for axis siting cannot be done due to 'blah-blah'.  Surprise, faux geometry works.
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Notice where the Adirondack chairs are sited, in addition to circling the fire ring?
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Perfect distance for resting the feet on the fire ring stones.
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Yes, made the clients sit with me & my general contractor and we adjusted the chairs.  Of course the rest of the team was working/digging/installing irrigation and see us sitting with our feet propped up !  
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Love my job.
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Another design element, fire ring stones are unmortared fieldstones.  Wanted the contrast of rustic, at this distance, to the formality of the home.
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This rustic-ness an element of the 'poverty cycle'.  Studying the best historic gardens across the globe for decades it is obvious which elements are consistent in each.  And, the poverty cycle is one of those elements.
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Neo-similar to Temple Grandin, I pay attention deeply to patterns in visuals of good gardens.
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If you haven't seen the movie about Temple put it in your queue.  Amazing, and humbling, learning from another so different from oneself.

Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Took the pics at a job site this spring.  When is siting a fire ring not about merely siting a fire ring?  Always.   
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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.