Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Branches in a Vase: Talent Not Required

Constance Spry trained dozens of floral designers.  She said it  mattered not their skills/talents, floral arranging is easily taught.  Perhaps, if she's the one directly teaching.  No Constance in my life, nor floral arranging skills, yet plenty of talent for making choices and following up with action steps.
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I dared tread into the realm of branches in a vase.  No talent, no budget.  Pure desire.
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Paying attention to types of vases, numbers of branches, scale to the room, and macro-silhouette.  Vases sourced from local thrift stores, branches from side of the road, and bushes needing a bit of pruning in my yard.   

blue-and-white-needlepoint-rug-living room-in-long-island-new-york-house-designed-by-frank-de-biasi-veranda-may-2017.png
Pic, above, here.
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Last year my life took a turn most lives take at some point.  My schedule was not my own.  Moms trump everything, and my mom was sick.  With the chaos of leaving my life, and helping mom in Texas, the imperative to cut branches and put into vases throughout my house became paramount.
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Pure Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities, but I must have the luxuries."

 
 Pic, above, here.
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Blessedly my heart did not follow my head, and I did place branches in vases in several rooms at home.  Time for this, seriously?  Nonsense.  But the soul/muse spoke, and I was too emotional to be balanced.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Hunting and gathering the cuttings became a form of prayer.  Mom's illness was the first thing in my adult life pushing me into care giving another soul, and taking me away from my work.
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With great appreciation I learned helping mom is a joy of recompense, she never wanted children and lived a life she didn't want.  Unable to have my own children, her illness made me realize, mom was my ticket onto this incredible Earth.       

 Serena Crawford
Pic, above, here.
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Choosing branches in vases, more than a few, why not go full-monty-wacko in how I spend what little time I have at home?  The joy in doing, too great to pass by.

 Forsythia Spring by Carole Rabe
Pic, above, here.
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Coming home from weeks away in Texas helping mom, several times last year, those branches in vases, awaiting me, I knew, were, oddly,  loving sentinels.  Those branches in vases became stewards of my heart, its loving and hurting were tended.
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What drama about a few branches in vases.  I was born twined with a garden, wasn't until my 20's realizing most people are not.
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Another thing I know.  You need zero skill to create a beautiful vase of stems.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Gardening is Ritual Whether Begun As Sacred or Profane

In the garden is the ritual of life.
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How very satisfying, upon a winter's day, walking by a window, having put this garden, below, upon Earth.  A moment in perfect poetry answering why every galaxy, every star, every atom, every void was created, for this exact moment.
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In the ritual, love.  A manner to 'take joy', whether joy is obviously present, or not.  Joy is always present.  In a garden how can you not get life's 'Take Joy' memo?

Broughton Grange.
Pic, above, here.
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"For Indigenous Australians, ritual sings the natural world into continued life, in a diffuse and enspirited relationship between the Dreamtime ‘past’ and the present. The Dreamtime surrounds the present, having created the landscape and order of the world, giving meaning and profundity to life and reflecting cosmic order, while rituals of the ‘ordinary’ present, in turn, sustain the ‘extraordinary’ Dreamtime order."
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"In the dominant culture, ritual is often a stale, wilted word, as dusty and songless as Christmas decorations glimpsed in midsummer. Many people profess no clear religion and lack formal rites, and yet, even in ritual-poverty, a yearning persists to rekindle it from a stub of a candle, a petal and a word. There is a perceptible need for that numinous Other Place to which ritual gives passport – where no one is exiled and none a foreigner, and there is a defiant fecundity in contemporary ways of answering that need to give wishes wings."
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" The poiesisor making of beauty, not the possessing of it, is the kind associated with art or poetry.  Meanwhile, the effect of making beauty, a Balinese taxi driver told me, is that ‘your mind is surprised and happy. Beauty makes you feel pure, and purity is necessary for prayer.’ " 
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"In the canang saris, flowers are the symbol of beauty, and flowers attend rituals all over the world: flowers for birth and death, the doorways of life, flowers for social doorways, for guests and hosts, flowers to honour and to thank with the lightest touch – a petal-weight of unimpeachable beauty. You don’t have to believe in god to believe in the radiant divinity of flowers and their beneficent efficacy."
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" Flowering plants are quite literally a source of life; according to the botanist Walter Judd at the University of Florida: ‘If it weren’t for flowering plants, we humans wouldn’t be here.’ They are necessary, but they also illustrate the margins of grace beyond necessity – a rhapsody of colour where life sings: such is the veridical beauty of flowers. In terms of evolutionary aesthetics, the beauty of flowers is primal – they have sung a soft serenade for 130 million years, and their beauty was there before we humans were there to see it. And perhaps after."
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"The sweet paradox of small daily rituals is that the ordinary is intensified into the sacred through the numinousness of the absolutely commonplace, an illustration of immanent divinity, demonstrating that all it takes to find cascades of enchantment is a tender attention in which the natural living world is blessed by the psyche, and the psyche by the natural world. Ritual sculpts, shapes and polishes the spirit in a fineness of mind, the hearth of the heart tended and made more tender by the delicate touch of something little more than a thank you. So the slightest of ritual magic, turning on a breath, might open doorways on to a future; and life might be protected by a petal and the holiness of prayers."  All quotes, above, by   Jay Griffiths , award-winning author and contributor to The Guardian and Orion magazine.  She lives in Wales.  
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In my garden, living with my garden around the house, and in my heart, became, along the way, love, grace, joy, and ritual for surviving on this Earth.
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Take Joy, indeed.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Full article with the quotes, above, Aeon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Pair of Landscapes: Exactly Alike Yet Opposites

Within constraints of sacred vs. profane the world takes away so much of our life, why give it more?  Merely targeting industrialized residential landscapes ca. 1945 to present, in USA. 
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This pair of landscapes, below, are opposites in style, yet both have style centuries older than industrialized landscapes.  What style is that?  Agrarian/pastoral.  More, both landscapes focus on the house and its inhabitants/guests, as proscenium and star.  A sweet pairing, life is the focus, not life maintaining the landscape. 
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Pic, above, here.
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Top pic appears modern, bottom pic appears historic.  More, their style, appropriated to other sites, becomes new again, unique.
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Ambition and aspiration are both of great value.  Yet how they are mixed, and their changing percentages given across our life, even a day, show in our material lives.  Ambition and aspiration should be in the landscape, with aspiration weighted heaviest, they've made the best landscapes for centuries across continents and cultures. 
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Industrialized landscapes stop at mere ambition.  Agrarian/pastoral landscapes, even with a bit of industrialization tossed in, have ambition, but their aspirations are greater. 
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What does this mean?  'Ambition is what we want to achieve and aspiration is who we want to become.' 
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 Maurice Fatio Designed Significant Home - Landscape outside of Dallas Estate Property
Pic, above, here.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

An Interior Design Trick To Use In Your Garden Design

Garden Designs are Interior Designs.  I cannot do a Garden Design without seeing a home's interiors.  Table & chest & mantle surfaces dictate, happily, how I will design particular spaces in a client's garden.  Obviously, more in a home inform a good Garden Design, but only using the table/chest/mantle surface feast, below, for now.
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My grandmother, Laura, could play the piano from newspaper/magazine/book writing.  When you're Appalachian poor, you figure it out.  Using interior surfaces for Garden Design 'playing' comes from my grandmother Laura, I assume, and glad of it.
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Garden Design, below, is a backdrop hedge, pair of evergreen large shrubs or a pair of trees, and a drift of 2 shrubs, with a single accent shrub modestly sited as focal point from the drift of shrubs.
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Easy, yes?  Now you understand my grandmother Laura too. 

This beautiful southern Ontario holiday home is decorated by designer Alison Habermehl for a young family. To complement the home's elegant...
Pic, above, here.
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This Garden Design, below, a bit more challenging without seeing the rest of the house.  A backdrop hedge, pair of understory trees, evergreen groundcover carpeting the space, and a focal point  subtle in scale at center. 

 An antique dresser & mirror paired with vintage ticking fabric on the chair.
Pic, above, here.
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Now you are good at table/chest/mantle top Garden Designs too, yes?
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Been doing this so long it's an amusement to peruse a home the first time, looking for copied echoes.  Have not had a home with different brain wave surface decorating between rooms yet, they all flow.  Interesting.
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Many times a client hires me because they've become 'stuck', not knowing what to do next in their landscape.  Historic Garden design is so modern in its templates there is never a reason to truly be 'stuck' for Garden Design ideas.
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With good gardens on tour it's enjoyable noting the interior shapes/forms moving from inside to outside.  The best gardens never display their true genesis.  Inside & outside are one, Vanishing Threshold.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Make Your Landscape MORE YOU

What is the first rule of Garden Design?  Excellent question, knowing rules are not for me.  Excepting, when rules make me, MORE me.  Same template for the well-heeded mantra, Less-Is-More, yet occasionally that mantra best completed with, More-Is-Less.  Perhaps knowing when Faux Geometry is more geometric than true geometry.
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Get the point?  Good.  The best life points have no clear words.
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Back to you, and making you More you with Garden Design rules.  First rule of Garden Design, COPY.
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Garden Design, below, has been created at all price points and throughout recorded history, thousands of years.
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Vanishing Threshold, simplicity, sky, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal point, color, texture, flow, seasons, scent, sound & etc.
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What brings this Garden Design alive?  In the moment, it is dogs playing.  Perhaps your permutation of this Garden Design, below, would have a sundial, about where the dogs are playing, maybe your grandchildren, perhaps a harvest table and dear friends for dinner.....

Imagem relacionada
Pic, above, here.
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Writing this post I 'see' the portrait, history, and a memory.  Studying historic gardens in  England, we were on a ferry and our teacher pointed to a stately home on shore, large, pretty, extensive gardens, old, "The man who built that home was in the slave trade, international slave trade."
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Visceral knowledge, no words.
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Gardens & politics are often combined.  Not going there, today.  Excepting the pairing of gardens as refuge from the evils of politics.
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Amazingly, Gardens as refuge, is the same as, the-more-we-go-inward-the-more-we-outwardly-connect.
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Odd but true, use Garden Design rules to be more YOU, delve deep into your garden lifestyle, and connect more to the World.  Would believe none of this, excepting the living of it.  Was not seeking any of this, merely, a pretty garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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All Garden Design Rules are in previous posts....I know...must do that ebook, finally.  Ironic, 5 books written with real publishers, set on the coffee table, yet no ebook.  Saw my childhood piano teacher last week.  She shared with Beloved how I was a hard student to teach because I wanted to be in charge of what I played, so she worked in that framework, and the rest, is music, and a pupil taught well.  Receiving my horticulture degree, knew it was junk, and that was the start of decades across Europe studying historic gardens.  Only mention these odd things because I was certainly not the personality to follow ANY rules.  Kept digging, and what did I find?  RULES.  Providence laughs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Flow: First Layer of Design

In college, Garden Design taught flow, flow of turf, and flow of beds.
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Pitiful.
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Flow...
Pic, above, here.
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At the time, I knew the education received was no good, for me.
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Flow was not on my radar, up front.  Intuitively knew, turf and beds with their in-curves and out-curves were aliens.  To me.
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Decades of touring historic gardens across Europe, with a horticultural guide, taught the methods of designing a true Garden.  If you want turf, foundation plantings, in-curves/out-curves, mow-blow-go, annuals, don't stop at this blog, keep moving.  Plenty of resources want your business, and happy to have you sign their contract.  I'm not for you.
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Historic gardens flow from your home, historic gardens flow from your life, historic gardens flow richly, adding layers of joy, grace, beauty to the site, more importantly to your life. 
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Seeing the quote, above, made me smile.  First thing I do, designing any garden, is consider Flow.  Not plants.  Flow.
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Is Flow in your quiver of Garden Design arrows? 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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What would be best, to teach flow, is have a real garden, put it on paper, begin its Garden Design.  And talk you thru it as you watch, in a seminar format, no more than 20 students.  Of course, doing this after power points on each layer of Garden Design.  Your first assignment?  Entire class must design a garden, the same garden.  No peeking at each others work.  No worries, anyone wildly out of flow, I will nudge in proper direction.
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No names on any design.  All designs go on the wall.  We walk/talk them all.  What you learn from wrong choices in the works as important as what is correct/magic in the designs on the wall.
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Heads-up, the hardest garden to design?  Your own.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why the Classically Designed Garden is Today's Modern

At the front end of designing your garden there's a common halting point.  Language.  No words to describe the form, function, style, flow, Nature, abiding your life to house to garden, and etc.  There are layers of meaning in what is lost.  A trinity of margins listed, above.  Life happens in the margins. 
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Somehow, that language is in your soul's DNA.  Once heard, immediately, "Of course."
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Several generations of Americans have grown up with foundation plantings needing harsh pruning, lawns needing toxic fertilizers/chemicals, annuals swapped 2x/year, put it on contract, mow/blow/go. 
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Back to language.
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What Garden Design language do you see, below?
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Made me smile seeing this pic.  Have seen 100's of gardens designed in this manner.  Humble cottage, to manor born.
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If you had to label this Garden Design, below, what are your labels?  No worries, it's your head/heart, and those labels may be far better than mine. 


Alexander Cameron, Virginia Woolf, and Leonard Woolf stand outside Bowen's home. Bowen's Court (Cork, Ireland), 1934
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design, above, Gravel to the House, Formal, Wildwood.  Margins at house to garden, gravel to formal, formal to woodland.
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A trinity of Garden Design styles, a trinity of margins.  Where margins meet, pop.
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Beyond intuiting classic Garden Design, above, decades ago, I was a slow learner about its true depth of purpose.  Do you know what I'm about to say about this style?  Go you, hope you do, Earth is a better place for you knowing it.  And I'd adore knowing how you learned it, intuited it, how old you were at the time.
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Classic Garden Design, above, is also designed for maximum pollinator habitat, Wildwood next to open meadow. 
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House & Garden are one, Vanishing Threshold. 
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Another value to Classic Garden Design?  No toxic fertilizers/chemicals, less maintenance, lower HVAC expense, increased property value. 
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Ironically, classically designed gardens are unique in every permutation.  Guaranteed. 
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More, classically designed gardens are 'fast' to 'show'.  Instead of a decade, or more, classically design gardens are felt/seen upon completion of gravel, planting, etc. 
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Sustainable, eco, organic, pollinator habitat, potager for yard to house, and other buzzwords, each contained, inherently, in Classically Designed Gardens. 
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Classically Designed Gardens are Today's Modern.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Already spot Virginia Woolf, above ?  Cannot count the times I've read, To the Lighthouse.  Look forward to reading it many times more.
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Decades gardening classically, a new layer was reached, without anticipation, once I got chickens, 8 heirloom chickens.  I scoop their poop from the coop daily, and toss around plant margins, not atop the roots.  Cannot imagine, decades missing out on this.  No regrets, at least I know it now.
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Once Chickens arrived to my garden I also gained a gift, a change in perspective, away from merely  'gardening' to one of Stewardship.  The honor of Stewardship.  Washing of the servant's feet.
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The door of Stewardship is all encompassing.  In every good way.   

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Hubert de Givenchy & Bunny Mellon: Garden Design Titans

Grandeur of place, below?  Yes, in the mundane ubiquitous manner of magazine writings.  All nice, especially the teaching/learning of color, scale, flow, function, contrasts, axis, light & etc.  Extrapolated by you, from magazine writing focused upon material goods and their rarity/quality/cost, not spirit of the life lived in this home.
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Grandeur of place, below?  Yes, in a life of joy and stewardship, anticipatory, participatory, simplicity.  Accoutrements describing a pace of life lived, below, no words needed.  Garden beyond brought inside, Vanishing Threshold.
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Heart of a gardener, in that basket, below.
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Knowing there is time, soon, to go into the garden, with everything needed.  Perhaps the basket was set the night before, or early in the morning.  Items set in the basket across moments of time, and thought, wanting to be sure nothing is forgotten.  Is the basket set and ready to go?  Is the basket set after coming in from the garden?  Don't know, and adore the not knowing.
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Perhaps that basket a gift from a dear friend, Bunny Mellon?

Habitually Chic® » In Memoriam: Hubert de Givenchy
Pic, above, here.
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Finally noticing the garden beyond the doors, above, so much delight in the basket, a kindred spirit.
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Had seen a similar garden, above, and saved it, also deposited to Garden Design of the Ages brain file.
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Garden Design of the Ages, below.
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Without searching for the creator/owner of the garden, below, I had found it without intention, above.
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Hubert de Givenchy, home/garden, above/below.
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Habitually Chic® » In Memoriam: Hubert de Givenchy
Pic, above, here.
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Image result for hubert de givenchy bunny mellon
Pic, above, here.
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Door to the garden, from Bunny Mellon's home.  Birds of a feather.
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From the Sotheby's magazine, A World of Her Own, by Sarah Medford,
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" Nearly 50 years ago, when couturier Hubert de Givenchy was at the height of his career, he set about improving the gardens at Le Manoir du Jonchet, his estate just outside Paris. A keen gardener, he nonetheless sought help from his close friend Mrs Paul Mellon, who understood the transformation that would be necessary to bring the landscape, which had been laid out in the Louis XIV style, into keeping with the Renaissance-era manor house. “Bunny helped me with plant choices, placement and juxtaposition,” Givenchy recalls. But in a move that took his breath away, she also helped him with the larger precepts of suitability and scale. “She had a model tree made of wood that she would fix big and little arms onto,” he says, noting that they would move the replica around the grounds as they worked. “She wanted to see how each silhouette would fit in. The end result always appeared to be simple.” He pauses for a moment. “She went for perfection.”
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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How do I know so much about the basket at the front door, top pic ?  Exactly how I garden.  A basket is set, filled over several hours, finally, life at its richest, out the door with my basket, into the garden, cats following.  Eternity here, begins.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

18 Garden Design Rules You Need to Use: All in This Seemingly Simple Garden

Get 'the' Garden Design memo, below?  Aside from 'the' memo, what are the bullet points for the memo in macro, not merely micro?
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Garden Design course in a single photo, below.  Not the entire curriculum, but enough for major memo about Garden Design.
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Seriously, if you were teaching this Garden Design course today, what bullet points are in this photo, below?
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Wish I had you in a real classroom, no more than 20 of you.
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I was a fully fledged adult arriving to Garden Design, the engineering degree not-so-much help.  Aside from intuitively knowing Garden Design was a process, its machinations were so magic in effect, layers remained indecipherable.  No words, no language to process a good Garden Design.
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Worse, went to get another degree, this time horticulture, and the same thing happened, zero language or understanding of historic Garden Design principles were taught.  But , baby I had 'credentials'.  Junk in the trunk.  Monster junk, harmful to Earth, body, spirit.  That's another book/article/lecture/post.
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Off to Europe, late 80's, studying historic Garden Design 20+ years.
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This garden, below, made me smile at first site.
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Why do you think it made me smile?

Rachamankha Hôtel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I didnt know about architect Khun Ongard Satrabhandhu until today when I saw the very cool…
Pic, above, here.
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Pair of stone animals, (are they cows or horses?), at the entry, above.  At a distance, even, performing their duties.  Sentinels announcing, "Yes, come this way, enter, you're welcome, we want you to walk this way."  In their wordlessness of welcome, and direction, a benediction, grace.  Remember, if you need words in your garden, it's a fail.
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Already, you're getting a Garden Design bullet point from the garden, above.
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Imagine the same pic, above, yet a small sign placed at the front of the steps, Entry.  Oh dear, that would be banal, gauche, worse, lacking in grace.
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Walking a garden with a kindred spirit, seeing such a sign, 'entry', in an otherwise beautiful setting, we'd merely make eye contact, make a face, move on.  Pure understanding.  However, walking in this garden with a kindred spirit, our feet would not be touching the ground.  Looks between us, total joy & grace, move on, hungry to see more, time & reality have ceased to exist, life is only the garden at hand, and perhaps a good cup of tea with a scone, or such, when we alight on a chair.  Perhaps a glass of wine, cheese/crackers, freshly quartered blood oranges?  Exactly what happened with friends while visiting a private garden in Alabama last week.  Another post, promise.
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Notice the world's most historic Garden Design Color Trinity?  Green-Brown-White.
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Contrasting foliage, above, large leaves next to small leaves.
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Foliage at the far right column following the Garden Design Rule: Just Let It Touch.  Especially love that rule, made it up myself, one of many, noticed across Europe yet never put into words anywhere I've read, or heard in conversation, lectures.
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Garden Design Layers: Canopy, Walls, Floors, each designed & executed.  Better, purest simplicity.
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Crunch of gravel underfoot, Sound in the garden, in addition to wind thru foliage, and hopefully the sound of water is in this garden, above, too.
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Subsidiary color to the main Color Trinity?  Noticed already?  Lead color for pots, bench, windows/doors, railing.
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Pruning shape, rounded, for plants in pots, contrasting formal with the informal of canopy tree foliage at far right.  Furthermore, choosing to prune potted plants rounded, in contrast to the square columns.
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White chosen is creamy.  Bright white would jump forward, making the space feel smaller, especially the terrace.
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Repetition of pots and their plantings.  Repetition of Green.  All Green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and the most serene.  A simple plant selection, not too much diversity, calm, and tough plants too, less maintenance/disease/watering/bugs.
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What did I miss for this Garden Design course in a single photo?  What shouts to you?  What makes you smile?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Garden Design Rules Executed in the Garden Above:

1.  Pair of focal points announcing an entryway.
2.  Color Trinity chosen: green-brown-white.
3.  Canopy-Walls-Floor designed, executed.
4.  Contrasting foliage sizes, large leaves next to small leaves.
5.  Contrasting foliage pruning, formal & informal.
6.  Sound designed, wind thru foliage, crunch of gravel underfoot.
7.  Subsidiary Color chosen, lead, for pots, furniture, windows/doors, rails.
8.  Creamy white chosen instead of bright white, creating a large space for a smallish front porch.
9.  Small variety of plants chosen, simplicity, greater visual impact.
10. Tough plantings chosen for ease of maintenance, no bugs/fungus/watering.
11.  Repetition of pots chosen, and their scale, color, shape.
12. Repetition of green.  All green gardens are the fastest to achieve their goal, and serene.
13. Last column, foliage barely touching, Just Let It Touch.
14. Needing words in your garden a 'fail'.
15. Hospitality a layer of expectation good Garden Design provides.
16. Using grace as a design layer.
17. Big impact Garden Design visually, yet simple ingredients, few ingredients, easy to maintain.
18. Keep it simple sweetie.  This garden's simplicity is its super power.  Intellect oozes from this
      Garden Design.
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Up front, I bristled at Garden Design Rules.  What would I tell that girl now?  Get over it, waste of time, you won't reinvent the wheel, better, your originality lies within every Garden Design rule.  Promise.  Most importantly, learn how to break any Garden Design rule, that's a bit tougher, yet necessary.  Pay attention.  Pay more attention.  Pay closer attention.  See all.  See what's not there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Work in Your Garden? I Never Work in My Garden.

Another classic permutation, below, of classic/historic Garden Design's most popular & effective Color Trinity: Green, Brown & White, subsidiary color, blue.

Ralph
Pic, above, here.
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Search thru years of postings about my Garden nattering, you won't find how-to-mow, how-to-prune, & etc.  Why does Garden Design receive that curse from the majority of its writers, at all layers?  Interior blogs, magazines, books do not show pretty interior pictures, then describe how to vacuum a sofa, spot clean a wool rug, remove spider webs from outdoor ceiling fan blades, you catch my drift.  Why curse the Garden with that mundane minutia, to the, almost, exclusion of the way to have a beautiful Garden?

 Colonial Williamsburg vacation
Pic, above, here.
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This topic, having a beautiful garden, in my heart since birth.  A primal drive.  Not knowing I was a garden whisperer until my 20's.  How did I learn?  Realizing other people don't speak of trees, bushes, meadows, yards, flowers, birds, insects, seasons, in any depth, depths I've known since, again, birth.  Alas, years of being a Garden Whisperer, without a language for speaking it.
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Wish I could say I've knocked it out of the ball park knowing/sharing the full Garden Whisperer language.  I try to in my posts. 
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Gardens, beautiful classic historic Gardens, are in the realm of Nature, and the realm of the unspeakable.  Grace, joy, peace, in their depths, are experienced actions, no words can describe. 

 Habitually Chic® » Under the Tuscan Sun
Pic, above, here.
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Into my 40's, a sweet gardening epiphany arrived.  Creating & taking care of my own garden is pure washing-of-the-servants-feet.  Not a chore, not a to-do list, not something to get accomplished, not accomplished only because of homeowners association rules.  Collaterally I've been searching for the correct word, to replace 'work', "I work in my garden."  No, I never 'work' in my garden.  Time in my garden is, as Joseph Campbell shared, "...eternity here."  Working in my Garden is pure blessing.
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How does a person get from 'working' in their garden, to knowing time in their garden is the gift of eternity, and a blessing? 
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Moving along to Sunday School last Sunday.  Over a century old, my tiny local Baptist church is within walking distance of my ca. 1900 home, and I can hear its steeple bells from my house. 
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Interestingly the word 'servant' was specifically brought up in our lesson.  Our teacher saying the bible translation for 'servant' would more accurately, now, be translated as 'slave'.  Not debating this in the least, instead, enjoying its scope-for-the-imagination.
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The changing of a long known metaphor, using 'slave' instead of 'servant'.
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How many thousands of hours have I been in a garden, mine, clients, friends, my grandmother's ?
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At some point, no specific eureka epiphany, instead, a 'knowing' learned in my Garden.  The bible is the word of G*d written by man, inspired from G*d.
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Nature, a Garden, has no intermediary with man.  Gardens speak directly to us.  No translations needed.   
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A few months after moving into our historic home, 3 years ago, I was in the garden, on my rear, legs spread around azaleas, pulling weeds, sliding my rear down the hedge as I pulled.  A cobalt blue flash sparkled between my forearms, then flew away.  Odd.  Thought I was seeing things, a cobalt blue dragon fly, really?  Realized I may need to go get some water.
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Kept pulling weeds, and back came that cobalt blue dragon fly, landing on my forearm.  Something I knew could not exist.  Happily informing me, Wrong.  Incredible life lesson.
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Don't understand this life lesson?  No worries, understanding arrives in the drive to have or understand beautiful historic Gardens.  Promise.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Another word my Sunday school teacher mentioned, 'fellowship'.  Saying it would probably be translated now as, 'partnership'.  Again, not debating this, totally enjoying the meandering thought paths.
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Again, something as simple as going to Sunday school, I received as a Garden Design class, completely geared for me.  Happens most days, every decade of my life.  Had thought of these moments, cheerfully, as selfish.  Blessedly, about 2 decades ago, realized those moments not selfish in the least, instead, those moments are pure grace.
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No, I never work in my Garden, instead I take from my Garden, and, remain open to receiving from my Garden. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to Turn Tree/Bush Trimmings Into Landscape GOLD

How few have 'seen' this, below, seeing a pile of sticks/branches in a compost pile?
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From this starting point, below, take it, own it, play with it, see what happens in your garden.

2.Rose basket Magical Forest shop 1- now that is a big delivery of flowers.
Pic, above, here.
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At a bridal shop, below.  Owning the fence, owning it inside/outside, owned by the garden.  More, who knew onions were a historic sign of long life?

 enclos*ure – Page 2 – Life in gardens — old and new.
Pic, above, here.
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A new way to 'see' sticks/vines.  More, onions too.
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It's the way you carry it #WiseSayingsforLife
Pic, above, here.
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No reason not to try this, ingredients are free, with eyes to see.  And now you have them !  I've never been too proud to shop for my garden at curbside on garbage days. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why Your Health & Property Value Are Better With This Hedge

Most notably, in the garden, below, is the hedge.  Yet not the only notable element.  At the front end of reading this post, make your list of reasons the hedge is a good idea.  Perhaps your list is all negatives with the hedge, fine, make that mental list.
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At a point long past, in USA, the petite hedge lost favor, foundation plantings gained the upper hand.  Ignoring centuries of Garden Design history.
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After WWII, USA had a building boom, and builders had a certificate of occupancy to gain before being able to sell their new homes.  Landscaping was part of that package for the CO.  A fact remaining in force.
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Pic, above, here.
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The style of a home's architecture does not influence whether or not to have a similar hedge, above.
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Subdivisions, city scapes, a home close to the road, are viable territory for a hedge, instead of a foundation planting.
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See the hedge, above?  Now, go inside the hedge, go into the garden, go into the home, look toward the sidewalk and road.
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Gone.  Sidewalk, road, cars, now blocked to your view, at a minimum diminished. 
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More, depending on the height of your hedge, and ground elevations, a hedge will obliterate most views of cars passing by.
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Multi-tasking, a hedge hiding the view of cars, from your home, filters myriad toxins cars release from engine/tires.  Did you know living at a busy road, with car/truck toxins spewing, is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes/day?
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A hedge is also your starting point for a garden room.  Paradise, in derivative, is a walled garden.  Blocking the ogre of cars/traffic/toxins begins your sanctuary, with a hint of privacy.  More, a layer of control, better, controlled by you.
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What do you want to do inside your hedge?  A pair of benches inside the hedge, facing the house, focal points on axis, and a place to sit.  Perhaps a pair of stone terraces either side of the front walk, the list is long on choices, your choices. 
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A home, or neighborhood, with the garden design choice of front hedges, has increased property value.  If an entire neighborhood is conceived with all homes having front hedges, it will be of greater value than a replica neighborhood without front hedges.  Why?  Good landscaping increases property values. 
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Good landscaping also benefits health.  More layers of a good garden design, around your home, has more of the bacteria for our body's microbiomes.  Our bodies formed in synergy with Earth.  Without the bacteria of Earth, inside our bodies, we die.
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What are your thoughts about a hedge in front of a home?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, April 9, 2018

5 Top Secrets of Historic Gardens

At the 'very' front end of creating gardens professionally, in my 20's, I wanted to create these gardens, below.  Went to college again, got that degree, yet no closer to the skills to create this garden, below.  USA curriculum taught me how to be a guy in a truck, mowing grass, weed-eating, pruning, planting, mulching, swapping annuals 2x/year, installing irrigation, and dowsing yards with poisons toxic to animals/insects of land/air, designing with incurves/outcurves and a right smart focal point tree at the right corner of the home.  Really?
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2 decades studying historic gardens across Europe.  Truly.  Now, been designing gardens, below, for decades.  A blessed life.
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But, not where this is going.  Garden designing, below, is outrageously counterintuitive.  Take what you know, turn it around, flip it upside down, add a 3 layer chess board, bingo, you can design the garden, below.
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More, in an epiphany, knew the artistic/scientific rules of designing gardens historically applies to other arts, and life layers.
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Édouard Vuillard, Repast in a Garden, 1898
Pic, above, here.
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Time to jump to shoes, following historic Garden Design rules, in my mother's closet.  Mom has the best clothing taste of anyone I know.  Born/raised in Augusta, GA, her Aunt Pink owned a local dress shop, Pinks.  Aunt Pink went to New York City 2x/year, ordering clothes for her shop.  From birth to wedding honeymoon departure, Aunt Pink dressed mom.  I wore that same wedding dress too.
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Mom's feet have had a few issues recently, we wear the same size shoe, mom told me to take any of her shoes.  What an offer !
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Several hours over the weekend, going thru shoes for me, shoes to thrift store, shoes mom can still wear.
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Yes, trying on so many shoes, I started to get lazy.  Didn't really like some of the shoes, decided not to try them on.  Then, remembered how Historic Garden Design is a Template for Life, and mom's impeccable taste, I tried on every pair of shoes I didn't like.
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Exactly as in a garden, those shoes POPPED.  What was I thinking?  Trust.
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 Wearing Trench coat is always a great Idea. 45 Casual Work Outfits For Women In Their 40s
Pic, above, here.
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Unfortunately, some of the shoes I adored did not fit.  However, learning, yet again, the potency of Historic Garden Design rules I did not mind, the shoes left behind.  It's always all about a garden for me.   Pay dirt, again, living this way, gorgeous shoes.

Outsource your Monday-Friday wardrobe to an expert stylist who gets you.
Pic, above, here.
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Best Historic Garden Design Rule, above, ever.  Evah !  Did you see it immediately?  Hope so.
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"I want a Garden that says, 'Listen to me,' not 'Look at me.' "
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Look at the top pic again.  It's a garden begging you to listen, and more, listen to your heart, listen to Providence, listen to Nature, listen to friends.  A garden letting you slip the bonds of here/now.  A garden gifting you eternity, now.
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Historic Garden Design is counterintuitive.  Trust that in all your affairs.
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5 Historic Garden Design Facts:

1. A Garden Design must create a 'Listen to me' world around your home/life.
2. Know Historic Garden Design rules are counterintuitive.
3. Follow Historic Garden Design rules.
4. Trust Historic Garden Design rules for YOUR garden.
5. Trust Historic Garden Design rules for your Life.
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Seems simple, 5 Historic Garden Design Facts.  Ha.  Yoda simple.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Design Like Charles Faudree: In Your Garden

Garden Design inspiration is all around you, inside your home.  I must see inside your home, to design your garden.  More than views on axis into the garden, interior design layers too.
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A Charles Faudree room, below.
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One Garden Design conceit shouts at first glance.  On the buffet.  Pure Garden Design.
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Tall hedge or espalier shrubs, pair of understory trees, low hedge.  Total copy of the painting, lamps, flotsom/jetsom.  Have known to copy interior design, into Garden Design, for decades.  No one told me, never saw it in a book, pure Garden Design Whisperer.
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You're probably the same, yet never verbalized this, or took action steps.

Charles Faudree – Everyday Living
Pic, above, here.
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Bedside table, below, would be a delight to copy into Garden Design.  Backdrop hedge, tree, flowering shrubs, urn on plinth.
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Pic, above, here.
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Image result for quotes charles faudree
Pic, above, here.
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Fireplace mantels, dining room tables, chests, each good resources, inside, to copy into Garden Design.
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Look around you.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Monday, March 5, 2018

What Lucinda Chambers Can Teach Us About Garden Design

A few weeks ago, this, below.  What a garden !  Knew at once, great skill involved, more, the gardener put their entire being into it.  Oddly, at the front end of gardening professionally, horrendous USA degree in hand, I would have known the opposite.  Garden, below, no good, too bohemian, too wild, nothing 'done', certainly not a contender for entry in a Garden Show for spring in a large city.. 
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Twenty plus years later, traveling historic gardens across Europe, then a decade staying put, designing/installing historic gardens.  I knew I had to follow the paper trail for this garden, below.  Further, I knew the woman in the garden, was its owner/designer, from 1st glance.  Odd, yes?  She could easily be a model for shoes or pants or maybe fabrics.

Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director of Vogue UK, photographed at her home in Shepherd's Bush
Pic, above, here.
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Didn't take a full minute of sleuthing to learn this is Lucinda Chambers, for 3 decades the stylist for Vogue UK.
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Style crush – Lucinda Chambers | designer fabrics australia
Pic, above, here.
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No wonder Lucinda has an incredible garden, art is art.  Styling a photo shoot, styling an entire clothing outfit, zero difference styling a garden.
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 Похожее изображение
Pic, above, here.
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I came late to thrift store shopping, had just joined a church, and needed a few outfits.  In my late 20's, never looked back.  Thrift stores entirely too much fun.  Clothes, patio furniture, dishes, sunglasses, etc.
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Женщина хочет выглядеть неотразимо вне зависимости от погоды и возраста. В зрелости гардероб женщины должен быть более сдержанным и классическим, сохраняя при этом индивидуальность и экстравагантность. В 40 лет женский гардероб слегка отличается от гардероба женщины за 50. Появляются нюансы, о которых не стоит забывать. Тепло и комфорт в одном флаконе Для дамы, которая и …
Pic, above, here.
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Seeing dozens of Lucinda Willams clothing choices, I knew.  Permission.
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SILVERTIME all, grown up.
Pic, above, here.

In my closet, what I had considered divine thrift store purchases, yet incoherent for combining/wearing, were suddenly Lucinda Chambers approved.  Lucinda gave me approval, for combining disparate clothing into pure joy to combine, and more importantly, to wear. 

Lucinda Chambers.
Pic, above, here.
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Historic Garden Design is permission.  Crazed, divine, permission.  Sure, there are historic Garden Design Rules.  Each one, knowingly, making your world better, more you, and the honor of stewardship with epiphany of permission.
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Fashion Styling and Image Making with Lucinda Chambers - a new Business of Fashion course
Watch Video.  WATCH video.  Watch Now, 1 min 54 seconds, WATCH.
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Lucinda Williams, above, in her own voice, about styling.  Zero separation in styling clothes, gardens, architecture, etc. 
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From Lucinda:
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"Educate your eye."
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"It's a craft."
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"Everything is information."
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"Nothing is off limits."
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"It's not beyond your reach."
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"Passionate about doing it."
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"It's only for you."
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"It's completely doable."

Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director of Vogue UK, photographed at her home in Shepherd's Bush
Pic, above, here.
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"For 36 years, Lucinda Chambers has been at the forefront of magazine publishing as fashion director of British Elle and British Vogue, where she held the position for 25 years and established long-lasting relationships with some of the world’s leading photographers, including Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight and Paolo Roversi. Throughout her career, she has also worked closely with fashion houses such as Marni, Prada, Jil Sander and Chanel, consulting on collections and advertising. Most recently, she styled Pharrell Williams and Imaan Hammam for the December 2017 cover of US Vogue."  Business of Fashion.
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Moving from my 30 year home/garden 3 years ago, toted 18 loads furniture-clothes-books-etc in my tiny beloved van, to the thrift store.  Wish I had discovered Lucinda before all those loads.  Happily, I didn't give away all my crazed, divine clothing purchases.  Better, gave me permission to buy more.
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In all my searching for more of Lucinda Williams garden, found nothing.
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Lucinda's garden, photos above, has the classic color trinity, green-brown-white, with subsidiary color, pink.  Did her home photo shoot in the garden, need a bit of styling, hence the pink sheet?
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Lamp, lampshade, old chairs, old table, macrame plant hanger, each mimic Lucinda's clothing and professional styling.  First rule of Garden Design, copy.  Garden Design rule, written by me long ago, "Does this garden make me want to go inside?" 
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Vine at the window, above?  Curtains for garden views.
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Photo shoot in Lucinda's garden a classic of enfilade styling. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Biggest Landscape Mistake You Don't Know You're Making

Garden Design thought, as incentive, "I want an outdoor dining & living room."
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Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design thought, as punishment, "I need to do something with my backyard."
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Image result for ugly backyard
Pic, above, here.
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Change your thoughts, change your garden, and life.
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 Hamptons patio dining & entertaining - via Tom Samet
Pic, above, here.
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Awaiting Garden funds?  Looking at, above, put it into a different price point.  Concrete squares from hardware store & field gathered patio furniture all painted the same color.  Martha Washington used long wood planks atop saw-horses, with a plain cotton tablecloth, to host their many guests.
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Do you need to do something with your backyard?  Do you want a backyard dining & living room?
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Beware the questions and statements you make for your Garden.  Those questions will make, or degrade, your garden.  More, your life.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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The Power of Incentives: Inside The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior

“Never, ever, think about something else when you 
  should be thinking about the power of incentives.”
— Charlie Munger
According to Charlie Munger, there are only a few forces more powerful than incentives. In his speech “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment,” he reflects on how the power of incentives never disappoints him:
"Well, I think I’ve been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther."  Charlie Munger

Entire article, here.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Move Your Foundation Plantings While You Gain Your Life

During a time of life turbulence a quote appeared, without seeking, reading a magazine, It's Safe to Let Go.
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Wow, what a concept !  I'm not in charge.  Instead of clinging to that fantasy, Let it go.  Afraid to let go?  Don't be, it's quite a flight.  The ride of your life.
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Realizing it was said, too, in a movie, Out of Africa, "Let it go, this water belongs in Mombasa anyway."
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Moving away from that particular personal era of life, and into the land of green meatball foundation plantings.  You must realize, they are connected.  Literally connected.  Have been hired by several women thru the years, not many, merely several wanting to get their landscapes to match their hearts.
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Amazingly, all of those women had a hedge at the front of their property.  Hedges that I designed to open, Welcome, come in.  More amazing, during those years, being hired by hedge women, never realized I was part of their tribe.
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First epiphany, for me, pull foundation plantings away from the house.  Rather obvious, having studied historic gardens across Europe.  Years, I had my hedge, without a gate, similar to, below.
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Happy, content, thriving, adored having that hedge moved, opened my home, gave breathing space, birds/butterflies more numerous.  Finally, enough of filling the spiritual well, notice I created that fertile ground for myself, my well overflowed, epiphany arrived, put a gate into my hedge.  Just as I had done for clients. 
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Heads-up, none of this stuff works unless the epiphanies are your own, and you'll know.  Not exactly burning-bush moments but you will have the knowledge downloaded into your heart/DNA, and understand.  Still doubting, still unsure?  No worries, it's safe to let go.

923 Likes, 6 Comments - Tom Samet (@tomsamet) on Instagram: “Good Morning "East Hampton!" repost @skaufman4050 Full Bloom!”
Pic, above, here.
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My front yard hedge, below, after putting the gate in.

 TARA DILLARD: GARDEN DESIGNERS BLOGLINK: TARA'S TRINITY OF THE SOUTHERN GARDEN
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
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My front yard today.  Lawn?
Pic, above, shot just inside my front hedge.
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Not snow, above.  Better, Chinese snowball blossom petals.  Caressing my plants, gravel, furniture, home, LIFE.

Playing with my front hedge at the street/curb, below.  Adoring rustic, pastoral, my garden drips abundance, upon many layers.
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Tara Dillard's front gate!
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
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Looking at my front hedge, below, from inside.
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TARA DILLARD: Garden Design Begins Inside Your Home
Pic, above, shot in my front bay window.
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Standing in my front yard, below, inside the gated hedge, looking into the same bay window from, above.
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TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white
Pic, above, shot looking into my front bay window.
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It does take a lot to get here.  Where?  Vanishing Threshold.  What exactly does that entail?  Knowing it's safe to let go.  Your garden is not in your head.  Your garden is in your heart.  Waiting for you.
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About being safe to let go.  You'll have the privilege of relearning it many times.  Each time, more riches.
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It was good fortune, knowing to turn to my garden, letting go.  Deeper than good fortune, an action going back centuries with many, each learning themselves, taking their own action steps of facing the fear, letting go, discovering the abundance of Providence.
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"In building this horticultural paradise, Tradescant presented nature as a book that man might read like the Bible.  He understood the world in the same way as Johannes Kepler, the brilliant German mathematician and astronomer, who had described it as 'the very Book of Nature in which G*d as Creator has revealed and depicted His being and His Will with Man in a wordless tract'."  Andrea Wulf & Emma Gieben-Gamal.
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Imagine my surprise, reading those words, above, last week.  Letting go, too many times to count, tumbling into the best rabbit hole, ever.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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"Christopher Wren believed harmonious proportions came from mathematical laws underpinning Nature."  Wulf & Gieben-Gamal.
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Until reading, This Other Eden, by Wulf & Gieben-Gamal, didn't realize Christopher Wren, architect, was Garden Designer also.
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Foundation plantings are a holy grail of USA landscaping.  It's safe to let go.  Do you realize what I found, moving my foundation plantings?  What words would you use?  What does your intuition tell you from reading this post?   I know what I found.  My life.