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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blue Hill Farm

Blue Hill Farm, below.
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What a pic.  Full monty, sustainable agriculture & ornamental horticulture.  Can you label what you're looking at, below?  Can you discuss, cocktail chatter, what it takes to put this garden together, how it lives as part of your life, how it is sustainable, what the ornamental horticulture does to the agriculture, why it has a civic duty component, how it can lower HVAC expenses, how it can raise residential property value?
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In USA, colleges have 2 degree tracks.  Horticulture vs. Agriculture.
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Enough, won't go full monty now.  Just enough for your cocktail chatter.
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Maximum pollinator habitat is high density next to low density, meadow beside woodland.  Another validation, as if needed, life happens most richly in the margins.
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But why?  What am I nattering about?
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When crops are grown with maximum pollinator habitat, production yields rise by 80%.  Do the math.  Instead of getting 1,000 pounds of produce, you're getting 1,800 pounds with the same amount of effort.
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There is more, but for now, a little cocktail chatter is fine.  Pic, below, is an entire class, about living within an agricultural landscape married to its ornamental horticulture.  


lincoln-blue-hill-stone-barns-habituallychic-008

Pic, above, here.
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This pic has a great story, it's not from a 'gardener', but a fashion/luxury branding personality, Habitually Chic.
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Think you can't have, above, don't own farmland?  Happily you're wrong.  My 30 year garden had every layer, above, and clocked in at less than 8,500sf, in a subdivision.
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If you have time, take the Blue Hill Farm link, scroll to the bottom, enjoy their month/month listing of their crops, livestock, cellar & more.  Exactly the type of stuff I'm wanting to know for my own ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  And that information does not exist yet.  Within the realm of how I'm wanting it.  Life is good, a well trod learning curve.  Personalized.  For me to discover.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Terra Cotta Inside

Bringing in a live plant in a terra cotta pot, is exactly that, bringing in life.  More, it's an interior design concept centuries old.
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Planted pots brought from my previous garden are not an option, they are gorgeous but several hundred pounds each with their soil/plant.
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For months I've been on the prowl for suitable plants for staging at least 20 terra cotta pots.  Of course the prowl has been one of convenience, already going into L, H, W, for other items.
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Aside from knowing it's time for Susanne Hudson & I to split another order of various ivy topiaries, I suppose it's my past, those 5 years at 2 nurseries with incredibly fascinating selection.  Nope, don't want anything less.  When I bring my terra cotta pots inside, a rotating selection, I want to have fun making the next round of choice, and once inside, the terra cotta pots must make me smile.
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One of the nurseries sold out, the other still hanging on, it has an FTD side too.
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I'm still in Atlanta most weeks with design work, or a job installation.  I must stop at my old nursery, and buy enough 'interesting' for me & Susanne.  She has a stunning, most unusual, angel wing begonia that belonged to her grandmother, I'll take cuttings this fall.
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Glad of my terra cotta pot collection in various sizes.  Have you noticed it's become more difficult to find a range of good terra cotta pots?  Whenever I see them at thrift stores, junk shops, Ace hardware, I buy.
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Ahead of having the terra cotta pots, ready to go inside, it's a joy perusing the house for which tables, desks, side tables, buffets, to set one.  Then there's the old ironstone plate to choose to set each terra cotta pot on.
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Most fun, is having enough, to give some away.
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image:

Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Not having a garden yet, it's been a year in the new house, each day the imperative grows, bringing terra cotta inside.  Upfront it seemed a simple mission.  amusing the time & paths to success.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Taking Historic into the Modern Realm

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

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

Sint-Job-In't-Goor Pastorij


Sint-Job-In't-Goor landelijke woning

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

Sint-Job-In't-Goor achtertuin

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

Friday, July 8, 2016

Picture: Garden Design Course

Pulling the gate/columns forward, below, welcomes you from the wide world into their private world, elongates the entry, and adds a foyer to the front door.  Painting the columns same as the house adds them to the footprint of the home, enlarging the home's territory.
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Painting the columns a different color, or if they were stone, still adds good features, excepting they become part of the garden, not the house.
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Great wisdom leaving the tops of the columns empty.
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Front door & light fixtures chosen well, they make the house seem taller.
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Note the gutters, below.  Copper color, not the brick color.  Well done.
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Roof, below, is like jewelry for the house.
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Repetition of square shapes, below, highlights the fabulousity of the tall round urns at the windows.  Super contrast.
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This garden design has been done for centuries.  Have seen it on several continents, and at all price points.  Done it myself, more than once.  Looks fresh & new with each reincarnation.
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Even the front door handle was chosen with care.  Drapes vs. blinds, again, well done.

/\ /\ . D. Keeley:

Pic, above, here.
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Copy, enfilade, axis, cross-axis, color, contrast, repetition, flow, welcome, focal points, ceiling, walls, floor, simplicity, has all the right Garden Design rules checked.
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I have a weakness for Garden- Design- Course in a single picture.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Designing the Impromptu

Multiple layers of form & function, below.
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Aside from  pure magic, painting the walls with vines, going a step further, adorning the ceiling in vines too.
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There's even a touch of Camelot, the round table.

Axel Vervoordt-garden room-Another garden room at Axel Vervoordt's s'Gravenswesel compound in Belgium. From Vogue Living. Photography by Michael Paul:

Pic, above, here.
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It's rare when designed impromptu, upon completion, looks/feels impromptu.
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Many layers in the room, above, enough to be considered a Garden Design class.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Had the good fortune to work for an interior decorator, Mary Kistner, a master of impromptu, who later became friend/mentor.  She passed several years ago, aside from missing her & actively using so much learned from her, I still tell stories about her.  Then, I come across Penelope Bianchi on the internet.  Penelope's work, the work of my beloved Mary.  Of course I felt obligated to tell Penelope about Mary too, aka, fan letter.  Who knew I would discover Penelope to be twin sister to my Mary.  A joy to follow Penelope's work, blog, and have her friendship.  Two close friends locally are aware of something quite personal happening in my life recently, yet, from my blog, without mention of personal issues, and thousands of miles distance, Penelope intuited the situation correctly.  And, sent a couple of quite detailed notes to me.  Perhaps that's why I adore creating gardens & rooms, like, above, because there is an alchemy in sharing  'life' situations with friends, kindred spirits, in the rooms, above, churning situations into calm, removing stress, clarifying solutions, and adding the binding glue of laughter.        

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How Color Choice Affects the Size of Your Home

Calm, rustique, classic, nestled, below.  What plays the major role in this Exterior Design?  Color.
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Imagine home, below, with white trim.  Pop.  The house just moved forward, got smaller, the roof lowered, the garden shrunk.  Merely, painting the trim white.  Ironically, this home previously had a teal blue trim.  Same effect, to lesser degree, than white.
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Everything is thriving, but we do need some rain - it's been very dry here in the Northeast. From my driveway, my house looks beautiful with the tan colored woodwork - it is such a change from the teal blue. Do you remember the old trim?:

Pic, above, Martha Stewart.

In an area that is small, or with disparate components, here's the color trick, below.  Did you already intuit the trick?  Everything should be the same color, or color family.

 My longtime housekeeper, Laura Acuna, set up some refreshments on the lower terrace parterre outside my kitchen. Some cool pomegranate iced-tea and some cheese wafers.:

Pic, above, Martha Stewart.
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Exterior color, if you haven't given it much thought, does potent work to every exterior.  Make sure your exterior colors are doing the right potent work.  Potent for good vs. potent for bad.  It's your choice.  Make every layer of narrative with color choices exterior/interior and you've just raised property value, and made every day in your home happier.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, June 27, 2016

Need Somewhere to Think?

Gardening is truly like putting this room together, below, by Miles Redd.  Intentions for this room, and a garden are the same.  Beauty, calm, introspection, learning, amusement, stewardship of our interior thoughts, connection to larger realms, focus, and oh my the anticipation of being at this table and knowing that whether 15 minutes or 2 hours, each will pass as the same, it would be easy to forget lunch hasn't been eaten, yes, a room like this is a proscenium, just as a garden is.
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"Every garden needs a desk.", said Susanne Hudson.
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Quick assignment.  Say Susanne's 5 words, above, aloud.  Next, do the Johnny Cash thing, 'Meditate on it. Then you'll understand.'

miles redd.:

Pic, above, here.

Reading an education article almost 2 years ago, one of the experts said reading/learning from a source backlit by light from a computer screen/cell phone goes to a different brain region than reading/learning from a paper page lit by natural light.  Fascinating.

 walls Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe trim Benjamin Moore Bavarian Cream.  As I go along here, pinning, I realize another reason I've always liked Benjamin Moore paint.:

Pic, above, here.
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Epiphanies.  Moments of intuitive enlightenment.  Are the hunt in my garden, and they arrive, unbidden.  Do you partake?  Have you already been this intuitive about your garden?  Perhaps it's better to ask, "Have you been this intuitive about a garden?"
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Oh dear the nattering palaver about a garden's sun/shade, how to dig a hole, mowing properly, and worse, chemicals & etc.
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Nope, a garden is not about any of those things in the previous sentence.  None.
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Focus.  Mental focus.  From playful realms to partaking its energy, & love, to assuaging even the deepest loss.  Need to make a major life choice?  Major.  How will you go about it?  I know to go into my garden, phrase the question mentally, set it aside, in faith to G*d, trust the freedom of letting go-letting G*d for at least an hour, then poof voila, seemingly without thinking, an answer.  Heads-up on the life choices that have fear as a component, I've learned to beat fear by asking, "What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid?"
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A friend, we were in a circle of like minds in a group Lois put together, casually said, "I do my best thinking while sweating."  Wow, a floodgate opened, 'Me too, me too, so harness it girlfriend', I said to myself.
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Gardens aren't what garden centers sell.  Look at the top pic again, and know it is exactly what gardens are.  Yet more.
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Redemptive beauty.  Abiding.  Places of joy, grace, not a place to work digging holes, shearing lawn, though if those things are done they are the gift of washing-the-servants-feet.  Stewardship.  Focus, mindset, choices.  A garden is long threads of time.  Opposite to tv, internet, cell phone, cacophonies.
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Focus, comes to you in a garden, you don't have to go to it.  More, you get the trinity of focus,
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"Focus matters enormously for success in life and yet we seem to give it little attention.
Daniel Goleman‘s book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, explores the power of attention. “Attention works much like a muscle,” he writes, “use it poorly and it can wither; work it well and it grows.”
To get the results we want in life, Goleman argues we need three kinds of focus: inner, other, and outer.
Inner focus attunes us to our intuitions, guiding values, and better decisions. Other focus smooths our connections to the people in our lives. And outer focus lets us navigate in the larger world. A (person) tuned out of his internal world will be rudderless; one blind to the world of others will be clueless; those indifferent to the larger systems within which they operate will be blindsided.
How we deploy attention shapes what we see. Or as Yoda says, “Your focus is your reality.” , from Farnum Street, here.
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I'm fortunate my gardening began before cell phone/internet.  I know what a garden harnesses.  I know how diminished my garden is with my cell phone/internet.  About 2 years ago, I had a more fabulous than normal afternoon, beyond 4 hrs, they felt like a vacation, in my garden.  Coming inside, discovery why.  Cell phone on the kitchen counter.  Whoa, or woe, that epiphany.  Disclosure, I do carry cell phone into garden.  Self-employed is a great excuse, perhaps Beloved needs me, or my ankle goes, or nefarious mr. timber rattler or, or, or.
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Way back in the 1950s the philosopher Martin Heidegger warned against a looming “tide of technological revolution” that might “so captivate, bewitch, dazzle, and beguile man that calculative thinking may someday come to be … the only way of thinking.” That would come at the loss of “meditative thinking,” a mode of reflection he saw as the essence of our humanity.
I hear Heidegger’s warning in terms of the erosion of an ability at the core of reflection, the capacity to sustain attention to an ongoing narrative. Deep thinking demands sustaining a focused mind. The more distracted we are, the more shallow our reflections; likewise, the shorter our reflections, the more trivial they are likely to be. Heidegger, were he alive today, would be horrified if asked to tweet. ", wrote Goleman.

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Pic, above, here.
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Farnum Street selections, above, from, The Impoverishment of Attention, here.
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I'm impatient to take notes, put upon paper with hand/pen, on the new desk in my garden, from yesterday's Sunday edition of Farnum Street.  Ironically, my new garden desk is currently in Susanne Hudson's garden.  Bought for a harvest table, custom made by a craftsman in Susanne's town, too long for my small van, Susanne will bring it next time she has a client near me.  I know she's smiling each time she sees 'my' desk, knowing how excited I am to get it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, June 20, 2016

Design: House Meets Patio

Commercial, mostly interiors shop, March, below, better at garden design than most garden centers.
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Not a lot here, excepting there is a lot.  Each layer, perfect.
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Color, flow, plants, staging, texture, contrast, plants, still life, heights, focal points, axis, seasonal, lighting, vanishing threshold, multi-functional, over-dose-theme, easy maintenance.
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At this phase, below, personally.  Have purchased a harvest table made from wood of a century old tobacco barn.  What's the phase?  Choosing chairs.  Looking at galvanized metal.  Time is a luxury, the table won't fit in my van, Beloved's trucks are at a jobsite for another few weeks.  Need 10 chairs.  Don't want all of them to match, perhaps they will.  That is the fun of the hunt.
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march-1

Pic, above, here.
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Color trinity, above, great for my zone, tail end of Piedmont swallowed by Coastal Plain, in depths of summer's miseries heat-humidity-bugs, gives the illusion of 'cool' viewed from interiors.
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Alone, this pic is a, Design: House Meets Patio, course.
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Ironically, my horticulture degree included zero about this zone.  Zero
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Notice the stone at the open door?  Very nice.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Go into the typical box store garden center, and be greeted by zillions of colorful greenhouse annuals, chemicals to annihilate bees-butterflies-man, finish off with fertilizers to poison groundwater, and kill earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi in the soil.  With zero irony the same garden centers sell annual flowers to attract butterflies, planted in soil with systemic insecticides, all with banner marketing.  Aka, killing the same butterflies you're trying to attract.
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Made a mistake at the seed store early this month, bought a small bag of 'organic' fertilizer for our lone tomato plant.  Reading the label at home, after opening, it's N-P-K, ugh, kills earthworms/fungi.  At least the tomato is in a pot.    

Monday, June 13, 2016

Garden Design: How Little Can You Have?

How little can you have in your garden, and it still holds together?
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Garden Design, below, would hold together at a mid-century Ranchburger.  (Perhaps a new title, Garden Design for Bad Architecture, split-levels need extra thought too.  Of course I spent 30 years in my cluster home, I named a Guppy House because garage/drive predominate at front of house.)   In addition to how little you can have in your garden, how to  have a Garden Design, raising property value while raising pleasure/use.  Never to leave a penny on the table, Garden Design to reduce HVAC & maintenance expense.  Ironic, I find the more demanding you are from a Garden Design, it's easier to create, and a better Garden Design.
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Pic, above, here.
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Just back from a week working in mom's garden on Galveston Bay, TX .  Dad had asked for a hedge planting at the back fence over 2 decades ago.  Fence is straggly naked with 2 remaining misshapen hideous RED TIPS.  What was my suggestion he brazenly ignored?  Camellia sasanqua.  Yes, I still look at that fence imagining sasanquas.  Plant choices matter, in addition to Garden Design choices.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Designing a Dark Dank Backyard Corner

Hydrangeas, below, were already planted.  I was hired to design the dark, dank, space behind them.  That was all they said, every choice was mine.  Hope you realize constraints/restrictions make Garden Design easier.  Putting in the defined path between the hydrangeas was easy....the rest was for Muse.
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Meeting the clients,  they lived outside Atlanta this was an overnite job,  walking their entire garden, seeing their interiors, and how they flowed to outside views/paths, took about an hour.
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Brought my folding table/chair & drawing board to this back corner, below.  Alone, finally, with Muse.

The Complete Guide to Growing French Hydrangeas | SouthernLiving.com:

Pic, above, Southern Living.
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Zero clue, once I was set up, what Muse would suggest.
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A few minutes of walking nearby garden rooms, then back to my mobile office.
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Muse doesn't speak, Muse does place perfect visuals into mind/heart.  
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Muse sent mental pictures of this small corner having an 'L' shaped conservatory, gravel flooring, and a chandelier hanging from the tree with a table underneath.  Yes, poof, voila, Muse was enchanted with this corner.
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Have no clue what my clients were expecting.  Probably a 'planting' plan.  I must remember to ask.
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Told of ideas for their dark, dank, corner, their faces got that really good look.  The one saying Muse did a great job, and they were fully on board.  Beyond imagination, they had access to a historic home recently condemned, for reason, and could haul away as much as they wanted.
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Muse certainly knew more than me about this couple and their soon to be built conservatory.  As if pre-ordained.
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Within a year the conservatory was built, garden planted, gravel poured, and they were on a garden tour.  Somehow, Southern Living magazine heard about their conservatory & sent a photographer, above.
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Later, This Old House magazine discovered their conservatory & put it on their cover.
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This is the best kind of work.  Each layer f-u-n.  Every layer a win-win-win.
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Doing your own Garden Design?  It's the hardest to do.  Every idea directly links to your bank account, which hinders your Muse.  How to get around that?  Write a mission statement for your garden.  How you want it to look, how you want it to make you feel, how it connects with your home, what you want to do in your garden for pleasure, and don't forget to choose a color trinity.  It may take a week, or 2, to write your mission statement.  Then, make a date with yourself to design in your garden.  Nothing rushed.  Suspend every thought about filthy lucre.  Follow your mission statement.  You will draw a nice garden.  I find most everyone is an intuitive garden designer, excepting most everyone gets caught in the trap of not knowing Garden Design is counterintuitive.  Nor trusting simplicity.
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When finished drawing your garden, ask yourself, "What can I take out and the garden still holds together?"
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Often I am a 2nd or 3rd designer on site.  What went wrong, why hire me after others were hired?  Two reasons, first, ideas were not coalesced into a mission statement to give the 1st designer, second, the designer was all about sales plants-plants-plants with drifts, incurves, outcurves, foundation plantings, no thought given to garden rooms, focal points on axis, making the garden part of the house, nor flow throughout the entire property, and a color trinity never applied.
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Hope this helps, if you are DIY, or considering hiring a Garden Designer.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Do you think, in a zillion years, I wanted to design a conservatory so I could get it in a magazine, 2 magazines, onto the cover of a magazine, it would happen?  Nevah.  Why did this conservatory go viral?  I had fun, Muse had fun, clients had fun, client's Muse had fun.  F-U-N    Once client's had their plan, it was obvious, pack your mobile office and get out of the way !!

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, May 20, 2016

Window View is Your Life View

“The Soul selects her own Society.” 
― Emily DickinsonThe Complete Poems
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Inside/outside narrative.  Vanishing Threshold, below.
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Recognize her window?  Emily Dickinson.  A recreation at New York Botanical Garden.

This is the view from the Homestead, the poet Emily Dickinson's home, recreated as part of an exhibit about her gardens at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It's a lovely exhibit, interspersing her poetry, much of which was inspired by nature, with flowers and plants.:
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Pic, above, here.
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A salesman called, about 15 years ago, selling vinyl double paned windows.  "How could Emily Dickinson have written her poetry with those windows?", I asked.
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Now, the science & math are available for keeping historic windows vs. replacing with new double paned windows.  Adding storm windows to historic windows creates less energy loss.  Greater money savings.
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Alas, the divide of souls knowing this inherently in their DNA vs. those who will never get it, is well beyond to the moon & back.
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Young man selling the vinyl double paned windows?  He did pause.  Then resumed his scripted sales pitch.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

Vanishing Threshold, below.  Interior & exterior, married.  The full monty.

The Devoted Classicist:

When a client hires me for the garden, if needed & it's within my scope, I design interior spaces too.  What does that mean?  I know my scope.  Outside, my scope has no restrictions.  Inside, my scope is sourced off-the-shelf, antique shops, thrift stores.  Inside, if special order stone, textiles, furnishings, removing/adding walls, are the playing field, I have an incredible interior decorator on my team.
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Yesterday's jobsite, 60 of the most beautiful acres, streams, meadows, woodlands, gracious sloping views, in the last of the Piedmont before turning into Coastal Plain, are not a challenge in the least to Garden Design.  Thorn on the acreage?  The house.  A ca. 1980's ode the Bee Gee's named aptly, Stayin Alive.  Who wants to merely stay alive?  Thriving is the choice.
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Working with the interior decorator on this project and the homeowner has been quite a team.  There was an obvious wall removed inside, then magic, the interior decorator added a wall to an area I would have never 'seen', yet once designed, of-course-the-wall-must-be-added.  In return, I knew the front porch had to wrap the house, creating a new heart to the home.  Interior decorator never 'saw' wrapping the porch.  Indeed, we are a happy team of cheerleaders for each other.  In addition to giving/teaching each other a new 'eye'.
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Drawing, above, sums up having a home.  Vanishing threshold.  House & Garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic, above, drawn by John Tackett.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interior: A Reverence for Nature


"A reverence for Nature...", is how the caption begins in Architectural Digest, for the pic, below.

Edie Parker accessories designer Brett Heyman and her family tapped decorator Mark Cunningham for their Connecticut home. In the white-washed entrance hall, a table helps to center the space. | archdigest.com:

Pic, above, here.
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So true.

Pic, above, here.
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People only see small glances of us throughout the day and then make judgments off of that. Stay true to yourself and be proud. #life:

Pic, above, here.
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Stewards of Nature seem to be sprinkled lightly across continents, and eras.  How odd to be finding each other through this thing named, Social Media.
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Happiness is not external, but internal:


Pic, above, here.
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Adore how they think, top pic.  Their foyer a full narrative.  Their garden a vanishing threshold with the foyer, more pics here.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Friday, April 29, 2016

Color. Color ? Color !

Remember, designing your landscape, I must know you from the street.
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Parse the words.  To know you from the street, you must design your garden from interior views, and the same brain waves of style, color, flow, texture, individuality from inside to outside.
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A trinity of pics, below, you should all be able to shoot, of your home.  This trinity, below, is a Garden Design, of the ages, quiz question.  
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Today, now, your home/garden, mentally shoot these 3 pics.  Can you produce?
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Every garden needs a color trinity, green-brown-white, is the classic for centuries.  No worries if it's not your flavor, choose your own color trinity.  Produce these 3 pics.  Quiz question remains the same.  Shoot & produce.
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Color.  Color?  Color!  Which will it be?  This is your singular precious life.  Stretch your intelligence, comfort zone, think without your wallet.  Perhaps you need my personal question, epiphanized after too many decades people pleasing, "What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid?"  When it comes to doing your garden, your best garden, I'm not the person you want to start a sentence, "I can't do that."  Those are 4 failure words.  Best 4 words I was ever told, "Be who you are."
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Studying historic gardens across Europe for 2 decades, this lesson about color, above, and within the pics, below, was intuitively learned.  This stuff, above/below, is not in garden design books.  It's merely in the best historic gardens across history.  Want to recreate the wheel?  Knock yourself out.  Everyone loves the outliers who do, with success.
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Since the start of designing gardens, color was easy to choose, I pull from interiors, what will work with the exteriors.
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Furlow Gatewood's home/garden is over the top with the color trinity.  He makes me see it fresh, as if he invented it.  Better, he owns it.
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Cuthbert House, on Furlow Gatewood's Compound, in Americus, Georgia, Photo by Max Kim-Bee~❥:

Pic, above, here.

rod-collins-furlow-gatewood:

Pic, above, here.
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Fern, viewed from the garden, pulls me in.  Then the brilliant audacity of double axis to the mirror with the fern.  Swoon.

 One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood: Julia Reed, Paul Costello, Rodney Collins, Bunny Williams: 9780847842520: Amazon...:

Pic, above, here.
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Nothing more to be said about your color trinity excepting, shoot it.  Picture worth 1,000 words.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, April 4, 2016

Simplicity vs. Cliche

From forever I've learned best from completed problems, pictures & places.  Copy the best, copy what works, saves time/money.
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Simplicity, below, at top form.
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Easy, you think, they've got the money for 'simple'.
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Not so fast.  More than money, below, their landscape is rich in wisdom.  Garden Design of the ages.
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When you have a natural focal point, frame it don't compete.
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Had the good fortune of learning this while studying historic landscapes in northern Italy, Lake Maggiore, to be precise.


William Burgin:

Pic, above, here.

Garden design cliche, below, when there isn't as much money, space, nor existing natural focal point, as, above.
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Yet.  Life's riches are no less precious, below, than, above.
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Good garden design is not about money, it's about using your full intellect.
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How would you garden design a richer life, below?  Seriously, what would you do to the garden, below?

  Search results for: farmhouse - Fresh Farmhouse:

Pic, above, here.
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What would I do, above ?
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I would remove all porch railings, add a stone step between porch columns, take out foundation plantings, placing those foundation plantings along the sidewalk at front, and add more along the sides of the home, about same distance as those at the front.  For starters.
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As is, this home is already pulling me inside, imagine if the landscaping were good too.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Take it Easy, Mon

What is your landscape to you?  What role does it play in your life?  How does your landscape leverage your life?  Is your landscape a monthly check to someone else?  Is your landscape full of chores?  Your landscape informs the world of your views, what information is your landscape telling me?  Have you ever thought to ask yourself, "What does my garden say about me?"  Are you to be patted on the head for keeping the HOA happy with your landscape, and no more?  
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This spring, for your landscape, choose your own perspective.
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This perspective, below, is my favorite idea of a landscape.
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In a word, do you know what that perspective is?

SHELTER:

BACKDROP
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I want my garden to be the backdrop to my life.
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Who wants a garden, typically installed by the builder, to be endured?
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A garden backdrop to your life is leverage, joy, and grace.
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Green meatballs are usually a negative, yet look how many green meatballs are behind Tory Burch, above.  How smart her urns, never need planting or watering.  Ever.
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Green, brown, white is the most successful garden color trinity for centuries.
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If you maintain lawn/bushes, why not choose them as beautiful backdrop?  Delight in thinking, how to go beyond builder installed plantings, how to make magic from HOA rules.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Obviously this post is about certain ages of life.  Have had several clients this year, moving from their many decades family home, into retirement communities.  All of them, landscaping is provided & maintained as part of the 'package'.  All are in their 70's.  Each of the phone calls quite hard for both of us.  Life must be faced, and they are doing it in grace & elegance.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Don't Design Bifurcate: Interior & Exterior

For years I would write the editor of a specific interior design magazine asking why they would show beautiful interiors with terrible views out the windows.  No reply, ever.
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However, the month arrived when that magazine had every interior photograph edited/photoshopped to its exterior views with a brightness as if a glare of a beautiful garden, all the ugly views, poof/gone.  And, the magazine has continued editing exterior views for years.  Nice story, yes?
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This, below, is not that magazine.
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Great interior, yet a bifurcation of decorating styles, life choices, from inside to outside.
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What to do?

SHELTER:

Quick thought, without seeing the rest of the home's interior, stain the deck a shade, or 2, darker than the walls, above.
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Poof, interior/exterior no longer bifurcated.
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Another solution, add a shutter to lower half of the window, leaving only vistas of sky, trees, birds...
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Money is no issue solution?  Enlarge the deck, choose a new rail, stain same color as walls, turn window, above, into French doors, fix a drink, put a new album on the turn table, enjoy.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic, above, here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Consider Views into Your Home from the Garden

In a garden your home is the quintessential focal point.  Not content to leave this design facet forsaken and alone, views into your home are subsidiary focal points.
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Today, this moment, think with your mind's eye, walk in your garden, around your home, all the while, looking at your home.  No window view, into your home, can remain undesigned.  An unfinished basement window?  I don't care about the reality of the situation.  That unfinished basement easily becomes the guest suite, or perhaps the multi-media party room, in theory, depending upon your window treatment.  Again, who cares about the reality?  Reality, don't go there with me.  This is the reality.
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And, looking into your windows from the garden, you must be interesting.  I must want to know who you are from those views.
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So.  Who are you?  Do views into your windows tell me who you are?
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"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.", "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.", Carl Jung.

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

Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic, view into my home of 30 years.  Cannot wait to start working on views into our American farmhouse ca. 1900.  Not to that layer yet.  Have done the fake it till you make it views into windows at present.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Structure Your Life By Design

Structure Your Life By Design---Not by Default, at bottom, a headline guaranteed to get my attention.  Late to the game, I signed a CBS-TV contract the same day I signed a book contract, age 45.  Needing to keep my day job, designing landscapes, how to carve time for book & TV work too?  Without delay I hired a client who had recently become a certified Career Coach.  Best decision ever.  Together we came up with a template to get all the work done, while keeping a private life, and no stress.  She also recommended I hire an image consultant.  Another best-decision-ever.  Who knew image consulting is a complete science, much like landscape design?
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Myriad facets aligned.  A designed garden, designed career, designed personal image, each made life easier.  What else could I design?  Interior of my house, from attic to crawl space.  Again, more steps taken to add beauty/function.  Life became more simple.

Aerin Lauder
Picture Aerin Lauder via Eonline   

Then, I was given 8 heirloom chickens for a birthday.  Wanting them, it was a surprise what they gave me, a degreed landscape 'expert'.  My garden had already been on tours, in magazines and on tv, yet the chickens taught me more deeply about gardening, perhaps the most profound gift, beyond structure-your-life-by-design.  And the chicken lesson made me laugh out loud, in my garden.  Isn't that the way with koans?  Moments of intuitive enlightenment.  Stewardship.  With the chickens I knew gardening is about stewardship, in the macro, and micro.  Macro?  Micro?

Stewardship is a gift in any life.  Stewardship is everywhere, once you understand.  G*d almighty first created a garden.  Indeed.  More humor.  Until understanding 'stewardship' I had thought my gardening was entirely my brain/physical effort/monies/talent/desire/spirit, la-ti-da.  Without ceasing, until the epiphany, my garden had been in constant stewardship of me.  Constant.  Washing of the servants feet, cliche comes alive in stewardship.  So too, take- my- yoke- upon- you.  No worries, this is no altar call, but an understanding of historical metaphor abiding in stewardship.  A source of energy, and delight in doing, for things outside of yourself, bringing a depth of wealth to your spirit no amount of money can purchase.

E.M. Forster knew well the trap of money, for those living without stewardship, using layers of humorous narrative, for the observant.  In particular, Where Angels Fear to Tread, ca. 1905.  One character wonders about another, both wealthy, what will she do, she has no resources.  Interesting.  Wealthy character without resources?  She's rich, of course she has resources.  Quickly to my 6" Websters, and learning resource is also the capability or skill of meeting a situation.  Forster understood Jane Austen's method of writing, I already knew this character would not prosper, with his effortless, lighthearted disdain surrounding the word 'resources', though I originally had zero clue to its specific meaning.  Have you noticed when Jane Austen describes a character's garden, with defects, so too their character, but that's implied with the garden slam.  Go Jane.  

Back to, below, Structure Your Life by Design, and, "...    Mary Elizabeth knows how to create authentic designs for learning linked to full system change. Mary Elizabeth shares design thinking as a process clients can use to imagine new possibilities for personal and professional change. Mary Elizabeth helps dynamic, motivated change leaders structure their lives by design, not by default...super quickly. "   Without stewardship I cannot imagine tackling a single layer of Mary Elizabeth's structure your life by design.  None.  Too much effort.  With stewardship, I see what she is doing, and know it is doable.  Easily.                    

You are invited to attend:

Mary Elizabeth BongiovanniStructure Your Life By Design—Not By Default

with Mary Elizabeth Bongiovanni of Learning Through Design

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Whether you want to implement a new initiative at work, craft a high leverage concept, or rethink your brand, the Design Process powerfully moves you from inspiration to implementation. The process helps you:
  • Identify important design challenges for your personal and professional life
  • Frame your challenge as a design question
  • Declare the ultimate impact you want to have
  • Envision possible solutions to the problem
  • Understand the context and constraints you are facing

These are essential dynamics of the Design Thinking—a process that allows us to imagine a better future and take steps to make it happen.

Mary Elizabeth Bongiovanni is a professional leadership coach and Chief Engagement Officer of Learning Through Design. Having served diverse learning organizations for 23 years, Mary Elizabeth knows how to create authentic designs for learning linked to full system change. Mary Elizabeth shares design thinking as a process clients can use to imagine new possibilities for personal and professional change. Mary Elizabeth helps dynamic, motivated change leaders structure their lives by design, not by default...super quickly. "

Chose pic, above, of Aerin Lauder for every layer of its design, and stewardship.  The house, she inherited from her grandmother, without changing much she made it completely her own, using it for pleasure and work.  

In its deepest sense I know beautiful-garden-beautiful-life.  Seeing pics of Lauder's personal/professional life it seems she's projecting, subtly, beautiful-self-beautiful-life.  All roads lead back to Joseph Campbell's, "Follow your bliss."      

Fill in the blank for you, Beautiful- ______- Beautiful- Life.  What is yours?  
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara