Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bunny mellon. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bunny mellon. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bunny Mellon: Garden & Gun

Topiaries & terra cotta.  All sizes.  25 a good start.
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Enough to set about, and, trade out.  Trade weekly, prevent spider mites.  The off-exhibit, outside.
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Enough topiary & terra cotta to pass forward with Lunch Ministry.


In Vanity Fair, below, ca. August, 2010. Bunny Mellon hit my radar.  Rare, the person intentionally gardening just-like-me.  Oh my, yes.  This, below, stopped me.  A kindred spirit.  Who exactly is Bunny Mellon?  In the fullness of time, may she keep returning to your radar, as she does mine.





“Nothing should stand out. It all should give the feeling of calm. When you go away, you should remember only the peace.”  Bunny Mellon, of her beloved, Oak Spring  Farm.



Delightful YouTube about Bunny Mellon, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thinking Like Nicky Haslam & Bunny Mellon

Garden writing.  In the macro.  During the 80's House & Garden, and Horticulture magazine, were electric.  Editors knew who to hire for their garden articles, which gardens were acceptable, for both photography and words.  More importantly they knew how to edit, aka, curate.  Blessed was the era. 
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I see clothing, food, health, interior design writing/photography and still find good hiring and curating.  Getting their message, mission, conveyed.
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All the clothing/lifestyle ideas, below, point toward action, see/do.  An informed attitude, curated.  See it, get it, do it.  No where do I see, below, details about how to wash the clothes, dry the clothes, perhaps iron, buff the shoes, apply the make-up, etc. 
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You've taken my point.  With garden writing, I take you for having intelligence, wit, and nuance.   

wear this there: the native hotel.
Pic, above, here.
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 A John Fowler pelmet
Pic, above, here.
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Pic, above, is a garden writing pic.  Yet, again, produced outside the garden writing venue, interior design.  Many thanks to interior design writing/photography honoring the garden, as greatly as they do.
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Garden design begins inside your home, from the views looking out.  No surprise the owner of this home, above, is also a famous gardener, Nicky Haslam, who is, in addition, a well known interior designer, bon vivant, singer, writer... 
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Would be good to see a collage, similar to the top pic, next to the pic, above.  More, and have it be a normal part of the processes of garden writing.  Me?  Yes, I want to be that garden writer, but for the filthy lucre, my plate is full, garden designing, contracting, speaking, writing.  No worries, working on this idea, finally beyond the macro, into the micro. 
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As I write about garden-writing and how it comes up short, so, too, Nicky Haslam, “Decoration has become a faintly pejorative word...  There is almost no acknowledgment of the design world and its contribution to the economy by our government but there are endless accolades for fashion.”   
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Several years ago, Georgia was in a dire drought, and the governor turned off the water for all outdoor garden use, all.  Harm to the horticulture industry was extreme.  Two leaders, from agriculture and horticulture, put together their facts/figures about their respective industries, with their combined value to the Georgia economy, in sales & jobs.  They made an appointment with the governor, 48 hours later Georgia's water was turned back on, with restrictions, but water flowed. 
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Perhaps you merely thought I was writing about the state of garden writing, isn't-that-quaint type of foolishness.  Money is on the table.  And, being lost.
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Big money, at least the governor thought so.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Finally arrayed my interiors with evergreen topiaries.  Delivered to the front porch last week.  A box full of thriving plants & a box of books delivered to the doorstep are one of life's delights.  Plant stands, antique ironstone saucers, trays, baskets, terra cotta pots, ironstone cache pots, sourced for years, waiting.  Beyond the garden design conceit, for centuries, having plants on the windowsill, top pic, and elsewhere inside, Bunny Mellon, perfected interior topiary to its own art, almost the raison d'etre of her interior design.  Remember, see it/get it/do it, from above ?  Seeing Bunny's interiors, I knew to trust having evergreen topiaries. 
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Pic, above, Fred Conrad, here
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Adore the off hand, seemingly lower than subsidiary focal point, topiary, above, with Bunny. 
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Meeting with a client yesterday, wildly fabulous appointment (we flagged her new drive/parking court/front walk), I mentioned to her what happened, bringing the topiaries into my interiors.  No words for their impact, excepting one, spiritual.  My client immediately said, "Of course they are, that's why flowers are brought to someone in the hospital."  Reminded me of a friend's home, perhaps the best interior decorator I know, yet she's never done it professionally.  Her interiors so incredible, the very air is designed more fabulous.  Again, no good words for describing her work.  And, she always has a live plant as part of her interior design. 
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"I don’t really come by to pray,” Mellon once told the rector of an Episcopalian church in the Norman medieval style that she financed and helped design. “I come in to talk with God because he’s a dear, dear friend of mine."  From,  NYTimes Bunny Mellon obituary, here.
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Also, from her obituary, "...shockingly extravagant and studiously understated: Her aesthetic motto was “nothing should be noticed.”  Recently a client texted me that quote.  It had impacted her too.  I had first read it in the obituary.
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With a long time client last week, delving into a new life layer with house/garden, we sat together vision questing.  Almost the full tapestry of 'life' woven throughout.  I had mentioned Bunny Mellon xyz.  Whatever.  Leaving the appointment, standing in her back hallway toward the door, she hands me a photo torn from a magazine years ago,  something else she wants for her garden.  It was a photo of Bunny Mellon's arbor allee of crabapple trees.  
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Putting topiaries in my home did not provide the expected results.  Instead, far greater has been gained than imagined.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Life: Topiaries, Windmills, Rabbits, Baskets, Stone Terraces

Last month, earnest conversation with Beloved about my garden topiaries for inside the house, made the poor man more confused at my reasoning, methods, plodding.  Not that he wasn't already deeply confused by my winning trinity.
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Wickedly I decided to mention full-on my topiaries.  Understand, at present, zero exist.  Exactly the excitement of embarkation of a quest realm.  Dear, dear Beloved, poor- unfortunate-soul, as one Disney (The Little Mermaid) movie sings.  Been trodding this path before meeting him.  Real path to me, a path he can't see, not real to him.  Velveteen Rabbit hasn't had quite all his hair loved off .
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Topiaries delayed, moving from my house of 30 years, into our ca. 1900 house 2 years ago.  No worries, soon soon will build my conservatory here.  Perhaps 2.  A small garden shed has a tin roof at front, and another at back.  Built for tractors to park, instead, will source old windows, hire the carpenter, voila, a pair of conservatories.  One will have modest heat.  Obviously for the topiaries to overwinter, when they are off display from the house.  Exactly how serious I am about 'my' topiaries.
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A pair of vintage florist stair-stepped wire shelves are already on the front porch, awaiting their spring/summer/fall use for many topiaries, quickly swapping inside/outside.
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Beloved considers this topiary quest merely another Don Quixote tilting at windmills.  Stupid, doomed to failure, waste of time.  No worries, I do have a great love, Laskett, on this path to topiaries, loving each moment of it.  Good enough for me.
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Much laughter seeing Architectural Digest's new article about Tory Burch, below.  Obviously her hair has all been loved off, her decorator's, Daniel Romualdez, too.  Topiaries, front/center.


Pic, above, here.
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Once topiaries are in the house, in the conservatory, on the vintage florist wire shelves, I'm copying the pic, below.  Our house has a graveled front parking court.  Will source the blouse, below, at local thrift store, and wax-shine my ugly little service van, Tess.  So ugly she's cute, type of ugly.  More, Tess is fun while being useful.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Collateral to  topiaries is Bunny Mellon's garden, below.  When I saw this pic, had never seen another garden designed exactly like mine.  Curiosity to discover the brain behind it led me to Bunny Mellon.  And, her topiaries.

Image result for bunny mellon topiaries
Pic, above, here.
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A portion of my basket collection, in my office, below.

 
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Baskets in my office, above/below.
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Bunny Mellon had a few baskets, below, too.

Image result for Bunny mellon baskets
Pic, above, here.
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Entering my garden room, below.



My stone terrace, below, planted with myriad flowering plants, something for each season.



Bunny Mellon's stone terrace, below, planted with flowering 'weeds'.

Image result for bunny mellon topiaries
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Bunny Mellon, below.
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Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Isn't your garden worth tilting at windmills?
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Laskett, below, in my office overlooking the stone flowering terrace.
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Imperfection. Once you are real, you cannot be ugly.
Pic, above, here.
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Cannot imagine life without tilting at windmills.  Found my tribe while tilting at windmills.  All their hair, loved off.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bunny Mellon Rustic or How to be Happy

Leaving to eat dinner at my office/guest cottage yesterday, my garden, below, stopped the car & pulled me out.


Bunny Mellon would approve of my rustic garden.  More, she knew the 'high' it gives.  Asleep in bed, my garden Vulcan mind melds.
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In this working class neighborhood of tightly arranged homes my garden is infinite.  How?  It owns the sky, and when the birds land in neighbor's yards they are still my birds.
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This little patch, above, makes me incredibly happy.  Perhaps the best mission statement ever, Make me happy.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken yesterday, before dinner.  More about Bunny Mellon, Guardian.  More about Bunny Mellon, Habitually Chic. See my neighbor's houses, above?  Merely a slice of what my garden does for me.
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If you want a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, and causes you to tap the brake pedal, as you look in the rear view mirror heading out, become my client, local or on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon

Monday, February 5, 2018

Why Have a Garden or Plants Inside

How to write about putting a Garden Design together?  Seriously, how?  After several attempts, writing for my first book's publisher, beyond horrid, I knew what to do.  Write about Garden Design in the same manner of every class I've ever taught in the Horticulture program at the local college, and Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Decades experience with those.
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In addition, this has never been mentioned outside my innermost tribe, choose what biblical scholars have chosen since the bible was written, obsess over a single word.  In a secular manner, of course. 
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At the front end I knew Garden Design, in your personal realm, held a huge gift to wield, selfishness.  That front end lasted almost 2 decades.  Epiphany arrived.  Selfishness, was the wrong word.  Correct word?  Grace.  Amusing.
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Personally, another word, for my own garden and gardening, presented, atonement.  Not religious, more literal, at-one-with.
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Studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades, many were estates with acreage.  Plenty of scope-for-the-imagination transposing their Garden Designs to subdivisions in USA.  Ironically, all, began as farms.
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Time passed, partaking historic world Garden Design for suburban USA, a layer, without awareness, learned.  Combining agriculture with ornamental horticulture.  This epiphany made me laugh out loud.  USA colleges, in their wisdom, separate the agriculture school from the ornamental horticulture school, Providence never has, never will.  Does this really matter?  Think, dead bees.  Won't go beyond this at the moment, quite its own rabbit hole, and we're already in a different rabbit hole.       

Lutyens Bench in Lush Setting | Landscape & Architectural Design: Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Pic, above, here.
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Scrolling thru pinterest yesterday, came across, above.  First thought, that's MY garden.  Designed, exact garden for myself decades ago, in the backyard of my 30 year home.  (Posted in earlier posts.)  Learned this style, Tara Turf Stone Terrace, while in Europe.  Fell, hard, pure putty.  This style Garden Design, above, not understood, in the macro, in USA.
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Southern Living magazine came to shoot that garden twice thru the years.  A day before they arrived, the second time, wasband, decided to help.  When I discovered his 'help' I let out a cry, nothing emerged but spit.  Tried again for voice, none, pure spit.  Knew to walk inside the house I was so mortified, not comprehending.  If he had tried to sabotage me, a life's work, he could not have chosen a better method. 
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My garden, same as above, was entirely pruned of its rustic backdrop hedge.  Gone, poof, over a decade of growing it to Garden Design perfection.  Guess what replaced that rustic backdrop hedge?  The side of my neighbor's home, mere feet away.  Spit?  Miracle I didn't stoke.  Wasband thought the RUSTIC HEDGE was garbage and I was lazy for letting it appear?  Part of a master plan I awaited years for. 
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There is patience, impatience, and, tarapatience which can go either way.
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Will move along, getting irritated just writing this terrible story.
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A few years ago, pinterest again, found this garden, below.  Stopped me flat.  Who did this?  Never, anywhere, country/continent, seen this Garden Design, below, excepting one place, my own garden.  I must meet this person, kindred spirit. 
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Vanity Fair shot this pic, it was within an article about Bunny Mellon, here.  Had never heard of her.  Looked up everything I could after seeing her garden.  Zero disappointment, instead, learning and epiphanies. 

 A birdhouse and pots of citrus. August 2010 Portfolio Inside Bunny Mellon’s Estate Photographs by Jonathan Becker
Pic, above, here.
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Both gardens, above, have the same layer of Garden Design.  Crazy rare in USA.  Do you intuit this layer, know what it is?  Hint, it's the missing link between Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. 
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More, it's the original Sustainable.  Further, it's the original Organic.  In addition, it's the original Eco.  Have I missed any words of horticultural commerce since 1960, aka filthy lucre?
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Head's up, Providence has no ornamental horticulture.  It's all Agriculture.  Remember my choice to obsess over single words?  Notice the capital letters.  Sure, learned a lot across Europe in historic gardens for decades.  Epiphanies from that learning arrived across decades working in my own garden.  Working?  Never worked a day in my garden.  Pure washing-of-the-servants-feet.
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What is this layer of Garden Design, pics above?  Pollinator habitat. 
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Gardening this way requires zero irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides.  Big Whoop, as one of my dearest WWII veterans liked to say.  Best Big Whoop ever, gardening this way increases agricultural crop yields by 80%.  Do the math.  Now do a bit of Johnny Cash, Meditate on it.
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After decades of Gardening, realized, to me, crazy-who-cares-whatever, but I still think it, the bible is the word of G*d written by man.  Nature is the word of G*d written by G*d.  Zero will to push this thinking upon you.  If G*d not your 'deal' fine, Nature is a pure science, as is Garden Design.  Garden Design is no will-o'-the-wisp. 
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From other realms, finding more words, better, describing thoughts transformed into literal experience.
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"Our culture doesn’t think storytelling is sacred; we don’t set aside a time of year for it. We don’t hold anything sacred except what organized religion declares to be so. Artists pursue a sacred call, although some would buck and rear at having their work labeled like this. Artists are lucky to have a form in which to express themselves; there is a sacredness about that, and a terrific sense of responsibility. We’ve got to do it right. Why do we have to do it right? Because that’s the whole point: either it’s right or it’s all wrong."  Ursula Le Guin
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"History is one way of telling stories, just like myth, fiction, or oral storytelling. But over the last hundred years, history has preempted the other forms of storytelling because of its claim to absolute, objective truth. Trying to be scientists, historians stood outside of history and told the story of how it was. All that has changed radically over the last twenty years. Historians now laugh at the pretense of objective truth. They agree that every age has its own history, and if there is any objective truth, we can’t reach it with words. History is not a science, it’s an art."  Ursula Le Guin
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Several years after discovering Bunny Mellon's gardening, I came to understand her topiaries.  Topiaries sprinkled throughout her interiors, and gardens.  She copied the idea of topiaries, and their shapes, from ancient Romans.  Made it her own.  More, shared with all.  With an eye to 'see'.
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"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day- like writing a poem or saying a prayer."  Anne Morrow-Lindbergh
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A garden view you've created, from inside your home, is the same, to me, as Anne Morrow-Lindbergh discovered arranging a bowl of flowers.  Inherently the same, I think, Bunny Mellon thought of her topiaries, and garden.
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"One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel."  Ursula Leguin
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Had an aunt that liked to say, often, Life cannot be lived without art.  Loved her, thought her eccentric, time passed, I know she is wise.
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"Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want, too. If we never find our experience described in poetry or stories, we assume that our experience is insignificant."  Ursula Le Guin
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Oddly, have discovered the opposite, about 'insignificant'.  Not in a good way......We assume that our experience is significant if we don't see/read about it elsewhere.  For Garden Design, proof is rampant throughout continents & centuries & cultures, ugly landscapes, landscapes that don't perform, landscapes that kill bees & poison ground water etc.
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Terminally Unique, phrase I learned in a group Lois formed for friends/family of alcoholics.  Until going into that Lois group I was Terminally Unique.  Blessedly, 1st meeting, got the memo.  Not Terminally Unique, merely collateral damage to the alcoholic in my life.  Significant, insignificant, words matter.  Once realization hit, bigly, about being collateral damage, it changed my life.  Anger & expectations left the room.  Once you lose being Terminally Unique, you realize it's been a wild ride having your fur rubbed off, maybe losing an eye, part of a foot, poof, Velveteen Rabbit, you've been loved into being real. 
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Nothing in Garden Design is original.  Nothing.  Over 11,000 years of Garden Design history, and literature, it's been done before.  More, why not choose to work with the greats?  I do.  Copy, it's the first rule of Garden Design. 
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Humorous reading yesterday morning.  Sunday early, cold, sitting by the fire, reading for pleasure, only the cats for company, sun awakening thru 2 walls of windows.  Discovering, more proof of not being original.  Me.  Not original.  Deeply pleasing, sublime.  Pure at-one-with-atonement.
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"We ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far."  Neils Bohr
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"That is why I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as “objective” and “subjective” are, a great liberation of thought. The whole thing started with the theory of relativity. In the past, the statement that two events are simultaneous was considered an objective assertion, one that could be communicated quite simply and that was open to verification by any observer. Today we know that “simultaneity” contains a subjective element, inasmuch as two events that appear simultaneous to an observer at rest are not necessarily simultaneous to an observer in motion. However, the relativistic description is also objective inasmuch as every observer can deduce by calculation what the other observer will perceive or has perceived. For all that, we have come a long way from the classical ideal of objective descriptions."  Neils Bohr
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" In quantum mechanics the departure from this ideal has been even more radical. We can still use the objectifying language of classical physics to make statements about observable facts. For instance, we can say that a photographic plate has been blackened, or that cloud droplets have formed. But we can say nothing about the atoms themselves. And what predictions we base on such findings depend on the way we pose our experimental question, and here the observer has freedom of choice. Naturally, it still makes no difference whether the observer is a man, an animal, or a piece of apparatus, but it is no longer possible to make predictions without reference to the observer or the means of observation. To that extent, every physical process may be said to have objective and subjective features. The objective world of nineteenth-century science was, as we know today, an ideal, limiting case, but not the whole reality. Admittedly, even in our future encounters with reality we shall have to distinguish between the objective and the subjective side, to make a division between the two. But the location of the separation may depend on the way things are looked at; to a certain extent it can be chosen at will."  Neils Bohr
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Maria Popova, quoting Ursula Le Guin, moves on to Neils Bohr, in her Brain Pickings yesterday, adding, "This, Bohr notes, is why the language of objectivity doesn’t belong in religious rhetoric — religion and its pluralities are best understood, and best applied to human life as an instrument of moral enrichment rather than one of dogmatic constriction, through the lens of complementarity:"
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"The fact that different religions try to express this content in quite distinct spiritual forms is no real objection. Perhaps we ought to look upon these different forms as complementary descriptions which, though they exclude one another, are needed to convey the rich possibilities flowing from man’s relationship with the central order."  Neils Bohr
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Maria Popova goes on to write, " Bohr considers whether or not the tenets of religion can similarly offer useful abstractions, even though they are not to be taken as objective truth:

In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures — consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he’s chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an all-embracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set."  Neils Bohr
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Humbling to have experienced the conversations, above, practicing the art of Garden Design, garden writing, and gardening.  Finally, to the point, the experience of a Garden, gardening, or topiaries inside, is a conversation.  Whether you think so or not.   Don't have the garden you want?  Take your conversation, between you/your garden to a new level, 2nd order thinking to be exact.
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From Shane Parrish at Farnum Street,
“Second-Order Thinking
In his exceptional book, The Most Important ThingHoward Marks hits on the concept of second-order thinking, which he calls second-level thinking.
First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.
Second-order thinkers take into account a lot of what we put into our decision journals. Things like, What is the range of possible outcomes? What’s the probability I’m right? What’s the follow-on? How could I be wrong?
The real difference for me is that first-order thinkers are the people that look for things that are simple, easy, and defendable. Second-order thinkers push harder and don't accept the first conclusion.” Here, Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
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All I wanted was a pretty garden.  What a ride.  Bull is still bucking.  Hanging on, loving it.
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Karl Jung, "Our lives are about getting the inside to match the outside."  
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunny Mellon Style

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Best Question for Work Success: Is it FUN ?

She called recently, "....help I'm in a new home.  A decade +/- has passed, since I was at her river front home, with tennis court, terraces, gardens, a place her husband loved to whip up 50 close friends for a Saturday dinner, often.  Perhaps the occasional movie star was feted at luncheon.  Not uncommon were the fundraising events, significant funds, successfully secured for their various beloved non-profits.
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Do you know what happens to women like this?  With age, their powers grow.  Do you know the key component of these women?  Aside from being matriarchs in every historic fiber, they are fun.
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(Bunny Mellon, below, is one of these women.)




Yesterday, we met at her new home, and began with a house tour, then lunch.
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Much to talk about, before the garden.  Of course the garden threaded thru all.
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She's in a chapter not of her choosing, her husband died 3 years ago.  Hope he heard her talking about him yesterday !
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Real estate could have been bought anywhere, and she chose the best.  Near children/grandchildren.  Plenty of mousetraps.  (Don't know what a mousetrap is?  Allurements, enticements, enjoy my homemade soups/cookies/grilling, play in the entertainment center stuffed with pool table/pingpong/tv/xbox/card table/stereo/sofas a veritable college fraternity house ca. 1980 at SMU but better...)
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The new arts center was mentioned for her city.  Asked who was doing it, she said, "The city."  Not that naive, I asked again.  The group was mentioned, and I said, "They are all women aren't they?", "Yes."
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Told her what I knew of a similar effort, created decade+ ago, she wanted the woman's name who started it, and details about how the $$$ came in.
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Done.  Then to the topic of romance & love.  Books, movies, careers of others, cooking, decorating, gardening.....
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Pets.  



We were in the sun room, 3 long walls of windows overlooking the garden.  Her desk, in the living room, faces the garden, exactly as Noel Coward would have placed it.
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Before the appointment she invited me to an upcoming lecture given by, Andrea Wulf,   The brilliant woman connecting the agrarian life of America's founding fathers to the content of their new form of government.


Childless, I had no playmates my own age since marriage.  Oh my, the gift of infertility.  Age 22, my friends were in their 70's.  My grandmother's era.  Tail end of that era, now passing.  Matriarchal, philanthropic, cooks, decorators, readers, gardeners, spiritual, humorous, self-esteem, modest, stewardship, and every undefinable good thing.
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Asked if she saw, Selma.  "No."  Told her she should, it's another tale of agrarian lifestyle helping to form America.  Martin Luther King created more than a non-violent protest, he used stewardship of livestock to protect his flock, literally.  Pastor-guiding-a-flock was not cliche for March'in Luther, blessedly it was real,  Selma was poorly done, hope someone truly does MLK properly soon.
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Then, her team.  Girlfriend, has 'Thomas'.  He gardens, cooks, decorates, irons, does laundry, opens boxes from moving & puts them away.  In addition, she has Mr. Construction, Mr. Architect, and me.  Noticed, years ago, smart chicks, age 50+, all have a team.  Yes, I have a team.  And their names are only passed along in the manner of stewardship of their time/talents.
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Ok, we finally made it into the garden.
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More fun.  When I go back to draw en plein air, I will get pics for you.  Yesterday was too full with work/laughter.
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One thing I know for sure, if it's not fun with a client, it is not a good match or we are doing something wrong.  Truly, that is my barometer for work.  Is it Fun?
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Poorly describing sublime attitudes, above, someone with 'credentials' describes them worse than poorly, below, he is wrong on a logarithmic scale.  More terribly, it's in description of Bunny Mellon.

The NYT article quotes John Wilmerding, an American art scholar and trustee of the National Gallery of Art in Washington:
Bunny was part of a generation that no longer exists today: an amateur collector with a sure eye, great taste and upper-class refinement, who bought across the board, from expensive jewelry and paintings to trinkets.

Upper-class refinement?  Not only a small lens, cracked.  Bunny's generation is still here, at the tail, but still here.  Performing their magic with all Providence has passed to them.  Bunny was Bunny in spite of her 'upper-class refinement'.  I know several of these women, money is not in great sums for most, but their attitudes/actions trump money.  
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Bottom pics, La Contessa .  Top pic, via Lunch & Lattte.
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Dear John Wilmerding, Bless your heart.  Most don't 'see' the template of personality in women similar to Bunny.  When you see these women, without a cracked lens, you will see them many places.  Ironically, I'm sure at least one of them, if not more, have you in their flock.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bunny Mellon: The Weeded Stone Terrace

Do you know, below, what you're looking at?
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Seeing stone terraces with 'weeds' in the cracks, was a moth-to-a-flame epiphany.  "Got it", immediately.  Never saw a stone terrace with 'weeds', by choice, in USA, discovered them studying historic gardens across Europe. 
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Soon after discovery, learned 'why' they originated.  WWI took most of the labor force for home/farm.  Stone terraces had been pristine, maintained yearly, with repointing between the stones.  No labor, no repointing, 'weeds'.  Of course decades had passed before my epiphany and those 'weeds' in stone terraces across Europe were mostly Lady's Mantle.  WWI created a new Garden Design conceit. 
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A few years had to pass for my stone terrace budget to align with wanting a stone terrace.  Once the stone terrace was installed, another 3-4 years passed getting the variety of  'weeds' perfected. 
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That stone terrace was hedged with Tea Olives, the Tea Olive Terrace.  Gave me years of joy, now, moved into a ca. 1900 home for 2 years, I miss my Tea Olive Terrace as I would a dear friend.     

Friendly Weeds
Pic, above, Oak Spring Garden Foundation.
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Before I moved, Vanity Fair had a garden article with a stone terrace filled with weeds.  Almost an exact replica of my Tea Olive Terrace.  Who is this person?  Had to know.  This was my introduction to Bunny Mellon.
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Bunny is the only gardener in America I know of to purposefully design/install a stone terrace with 'weeds' too.
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The weeded terrace.  Takes 'weeded' to a new level. 
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Later, another epiphany arrived. Unbeknownst to me, adding 'weeds' to a stone terrace increases pollinator habitat, in a zone already rife for pollinators, high density with low density. 
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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No worries, well aware a weeded terrace is a love it or must get rid of the weeds venue.  Heart on my sleeve for weeds in stone.  Even if Bunny wasn't good company for loving a weeded terrace, the beauty and pollinators are more than enough joy.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Vanishing Threshold: Bunny Mellon

From the garden, below, a view of the terrace.  Exactly the photographic style of the 80's.  Each piece, every layer, in alignment to the Narrative.  This story a trinity between owner, beauty, happiness.
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Vanishing Threshold, inside/outside have no boundary.
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How do I know this?  Before her, below, and a tiny contingent of other 'hers', I was writing the same story at my home/garden.
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Seeing this pic, below, the 1st time, I knew who it belonged to.  Linking backwards, discovering I was not wrong, Bunny Mellon.  Originating in the pages of Architectural Digest, its caption, "Antigua Residence: A terrace features an Henri Rousseau landscape."
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A great laugh, the painting.  My 1st urge, wanting to call my client/friend/mentor Mary Kistner, we needed one of our trademark meandering lunches for me to divulge this rich tidbit.  Mary was creating her Vanishing Threshold trinity decades before I was born.  This, merely another delight we will share once we are in the same place again.  Mary died over a decade ago.

Tour the Exquisite Homes and Gardens of Late Design Legend Bunny Mellon Photos | Architectural Digest:
Pic, above, here.
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Oil paintings I've put on terraces & porches, for decades, for myself/clients have all been from thrift/junk shops.
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Of course Bunny put a Rousseau painting on her terrace.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Mary Kistner was a collage artist in the style of Kurt Schwitters, she installed art shows for other artists at several museums across USA, her memorial service was in a museum, standing room only.  Perhaps you can see those layers in the pic, above.  A few weeks after Mary died I received a call from her estate attorney, Mary left me something & an appointment needed to be made for pick-up.
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In my office, just above my laptop, is her bequest, an already framed piece of her collage art.  Titled, "Feuillage IX", MKistner 2000.  Receiving her bequest, and a few times since, has brought happy & grieving tears.  Mary had, I know, a wicked glint in her eyes & trademark smile, putting "Feuillage IX" into her will to me.  At one of our lunches, it had to be in fall, I shared with her my epiphany about falling leaves, while I was driving along Hugh Howell Road in Tucker, GA.  Decades of seeing falling leaves, I finally got the biblical narrative.  Trees drop their leaves, and are fed by them, every year of their life.          
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More, trees drop their leaves ahead of the brutal season, winter.  Vigorously showing off their lacy branching beauty against the sky, richly taking in strength from what they let go of.  The bible, inspired word of G*d written by man.  Nature, inspired writing of G*d.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Bunny Mellon's Terra Cotta Pots/Topiaries Can Teach Us

House, cabin, barns, pastures, lakes, meadows, orchards, livestock are part of her domain.
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Family, friends, church, community building, volunteering are more of her domain.
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She's recently asked for something 'small', local terra cotta pots, known not to freeze/crack, with plants.
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Property is ready for this layer but how to have this layer leverage her garden & life?
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Plainly, "How do they get watered & how do they not add more work to the farm?"
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Connected with a potted plant specialist yesterday, we will meet at the farm next week to see if it's a good fit.  Aside from maximum talent, need a team player, someone willing to build a long term relationship.  
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Once the 'fit' is finalized I look forward to sharing her work with you.
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My job, keeping things fabulous yet easy, demanding magic from my muse & each person on the team.
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Leaning toward creating 3 greenhouse zones for myriad potted plants, drip irrigation included.
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Caretaker will move the pots, as the owner chooses, for events.  To move pots from greenhouse to garden a 4-wheeled wagon with tallish sides that can be pulled with the Gator.
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1 greenhouse, small, in the courtyard next to the potager, for the owner to easily use for the house & covered porches.
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Live plants in terra cotta pots have been a missing layer in her home.  According to me, & of course I told her.  Go me.  (This type of thinking, and blurting, does get me into a pickle or two.)
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For sure, ivy topiaries in several sizes/shapes, orchids, old fashioned begonias-geraniums, whatever the client wants, and lastly the potted plant specialist creates wonderful potted plants we don't know we need yet.
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Exactly, teamwork.
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Have been a fan of Bunny Mellon for decades, she had many homes & a busy life.  How did she manage her terra cotta pots with plants?  With greenhouses & a caretaker.  Voila.  Caretaker is already part of our team we simply need to add the greenhouses with drip.
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If you see any disaster zones let me know.  If you see something fabulous to add, let me know.
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I wake up at 3am too often, but know to push my brain into a garden.  This morning at 3am it was 'this' garden.
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Garden & Be Well,     XOTara
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Pic found online, no provenance.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Design Your Garden for Winter (not spring): Beauty All Year

Best epiphany about the garden in winter?  Designing the garden for winter is superior to other seasons.  A garden beautiful in February is beautiful all year.
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Rosemary Verey's book, The Garden in Winter, is your source for this epiphany if you're in a bit of doubt.
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In addition to winter being the best season to create a Garden Design, another realm is included, simplicity.  Into those realms, considered micro, is the full blown macro garden in winter.  Your life. 
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Winter's pace is meant to be.  Winter's events in the garden are meant to be.  Pining for the glories of spring in winter?  Not me, never have.  Winter is deep strength in the garden.  A season controlling how we dress, our circadian cycle, our activity levels, and what the activities are, and more.


West garden | Tom Stuart-Smith
Pic, above, here.

At the front end, I knew Garden Design, below, was not for me, my station in life.  Middle class, subdivision, working for a living.  Ten good staff, but they are all on my own hands.  Could not have been more wrong.  Instead of seeing the Garden Design, below, I saw station-in-life.  Guess what else I didn't see, below, at the front end?  Yep, the garden in winter, how to design her. 
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 How to use Frost in Garden Design
Pic, above, here.
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Now, this is what I know, below.  Garden Design does not vary for station in life, it varies by your intensity of perception, whispering the details, taking them for your own.  In the taking, lives are born.

 Landskap Idaman Rekaan Paul Bangay: Tertutup Dan Berprivasi ~ EKSPRESIRUANG
Pic, above, here.
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Garden design, both pics, above, are the same.  Both pics are a complete garden design class for the garden in winter.

 Scotland calling - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
Pic, above, here.
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Studying historic gardens across the globe for decades, I've been into many art museums in different countries too.  Having the art of Providence, above, in my own garden?  Priceless.  Finding these scenes upon a winter's day, a casual walk/perusal, makes time disappear.  Timelessness of other realms become the reality, the unconscious begins its serious work of creativity, grace, joy, peace, putting connections together. 
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 The full summer bloom of gardens in Colonial Williamsburg, VA www.VisitWilliamsburg.com #WilliamsburgVA #ColonialWilliamsburg
Pic, above, here.

If you don't have a garden work area yet, put thought to it in winter.

 The Mellon's Oak Spring Farm in Upperville, Virginia - 2000 acres, four residences, and over twenty cottages. Former home of philanthropist and gardening doyenne Bunny Mellon, who passed away this ...
Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter is inside your home too.  Mainly from the views looking out, which is where every garden begins.  Bring the garden inside physically, all year, especially in winter.

 
Pic, above, here.
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What shrubs for your zone with bare stems in winter will bud/open when cut & brought inside?  Don't know?  Contact your local Extension Service, etc.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Bulbs usually go on sale in winter, cheap/easy to pot.  Adore this grow box, below, never seen one before.

 In this mountable glass-and-brass growhouse, your indoor plants and herbs can thrive without a wink of sunlight (and a less-than-green thumb). #indoor #greenhouse #giftguide #plants
Pic, above, here.
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Bringing a few plants inside for winter, below.  Finally, have done this for myself this year.  Take heart, I'm 30 years into it.  Life was never conducive to interior plants, took the plunge in December.
Discovered a trick, not pleasant at first, about a winter's interior plant table.
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Found at local thrift store for a song, that table, when I moved into my house 2.5 years ago, was stowed with the cats in a back room.  A few fur balls later, the table had a bad side.  No problem, brought table out and put that side next to a wall.
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Life conspired further, work travel.  My pet sitter, cats/chickens, is the best.  But adding topiaries to her duties did not seem polite.  Pulled a leaf up on the mahogany table, placed copper trays filled with water, from Smith/Hawken, for humidity, watered pots/foliage, left for over a week. 
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All was great with chicks/cats and topiaries.  Alas the mahogany dropleaf table.  Unpleasant to be honest, but I've ruined the table.  Took a couple of days to get over the fact of ruining a good piece of furniture.  Get over it I did !
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Whoever gets the table after me, has the choice to keep using it roughly, or refinish.  It's solid, no veneer.  Until then, I have a fabulous interior winter plant table.  Then I noticed other winter plant tables, below, and they are spotted just the same as mine.  On trend, go me.         

 Look We Love: How To Create Cozy English Cottage Style — Look We Love
Pic, above, here.
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Bringing plants inside for winter, below, pay attention to their containers.  I found almost the exact wood container, below, about 3 years ago.  Bought it as a gift for a friend, she brings plants inside.  Then I moved, who knew where that planter went.  Once my topiary order arrived last December I rummaged through the basement.  Found that container, below.  Now it's mine, no thought of giving it away.  Found a classic antique plant stand for it at an estate sale last month too.

 #tbt Mark's watercolor of the entrance hall of John Fowler's "Hunting Lodge" in Odiham near Windsor is an illustration from Mark's book, "Legendary Decorators of the 20th Century" that was edited by Jacqueline Onassis and published by Doubleday in 1992. Fowler found the house in the 1940s and added this entrance and a kitchen to what was essentially a "hunting box" in the Royal Forest. Today the house is owned by another stellar decorator, Nicky Haslam. #markhampton #legendarydecoratorsofthe2...
Pic, above, here.
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Your interior plants don't need to be repotted if you have a variety of soup tureens, clay pots, baskets, other weird containers, to slip them into, below. 
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Soup tureens with a crack or chip are easy to find, and cheap.  Perfect for interior plants.

 Nicholas Haslam:
Pic, above, here.
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Bunny Mellon is famous for her topiary use inside, below, all year.  Discovered recently she liked the idea of topiaries after seeing them in ancient Roman artwork.  I've copied her, topiaries, below, are a copy of her, and next maybe you.


Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter, at its best, below.  How many years have I done these, but outside on my winter patio?  Decades.  Better, branches are easy to procure, free.

♡♡♡
Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter, below.  The pot could be black plastic from the nursery.  Doesn't matter.  Wicker goes with everything. 

 Portfolio | Nicky Haslam Design
Pic, above, here.
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Have found several of these containers, below, at thrift stores thru the years.  Line with plastic, add soil, poke a few holes, plant the bulbs.  Done.  Stagger planting times, leave outside, bring inside when started to grow, or skip the outside part.  Don't overthink. 

 Carolyne Roehm of course….I love the French steel wicker basket this is in…also the wreath of lower flowers surrounding the daffodils!
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps the least understood garden design, for me, at the front end, below.  Glad through-a-glass-darkly became clear.  It's about all year beauty, ease of management, living life in the garden, not living life having to work in the garden. 

 My Fotolog
Pic, above, here.
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Giving a Garden in Winter talk tomorrow, handout, below.  Pay no attention to the plants, it's for our zone 8a.  Plants are first on the handout, yet the most important Garden in Winter facts are at the bottom.  It's all about the Garden Design.
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Have a lovely powerpoint to go with it. 
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It's in a historic church 1 county over.  A large group, and active.  More than gardening, this group is proactive politically, historically, conservation, agriculturally, planning/zoning, and etc.  It's amazing what you learn at Garden Club.  If you think it's all about gardening, it's not.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

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                                                   Beautiful garden, beautiful life.             ******************************************************
                THE GARDEN IN WINTER
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COPYRIGHT 2018  BY TARA DILLARD

PERENNIALS
Carex                                Vinca minor
Rosemary                          Thrift
Thyme                                Dianthus ‘Bath Pink’
Saxifraga stolonifera         Helleborus
Liriope                               Mondo
Christmas Fern

TREES
Prunus mume
Contorted Filbert                     Cryptomeria
Chimonanthus praecox           Crape myrtle
Acer griseum                           Magnolia
Corylopsis glabrescens             Holly
Hamamelis                               Conifers
Tea Olive

SHRUBS
Camellia             Sarcoccoca      Aspidistra       Lonicera fragrantissima
Daphne               Pieris               Skimmia         Boxwood
Quince                Edgeworthia   Anise                Aucuba
Holly                   Kerria             Hydrangea       Azalea
Scotch broom      Plum Yew      Yew                                    

VINES                                 BULBS
Carolina jessamine               Crocus             Winter aconite    Colchicum luteum   Snowdrops
Evergreen clematis               Scilla sibirica     Grape hyacinth     Iris reticulata     Anemone blanda
Jasmine ‘Madison’

DESIGN:  Know What’s Important
Axis                    Trees                    Color             Texture      Photograph/Feb    
Focal Points        Hedges                 Silhouettes   Fragrance   Ruined Table
Paths                   Groundcovers      Line               Rooms       Vanishing Threshold

The Garden In Winter, by Rosemary Verey,  Beautiful By Design, by Tara Dillard
A Southern Garden, by Elizabeth Lawrence ,  The Garden View, by Tara Dillard