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.
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Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon

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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Garden Design Elements: Without Considering What Plant Goes Where

Several years into my Garden Design career, reading yet another Garden Design book, the author seamlessly mentioned trees sited for their long shadows in fall.  Me like that !  A new toy.  A new domain.  New scope for the imagination.  Another layer to wield amongst the grand scheme of layers.  Who wouldn't like a Garden Design rule demanding of you, Design Shadows.  Shadows are yours to command.  Take shadows, have fun.
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Shadows, below, oh my.

c.z. guest. (when i grow older i'm going to wear a lot of maxi dresses.)
Pic, above, here.
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Bringing interiors alive, below.  When late fall arrives, create the classic indoor mini-greenhouse still life.  A bit of the garden inside, and lovely view from outside.

 A drop-leaf table is home to an array of potted plants in a cozy, sun-filled recess of the living room, where Fatboy the cat lounges. The ottoman is covered in an antique Indian tapestry. The silhouette of Christopher is by Elliott Puckette.
Pic, above, here.
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Have a few worn out garden tools?  Make a bouquet, screw it into the wall, inside.

 ***** A display like this - over the mantel.  (Tara Dillard, landscape architect & blogger has this over her fireplace inside the house)
Pic, above, shot in my house. 

a view through to the garden from the kitchen
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design begins inside your home, from the views looking outside, above.

 TG interiors: A Day with Penelope Bianchi....
Pic, above, here.
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Instead, above, of ubiquitous turgid foundation plantings & lawn, benches/gravel at the foundation to your home.

A Clean Slate via La Dolce Vita | Bunny Mellon
Pic, above, here.
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Choose a color theme for your garden.
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These are merely a few non-plant inputs to the realm of Garden Design.
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I must really put a class together about this topic.  It's my topic, just made it up.  Too fun.
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This topic really lets your inner creative, go-go-go.
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What should be planted here?  Really?  Well, that is a terminally mundane question. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Outdoor Dining Table

Storms blew yesterday evening.  Six miles north/east 1" hail pounded.  Clouds circled tightly in a counter-clockwise direction.  Temps fell quickly,  Winds dropped branches from the ca. 1900 pecan trees,  Of course, dinner on the front porch.  
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Sited at its deepest point, the front porch table never gets wet, storms included.  Drama swirls, dinner progresses.  Just the 2 of us, vintage garden boy with 2 baskets, delectably white washed ca. 1941, remained as center piece.  With guests I make more of an effort.  The table holds 8 dear friends in a rectangle of love, 6 with people we don't know as well.  One length of the table seated with a church pew, older than our house.
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The ca. 1900 house remains its original white, much of the porch furniture is white, knowing vintage garden boy was remaining old white ironstone dinner plates were used.  All was good, until remembering recently seeing a table setting, below, by Carolyne Roehm.  Note to self, copy Carolyne.  
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Perfect table quickie, below, a fern.  Kimberley Queen, my choice.  She's not messy, doesn't drop bits/pieces of her fronds easily, and, she takes full baking sun or shade.
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A pair of vintage flower stands are already on the front porch, awaiting their Bunny Mellon green topiaries, and now, a few Kimberely Queens.  Further, Carolyne's centerpiece, below, said to keep a variety of 'urns' for the ferns/topiaries to quickly bring to table, in the antique chest just outside the front door.  Finally, things coming together after living in our home 2 years next month.

By Carolyne Roehm.....I always wondered if it was tacky to put a potted plant on the table, but if Carolyne says do it: then it must be ok.:
Pic, above, here.
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Have several white antique ironstone soup tureens, above.  None more than a few dollars, all with a crack or chip or missing handle of some sort.  With a Kimberely Queen fern, or forcing bulbs, who cares?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's Missing from this Front Porch?

Sitting on the front porch swing, below, yesterday before dinner.
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Furnishings are functional, still not 'permanent' after moving here 2 years ago.  Awaiting back deck staining & building a conservatory, both may pull furniture from front porch.  Until then, no worries, I like using the front porch.    Floor, below, still needs staining.
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Chair, at front door, below, leverages me coming/going from my car for work and grocery, always something to set down.  Better, that chair has the best packages delivered upon it.  Moving in, a friend told me, because I was now in middle of nowhere, You've got to get amazon prime.  Never considered that a need.  Now rural, it's a need.
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3 ceiling fans are a need.  Rural insects dine upon livestock patties, growing to impressive sizes, while having a higher IQ than their city counterparts.  They're born knowing my name, where I live, and adoring my hide.  Worse, they love going for car rides.  
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Notice what is missing below?
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Huge.
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Ironic for a Garden Designer, yet a point of particular pride.

Image may contain: outdoor and indoor

Posted this pic, above, on my facebook yesterday.  Asking same question, What's Missing?  Got a quick answer from hilarious source.
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Surprisingly got answers that I wasn't looking for, but were true answers.  People are rarely a component of my Garden Design photos.  During my formative era, Garden Design photos rarely had people in them.  But there was a stronger reason for having no people.  Money.  With a roll of slide film, I could only afford usable pics that would last decades.  People & cars date a garden pic.
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Still life pulls me greatly.  Interior/exterior.  An invitation to enter.  Someone noticed that too.  A+ to him, he left me a bit stunned, as if he'd found a 'secret' !
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That friend knowing immediately what's missing, above, was the daughter-in-law of my former boss.  Her father-in-law owned the nursery/florist I worked for doing propagation work for 2.5 years.  Learned much from her father-in-law, and always enjoyed seeing him at industry events for decades.  A good man, gone many years.  Now, she & her husband own that nursery.  It's obvious what's missing right?  Plants.
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Not to that layer yet, excitedly anticipating growing small topiaries in terra cotta pots, a Bunny Mellon layer, and in a funny twist, interesting begonias.  A particular begonia from a friend's grandmother's plant, and here's the twist, that nursery I worked at as a propagator has an outstanding variety of old fashioned begonias.
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Until the plant layer arrives, I'm enjoying the anticipation.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Marital Counseling

For 3 decades I've had the honor of being hired to design residential gardens.  Included is the privilege of being asked into my clients homes.
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Aside from noticing the transition across the years, "Do you want iced tea?", to, "Do you want mosquito repellent?", to, "Do you want a bottled water?", I've noticed how people live their lives, their relationships, children, responses to life not in what they say but how they pattern their home.
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Then there are the babies.  Many of those babies are out of college & their mom/dad have hired me as a gift to design their first home.  How can this be?  I'm already wondering 'when' will I design a garden for my 'first grandchild'?
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Of course there are the divorces.  One particular divorce I kept both ex-spouses, when each remarried, I designed those pair of homes.

Take a look inside the private estate and see some of the items up for bid at Sotheby's three separate auctions of the Mellon collection:

During one Garden Design, over a decade ago, 'mom' & I were talking the garden while her children and their friends were playing a theatrical dress-up, swords & crowns included, performing across the backyard with whirls through the kitchen where we were talking.  The family dogs were part of the theater too.  One of the funnest, enriching homes I've been in.
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Last weekend this particular 'mom' called me back.  Time to enclose a front porch, change some windows into doors, turn a patch of Earth into a stone terrace, and lastly, remodel the kitchen.  We'll be doing it all in layers.
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Life is still percolating richly in their home.  In their early 20's both children still live at home.  This time it's mom whirling and performing.  She's mere years away from retiring, a French teacher at the local school, and just finished licensing for being a yoga instructor.
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Here's the deal with their happy home.  All are thriving, and mom/dad are going to a marital therapist learning how to get their children to move out.  I get it.  Both sides.  Their home is a love fest.
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This theatrical will end well, interesting, but well.  

Take a look inside the private estate and see some of the items up for bid at Sotheby's three separate auctions of the Mellon collection:
Pics, above, Garden & Gun.
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Even happy stories may include therapy.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Recognize Bunny Mellon in the pics, above?  Cannot get enough of that woman.  Looking forward to visiting Oak Spring library, have already ordered several books from there.  Road trip in my future to Oak Spring.  Anticipation.  Life is good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sacred or Profane in Design

Since last week, when I first saw this garden, below, I've been thinking about how simply designed,  within a framework of total design, by someone with a wisdom of Nature, time across historical perspective, aesthetics, grief, continents, the sky, tilt of the Earth, seasons, meals, human foot, cars, tractors, laughter, guests, owner/s, caretaker/s, solitude, children, galas, scent, sound, wheelbarrows, terra cotta, gravel, Tara Turf, human hands, mending of spirit, abiding, atonement.  For starters.  


Nothing major has been done, above, or every element is minutely chosen.
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Which camp are you in?
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My camp is organic design.  Everything minutely chosen to look like nothing major has been done.
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Design to feed Nature, and Spirit.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Can you guess which country this garden is in?  Era?  More signs of a good garden.
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We can visit this garden, and spend the night, it's in Provence, a B&B, Chateau Talaud.  
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This, and more, on my Pinterest board.
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Organic design has no personal ego, yet total ego in belief.  More than designing a place of abiding & atonement, it is a sacrament.
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Read a title, years ago, creating simplicity in organic design, "The Sacred and The Profane."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Historic Template

Shelf-steps, terra cotta pots, topiaried evergreens.


Big impact in the garden & easy resource for your interior.  A historic template.
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Recognize her?  Bunny Mellon.  I adore everything this woman does in her gardens.
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Garden & Be Well,                XO Tara
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If you want a garden that is a moat of grace around your home & life, contact me.
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Details about online design services.
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Learn action steps to creating your best garden & home when you hire me to speak to your group.
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Details about lecture titles here.
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I've written several garden books available on Amazon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Office Renovation

My real office is your garden.  When you hire me it's to turn your hopes & dreams of a garden into plants-hardscape-house, a Vanishing Threshold, that ephemeral bonding of joy letting you hold onto faith, expand your spirit & gather grace.


 This zone, designing gardens, is intoxicating, Joseph Campbell speaks of it as experiencing eternity here & now.


My office must let me leave ties of place to become a Mental Traveler.


Letting the Muse of writing, lecturing, powerpoints, & Garden Design 'dance'.
 



In homage to Bunny Mellon, my basket table.  Each client for the day goes into their own basket, a lecture in the evening has its own basket too.  Adore multiple basket days.


Long-distance Garden Design is done, above.


Administrative tasks here.


Overlooking the garden, below.  Best place to blog, surf, read.






No rugs or art yet.  Enjoying the simplicity.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Laskett, left above, devoted to me no friends like him!  He pays them zero attention.  If there is a loud crash or something 'wrong', daily occurrences, it's Laura, right above.
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Love walking into my office every morning.  Decades of joy.
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I adore looking at offices, thought it fair to show mine.