Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tara Template: Garden Design Equation

Worst question, ever, "What plant should I place here?"
Coming to Garden Design after receiving a BS Engineering, I remember well that line of Garden Design thought process.
Not merely a terrible question, it lies in the wrong galaxy of where to base questions about Garden Design.  Then came the degree in Horticulture.  More galaxies of wrong thinking.  That education taught me to be a man with a truck, power equipment, bags of chemicals, monthly contracts, designing to commodify every layer of Garden Design for the maximum need to manage the landscape for hire.  And, design the 'landscape' while standing in the street, looking at the house.
What plant goes here?  Garden Design begins inside your home, below.  What are the views out your windows, where do you mostly live in your home, how do you use the various rooms with window views?  What is the style of your interior furnishings?  What colors have you chosen?  What type of art have you surrounded yourself with?  What theme does the architecture of your home present, what theme do you want it to present?

A behind the scenes moment from my Nora Murphy Country House Style Holiday Issue. Time to water everything! Happy Friday! :) #TGIF #HolidayDecor #greenthumb #gardener #paperwhites #topiaries.
Pic, above, here.

Looking out the windows, above, of your home are the lines indicating where to place focal points, below.

 Large Armillary Sphere Garden Art in Many Colors
Pic, above, here.

More, once those focal points are placed in the garden, from interior views, the views into your home must be Garden Designed, below.  Now, we're having some real fun, double axis.

Pic, above, here.

In addition to the eye traveling from inside your home to outside, the foot must flow as freely, below.  How will you handle foot traffic?  Lawn, sidewalk, stepping stones, how will feet move easily throughout your property?  Flow.

 a view of the gardens--Monet's house and gardens:
Pic, above, here.

If you already have trees, below, the paths will situate themselves.  No trees?  Design your trees, ahead of paths.  No sense placing paths, only to move them later due to a tree's growth.

modern style sidewalk:
Pic, above, here.

Canopy trees, above, are the tall trees growing 30' and higher, understory trees, below, give nice shade, yet grow to only about 30'.  Tree, below, planted to shade a 2 story home with 11am-setting western sun.  More, this understory tree was chosen to be deciduous, allowing the winter sun to heat the house.
TARA DILLARD: December 2011:
Pic, above, shot in my garden.

Once the mechanics of focal points on axis from inside your home, flow around the entire property and trees are accomplished, a place for dining, below, near the home/kitchen/family room, is designed.  Furnishings must match the style from your interior.

 restored house & garden, london... what a beautiful view of the garden.:
Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, evergreen shrubs.  Hedges with purpose.

Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, deciduous flowering shrubs.

 susanne hudson desk - Google Search:
Pic, above, shot in my garden.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, groundcovers.  Mulch is a great conceit of the mulch and landscape maintenance industries.  Yes, mulch is needed initially, but your Garden Design should include groundcovers to eradicate that need within 3-5 years.  Groundcovers are cheaper in the long run, less maintenance, and more lush.  Dead brown mulch vs. living green groundcovers.

The circle and round turn are planted with pink saucer magnolias, many ferns, and white lilies.:
Pic, above, here.

Een van de meest herkenbare eigenschappen van de klassieke tuin, de symetrie, komt hier duidelijk terug. Een rustgevend plekje om even in de schaduw te kunnen zitten!:
Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, perennials/annuals.  It's rare I do a perennial garden.  Why?  High maintenance & too seasonal.  Instead, I use flowering shrubs, and a few stalwart perennials needing little care, no water, no fertilizer, resistant to deer.  Garden Design, above, is low maintenance, pretty all year, functional for outdoor living, and views from home into garden.  Maintenance?  Blow, whack, done.  And, not much whacking in a year.

 Tom- Like these plants layered but want it to look clean-- agastache, echinacea, sedum and more...:
Pic, above, here.

A small Garden Design test, below.  Label what you see.

 I love white farm houses! We will be painting our house all white soon:):
Pic, above, here.

Pic, above, I shot in a client's garden.

Next layer of Garden Design, below.  A place in the garden to sit/relax, and have views into your home, above.

 TARA DILLARD: September 2012:
Pic, above, shot in my conservatory.
This conservatory, above, is 23 steps from the back door of the house, yet realms away in spirit.
Wood, windows, antiques, wood stove, conservatory above, were rescued over a decade's time, stored in my garage, till money was saved for the carpenter/electrician.  Not having money for your garden has never been an excuse for me.  I had no money, and still had a garden.  Only mentioned here because at the front end, fresh out of college with the first degree, I too thought 'money' was what was separating me from the beautiful garden I wanted (aka deserved).  The more I learned about Garden Design, it became clear, Garden Design is for all, no excuses, merely how your brain can execute.  Game on !
Garden Design Equation.  I completely draw a garden, in the order of the layers described above, before choosing the first specific plant by name.  Flow, shapes, placement, uses.
Along the way, I spent decades studying historic gardens across Europe, created my own garden, and toured myriad gardens across USA.  Taught at the Atlanta Botanical garden and local college for decades, lectured at symposiums/garden clubs/corporate retreats, designed hundreds of client gardens,written several books, had a TV show, yet at the base of what I do, it's all listed, above, for you to take and create the garden you want, and deserve.  
This time knowing 'deserve' in the poetic sense of Wendell Berry.  By what you've learned, and created with your own hands in relationship with Nature's realm.
Of course there are templates within the templates, but this Garden Design Equation template, will get you where you're going.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
Tara Templates are being written for a 3 day workshop.  A proven method to create a beautiful historic landscape, sustainable for you, and Earth.  Who is the audience?  Anyone wanting to create their own Garden Design, realtors, interior decorators, master gardeners, horticulture school students, lawn maintenance companies.  Allied and collateral professions needing a Garden Designer on their team.  Nothing is hard about Garden Design.  Oddly Garden Design is wildly counter intuitive, with many layers, seemingly non-existent, yet a base to every Garden Design.  What are the unseen layers?
Interested in taking the Workshop?  Let me know what you want it to include.  Not interested in taking the workshop, let me know what you think it should include.


Sharrieboberry said...

Sounds good to me! Always need reminders for students about soil, water requirements, and utilizing plants that thrive in your area.

Coming to DFW? :)

Cat said...

I can't believe you haven't been flooded with comments. Am I missing them?

I'd be interested in attending a workshop if you decide to do it. So much of what you write makes intuitive sense to me.

Here's what I'd like included in a workshop-

Fantasy vs. Reality

I'd want help with reconciling the lush landscapes of my heart (childhood in the UK) with my location on the waterfront of a small island on the western edge of British Columbia. I'm surrounded by massive cedars and Douglas firs. Fantasy English Cottage garden vs. reality of summer drought, heavy winter rains, thin soil over sandstone, deer. Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous location and I love it here. I want to be sensitive to this place and still have some elements that remind me of my childhood gardens.

Inside/outside sequencing

I'd want to learn how to use your principles in my specific location, and marry the garden with the house
(which is a cedar cabin we're thinking about taking down and rebuilding). Poor cabin, it was plopped on a half acre of waterfront, in a way that doesn't take full advantage of the ocean view. So, I'm interested in which comes first, house or garden, or how they could be designed together. I want to have views of some special trees from indoors.

How to learn from how you, Tara, think

I'd like concrete examples of your principles more fleshed out. More object lessons, more stating the obvious (to you). I've done a lot of trial and error gardens (fun) but I'd like to learn your templates for decision making in starting a garden design. I don't want to hire a designer to make a garden for me, I'd like to co-create a garden with the help of a mentor.