Showing posts with label Blank Wall Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blank Wall Design. Show all posts

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blank Wall Garden Design

Blank Wall Garden Design. 
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Your home/garden, do you have a bit of blank wall to play with?
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A proscenium.
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A spot to enjoy being in, perhaps, more, a spot to relish purely as a view.  Before either, a spot to enjoy mentally designing, dripping with anticipation.  Take a month, take a year, no worries, it's all yours to dream.
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Taking it to the next level, a garden show entry, using these dimensions, below, set up a dozen.  Entrants can do what they wish with the blank wall, and fixed dimensions in front.  Seeing the same space, created anew with a dozen different brains, intriguing. 

Ryan Gainey, gardener extraordinaire, philosopher, mentor, poet
Pic, above, here.
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Found the pic on Pinterest, but it gives zero provenance details.  I know, well, who it is, Ryan Gainey, excepting nothing more. 
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Met Ryan in my 20's, we were both setting up display gardens at the Southeastern Flower Show.  Ryan was a star, I was beginning my career.  Working my setup, I was always on the lookout for him, to meet him.   Met some of his team, one in particular was incredibly kind.  Showing me their processes, how the design came together, answering all my newbie questions.  We had a lovely leisurely amount of time, engulfed in pure garden design.
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Desk top computers were not on the horizon, a more virginal era of communication.  Books/magazines/classes/symposiums all had to be purchased for elucidation.  The man showing me Ryan's display garden, was, of course, Ryan.  How was I supposed to know what he looked like?
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During that set-up, and still, I use large baskets to carry my daily loads.  Some days are a 1 basket day, some a 4 basket day, loading them up for the various jobsites and roles life requires before heading out.  Whence the garden show commenced, Ryan knew me no more.  For good reason.  He was gobsmacked with fans, and the rich ladies.  He was Saturn, but with more rings.  However, he gave me a fun moment, while promenading a garden show aisle with his wealthiest lady.  They were deep in conversation, about to walk past me, Ryan with a basket carrying his things.  Without his rich lady ever knowing he wasn't hanging on her every word, he gave me a sweet smirk and nod, lifting his basket the tiniest amount, as if saying cheers with a fresh cocktail.  He became a basket man.
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Ryan, in those days, had a slight flourish with his clothes.  Time passed.  His clothes became costumes.  More time passed.  Ryan became the character he was dressing all along.  Those of us living in Atlanta, and knew him to be a true star, were taken along on his ride.  Joy Ride !  A blessing in my life.
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Ryan hasn't been gone long, dying in a house fire with his dogs.
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To Sir With Love.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Excellent photography of Ryan's garden, here

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, November 8, 2016

Garden Design Course: In a Photo

More a Garden Design course, below, than simply another garden.  What can you label, below, as the Garden Design 'rules' followed?  Decades I've taught at the local college and Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Never, ever, tire of this phase of Garden Design.  Name it to claim it.  If you know what you are looking at, and can name it.  YOU can do it.
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Color, contrast, flow, layers, mystery, expanse, minutia, shapes.
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Color, did you know green gardens are the 'fastest' to look like something?  Green gardens are also calm, less drama, perhaps best said, more of the right drama.  Then, within the green are myriad greens.
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Contrast, big leaves next to small leaves, rounded shapes next to cone shapes, woody plants next to herbaceous.
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Flow, the pathway has me, feet want to travel, finding what's around the curve, mystery.
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Layers, all checked, pocket of open sky, canopy trees, understory trees, walls of tall bushes, wainscoting of medium bushes, low bushes/groundcovers are flooring & carpet.
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Space too large, 100's of acres, a garden room similar, below, nearish your house will warm & own the expanse.  Space to small, neighbors homes jutting into your face, a garden room similar, below, around your home, creates a huge landscape, eyes drawn to the expanse of canopy trees and sky, which is infinite.
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Minutia of hair like foliage, velvet like moss on the trees, chartreus with dark greens and etc.  Drama change for winter, the garden, below, holds together in all seasons.

Cynthia Woodyard Landscape Design & Horticultural Photography | projects > Love the Italian trees in a cluster instead of a row = very different:
Pic, above, here.

Understanding the Garden Design 'rules' and principles, above, please tell me this makes you laugh, below, in the 'knowing' what they've done, below.  Well done, dramatic pairing, fun drama with Garden Design 'rules'.

 Cornerstone, Sonoma, The Garden of Contrasts by James Van Sweden:
Pic, above, here.

 
Pic, above, I shot yesterday in our garden.
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Yesterday, my harvest table was finally unloaded from the truck.  Temporary location while 'macro' garden construction is completed, you know, drilling a well, graveling drives, renovating sheds, adding a porch, and too much other garden infrastructure keeping me away from my beloved 'micro' gardening.
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Laskett immediately on top of harvest table, owning it.  Behind him, the materials yard awaiting its new barn.  Yes, chaos of materials yard getting on my last nerve.  Alas, at least another full year before it's cleared.
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Harvest table denotes 1st move into my shed, Beloved using my shed until his barn built.  "Where is the Gator going if you put your harvest table there?", Beloved asks.  "No, they both won't fit there.", he responds to my answer.  I smile in return, thinking, "Go away, I've got this."  Poof Beloved's gone, I arrange table, Laskett & I do what we do so well together, bask in each other's adoring presence, Laskett affirms every thought in my head.  Sitting a moment to shoot table/Laskett/setting sun, I glance at the open space for the Gator, with a smile.
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With great pleasure, I walk to the gravel drive where the Gator is parked, crank it up, pull it into it's new space, 2' to spare, turn the Gator off, pull the brake lever up enjoying its sound, surveying the Gator's new domain.  Beloved still working in back at the pond, Laskett & I walk to the house, gardening day done.
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Best irony about my shed, it's a century old, Beloved moved it last year, renovated it, new walls, new window, new door, new floor, added a tin roof to two sides, and it's my shed.  We knew up front he had to use my shed for many of his things, many, until his barn is built.  Has been a great chapter getting here, I'm not in that chapter anymore.    You've already noticed this new chapter title, My Shed.
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Thought you would appreciate a little raw reality gardening.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

  
    

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Getting the Smallest Detail Right

The smallest detail, below, exposes the confident knowledge of historic Garden Design rules.

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Pic, above, here.
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Do you know what the smallest detail is, above?  Should I wait till tomorrow for the answer?  Perhaps natter on, giving you time.  Lanterns, above, are an odd move, but perhaps they truly needed the light or yet another ubiquitous stylist input.  The water, above, is a mirror and slow mesmerizing burble.  Reminds me of Sir Roy Strong mentioning every garden needs a mirror of the sky.
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Smallest detail they got right, above?  Gravel lapping to the tree, no border edging.  Of course, if this were my garden ahead of having a fabulous photographer I would brush the gravel with my fingers, slightly away from the trunks, more of an illusion the trunks are 'arising' instead of looking so 'plopped' in.
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Exactly the types of things discussed in depth with my Garden Design friends.  Someone must live this type of life, and it's us!
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What's not to adore about peers putting their spin on it?
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Your spin on the garden, above?
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Garden Design Rule for the lapping gravel?  Contrast.  Plenty of formality with coping around gravel and styling, going rustic with the lapping gravel is the contrast.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hollyhock: Hunt is On

Over 20 years ago a student, I taught horticulture at the local college, gave me seeds for the single petaled pink French hollyhock, below.
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They are biennials & self-seed.  Aside from their gorgeousness & ease, randomness in where they will grow 'next year' is a joy.  Somehow, they know better where to self-seed, than me, the 'expert'.
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These hollyhocks are on my side, making me look like a better Garden Designer.  Perhaps that's the secret, trusting the plants.  Of course it helps knowing which plants to trust.

Zebra Hollyhocks are perennials that bloom all summer long. They are easy to grow, self seed, are drought tolerant, and attract butterflies. They grow in sun to part shade and get 2-4' tall. Great for perennial beds, cottage gardens, borders, and rock gardens. Zones 4-8:

Pic, above, here.
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Moved away from my hollyhocks a year ago.  Must get my friend back, in my new garden.  I'm on the hunt.  Feels good.  Cannot wait for the 2nd year, having hollyhocks again.  Seeing where they come up.  Knowing those moments are small life victories.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Woodland Path

Totally designed, below.  Obvious pruning is at front left near'ish the top.  A mini-cathedral design.  Not so obvious are layers chosen NOT to be in the design.  Just as much thought goes into Le Jardin Rustique design as a more obvious potager.
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No, this is not a woodland walk that just 'happened'.  But you knew that.
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Tapestry hedge, below, not a mono hedge.
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If you have the good fortune for a tree such as this, magnificent tree, and can create a path, copying this, in a brand new USA subdivision, about 98% of your neighbors will complain.  Knowing you need to clear the brush away.  More, none of those neighbors will be inclined to speak to you.  Nope, the HOA nasty gram will land in your maibox.  They aren't bad people, but they are people who cannot 'see'.  By extension, not liking this patch of your landscape, they won't like you.
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Personally, I think it's wonderful how a garden can push people away, or draw them in.
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If you've been reading for awhile, you know what's next in the design for this garden room, below.  Correct, a garden room with more formality.  Preferably with a meadow too.  Gardens are all about contrasts.
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Often, thru history, homes/gardens that are left as a museum, lose the Le Jardin Rustique portion rather fast, about a decade.  Why?  As wise as the new stewards are, they don't 'get' the Le Garden Rustique, at all, in the least.  It goes back to Nature.  Finally, someone steps in, the teacher, in reality a garden shaman.  The 'Foundation' sees what the benefactor created, and now must be created anew.  .
Winterthur is a good example of this phenomenon.  Hmm.  Seems a new naming opportunity has arisen.
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Are you here yet, in your garden passion?  Hungering for Le Jardin Rustique?
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Ironically, it is the Le Jardin Rustique maximizing pollinator habitat and increasing crop yields nearby.  Only 'Man' would educate, in 2 different schools, agriculture/horticulture.  In America the schooling dividing agriculture/horticulture begins early, if there is schooling at all.  Someone decides to volunteer a school vegetable garden.  Go team.  Alas, that school vegetable garden disregards, completely, ornamental horticulture increasing crop yields by 80%.  When you know this, you are a garden shaman, indeed.
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Thomasina, has this character, a 'nature' shaman, she's the character of the witch, 'Mad Lori', in the woods.
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Same story line, in metaphor, of Babette's Feast.  The majority wanting what they know, not accepting something different from what they know, aka HOA nasty gram.  Yet, when the abstainers, through happenstance, gain entry into the unknown, they are changed, they understand what the shaman knew all along, and want it too.
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When is a little woodland garden path, more than a little woodland garden path?  Today.  Here.  And, always.

Day's morn by Lancashire Lass Photo's, via Flickr:

Pic, above, here.

Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Taking Historic into the Modern Realm

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

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

Sint-Job-In't-Goor Pastorij


Sint-Job-In't-Goor landelijke woning

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

Sint-Job-In't-Goor achtertuin

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

Design: House Meets Patio

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

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

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

Garden Design: How Little Can You Have?

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Front Door: A Course in Beautifully Scaled Details

Off the edge of perfect, below, beyond perfect.
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Have never understood the predilection for oversized lights at a front door.  Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades, diminutive lighting, compared to USA, is the memo.
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Tara Turf, below, to the foundation.  Alone, enough to instigate a nastygram from any HOA.  Here's the deal with Tara Turf, it's a rich way to live, according to Providence.  And me.
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Opulent patina, not pressure washed away, on the walls, below.



Pic, above, here.
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Who knew I would ever think a collection of little green meatballs was charming?  Indeed, these are.  Here, they are a whimsical pun.  You already thought the same thing, right?
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The pair of small spheres.  Swoon.  Their plinths, double swoon.
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Notice the climbing roses?  Not the physical plant but what they do for the design.  Taking very little space, espaliered, they give maximum lush.
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Tiny gravel, above, color of the house, drifting into most-of-a-circle tiny flagstone, again colored to the house, terrace.  With no edging between gravel/plants or gravel/flagstones.  Your already picked up on this huge detail, edging, right?
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Enfilade, above, is something we have at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Ours, 80' long, with heart of pine floor, I'll have to figure out how to get the shot, we even have the trees in back, but our pond is behind the trees.
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Our house, now, has a small gravel parking court in front, we kept the previous owner's half-round of bricks at the front steps.  Unbelievable, the vernacular language is the same, this home, above, and ours.
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This front door, above, says the most important thing, "Welcome."  And, "You want to come inside, this house is interesting, the people who live here I want to know and see more, the garden, and....."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Beloved is a pressure washing fool.  One of these days, at present I leave the premises when he pressure washes, I will stand my ground, and instead of crime scene tape outlining a body on the ground, Beloved will pressure wash around my body on the wall of our home.  If this were our home, above, I know his pressure washer would have something 'wrong' with it each time he tries to use it.  Buy a new one?  It would have something 'wrong', always, too.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Design: Speak Volumes With No Words

Live - Love - Laugh blares a painted garden sign, on the shelf, with price tag.  Next time you see any garden sign/plaque for sale think, "Danger Will Robinson.", while asking yourself the Dante'sque question, Does this path enlarge, or diminish, my thought?
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Mostly, if words are put into a garden Alexis de Tocqueville has been given another arrow to release at USA.  Mostly.  And that's one of the joys of designing your garden, knowing when to use your tiny percentage allowed, to break rules.
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In a garden it is important no matter the joys & sorrows amongst your days/years, you know you have a place actively nurturing sorrows and increasing joys.  Without effort.  This layer of garden design is rarely mentioned, but inherent.

Fun hedge idea:

Made me laugh, above.  No words.  Is it whimsy, or a pun?
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Doesn't matter.
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Secondary smile, above, at the height of the evergreen wall.  Noticed decades ago the economics of gardens and hedges.  The 4' hedge easily maintained by the owner.  The 6' hedge, still maintained by the owner, but a ladder is involved, or hired gardener.  8' + hedges pruned with scaffolding or cherry picker for hired gardener to reach.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Found pic on Pinterest, and it had no link to provenance other than what is stamped on the picture, Getty Images.
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"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.", Alexis de Tocqueville.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Free Garden Design

Modern 2,000+ years ago.  Modern today.
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No need to be an expert, to understand why garden centers are not 'on board'.



Calm.  Facade, bench, pots, gravel, fade their colors into each other.  I see the silhouette of branches in winter striking the house, and gravel.  I hear the leaves, wind rustled, see their fall colors.  Gravel crunching underfoot.
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This house doesn't make the Garden Design special, instead, the choice to have this Garden Design is special.
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Free Garden Design.  Equally at home with a brick ranchburger ca. 1963, pioneer cabin, starter home, $2 million home in a gated community.
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Myriad choices made with this Garden Design.  Especially adore all of the 'no' choices.
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Why is this Garden Design harder to choose than keeping foundation plantings, installed by the builder, and a pocked lawn needing mow/blow/go, fertilizers poisoning groundwater, zero aesthetics to increase property value, no choices for plantings to reduce hvac expenses, no thought for color, or pulling the foot outside to enjoy Nature?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Picture from here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blank Wall: Innovation in Design

Pinteraddicting, a few weeks ago & discovered this, below.  Image/idea will not leave mind/heart.
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Such a stunner, it's a stunnah.
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Still life, gallery wall, assemblage, collage, Matisse, Picasso, Kadinsky, Berlin Dadaists, Merz, Schwitters.
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Mary Kistner, mentor/client/friend, refined my knowledge of all the, above, and she's been gone forever-and-a-day-too-long.
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Without her to spend hours talking about this pic, below, I have you.
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Choose a wall, choose your scale, choose the axis it is seen from,interiors/exteriors, choose your 'merz'.  High, low, no matter.
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Voila, Blank Wall Landscape Design.
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Tara Dillard's, newest, Landscape Design Invention, BLANK WALL, more inventions, here.



Blank Wall Landscape Design, above, should become a standard at Home/Garden Shows, Botanical Gardens, Big Box garden displays, your home.


Time to rethink your walls, above.  Much love swathed upon the walls here.


 Vignettes easy to maintain, fun to create, zero drudgery.


Well loved Blank Wall Landscape Design, above.  Would love to see their choices during a big event garden soiree, above.


What is common to each?  Simplicity.  And the thought, "I can do that."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

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All pics, Pinterest.
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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.
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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.
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NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
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Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
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Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
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Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
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What do YOU want?
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Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
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Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.