Showing posts with label Copy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Copy. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Long Island House & Garden

Habitually Chic, Heather Clawson, shares a garden every few weeks, sometimes longer, many new & wildly wonderful to me.  Recently, below, Heather hit it out of the ball park.  Again.
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Showing interiors first, it was obvious, this home, all pics here,  must have a garden.  Interior pics flowed, each with an incredible floral arrangement.  Anticipation mounted with myriad interiors, then an aside about finding a previous article about the house and it had garden photos, which she included.  Who is this woman?  Feels like she's working for me, bird dogging good gardens.
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The house/garden, is in Architectural Digest, here.

Habitually Chic® » Out East:

Wish the photo shoot had a video of staging, and arranging all the flowers, followed with a tour of the garden.  A garden designer, I'm fascinated with the skills of floral arrangers, these, below, seem 'not arranged'.  The highest accolade in my lexicon.

Habitually Chic® » Out East:


Habitually Chic® » Out East:

Habitually Chic® » Out East:


Habitually Chic® » Out East:


Habitually Chic® » Out East:

More pics of this home/garden, and charming article, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Heather Clawson's new book, Creativity at Work.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Goldilocks Method for Your Porch

Goldilocks memos.  Just when I think I've grown beyond new ones arriving.  Pow !  Some old ones, below.
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First spring in Georgia, 35 years ago, I remember well cleaning the yellow pollen off the porch.  More than a little effort involved.  The next morning, this Galveston Bay, Texas girl learned yellow pollen is a season, not a day.  Got the memo.
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A few years later, moved into my starter home, an arbor, much anticipated, was finally built over the back patio.  This was the era of 10" hanging baskets lush with flowers, $3.88.  Bought more than a few.  Thrilled, hammering nails into the arbor, and hanging all those colorful baskets.  Watering.  Didn't anticipate that inconvenience.  Got the memo.
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Had the good fortune. from my 20's, to tour a lot of gardens with pretty porches, and give Garden Club lectures at homes with gorgeous porches.  A quick study, learning to copy beautiful ideas aligning with my amount of time/money.  If the porch was gorgeous because their maid & landscape crew were keeping it clean, fertilized, seasonal flowers replanted, watered, trimmed, blown, cushions washed, that would not transfer to my lifestyle.  Got the memo.


SUCH A STUNNING PLACE TO SIT, READ A BOOK, OR SIMPLY RELAX & ENJOY THE GLORIOUS SURROUNDINGS!! :
Pic, above, here.
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Gorgeous, above, but not for me.  Too much work.  And then the wind blows and the candles fall to the ground shattering, or the neighbor's dog wags his tail into them.  The curtains mildew.  Perfect for another's life, and an example of being fierce with your Goldilocks choices.
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Pretty/classic, below, and maybe for me.  Cushions an issue.  I don't want to 'have to have' cushions.  Much easier without cushions, been there/done that.  And, keeping the wicker 'clean'.  Probably easy enough to keep the patio/furniture blown weekly, hosing it down 1x-2x/year.  Goldilocks interested, below.


Would prefer more of this feel in the back of our lake house.:
Pic, above, here.

Not much work for Goldilocks, below.  Maximum function, little caretaking.  Rockers have cushions, but they don't have-to-have-cushions.  Porch, below, a good ending point, or good starting point, depending upon your Goldilocks story.

Beautiful.... this is one of my happy places I go to when I close my eyes only it's in the middle of about 100 acres. :-):
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps that's the best point about using the Goldilocks method, it's a lifehack moving you toward your own fabulous choices, working the best for you.  Not taking other's beautiful patio choices, without consideration for consequences.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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In an earlier version of Goldilocks it's an old woman, not a young girl, and she runs away at the end of the story, only to be caught, and impaled on the steeple of St. Paul's Cathedral for her trespass.
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Ironically, working with a client now, her daughter, not a real gardener, but adores cooking, wanting an herb garden.  Mom, said, "I'll give you an herb garden, and have it planted for you."  Daughter said, "No, that's too much work, I want it in pots on the patio."  Daughter choosing the greater maintenance choice, least sustainable, and productive.  Her mom & I, very much considering daughter's age.  Those headstrong, know so much, 20's.  We lived them too!  What did we decide?  Not wanting to discourage a possible new gardener, daughter is getting her herb garden in large pots.  .  It's how we learned, making the wrong choices, while surely knowing they were the right choices.  Gardening is wildly counterintuitive.
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Truly, it is all my wrong garden choices making me an 'expert', not the college degree in horticulture.  More than wrong choices, bold & sure while making them.  Late last year, took my tribe to Susanne Hudson's garden, none had seen it or met her before.  Before leaving, we sat on the front porch, and then the garden stories began.  Laughter, unbelievable laughter.  We were sharing the 'smart' things we had done in our gardens leading up to finally having the garden's of our dreams.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Foyer in the Garden

The door is open, below, welcoming you into the foyer.

Oscar de La Renta's Lush Garden in the Dominican Republic Photos | Architectural Digest:
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps a foyer is what your garden is missing?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Love seeing ferns growing in the palm trunk, above.  My parents lone, huge, palm in the front yard has asparagus fern & azaleas growing in/up its trunk.  Of course, her dog almost died biting into a pod off a sago palm in the backyard.  Sago palm, above, bottom right.  Love the wildwood/chaosy/rusticity, above.  It's Oscar de la Renta's garden, you know it drips slowly into a comfortable tropical refinement.  With a bit of searching online, the foyer table, above, must be on cross axis with a door at the house.  Must be !

Friday, May 26, 2017

Front Door: Color & Font

Rarely do I design commercial projects.  When I do commercial, it's most often for the owner of the business who has already hired me for their home, deciding later to strong arm me for their business.  Most of the commercial work has been small businesses, though I've done one the size of a college campus in a small town.  Never have I felt out of my element, curious that I don't seek commercial too.   Oddly, when first asked to do commercial I always say, No.  This type of 'No' is pure catnip to all who've made the request.  A rabbit hole for another day.
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Yesterday Pinterest got into my veins with several pics of commercial front doors.  Pinterest is my go-to quick time filler.  What's the harm of beauty, inspiration and a little sideways learning?
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Banner Pinterest day, yesterday, learned with a commercial storefront, a small business, all you need is Color & Font.  They draw the eye, then through the window/s, a focal point.  If you've read my blog any time at all, you know 'trinities' are magnetic sparkly pixie dust to me.
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Here's the golden nugget I can't translate.  Yet.
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If a small business only needs Color & Font to draw the eye, with delight, what is the equivalent pairing, for a residential front door?  And what is the residential focal point prong, creating a trinity, with the pairing of Color & Font.  At present I think the answer is fluid within a fixed realm.  Dynamic in a static setting.  Further, once deduced, I know there will be several templates within the residential front door design.
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Pure delight, a shiny new discovery to be made.
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About age 6, I remember vividly finding the old 'toy' clock Santa brought me 'years' earlier, in the back of my closet.  Surely, time to throw it away.  Before throwing it away, I HAD to know how the inner mechanism worked, to move the hands.  Went to the kitchen, got a steak knife, went back to my room, hacked into the back of the clock, and saw all its plastic moving parts, and figured out how it worked.  Which was a lot better than merely learning to tell time.  Fate wasn't kind, mom passed by my room, clock & steak knife in hand.  "What have you done?"    Yep, got in trouble.  Can you believe it?  I couldn't either, all I was doing was learning.
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Adore the phase of reaching toward discovery.  As much as discovery.  This time, you're in the mix.  Tell me, How does the pairing of Color & Font translate to you, for your residential front door?

coiffeur:
Pic, above, here.

 one cannot go to Laduree too often, n'est pas?:
Pic, above, here.

 .13 Rue d"Elzevir Paris 3eme:
Pic, above, here.

 Bayeux is a commune in the Calvados department in Normandy in northwestern France. Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.:
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Yesterday also had another major quirk.  Two appointments attended required standing & saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Voices & words rang strong & sure in both rooms.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prune an Arch Into It


Prune an arch into it, below.
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Pruned arches were a take away from all my historic garden design study tours across Europe for decades.  Especially nice is using the 'pruned arch', not only 'saving' an existing 'bad' landscape, but saving the plant too.
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Often, mid-century, & newer, subdivision homes are completed with a front foundation planting of green meatballs, and a larger 'something' at left/right corners.  Those corner 'somethings' lend themselves for pruning an arch into.  Not always, but often enough.
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Whether designing on site, or long distance, the moment pruning an arch is mentioned, the light bulb moment with my client is pure joy to experience.  What had been a problem, gains an easy, pretty, functional solution, and likely saving the plant/s from execution.  

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic,above, here.
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More than the pruned arch, above, this lone garden pic is a Garden Design class.
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Ceiling, walls, floor, stone set into gravel, furniture in the garden, contrasting foliage color/texture, pot cluster subsidiary focal point at the focal point of the door, pruning, flow, mystery. scale, timelessness, invitation, simplicity,
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Am designing a family cemetery plot now.  At its entry a pair of Japanese maples 'Bloodgood', pruned into an arch.    'Pruning', a layer of the design.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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First putting pencil to paper with the cemetery plot, tougher than expected.  I know the family, designed their backyard.  Surviving spouse wants the plot to look like their backyard.  Much.  Tougher.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Choosing Color: Garden Furniture

Take from the best, leave the rest.  One of the best small gardens I've seen in awhile.  Formal & rustic, pretty all year, layers of interest atop layers of interest, functional, welcoming.  Myriad ways to copy this garden, at every price point.
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Yet one layer leaves me with a question mark.  Furniture color?  White is a hard color in small spaces, white jumps forward.  Without knowing the owners, seeing their interiors, I have to trust this 'white' furniture.  For you, take-the-best to translate into your own space, perhaps 'gray' furniture would be the better choice.  Copying the stone color, blending into its space, enlarging the space.
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Want furniture on the stone?  White.  But you knew that, right?


Pic, above, here.

Wanting to know more about the garden I found it on Lucy Sommers website.  Had to smile, seeing more photos, below.  Gray pots, gray fence.  White house trim, large swath of white flowers.



Pic, above,

Seems the white furniture is carefully considered, above.  Minutely, considered.


Pic, above, here.
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More than a garden to 'be in', it's a garden to be viewed from several heights.  Wins at each level.
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Instead of the classic exterior color trinity, green-brown-white, here it's, green-white-yellow.  The most common subsidiary color I've seen with the classic green-brown-white?  Yellow.
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Minute considerations cost nothing, yet live rich, wisely chosen.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Entry Ways: Flow & Focal Point

Studying garden pics on book/magazine covers since the 80's, it's not hard to realize the more entry ways a garden has, the better a garden is.  Enfilades rule.  And, the focal point is primo.
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Studying more deeply, it becomes obvious, entry ways in a garden are focal points, yet the rule for focal points is, One focal point per area.
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Breaking garden design rules, is inherent to historic garden design.  Modern too.
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Instantly, below, I wonder why the screened porch doesn't have a door at its left, and front.
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Adding the doors, a necessity, adds magic circles.  Flow.  As shown I hear Cole Porter, Don't Fence Me In.

Modern Farmhouse just outside of downtown Austin, TX for a family of four and their dog Hank.:
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Cure for the Green Meatball

Truly curious.  Did green waves, below, start life as green meatballs?  Hope these green waves sail a thousand ships.
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Fence color.  Perfect, enlarges the space, and the potted tree, again, color enlarges its space too.
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Both artworks sited on axis from the house, with pure museum backdrop.
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Gas grill is pruned into its niche, hiding from view.
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Little maintenance, merely blowing, pruning.  Would like to see same shot with the green waves at their peak of scruffy, before a pruning day.

love the green backdrop to the pieces:
Pic, above, here.
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Bravo to the pruner, foliage to the gravel.  Amazing perfection.
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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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tabled Pot Cluster: Simple Beauty

Always a good day, learning something new.  Pot cluster in terra cotta drew my eye, then saw the scalloped metal trays to catch water.  They seem to be from the kitchen, a tart tin?
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Where I would like to place a table top pot cluster, front porch or back deck, both have same issue.  Living rural, winds across pastures are a 'thing'.

See this Instagram photo by @potagerblog • 1,239 likes:
Pic, above, here.

Great table for a pot cluster, below.  Learned long ago how to keep the wood from rotting.  Do you already know too?  Brush boiled linseed oil on it once a year.  Once Beloved has his pole barn built, I take ownership of a delightful shed with double, large lean-to tin roofs, one facing east, the other west.  Each side will have a pot cluster on a table, with a rolling barn door built of conservatory windows, blocking pasture winds.  Toad of Toad Hall was never more joyful in an adventure, or planning in his garden, than I, and this little shed.

 natural patina on clay pots | adamchristopherdesign.co.uk:
Pic, above, here.
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Hamptons:
Pic, above, here.
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One table in my garden, a harvest table made of historic tobacco barn wood, receiving fierce winds, I will use large pots, above.  And, in the category of living a simple life with a fabulous garden I know exactly what choice morsels to plant in them.
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Big impact, little input.  Every layer of my garden, its full narrative, has rent to pay.  Don't pay the rent, you're gone.  What's the rent?  It must make me happy.  Needy for attention, not beautiful, don't tell a story, too much down time, poof, voila, gone-gone.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.” 
― Kenneth GrahameThe Wind in the Willows

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Color: Parts Department Overhaul

Today, yesterday also, and rest of the week, our parts department is awaiting paint.  Finally.  Amazingly, I keep finding chairs/tables to tote over to the menagerie.  This phase is metal.  Colors you see, below, robin's egg blue, from my previous 30 year garden, oak leaf green, from a flower show display festival garden I created, and the brown chairs are newbies from Restore, $5 each and the best quality chairs in the pic.  Soon, hodge-podge-lodge will be the same green already used on the shed doors of our ca. 1900 farmhouse.  Historic Garden Design Rule: Choose a Color Trinity, overdose on that theme, green-white-brown is the classic, but go with whatever your heart speaks.
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Major land renovations put this phase low on the list, exciting to finally be here.  The chaos has scrambled my brain.  What is the line from Beetlejuice, "I will go insane, and take you with me."



Choosing our green, below, last year was unexpected.  We were at Lowe's, Beloved turns and says, Get a color for the exterior doors.  Yes, the man thinks I can pull the right color from my quiver within 10 seconds.  Not my first rodeo, I knew he needed 'choices'.  Grabbed a few color chips, went back/forth inside/outside, gave him choices, voila, Ginkgo Tree, below.

Ginkgo Tree

Last weekend, below, the cedar & teak furniture was stained Ginkgo Tree.

Image may contain: people sitting and outdoor

Where I'm headed, below.  A return to sanity.

Mille Fleur bantam chickens roam about on a pea-gravel terrace, where Bianchi arranged a spot for entertaining.
Pic, above, Penelope Bianchi's garden, slide show here.

Beloved built this deck last year, it's cured and ready for stain.  When we bought the property almost 2 years ago invasives were so thick the lake was not visible.  Yes, Beloved did all the clearing and burn piles.  Easier to understand why painting is low on The List.

Image may contain: cat and outdoor

(Laskett at right, above.  He's my CEO, and knows it.  Laura was conceived and born in my previous garden, she's my sprite. )
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We're matching the back deck to our historic front porch.  Flooring, Cabot, Driftwood Gray, solid cover, same as shingles, below.  Rails, Cabot, Thatch, similar, but better, to garage doors, below.  Thatch is new to me.  A client's interior decorator used it for the interiors of an enclosed porch I designed.  (Always a good day getting a new color trinity, especially one working with a 'historic' look.)  Beloved was not sold on Thatch with my descriptions, nor laptop or phone pics.  Took him to the client's site, sold.
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Color is Cabot 'Driftwood Gray' stain. Seneca - Traditional - Garage And Shed - Chicago - Brehm Architects:

Happy for this chapter to turn.  Do take the Penelope Bianchi link, you'll love it, promise.
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Did you notice the garden furniture is Field Gathered?  No worries, color brings it into focus, aka, stopping the insanity.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, March 17, 2017

Garden Design: Jackie Kennedy

This is my sister's favorite era, below.  It didn't last long.  Sister, same age as tiny Caroline, below, had a terrible surprise about a year later, I showed up in a crib.
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National news and Life magazine were rife with pics and film of the Kennedy's during my earliest years.  Cars.  In those days, they were CARS.  Even my dad worked in iconic design, have you seen the casing of a Saturn V booster, or the capsule of an Apollo rocket ?
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Perhaps the prettiest images remembered though, are the Kennedy worlds.  Vietnam, Marchin' Luther King, the University of Texas tower shooting, dominated our black white console tv with rabbit ears.  At my age, no cognition, merely reaction to visuals.   Though I must admit, even so young, I knew the beehive hairdo was wacko.
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Of course those Kennedy visuals were iconic.  The world's top photographers, and who was the interior decorator, below?  Which international couturier designed the dress, below?  Which maestro cut her hair?  So many layers of design, and professional experts.
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It's a potent Garden Design conceit, below.  Paint it all the same color, overdose on a theme, form/function with exterior furniture, keep it simple.  This is an iconic Garden Design example of your garden as backdrop, merely a proscenium, YOU are the star.  


Jackie and Caroline:
Pic, above, here.
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Once I began to study Garden Design deeply I realized my schooling truly began during the Kennedy era.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Remember well mom's last salon appointment for her weekly beehive 'do'.  While they were finishing her up, of course she brought me, no baby sitters, I decided to investigate one of the hair dryers.  You know, the sit down, cover your head type.  At the head was an interesting coupling with screw.  More interesting, when unscrewed the entire head assembly pops apart and rolls into various directions, loudly.  Who knew there could be so many components, I hit the jackpot.  A snitty rat faced balding man came toward me leading his parade with a black plastic comb pointing his march.  He was so rude.  He made me stop my investigations, and I wanted to do more.  Odious man.
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Arriving for next week's hair appointment, mom stopped at the door, NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.  That previous week was her last beehive.  Go me !!
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After 3 decades I know the points in a woman's life she's most likely to hire me, when the last child begins school, when the first child is about to graduate high school, when the first child marries, when the first grandchild arrives.  And, within that list, of course, I know which is the most popular.  Have you already guessed?
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With the first grandchild.  More than a first grandchild, closing the chapter of  'doing' for others at great expense to self.  Husband always bought his fun/toys, kids had their due, now, 'my turn', total double dog dare anyone to make a remark other than positive.  That woman is powerful.
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If women took that power sooner in their lives, the world would be a different place.  Thus ends today's feminist lesson.  

Friday, March 3, 2017

A New Trinity: With Grasses?

If you ask me, Do you like ornamental grasses?  Long pause.  Then a bit of internal rumination, Don't think I want to know this person.  My verbal response, Depends on how they're used.
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This garden, below, creates a new trinity, its own world.  Nothing hodge-podge-lodge or dinky-is-stinky about these ornamental grasses.  More, hydrangeas and trees too ?  Cup runneth over.
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Trees, hydrangeas & ornamental grasses.  Wicked.

hydrangea arborescens hedge and ornamental grass:
Pic, above, here.
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Exciting to see a 'new' garden.  I'm all in.
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Interesting tree stakes.  Lots of wind.  Zero protection against deer.  Greatly protective.  I once lost a large sasanqua after transplanting.  Winds.  Rocked too often by wind, new roots continually ripped from the soil.  Loved that sansanqua.  Once dead, called my mentor Margaret Moseley, told her the story of my terrible deed against the sasanqua.  "Taaaaara, (in her great southern accent), I know exactly what happened.  When I move a plant like that I always place a few large rocks atop its roots."
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, outdoor and nature
Oil portrait, above, Margaret Moseley.
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Margaret has been gone since 2015, she lived to 98 .  Miss her terribly.  She is a great story in my life, will tell it another day.  Many hours I walked her garden with her.  The stone bench she's seated upon, has a great history.  A pair of slave cabins, mostly rotted, not entirely, were near her property.  Small, both slave cabins had a fireplace with large hearth stone.  With permission, she moved both hearthstones into her garden for benches, using stones from their flues for legs.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Front Yard: Simple, More Simple

Seems so simple, below.

tuinontwerp Maastricht Zuid-Limburg:
Pic, above, here.

More simple, below.

 Ooohhhh yes please...I'll take it ❤️ @decorpad:
Pic, above, here.
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Austerity of great depth.
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Richness in choosing 'no'.
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A garden must say who you are from the curb.  A garden must say you really do want to come inside.
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Amazing array of good choices, that list is not short, made for both houses & gardens.
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How simple can you make your landscape while giving it, and your home, deep riches ?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, February 20, 2017

Feng Shui: Journaling, Garden, Life

Smith & Hawken had a lecture series at their store on Peachtree Street for years.   Much anticipated was a Feng Shui speaker.
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Wildly, and pleasingly, the talk was validation for all I was already doing for Garden Design and aligning it with home & life.  A trinity.
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Later I met Tracy Miller of Gazelle Feng Shui.  Have enjoyed being on her email list, Gazelle Feng Shui Tip of the Week, arriving Fridays for years.
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A few nights ago I was googling information, and this pic, below, was in the large response.  Ironic, it's a pic of my own garden.  My 30 year Cottage Garden.  Soul satisfying, this pic is taken in my sideyard in a cluster home subdivision with at least 10 houses stuffing the view.  See them?  Didn't think so.  More, if I must give any sort of accounting for my time on Earth, that garden will be on the list.  As accomplishment, and in thanks.  (Slow, 'washing of the servants feet', but I got-it !! )
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In addition to having several books published, I write journal books for myself.  They have quotes, passages, lone words by the hundreds, pairs of words, torn fragments of photos/art, torn more, into collage pieces taped onto many pages, processes of thinking, myriad methods of finding your way out of the woods Dante's Inferno describes, yet we arrived in those woods of our own free will.  The books are not linear, and fresh items are put into whichever, no scheme, other than heart, and a passion that is broad and still hungry for understanding, much.
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Apparently, journal books are a type of methodology of Feng Shui in Tracy Miller's world.  The power of intention.  My journal books are not wish books, more potent, action step books.
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I see this pic of my garden, below, and cannot believe all that was given to me.  Given.  Yet it was my effort of mind/heart/body/checkbook/time/bruised-bloodied, creating the garden.  It feels, totally, freely, given.
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Pic, above, shot in my garden.
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A journal entry, below, ca. 2007.  This darling sassy man, and his home.  Had no clue who he was at the time, merely adored his sass.

Pic, above, from my journal, via, NYTimes.
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2015 arrived, less than 2 years ago, and I found a house on Zillow.  Knew it was the wrong house driving to meet the realtor, too far, located in nowherevilleruralusa.   E.M.Forster awoke when I walked thru the front door, every fiber of my being 'knew', this is my home.  A few minutes later, I walked into this room, below, now my office.  Already a mass of jello from E.M.Forster communing at the front door, now, in this pink room, below, (as Forster did with the charwoman meeting the 2nd Mrs. Wilcox at Howard's End for the first time), I got the 2nd memo, as if the 1st memo wasn't beyond galaxy realms huge.  Offer was made for the house within 24 hours.
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Image may contain: indoor
Pic, above, shot in my office this morning.
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Soon I will begin the hunt for kaki blazer/pants, purple shirt, pocket square, and stand with sass, at my office fireplace, with a good photographer.  No, I didn't want a pink office, white fireplace, kaki pants suit while journaling the photo from NYTimes.  
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More than this has arrived into the present, from my journals.  And, I had merely been saving/journaling to help my methodologies, and understand, from Dante's, Inferno, Line 1, "Midway on our life's journey, I found myself in a dark wood, the right road lost."  James Hollis has a great question to ask yourself, if the right road to take is unclear, and options are myriad yet opaque, "Which path enlarges me, and which path diminishes me?"  More, "This means leaving behind what's comfortable but confining.  Like Dante, we need to find the path to our best, freest selves.  If you get stuck...We might be frightened by the answer, or intimidated by what it asks of us.  But it will always tell us which way to go."
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Tracy Miller of Gazelle Feng Shui, below.  (Tracy gave me permission to share her work, and I am receiving nothing in return. )

The Two Energies of Feng Shui
 


Hi All,

Feng shui as seen through the eyes of most people consists largely of manipulating the tangible (physical) environment. Most of the time, we are looking at the layout of the land, buildings, the position of furniture, trees and roads, and also colors and shapes of things. Sometimes referred to as "Sying" energy, this physical practice is a very good way to make adjustments to an environment to support the chi of the people who live there. But it's not the only way.

There is a second aspect of feng shui that isn't as well-known but that is also a powerful way to change the chi of a person or a place. This energy is known as "Yi", which can be translated loosely as a wish, or an intention and/or an imposition of will. This type of energy might be accessed through a house blessing, through reading intentions daily, and by adjusting our inner feng shui to align with what we are desiring in life. It is the reason we like to look at a house's history and the way a person arrived at a place to see if there is a pattern of energy present there that needs to be considered. What intangible elements are impacting the space? This Yi energy is equally important as the physical aspects of the space.

By tying these two energies together, a level of success can be attained more easily than by using one or the other by itself. For example, it's great to read your intention every day to find a new relationship. It sets your mind on the purpose at hand. You might even meditate or pray on this desire which helps align your inner world with this intention. But to bring a turbo charge to this desire, you will also want to adjust your physical world by enhancing the relationship areas in your home, by getting out to meet people, and creating a nurturing environment around you. In this way, you are in essence 'covering all the bases" to take you where you want to go.

Of course, life isn't predictable. There are no guarantees. By using feng shui methods, we are simply trying to increase our chances of attaining our goals by tapping into the best energy (chi) possible to take us there. All gardeners know that if you plant a seed, water it, use the best soil possible and have great weather that you have a very good chance of growing a wonderful vegetable or flower. On the other hand, perhaps at the height of harvest time, a deer jumps the fence and eats the whole thing. We're not in charge of the universe, but we do our best to live in it. That's a very important feng shui concept.

Until next time,
Tracy
Like Gazelle Feng Shui Tip of the Week: The Two Energies of Feng Shui on Facebook

Tracy Miller
Gazelle Feng Shui
www.gazellefengshui.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Garden Design Class in a Single Pic

Hello gorgeous, below.
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You got me with your almost brutally modern architecture, smashed into historic Garden Design.
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Then you dropped those orbs with a glint of art nouveau reverie taking a ride with Tinkerbell.
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Your furniture borders on cliche excepting it's an ode to cubism.
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Well do I appreciate the hands & intent pruning, a cocky marvel, to those who know.
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Finally, ending with how lush can you be with the smallest amount of input.
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You're darn tooting I want to see the rest of the garden.
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 :
Pic, above, here.
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Adore garden pics telling a story, and teaching a Garden Design class.
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What do you see, above?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Red Queen Thinking: Get Where You're Going

Extreme example, below, designing views into your windows.
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Where to begin your Garden Design?  Why, of course your Garden Design begins in the middle, of your house.  Looking out into the garden from every window.  Yes, this is Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland truth.  Naturally, will finish with the Red Queen, you must create a double axis and design views into your windows, from the garden.  Story gets better these are 'my' garden design rules.  You know, all those decades of empirical data points gathered traipsing across Europe studying historic gardens.  Now, you're in the story, and it makes me laugh, you're understanding my Red Queen dictums.  And doing them too.  Beautiful garden, beautiful life.

Je Veux Ton Amour:
Pic, above, here.

In my house, below, Garden Designed from inside to outside.  Bay window, pot on plinth sited directly upon middle row of glass panes.


Another 1st Rule of Garden Design:
Pic, above, shot by me in my garden.
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TARA DILLARD: Focal Points in the Landscape:
Pic, above, shot by me in my garden, same bay window.

TARA DILLARD: Garden Design Begins Inside Your Home:
Pic, above, shot by me, same window.

my living room, baby grand, double sofas, card table, chairs, chinoiserie screen door, bay window, wood floors:
Pic, above, shot by me, same window.
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Exactly where your Garden Design should begin, above, the middle of your home, looking out the windows.  "I don't know where to start.", is the refrain.  Common, common, alas, common, and Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland has the answer.
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TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white:
Pic, above, shot by me in my garden, same window.
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Lamp, above, now in the dining room, blue/white, above, now in the central hall, lamp at back right, above, now in the laundry room kitchen, and the beat goes on, as Sonny Bono sang so well.  Less than 6 mos after moving from my cottage, above, had to have a heart-to-heart talk with myself.  Self, you cannot 'remember' where everything used to be, everything is now in its right place.  Twenty four hours later, after much focus, those memories let go of me.  Too exhausting.  Loved my cottage, and now, love my farmhouse, though not Tara'ized yet.
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Moving from my home of 30 years, pics above, has been wildly beyond expectation.  From cottage I built ca. 1986, to historic ca. 1900 farmhouse.  Zero clue this lone fact would be a 180.  What was I thinking?  Data still arriving, and Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland, having great sway, at present.  No worries, a plodder, no fear to pull a trigger.  Beloved doesn't get this process, asked me while riding in the Gator to the pond last month, "This blah-blah has to get done, it is a mess, looks terrible, you need to get rid of xyz and etc."  Red Queen, slowly turned her head toward him, "I'm not to that layer yet."  No, you don't want to know the look on Red Queen's face, or her tone, nor what she was thinking. "Can't you SEE the layers? "
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Garden & Be Well,     XOT
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Want more crazy?  Inhale the Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland, you'll begin the garden design of your dreams.  Promise.  Why else would I expose crazy thinking?  It's to give away the best story ever told.

Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK: Mission Statement for Living

"If you want to understand how a lion hunts you don't go to the zoo, you go to the jungle." David Sable

Going into the internet, first time, zero clue to anything about it excepting what I had read in newspapers or magazines or heard on tv.
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Lovely afternoon.  Hooked.  Two memories of that 1st voyage, discovered in-depth writings of Martin Luther King, and, bought an airline ticket.
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Yesterday, serendipitously, found a well defined description of those thoughts written by Dr. King, yet never written into a journal, saved, or printed.
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 His (King's) enduring ethos, at its core, is nonreligious — rather, it champions a set of moral, spiritual, and civic responsibilities that fortify our humanity, individually and collectively. "   Here.
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Broughton Grange, Oxfordshire: Designer Tom Stuart - Smith Wall Art & Canvas Prints by Clive Nichols:
Pic, above, here.

My first study tour of historic European gardens 2+ decades ago, tossed me directly into a new world, hitherto unknown, in relation to landscapes.  People cared about the landscapes they created for themselves, not merely for themselves, or even first for themselves, but as a civic duty to community and neighbor.  Going deeper, even a duty to who will own the home/garden after them.

 In the orchard at Chisenbury Priory, the grass has been allowed to grow and then neat paths have been mown through the long grass.:
Pic, above, here.

Continued studies abroad with historic gardens, intuitively realized their landscapes went beyond a duty to self and community.  Their landscapes included duty to Nature.  Spirituality.
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"His (King's) enduring ethos, at its core, is nonreligious — rather, it champions a set of moral, spiritual, and civic responsibilities that fortify our humanity, individually and collectively. " "
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"Nonviolence … does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that these are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness."  Dr. Martin Luther King.
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Too often, stories of HOA's, shared with me are not under the heading of redemption, reconciliation & beloved community, but tragic bitterness. Incredible mission statement for living, above.
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Was excited to come across these beautiful words again, as Dr. King wrote them, and wanted to share.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Top pic, amuses no end.  Did not like, could not abide, too stupid for me, topiary forms in the garden.  Now, I understand their iconic use, and why.  Love, when appropriate, topiary in the garden.  Looking at the picture, admire the garden, and smirk kindly at the person I used to be.  Isn't it amazing how fast we see quirks we used to have, within others !!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saul Zaik: Integrated Indoor & Outdoor Spaces

Zipping with speed thru pics, this deck, below, stopped me.
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A hearty bravo to the brainwave.  Then, overdose-on-a-theme, the roof !
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Another bravo to whoever designed the interior of this home, from my favorite vantage point, the garden.  Landscaping along the windows is a bit odd, glass rectangle edged with ferns, creating a terrarium'ish style.  What to do instead?  (First, replace sofa with a pair of similar styled chairs, that turn 360.  Why the fortification of sofa only looking in?)  Remove ferns & existing path, replace with bluestone rectangles, sized in width from outer edge of deck, fully to the house, scaled in length to each window, spaced the same distance apart as the window frames.

Speaking to his original design, architect Saul Zaik says, “We were really just building boxes with a bunch of windows but experimenting with how you integrated indoor and outdoor spaces.” The house has seven different openings to the exterior, allowing different courtyard or patio settings for a range of outdoor activities, including seating for a gathering on the street-facing side. The Milfords hired Lilyvilla Gardens for the landscaping around the house, including variegated bluestone st...:
Pic, above, here.
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Color of patio chair, echoed inside with the bowl, and dark gray from chimney top to foundation.
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Next.  Axis looking into the home is marvelous.  What is its opposite axis?  Double axis.  If you have a focal point in one direction you must have another in the opposite.  Has me curious.
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Lawn & large shrub at corner are thriving, sculptural.
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Almost a Garden Design course in a single pic.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Notice the gutters at the roof line?  Great example of darkish color rising up into the roof.  Too often, gutters are painted much lighter than a roof, pulling the height of the roof lower.  Another counterintuitive Garden Design layer.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Furniture in the Garden

In the garden.  That's my magnet.  If you've read for any time, you've noticed there is no 'working' in the garden, of the macro-world's vernacular entrenched meaning of working-in-the-garden.
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This I know for sure.  If you're working in your garden, and it's easy, you're doing it wrong.  If you're working in your garden, and it's hard, you're doing it wrong.
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So.  Which is more true?  Both are deeply true.
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Truth?  True work in the garden is an intellectual delight.  Best game invented.  Toughest competitor ever, yourself.  Rules change each second, weather is friend and foe, no one will ever have the pocket book for what they want to do in their garden, raising the bar, do it anyway, you are compelled, use cunning and smarts, get the garden you want. along the way realize to your core, G*d almighty first created a garden, and 'men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection', and in the best metaphor, the game of creating your garden is realizing it is truly the gift of washing the servant's feet, Nature, or perhaps you have a notion, still, you're above the pollinating desires of a mere lady bug, or honey bee?
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Here's the deal, bottom line, it's important to be in your garden.  Comfortably.  Must begin somewhere.
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My clients know I'm far more interested in how their garden furniture is used during a soiree, where it's placed the morning after, than being at the soiree.  If it was a large soiree with myriad age groups I want to know how the various groups interacted with the garden.  But this is jumping ahead of the story.  About you.  And being in your garden.
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Furniture In The Garden, is my Pinterest board, over 800 pics.
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Bottom line, below, these folding chairs at a minimum.  Whatever it takes.  Most recent pic saved, below, yet one of the richest.

“Residents of an older home,* built in the 1850’s, take advantage of the summer weather to sit on their front porch off Route #800.” Barnesville, Ohio, July 1974. Below, the back …:
Pic, above, here.

Have written about preferring square/rectangular garden tables over round, on deck/patio.  They are more useful, can be pushed together or against a rail or the house.  Round table, below, is perfect.  Each seat, a lush view.  Great Garden Design too.

 Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick selling Manhattan townhouse:
Pic, above, here.

This story, below, is rich.  Wish I knew what it was.

 Paris est une Fête! — Une terrasse à Paris. Paris terrace.:
Pic, above, here.

Hope this table, below, sails a thousand ships.  Repurposed everything.  And a mix of seating.

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Pic, above, here.
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Very nice, below, go buy it.  If it's not in your budget, easy too.  Do what the French do.  One of the best things I learned while studying historic gardens across France is about furniture in the garden.  If garden chairs are field gathered, paint them all the same color.

#balcony #garden #city:
Pic, above, here.
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Am field gathering garden chairs now for my harvest table.  A crush of hodge-podge-lodge at present.  Some chairs I had, I know will go away, once field gathering anew is successful.
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Once 10 chairs are bagged, I know exactly what color they will be painted.  If you've read for any length of time, you know every garden must have an exterior color trinity.  A centuries old concept.  For our ca. 1900 American farmhouse I chose the classic, green-brown-white.  The white & green have already been specified, still working on the brown.  The chairs will be green.
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Field gathering targeted items is one of my favorite things to do.  Mostly, they are sourced at thrift stores, yard sales, Goodwill, or Habitat Restore.  The hunt is like cocaine, if I knew what that was like, but imagine the garden hunt to be far superior.  Oddly, garden hunts of my pack of garden gals, equally rich to enjoy, as much as my own.
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There is a proper way to share garden hunt finds.  Text a pic or call and describe, then the most wicked part, something to the tune of, It Was Three Dollars.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Something happened with the cheap folding chairs.  I've kept too many.  On purpose.  Beloved wants to toss over half of what we have.  Nope.  When we go to a pool party, picnic, concert, fireworks, etc. I always bring extra chairs.  They always get used.  My personal Garden Chair Ministry.