Showing posts with label Furniture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Furniture. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2017

Penelope Bianchi: Garden Template

Concise architecture, verdant vining vertical lawn, primitive shutters, hi Victorian crenelated benches, potted plantings, no foundation plantings, gravel to the house, diminutive light above the door, the pair of poodles in welcome, no lions here, rich restraint, you have me at first glance.
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At a jobsite yesterday, this garden, below, in my head.  A more formal vernacular French, yet it will be lapping gravel to the house, potted plants, benches against the home, and vine on the home.  

TG interiors: A Day with Penelope Bianchi....
Pic, above, here.
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Client hired me in an emergency.  Angst in her voice at the first phone call.  She had purchased a new smokehouse made to historic templates, and it was arriving in 2 weeks.  Where to place it?  Going full French, by request, I knew exactly where to place it.  Bless & grace in historic Garden Design 'rules'.  Zero fear siting her new 'toy'.  More, she wanted it sited at the edge of their new potager and orchard.  Delightful, the more constraints a garden has, the easier to design.
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Her husband is a garden zealot also, but the poor dear man travels like the wind across the globe for his career.  He had to trust what we were doing with the smokehouse.  Cannot imagine what that felt like for him.  We knew to get the smokehouse right, it must also make him beyond happy when he returned.
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Better than siting the smokehouse correctly, we got something larger.  A garden will inform you when it's pleased.  Their garden said something quite nice, a huge double check.  Approaching their home, from the main approach to the front door, and from a slight angle, as above, it's a Money Shot.
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Wildly excited at this discovery, I told the client right away.  When she saw it, she called her husband right away.  Once he got home, it was obvious to him too.  Three garden nerds in a pod.  High-fiving our Money Shot.
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Meeting with the grading contractor at their site today.  They've got grading, and oodles of other necessities ahead of photography.  You can be sure, their before/after, will include this photo, above.
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Why?  Once you get the memo about Historic Garden Design Rules, you'll be using them too, they're for every site.  Promise.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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I love Penelope Bianchi's garden.  Heart-on-my-sleeve, LOVE.  More pics of her garden here.  Penelope Bianchi's website, here.  Somehow, before internet, social media, love for Penelope Bianchi's garden arrived in a magazine article.  Years pass, blogging etc arrives, and now I love Penelope too, the person, and her garden.  Penelope's interior design and gardens must be imprinted onto your skillset templates.  Consider this your best homework assignment ever.    

Friday, September 8, 2017

Faux Bois: Diane Husson

How is it chair & table, below, appear grown from the trees?
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Never have I seen faux bois this beautiful.  Nor so well mated to its site.
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The impression deep, I pinned it to my own pinterest garden board.  Perhaps, one of my century old pecan trees could handle this type of faux bois.  Two years in our ca. 1900 house and 99.8% of what I see for gardens does not pass go for our garden.
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If the grass, below, were grown as Tara Turf, and the table/chair set at angles more appropriately, below, the scene becomes, timeless.  Appropriate angles?  Chair/table must appear in relationship to the person who just left after reading a long letter from a dear friend while drinking hot tea.  Demand much?  Yes.
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My tribe understands, 2-3 for lunch in the Conservatory, and ask their thoughts for exact table/chair placement.  Probably a good 15 minute discussion.  With added time for going into the vignette, adjusting, walking away for perspective, going in to adjust again.


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Diane Husson, sculptor, designs & creates by hand the faux bois, above.  Each piece unique, no molds.  Glad her name was on the pic, above.
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From her website, " My latest quest is to make sculpted concrete faux bois furniture that appears to be formed from live branches and still growing curious vines. These benches, chairs and tables are created to look like artifacts from an ancient civilization where the boundaries between nature and the spirit world were paper thin, and some secret wisdom is waiting patiently to be rediscovered. "
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She's succeeding in her quest.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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This is not a sponsored post.  Wildly impressed with Diane Husson's work.  She also creates large scale art pieces for commercial clients.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stone & Flow Garden Design

Macro: Islands in the gravel, no edges.  Meandering flow, as if the gravel were water.
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Micro: Small space, high function, drifts of plantings make the space 'larger' axis views into beauty from the home.
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Crazy: Using green-meatballs and I like them.

Australian Landscape Conference 2013  -  (Honestly, I detest topiary balls....but for some reason, I like this space.  Well done!)
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design Class, above, in a single pic.  Color echoes a delight, furniture choices/materials perfect.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Thank you for continued calls, texts, emails about Harvey in Houston.  Mom is dry, kept her power, worst damage are fronds from her palm trees fell.  She said they needed pruning anyway.  Many homes in her neighborhood flooded.  Sister still evacuated, home is dry, and a scare this morning with new mandatory evacuations placed on her neighborhood.  Put her address into the interactive map, she's 4 blocks away.  Hundreds of homes already flooded in her neighborhood, ahead of this new mandatory evacuation.  Keeping hope, she too stays dry.  Prayers for all, people/pets/wildlife/livestock, affected by Harvey.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hunting Gathering Garden Chairs

Two years in our ca. 1900 house I've almost completed hunting/gathering chairs for the harvest table.  .
Matching chairs?  No.  Oddly, matching chairs are a stress I don't want.  As if they must be arrayed properly.
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Found a honey hole junk shop for oddball outdoor chairs.  A distressed shed behind a distressed gas station.  Mostly, chairs sourced are in pairs.
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Once home, all the chairs are painted the same color.  Placement for the harvest table was decided recently.  With a load of gravel delivered/spread, table & chairs finally enter daily life here.  At the front end, I thought this layer would take, at most, 6 months.

Hamptons
Pic, above, here.
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Amusing, above, seems simple.  2 years later, still not 100% complete.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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FYI, been paying $5-$15/chair.  Heavy duty vintage iron, with arms & tall'ish backs for comfort.
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(Thank you for the notes/thoughts with my family threatened by floods in Houston.  Mom, who refused evacuation, still dry & with power, houses near her flooded, her neighborhood placed on curfew.  Sister still dry, but lives near the Barker Reservoir in Katy which began releasing at 2am this morning to help relieve further flooding in downtown Houston.  100's of homes will flood on purpose, some will stay flooded 2 months.  Hope to find out today if her home will be spared.  Nice chat last Friday with mom's local Police dept., bless their work, mom's put on their watch list, and they put me on their text list of warnings/updates. )  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Managing Ugly

For decades, at the front end of a design, a singular object has stood ready to go to the thrift store.  Yet remains, a scene stealing debacle of ugly.
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Most often the quick maneuver is to place it beside a seating group, as a large end table.
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You know what I'm talking about now, yes?

Hudson Residence by John B. Murray Architect
Pic, above, here.
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The large round table.  I know why they stay well beyond their past due date.  Not easy to get a large round table into a vehicle to tote to thrift store, awkward to tote to end of drive for garbage day.  Hoping of course your trash is someone else's treasure before the garbage man arrives.
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A round ugly table, draped with cloth, a winner.  Go team.  Great contrast, above, draped table, and stone table.  Iron chairs with rattan/wicker.
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Completely outside?  I know the cloth will rot, it has a healthy couple of years before dying.  During the 80's a not-brilliant wholesale grower use a type of burlap infused with plastic.  Discovery only made years later, when plants began dying, unable to break thru their plasticized burlap root ball.  Quite sad.  However, that plasticized burlap would be perfect outside over any ugly table.  Oh, to find it now.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Garden Stewardship: Lunch Ministry

At the front end, a fat percentage of my clients are targeted for my own 'diabolical' ministry purposes.   Diabolical?  Early, they're not ready for the message.   Lasso set, patience, yank.  Never do I consider 'guilt' as a means, too embarrassing to consider, rather low IQ method.  Full frontal, heart on sleeve, throw it out there, Lunch Ministry.   Further, Lunch Ministry merely a tool of Garden Stewardship.
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For whatever reason, IMHO, Providence sprinkles those with a gardener's heart sparingly across every century.  Part of my mission is to get those hearts into larger/larger circles of impact.

Embedded
Pic, above, here.

Whether 1, 4 or 10, lunch ministry is easy, once your garden is leveraged for it & a bit of mentoring, aka, in my world, "Soon you'll be having lunches and showers in your garden."  Not a member of local Garden Club?  Join, put your name on the list for upcoming monthly meeting to host.  Friend's child getting married?  You must have a shower.


 gravel garden w/ umbrella pruned trees
Pic, above, here.

The metaphorical breaking of bread, when 2 or more are gathered, indeed, packs a wallop in a garden.  Oddly, the further away from being a gardener one of my guests is, the more likely they are to cry during some point at lunch.  Tales I've been told thru those tears, oh my.  What is it about hospitality in a garden pealing away at the myriad layers the-world wraps us in?

Majolica plates for salad. Love!! Definetly wouldn't let the kids use them though, lol
Pic, above, here.

This has been my year receiving phone calls with wild tales of showers.  A special shower for the bride, for everyone who will not be invited to the wedding.  Whew, thought I was 'diabolical'.  Other showers, switch boards lit up.  One person rescinded her offer to give a shower, the intended princess asked a bit too much.  Who knew Miss Manners still alive/kicking, at a minimum, to those being gouged?   Reddit should run this query !  What is your worst bridal/baby shower story?
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My oddest Lunch Ministry, a baby shower, it snowed hard the nite before and all morning.  No one could come, roads blocked.  Table/food were ready.  To enjoy the snow, I knocked on neighbor's doors inviting them to lunch.  We had a great time.  All wondering why none of us had ever had a neighbor's snow day luncheon.

 Carolyne Roehm
Pic, above, here.
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Martha Washington never knew how many she would be serving each evening.  Not uncommon for her to use long boards on saw-horses with a cloth.  I've had my harvest table since late spring, no Lunch Ministry yet using it.  Pic, above, informs me I do not have a table cloth long enough, a bolt of fabric must be sourced.  Linen napkins are easy, they've been acquired junking for pennies on the dollar, vintage, with monograms, for decades.
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The joy of Lunch Ministry is following thru with my Garden Stewardship.  Zero expectation of return hospitality, none.  Casting bread upon the water.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Oh that low IQ thing.  Dread when it pops up, just when you think you've passed the age for getting into pickles.
 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Table Tableau: In the Garden

When friend-client-mentor Mary Kistner invited me to lunch, most often it was the 2 of us.  Her table, whether inside or on her porch, always had a fresh tableau created along the span reaching our places.  Lovingly, a fresh arrangement from her garden, she had 50 acres, a perfectly chosen textile, a book, opened to exactly the right photo/s, color as important as form, other magic.
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Mary was the 1st female leading Rich's department store interior decorating department,  she created all the store windows & department vignettes during WWII.  Times were dire, there were no men for the job.
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Blessedly, I knew at the time how special every moment of our time together was.

Alors vous aimez ?
Pic, above, here.
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I would send this pic to Mary today, if she were still alive.  Instead, it is sent to you.
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"It's what we do with what we have.", Mary Kistner.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Furniture in the Garden

Delightful garden.  I want to walk the graveled courtyard investigating the plantings/cultivars, go beyond to the potager, of course go inside the cottage, perhaps wine/canapes with kindred spirits & owner of the garden at the table/seating, below.
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Furniture too hodge-podge-lodge for you?  Easy, paint it all the same color, poof, a bit more formal.

lush climbing vines, white hydrangeas, potted hosta, little peak over door....cozy
Pic, above, here.
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Table with chopped off legs makes me smile.  Mom/dad used a round Sheraton'ish mahogany dining room table, with chopped off legs for a coffee table until I was just about thru college.  Flew home one weekend, and it was gone.  Given to the maid's nephew's, uncle's mom's youngest sister's 2nd best friend.  Catch my drift?  Given to the universe, NOT ME.  Speechless, then my best 2 year old self found her voice.  It was my parents turn to be speechless!  They had no clue I loved the table, nor thought it should be mine, all mine, some day.  Nor did they care, deed was done, get over it, buck-up Buttercup, and by the way your disgusting attitude is an embarrassment to us and yourself.  Got the memo.
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Last gasp of entitlement felt.  It was the era, graduate college, move out, get married, get a job, pay for husband's master's degree, save money, build a house, get a second degree, horticulture, by age 27.  This was the go-go mid/late 80's and I was the failure, so many my age already living in the big homes, blah-blah.  Parents always had stories to share, in detail, about childhood friends made CEO or selling their 2 day old company for millions (ha!).  My profession a misery to my parents.  Until he died, dad tried turning me away from horticulture, into my engineering degree.  No worries, at this distance, he did it from love.
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Knew at college graduation I would eat dirt off the sidewalk before asking parents for help, instead missed a lot of dinners.  My sister has a knack for sending articles about snowflake millennials that make me call her almost immediately just to laugh together, imagining if we had behaved similarly, we wouldn't be alive now.
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A sweet duality, seeing tables with chopped off legs.  A madeleine, a Proustian moment.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Serendipitous Focal Point

Approach, below.

Weeks of endless Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration

Obvious, below, pair of urns as back drop to the bench.  But wait. there is more.

Weeks of endless Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration

Look what happens, below, with one of those urns from above.

Weeks of endless Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration

When I'm designing gardens on site or in my office, this 'game' always happens.  Designing historically, and receiving serendipities, above.
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Makes me laugh out loud, every time.
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The serendipities are sign posts, "You're doing this right."  More, knowing my Muse is in league with the same Providence as, above.  They're all having a party while I'm working.  This 'work' my party ticket.
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Work a poor word for my livelihood.  One meaning includes, "...the absence of pleasure."
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Anyway.  All of the above merely letting you know when you get it right, you'll receive party tickets too.  Along with a gorgeous garden.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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Pics from Ben Pentreath.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tiny Garden Respite


Probably slapdash, below.  Yet fine tuned, inherent.  Barrel & half barrel collateral from their Vins & Liqueurs.  Even the colors echo from building to barrel.  Sited in equal asymmetry as the architecture, and function.  Finally, the trinity of pots/plants on the table, each a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, yet matched disparateness.

La rue des Ursins à l'angle de la rue des Chantres, Paris (IVe arr.), France, juillet 1914, (Autochrome, 9 x 12 cm), Stéphane Passet, Département des Hauts-de-Seine, musée Albert-Kahn, Archives de la Planète, A 13 657
Pic, above, here.

Adore how little the 'garden', how great its statement.
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Furniture in-the-garden maximized to function, yet warm invitation to comfort & hospitality.  Table/chairs echoed just inside the door, repetition.  And those fonts.
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A sliver between building and road, yet a respite from those worlds.
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An odd affliction, adoring  little-giving-much.  Especially potent when it's woven into a livelihood.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Foundation Planting vs. Eco/Sustainable/Nature

There is a broader horizon for foundations.
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Builders must receive a certificate of occupancy ahead of selling a new construction home.  Most USA jurisdictions have a minimal landscaping requirement for that certificate of occupancy: square footage of lawn, number of bushes, and number of trees.  Builders are doing their job, it's not on them to change standards.
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Beyond that outline the types/placement of bushes/trees is not defined further.  Decades pass, the builder's landscaping remains.  No concern for trees to shade in summer/warm in winter/block winter winds reducing HVAC expense and increasing property value, mature growth that won't break foundations/walks/drives/rot roofs or siding.
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Civic duty is met, a baseline standard, and keep it tidy.  Little relation to eco, sustainable, Nature.  That trinity is ours to define.  One of life's great gifts, if we take it.
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Centuries before American foundation plantings, there were gardens, below.
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A garden design course, below, in a single photo.
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Better, eco/sustainable/Nature.  Increasing lifestyle & property value.
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** Life in the Netherlands.
Pic, above, here.
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This garden, above, feels like it's been let out of the jail of foundation plantings.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Andy Warhol: Creating Atmosphere

Worthwhile or a fail.  For better, for worse.  Better than nothing.  Ok, accepted, it is what it is.
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Patio furniture is sold by patio furniture companies.  They arrange, style, stage, shoot, sell.  All good, and normal.
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How is it, patio furniture is purchased, and arranged in lockstep to the advertising?  Rooms To Go, exterior version.
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Buy me, we've done the thinking for you.  I buy a lot of things for that reason alone.
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Patio furniture much better than when I began my career in the 80's when every price point subdivision had the requisite white plastic table/chairs, Weber grill, and a mop on the patio.
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Comfort & function & aesthetics are sold in unison now, below, if you don't have the time to figure out your personal version.  Andy Warhol has a nice quote about atmosphere in NYC restaurants, and that's why people are happy to pay the prices, to get away from their lives, for a little while.   ("New York restaurants now have a new thing — they don’t sell their food, they sell their atmosphere. They say, “How dare you say we don’t have good food, when we never said we had good food. We have good atmosphere.” They caught on that what people really care about is changing their atmosphere for a couple of hours. That’s why they can get away with just selling their atmosphere with a minimum of actual food. Pretty soon when food prices go really up, they’ll be selling only atmosphere. If people are really all that hungry, they can bring food with them when they go out to dinner, but otherwise, instead of “going out to dinner” they’ll just be “going out to atmosphere.”)


 Now, buy atmosphere, plop it on your patio, voila, get away from your life, without leaving home.
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Want the look, below, but can't afford it?  Field gather, with a critical eye, chairs, tables, sofas, paint them all the same color.            


Garden at Restoration Hardware LA:
Pic, above, here.
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Am field gathering yard furnishings now for our ca. 1900 home.  Its atmosphere a delight to work with, quite controlling.
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Choose the aesthetic you want, keep a sure eye, have fun.  Buy classics, you won't have to buy again.  Once & done.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Outdoor Dining Table

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

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Southern Living Magazine: A Garden

For 20 years of my career, Southern Living magazine was 'the' resource for clients.  Most had pages dog-eared or torn out ready to show the garden of their dreams.  In return, equally, it was gratifying to reproduce those beautiful images.  Aside from reading Southern Living myself, for pleasure, I 'had' to read it because it was an expectation of clients.  
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Then came John Floyd's retirement in 2008, the editor for those glory years my clients adored.
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After John Floyd, Southern Living became a magazine for Southerners written through the prism of those outside the South.  Dropped my subscription after an article that can only be described as snarky & demeaning, lacking in inspiration, choosing the trite & hackneyed, without intellect or stewardship, time enriched became time wasted.  How could they.  Get John back.
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Oddly, another magazine had just been founded a year prior to John Floyd's retirement, Garden & Gun.  What a title.  It sputtered, as all businesses did during the debacle of 2008.  Time passed, about 5 years ago clients would start a sentence, "Did you see the latest Garden & Gun"?  Never was it about a garden, but someplace to eat, travel, or an article richly configured splaying open an epiphany, or two.  Three years ago, after buying a few copies on news stands, knew I had to get a subscription.  Zero disappointment.  However, the 'garden' part of Garden & Gun seems shallowly formulated, still in its infancy.  Don't care.  The rest of the magazine gives more than enough.
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Saw a garden picture, below, recently and love it.  Enough love, had to discover its source.  Well, go team, Southern Living magazine.  Hope this spark turns into a fire and I get 2-3 clients saying, "I saw this in Southern Living...."


Front Porch with Green Rocking Chairs

Just wow, above/below, simple, comfortable, easy to maintain, leveraging life, not sucking the life out of you trying to keep it up, and historically accurate.
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Monteagle, Tennessee Cottage

The story gets better with this garden, above.  The Southern Living article includes the interior.  This is a second home for the owners, and part of their joy in this home is sharing it with others, whether they are there, or not.
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Yeah, Southern Living magazine is back on the radar.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Oh irony.  Garden & Gun hired a lot of staff from NYCity, relocating them to the South at its founding.

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Aerin Lauder: Old Soul

Many times thru the years I'll see a pretty garden photo, below, not knowing who the garden belongs to, and it is Aerin Lauder's.  Instead of thinking, 'Of course she has the money.....', I know something different about her garden/s.  Studying historic gardens across Europe it is not uncommon for gardeners to inherit their parents/grandparents home/garden.
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What I see with Aerin Lauder's gardening is someone who's a smart cookie, and an old soul.  She's not recreating the wheel, she's making the wheel better.  Her ego isn't about tossing the baby out with the bath water, to create her own 'original' garden.  No, she's wise.  Trusting what's been given, and adding her unique stewardship with every fiber of her talents.
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Refreshing furniture arrangement, below.  Myriad historic garden design rules followed in the pic, below.  Canopy & understory trees, ceiling/floor, hi/low density, focal point on axis, choosing a color theme & overdosing it, contrasting textures, use-what-you-have, flow, mystery, scale, maximum pollinator habitat and more.   This lone pic, below, could be used for a Garden Design course.


Pic, above, here.


Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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So, do you know why the top pic is a garden space creating maximum pollinator habitat?  Majority of How-To-Attract-Butterfly seminars never mention this singular facet, merely plant-these-plants.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's Missing from this Front Porch?

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

Image may contain: outdoor and indoor

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Fine Prospect

Last of the Piedmont, below, heading into the Coastal Plain.  Earlier this month Beloved helped me place my 6' teak bench.  She had been a garden focal point for years, later, placed in my Conservatory for a couple of years, then I moved.  Now, she's subtle, purposefully insignificant, a perch for this fine prospect, below.

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Look close, below, and you'll see her.

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Invasives were impenetrable when we bought the property.  Getting to the pond not an option.  Beloved hacked a trail immediately upon closing on the property.  For months we thought the far side of the pond was the end of our land.  We discussed offering to buy more land from that owner.  Then we got a survey.  Great news, we already owned a nice amount of land behind the pond.  A bottle of champagne had been in the fridge far too long.  We toasted our good news.
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Last weekend was full, by early Sunday evening I was craving solitude, wildly.  My DNA spoke, Get yourself back to the pond bench.  Six feet long, I sat in a corner of my bench, cradled by an arm & back.  Old friend, you came to me as a Christmas gift from a pair I loved, now gone, how was I to know it would be just you & me, and you would give an embrace of solace?
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Black Eagle
Pic, above, here.
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Beloved found me on the bench, he had ridden in on the Gator.  Sat next to me for a few very short minutes, said a few things about clearing the growing underbrush.  He finally became aware of my face, above, and drove away.
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Not an introvert, he will never understand my need for solitude, but he did understand my eyes, leaving me to harvest my riches.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

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