Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thinking Like Nicky Haslam & Bunny Mellon

Garden writing.  In the macro.  During the 80's House & Garden, and Horticulture magazine, were electric.  Editors knew who to hire for their garden articles, which gardens were acceptable, for both photography and words.  More importantly they knew how to edit, aka, curate.  Blessed was the era. 
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I see clothing, food, health, interior design writing/photography and still find good hiring and curating.  Getting their message, mission, conveyed.
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All the clothing/lifestyle ideas, below, point toward action, see/do.  An informed attitude, curated.  See it, get it, do it.  No where do I see, below, details about how to wash the clothes, dry the clothes, perhaps iron, buff the shoes, apply the make-up, etc. 
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You've taken my point.  With garden writing, I take you for having intelligence, wit, and nuance.   

wear this there: the native hotel.
Pic, above, here.
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 A John Fowler pelmet
Pic, above, here.
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Pic, above, is a garden writing pic.  Yet, again, produced outside the garden writing venue, interior design.  Many thanks to interior design writing/photography honoring the garden, as greatly as they do.
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Garden design begins inside your home, from the views looking out.  No surprise the owner of this home, above, is also a famous gardener, Nicky Haslam, who is, in addition, a well known interior designer, bon vivant, singer, writer... 
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Would be good to see a collage, similar to the top pic, next to the pic, above.  More, and have it be a normal part of the processes of garden writing.  Me?  Yes, I want to be that garden writer, but for the filthy lucre, my plate is full, garden designing, contracting, speaking, writing.  No worries, working on this idea, finally beyond the macro, into the micro. 
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As I write about garden-writing and how it comes up short, so, too, Nicky Haslam, “Decoration has become a faintly pejorative word...  There is almost no acknowledgment of the design world and its contribution to the economy by our government but there are endless accolades for fashion.”   
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Several years ago, Georgia was in a dire drought, and the governor turned off the water for all outdoor garden use, all.  Harm to the horticulture industry was extreme.  Two leaders, from agriculture and horticulture, put together their facts/figures about their respective industries, with their combined value to the Georgia economy, in sales & jobs.  They made an appointment with the governor, 48 hours later Georgia's water was turned back on, with restrictions, but water flowed. 
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Perhaps you merely thought I was writing about the state of garden writing, isn't-that-quaint type of foolishness.  Money is on the table.  And, being lost.
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Big money, at least the governor thought so.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Finally arrayed my interiors with evergreen topiaries.  Delivered to the front porch last week.  A box full of thriving plants & a box of books delivered to the doorstep are one of life's delights.  Plant stands, antique ironstone saucers, trays, baskets, terra cotta pots, ironstone cache pots, sourced for years, waiting.  Beyond the garden design conceit, for centuries, having plants on the windowsill, top pic, and elsewhere inside, Bunny Mellon, perfected interior topiary to its own art, almost the raison d'etre of her interior design.  Remember, see it/get it/do it, from above ?  Seeing Bunny's interiors, I knew to trust having evergreen topiaries. 
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Pic, above, Fred Conrad, here
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Adore the off hand, seemingly lower than subsidiary focal point, topiary, above, with Bunny. 
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Meeting with a client yesterday, wildly fabulous appointment (we flagged her new drive/parking court/front walk), I mentioned to her what happened, bringing the topiaries into my interiors.  No words for their impact, excepting one, spiritual.  My client immediately said, "Of course they are, that's why flowers are brought to someone in the hospital."  Reminded me of a friend's home, perhaps the best interior decorator I know, yet she's never done it professionally.  Her interiors so incredible, the very air is designed more fabulous.  Again, no good words for describing her work.  And, she always has a live plant as part of her interior design. 
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"I don’t really come by to pray,” Mellon once told the rector of an Episcopalian church in the Norman medieval style that she financed and helped design. “I come in to talk with God because he’s a dear, dear friend of mine."  From,  NYTimes Bunny Mellon obituary, here.
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Also, from her obituary, "...shockingly extravagant and studiously understated: Her aesthetic motto was “nothing should be noticed.”  Recently a client texted me that quote.  It had impacted her too.  I had first read it in the obituary.
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With a long time client last week, delving into a new life layer with house/garden, we sat together vision questing.  Almost the full tapestry of 'life' woven throughout.  I had mentioned Bunny Mellon xyz.  Whatever.  Leaving the appointment, standing in her back hallway toward the door, she hands me a photo torn from a magazine years ago,  something else she wants for her garden.  It was a photo of Bunny Mellon's arbor allee of crabapple trees.  
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Putting topiaries in my home did not provide the expected results.  Instead, far greater has been gained than imagined.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beyond the Obvious: This Gate's Full Mission

Born a Garden Whisperer, holes were left in that primordial gift.  Holes created before birth, when thousands of years of Gardening transitioned from pastoral to industrial, less than 200 years ago. 
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Decades of my life passed before I knew anything was missing.  True to form, lacking knowledge about gardening never stopped me from knowing what it was all about.  The grand gift of Providence to all.  We are set on this garden of Earth, soil, plants, sun/moon, livestock, pastures, weather, poof, we're each an expert.  It's just dirt, right?
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For the few choosing to seriously Garden, realization arrives, in our industrialized era, we have no vocabulary to describe gardening.
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Little time to go deeper, instead, will give you a huge hint about what our era has lost.  Providence never separated horticulture from agriculture.  Still doesn't.  We separate it at our own peril, and do.  Mostly without realization.  No judgment.  How could I?  Lived decades, seriously Gardening, before awakening.
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All of the, above, is about the gate, below.  Secondarily about its brick wall.

Walled garden
Pic, above, here.
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So, the gate, above.
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Pretty, is obvious.  It's form chosen with love, care, purpose.
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Go further, to its function, look past its form.
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Can you tell me the gate's diligent purpose in function?  Beyond the macro, to the micro.
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Seriously, why is the gate formed to function exactly as it is?  Beyond pretty, there is serious business taking place with this gate.
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How did I discover the purpose of this gate's function?  Working for a client, on a farm.  As Providence intended, discovery working from a pastoral life.  Not that industrialization is bad, but the lifestyle of stewardship pastoral living conveys into us has been lost, in the macro, and too much of the micro, with industrialization.
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Getting to the understanding of this gate, and its function, was deeply humbling.  What else am I not
seeing?  If I didn't get-it about this type of gate for so many decades.
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Wildly tempted to not tell you, here, the purpose of this gate's function.  Wanting you to think for yourself.  Not a bit of arrogance, more, sharing in how I adore to learn.
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My grandmother would have known exactly why this gate has its form for its function.  Born early 20th century, raised on a farm, pastoral.  She was living fully in the industrialized era by the time I was born.
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No.  You figure it out.  The gate's full purpose.  My gift to you, figuring it out.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Would not have figured it out myself, without having clients on farms.  Once discovered, OBVIOUS, basic.  Simplicity of answer, a life epiphany.  Pastorally, the answer is 1st order thinking.  Industrialized, I could not have answered it, without dipping into pastoral.  What more have we lost, living industrialized?
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Remember your math book from high school?  It would have a few of the answers at the back of the book, so you could check your work, but not all.  Ha, this is one of those.  The answer is not down here, it's for you to own and enjoy.
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TARA DILLARD: Focal Points in the Landscape
Pic, above, a gate in my garden.
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This gate, above, would be no good, for a potager walled garden.  Chickens can get thru.  Lose an entire crop of seedlings?  Damage beyond repair dozens of crop plants?  Not an option, when the food you grow is mostly the only food you have.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blank Wall Garden Design

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

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Overdose on a Theme: Squares

A 1st order Garden Design rule is to use contrasts for impact, big leaves next to small leaves, burgundy foliage next to chartreuse, rounded tree canopy with a cone shaped tree, and etc.
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A later Garden Design rule, depending upon your character, is to Overdose on a theme, below.
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Design a square garden room with square pavers planted with square beds, pruning plants into squares backdropped with a brick wall of rectangles.  Oooh yes, made me smile. 
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Great scenario proving Garden Design Rules allow total freedom.  Using contrast and overdose a theme, below, for this particular gardener, created emergent behavior.  "Emergent behavior, in many instances the whole seems to take on a life of its own.  Almost dissociated from the specific characteristics of its individual building blocks."  Geoffrey West. 

Mien Ruys _/////_
Pic, above, here.
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Wicked fun creating your own emergent behavior.  Oddly, you'll find your tribe when your garden begins to manifest.  Build it and they will come, is true. 
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All, using Garden Design rules centuries old.  Promise.
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Don't forget, Copy, is one of the first rules of Garden Design.  No two sites are the same, each copy unique, if not totally emergent behavior.  Choice is yours.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Garden Design Elements: Without Considering What Plant Goes Where

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

Charlie Munger: Incentives

Incentives to have a pretty landscape?  Few.  For broad swaths, seemingly, none.  Note, a tidy landscape is fine or perhaps maintaining the status quo, but that's not the hunt here.
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What's the hunt?  Total Dr. Sacks, an awakening, bearing witness to another's self-aware choice to broaden their horizon beyond tidy and the status quo. 
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E.M.Forster circled it well in A Room With a View, Mr. Beebe notes Miss Honeychurch, Lucy, playing piano with wild passion, yet her daily life a dull drama.  When will Lucy match her music?
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When will you?  Have you?  Remember the moment of choice?
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'I want my landscape to be a pretty backdrop to living', seems wildly too much to ask, if you were merely to drive about noticing landscapes.  I want to look out every window of my home and think, 'wow',.
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Who gets this 'landscape as backdrop to life' mostly?  Largest segment hiring me to design their garden as a place fun to be in, and a backdrop, women about to have their first grandchild.  Merely empirical evidence from a 30+ year career in Garden Design.  That is a wow, and you can't make this stuff up. 


Pic, above, here.
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Ironically, science has been proving we 'need' Nature as a backdrop to our lives for optimum health, since we've moved away from agrarian/pastoral to industrialized culture.  Microbiomes, and etc, the good health incentive. 
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More, a good landscape improves property values.  A landscape as beautiful backdrop to your life inherently includes placements of plants, lowering HVAC bills.  There you have it, the money motive incentive.
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There you have it, incentives to a beautiful landscape as a backdrop to your life.  Whooooooppppppiiiii, my dear friend, and WWII veteran, Johnny Colbert would say.
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No matter your era or persuasion, we are all placed on this Earth after Providence first made it a beautiful garden.  It didn't have to be beautiful, merely functional, yet it's beautiful too.  Why?   
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Charlie Munger, "Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives." 
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We live in a culture of show me, don't tell me.  Until the 19th century, agrarian/pastoral, individual lives were about developing character, afterward the macro culture, now industrialized, became a culture of personality.  We're less than 2 hundreds years, after a prologue of thousands of years, navigating our lives not planted in Earth, but air layered to the construct of our own making, not Nature's. 
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Landscape, above, is humorous, evoking both charismatic personality, and pastoral beauty.  No surprise the photographer knew this made great art.
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Something odd and wildly unexpected arrived, creating my own beautiful landscape as a backdrop to my life.  My garden is my friend.  Literally, my friend.  Time passed from this epiphany, and realized more, my garden is my Friend.  Crazy statement I know.  Remember well, in my 20's someone said to me, "No one can live without art."  With my beautiful landscape's teaching I know her statement is more correctly, "No one can live without Art."
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More crazy, getting to this layer of Life, I've found my tribe.  Going so deeply inward, connections are made outwardly.
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Want a beautiful backdrop landscape to your life?  Heads-up, having the epiphany, then making it happen, will take time, but sprinkle great joys along the timeline. 
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There is a large portion of women at my speaking engagements with an entirely different reason for wanting to create a beautiful landscape as backdrop to their lives.  Misery.  Life events have conspired, taking joy away.  They've come to the lecture, knowing this is how they are getting their joy back.  Oh my the tears I've been honored to bear witness to, in those moments.  Almost always in a hallway outside the auditorium.  Words tumbling out with tears, stories, told disjointed, freedom to finally let the misery go.  Nancy Sinatra, "These boots are made for walking.", and I know where those boots are walking to, and from.  Yes, I get the juicy bits of their stories too, but won't go there.  Their tears begin falling from the misery, and end falling in joy.  Perfect art film moment.  Changing misery to joy, great incentive. 
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T           

Friday, November 10, 2017

Zone of Magic: Work = Love

When did 'work' become a bad word?  Certainly, the entirety of my lifetime.  Now, 'work'  has a floating zone of meaning.  Quite a few epiphanies getting here, the work of a lifetime, zero pun intended.
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Within vocation, I know work to be, Work = Love.  Discovering work in the landscape is pure washing-of-the-servants-feet.  A privilege.  Finally, 5 years ago, having chickens for the first time.  Guess what chickens taught me about gardening?  Not something to be told, instead, experienced, gaining full depth of this particular lesson, perhaps the most important lesson, beyond Work = Love.  Do you already know what chickens taught me about gardening? 
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Stewardship.
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This epiphany in breadth/depth/width/height beyond measure.  Once arrived, stewardship in the landscape metaphor, gave way to the doors opening to all parts of my life.  I am here for stewardship.  We all are.  Fun to put it out there, remembering well, many decades of others putting their 'idea' out there, knowing they were crazy.  Ok, I'm crazy for this, guilty as charged, proud of it.
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Here's the thing, have found my tribe at this layer.  More, get to see stewardship and work = love, in action, in others.  Humbling, and educational.
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In the realm of gardening, Garden Design, my mission, for decades, create, promote, educate.  Create a beautiful garden, promote the right plant in the right spot, and educate about plants-maintenance-design. 
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"Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives."  Charlie Munger.
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Bigger picture, in the landscape, macro/micro, how to get a neighborhood to realize improving their landscapes improves property values for all, decreases HVAC expense for all?  Money, as incentive.
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Certainly, money, is an incentive.  What are the myriad incentives to garden, landscape, garden design, for the majority of people?  How to get, in the garden realm, from work equals dreadful to Work = Love ?
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"I think I've been the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I've underestimated it.  And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther."  Charlie Munger.
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"A lot of success....in business comes from knowing what you really want to avoid."  Charlie Munger.
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Humorously, at the front end of gardening, moth to a flame, every garden cliche to avoid, that-be-me.  How was I to know, gardening/landscaping/garden-design is counterintuitive?  There was no resource listing what to avoid in landscaping, gardening, Garden Design.  Now, that-be-me.  More than a 180 about what it takes to have a beautiful garden, the collateral narrative of a life, 180 too.  Did not see that coming. 


stonefields
Pic, above, here.

 On the grounds of the Chateau de Voisins, Saint Hilarion, France, October 26, 1927, by Roger Dumas, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /DĂ©partement des Hauts-de-Seine.…
Pic, above, here.
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Centuries of wisdom, above.  Garden Design course in a single picture.  At the front end of Garden Design, I did not see, aka understand, all this garden wields, nor did I like this type of Garden Design.  Remember, well, that girl.
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Now?  I can teach a 3 day class on this Garden Design, above.  And have.  Teaching at the Atlanta Botanical garden.  Check, for 2 decades.  Teaching at the local college, check, and award winning there, too.  Remember, where I began, not liking the garden, above.  Get the memo, it's a life memo too, Work = Love, and stewardship, and etc....... 
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Better than a life memo, a G*d wink.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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More Charlie Munger, below.

"Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.

In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.

Choose clients as you would friends.

The best armour of 0ld age is a well-spent life preceding it.

When you borrow a man’s car, always return it with a tank of gas.

If only I had the influence with my wife and children that I have in some other quarters!

Take a simple idea and take it seriously.

In business we often find that the winning system goes almost ridiculously far in maximizing and or minimizing one or a few variables — like the discount warehouses of Costco.

Don’t do cocaine. Don’t race trains. And avoid AIDS situations.

We look for a horse with one chance in two of winning and which pays you three to one.

You’re looking for a mispriced gamble. That’s what investing is. And you have to know enough to know whether the gamble is mispriced. That’s value investing.

It takes character to sit there with all that cash and do nothing. I didn’t get to where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.

A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.

All intelligent investing is value investing — acquiring more than you are paying for.

You must value the business in order to value you the stock.

No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.

There are worse situations than drowning in cash and sitting, sitting, sitting. I remember when I wasn’t awash in cash — and I don’t want to go back.

…it never ceases to amaze me to see how much territory can be grasped if one merely masters and consistently uses all the obvious and easily learned principles.

Once you get into debt, it’s hell to get out. Don’t let credit card debt carry over. You can’t get ahead paying eighteen percent.

If you always tell people why, they’ll understand it better, they’ll consider it more important, and they’ll be more likely to comply.

Spend less than you make; always be saving something. Put it into a tax-deferred account. Over time, it will begin to amount to something. This is such a no-brainer.

You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.

Three rules for a career: 1) Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself; 2) Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire; and 3) Work only with people you enjoy.

I won’t bet $100 against house odds between now and the grave.

I try to get rid of people who always confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge.

…being an effective teacher is a high calling.

I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart…

Without numerical fluency, in the part of life most of us inhibit, you are like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

In my life there are not that many questions I can’t properly deal with using my $40 adding machine and dog-eared compound interest table."

Monday, November 6, 2017

Garden Design: From Low Order Thinking to Emergent Behavior

Chairs, below, come in aluminum.  Don't know if these are.
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At the front end of wanting a pretty landscape this type of garden, below, was intimidating, for the most ridiculous of reasons.  Aside from assuming great expense, it got worse.  Who was I to have a garden like this?  Certainly a low order of mentality.
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"There is a kind of shrewdness many men have that enables them to get money.  It is the shrewdness of the fox after the chicken.  A low order of mentality goes with it."  Sherwood Anderson, 1876-1941, in a letter to his son.
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Low level thinking, I was spot on. 


Pic, above, here.
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"Inspiration exists but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso
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".....acquire power over your aye and no and learn to hold and withhold them in accordance with your higher aims."  W.E.B. DuBois in a letter to his daughter.
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Plantaholic, no worries about Garden Design.  Getting the plants I wanted, arranging them beautifully, while delightful in the micro, macro was the true hunt.  Ah, seeing past the low order of mentality.  (One must keep a sense of humor about our past selves.)
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See plant I love, buy it, until about age 26.  That was my low order power thinking.  I was that fox just-a-gittin'it-after-the-chicken.
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"Power laws are interesting because they reveal surprising correlations between disparate factors as a mental model, power laws are versatile, with numerous applications in different fields of knowledge." Shane Parrish. 
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Moving further from the fox just-a-gittin-it there are linear relationships, 'twice as big requires twice as much, non-linear relationships 'don't need twice as much for twice as big' they're a more efficient system.  Finally, there is the complex system, a system made up of myriad components, called emergent behavior.  Emergent behavior, "In many instances the whole seems to take on a life of its own.  Almost disassociated from the specific characteristics of it's individual building block." Geoffrey West.
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For the time & money my first landscape, in my early 20's, quickly showed "Diminishing returns: Point where more input yields progressively less output."  Shane Parrish.  Also known as my inspiration to work harder, buy books, take classes, get another college degree, horticulture.  That first garden made from love, but low order thinking, was not what I wanted.  I was smart, energetic, in deep desire, yet the garden, awful.
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Garden Design is not the fox after the chicken, nor linear thinking or non-linear thinking, and more than a complex system.  Garden Design is Emergent Behavior.  Layers of garden design rules compound upon themselves, how could they not, working with living materials, weather, and the non-linear relationships of much of this narrative between layers and their collateral 'amplify results'.
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Still with me?
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"Any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to Be Happy."  Eugene O'Neil.
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Back to the garden, above.  It's a Garden Design course in a single photo.  Hi density/low density, canopy, understory, walls, floors, focal points, entries, axis, double axis, comfort, dining/furnishings, Nature, invitation, pretty all year, even in snow.  Further, if plantings are chosen wisely, they will be deer proof, need no irrigation/chemicals, little pruning.   
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Friday, November 3, 2017

Earthing: Bare Feet on Earth, Why You Need Earthing & The Science of Earthing

Front end of my career in horticulture I lectured at local garden clubs.  Decades later, still lecturing at local garden clubs, in addition to key note lecturing in auditoriums, ballrooms, tents...  Why?  Old school, paying it forward.  I owe the Garden Clubs.
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Garden Club ladies 'made' my career.  More, I see & experience what Garden Clubs do for their individual neighborhoods.  What?  Garden Clubs are the last bastion of civility in the tapestry of community.  They keep neighborhoods informed of police activity, new/departing neighbors, holiday decorating, neighbors with a major health issue or new baby, often they send cards, bring meals, sponsor a yearly garden tour, have annual all neighborhood party, provide scholarships, maintain entrance signs/landscape and more.
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Rare is the Garden Club lecture given, without me learning something new. 
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Giving a Garden Club lecture last month, during the Q/A, blessedly, a woman mentioned, walking on Earth barefoot.  She didn't have a lot of knowledge about it but she had bought a book about Earthing, not read yet.
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Fruit loopy enough to catch my attention.  A joy to be past the age of perfect knowledge, instead of thinking she was a fruitcake.  Today, had time to look up her cray cray comments about walking on Earth barefoot.

Healing ~ Get your feet in the mud.  Earthing can help you sleep better, feel more calm, find relief from chronic pain, decrease inflammation, and improve blood pressure.
Pic, above, here.
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The National Institutes of Health produced, Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons. 
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  Abstract
"Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits—including better sleep and reduced pain—from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance. "  Full article, here


 Learn the benefits of earthing and how simple it is to reconnect to the earth. #health #earthing #grounding
Pic, above, here.
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The Earth Beneath Your Feet (Part 1): Why Going Barefoot May Boost Your Health and Beauty (and Dirt Just Might Act as a Giant Antioxidant), by Sara Gottfried, MD.

"Is “Earthing” Totally Woo-Woo Pseudoscience?

It’s called earthing because some scientists theorize that to stay healthy, particularly with all the stray electrons we’re exposed to from constant smart phone and computer use to insulation from our cars and shoes from earth energy, our bodies need a daily charge from mild electrical currents surging through the earth’s surface.
Think of yourself as a walking talking battery-powered device. You need to plug into the earth to keep all your systems charged and running at optimum levels, particularly your adrenal glands and how they are managed by your brain signals (and burned out by stress).  Hey, it works for your phone and your toothbrush… why not the human body?
Sometimes called grounding, you can also accomplish the task by swimming in salt water. Just like electrical connections in our homes need to be grounded, so do we.  Otherwise we go all haywire and the results can be major mood tankers such as: chronic pain, sleep issues, endocrine imbalances, depression, anxiety and possibly even mood swings and weight problems.  Even the aging process itself."  Full article, here
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 The benefits of earthing, and a review of Juil earthing shoes.
Pic, above, here.

 Healing with earth energy. Download a powerful meditation for deep emotional healing at SuzanneHeyn.com. Perfect for transforming pain into peace and wisdom, healing grief and connecting to your true self. It's free!
Pic, above, here.
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From, David Benjamin,

By walking barefoot we experience multiple benefits that we don’t receive either at all or nearly as much by walking with shoes. One of the more obvious benefits of walking barefoot is that we have a connection to the earth and it’s magnetic field. Our body is conductive to the earth and the earth is conductive to our body. The earth is full of negative ions and we flood our body with negative ions by walking barefoot, this is also known as ‘earthing’ or grounding. A great book to read to learn more about this is the book Earthing by: Clinton Ober.
We need negative ions, especially in today’s world. Positive ions are more abundant in cities and anywhere near electronics and electro-magnetic frequencies. Think your cell phone, laptop, tablet, television, cell phone towers, microwave etc. Basically anything with a power source that emits a signal, bluetooth, wifi, even electronics that don’t emit a signal still emit positive ions. Because we live in a world of positive ions and disconnect ourselves from the earth’s natural negative ion field we are flooding our body with pro-inflammatory positive ions caused by the electronics and gadgets around us."  Full article, here
More from this Author 
David Benjamin is the founder of HealthyWildAndFree.com. He's a health and & green living advocate. He is the author of Dirt Cheap Weight Loss: 101 Ways To Lose Weight On A Budget. He believes that if we take care of ourselves and take care of our planet we can enjoy a much more sustainable, healthy, happy and harmonious life. Eat your greens, Live green and appreciate the green around you! Pura Vida :)You can connect with me on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram.

 Walk barefoot On earth ‘Earthing’ or grounding as commonly known, involves placing the feet to the ground directly without a barrier of socks or shoes.
Pic, above, here.

 High Flying Vibrations | Raising your vibration one post at a time
Pic, above, here.

 Repost🌾Follow @universecosmopolite🐝🐝Walking barefoot even for 5 minutes a day is very beneficial for your health. Make sure your feet are touching the actual earth or sand (not pavement) and shuffle your feet as you walk for maximum health benefits. Contacting the Earth physically will help the body shed the build up energy from cell phones, computers, TVs..anything electrical and it will absorb healthy grounding Earth energy. Within 5 minutes (though 20 mins is ideal) you will feel muc...
Pic, above, here.
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Welcome to Earthing & Grounding.
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Exciting to discover the science for what I've done, as a primal need, since earliest memory, playing on the Earth.  Explains what I did moving from my 30 year home/garden.  Began crying at a restaurant during dinner, day before closing.  Crying became intolerable, had to leave restaurant, Beloved sure I'd lost it.  I had.  In the car all I could say, between sobs, Take me to the mountain, Take me to the mountain, Let me out at the walk-up trail.  Smart man, performed as requested.  I knew the only place I could stop crying was to lay flat on my back, on Stone Mountain.  Pure granite.  Under the stars & moon, laying on Stone Mountain, I cried, sobs.  Did not know a person could do such crying, nor almost an hour of sobs.  I was Earthing/Grounding in its most literal sense.  .
Explains my walking around Stone Mountain 3-6x/week the entire 33 years living in Atlanta.  Earthing.  Needing the ion exchange, without having the science or terminology.
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Ha, who is laughing now?
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If you've read this far, you got the science of Earthing/Grounding.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blossom from Your Roots

"Those who deny their roots won't blossom."  Dave Weinbaum
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More than roots of family, roots of your soul's joy, grace, peace must blossom.
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In your landscape, will I know who you are, to your roots?
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Ironically, to those who love you, a high percentage anyway, will be afraid of your blossoming.  In whatever form/root you choose to blossom.  Take that to the bank, stick a fork in it, a stinker when haters-gonna-hate arrives at your doorstep from 'loved ones'.  Truly, in the full epoch of your life, failure to blossom in the landscape, because of a 'loved one' ?


Pic, above, here.  Snyders, Frans--Bodegon.
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Visited a friend's garden last month, hadn't been there in YEARS.  A joy of time/place/camaraderie.  She's done so much, some in frustration without full blossom.  Her husband at the root of that.  Quickly told her of Beloved's 'No Zone'.  My belief it is a 'man' thing, not specific to a certain man, just men liking their comfort zone, and control.  Encounter it often, too often, the manly, 'No Zone'.  Not a bad thing, just a thing that 'is'.
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She loved it.  Hugged me, said she was so relieved I put up with it too, the 'No Zone'.  She thought she was in this No Zone boat, alone.  Not !
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How do I deal with the No Zone?  Deeply considered Landscape plans, shared once vision quested, then pay for what I want myself.  Ha, that pay wall thing.  Follow the money.
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Another friend's garden visited this year, a new home and landscape.  Something worse than a partner's No Zone is happening.  Alas, this is haters-gonna-hate, witnessed several times thru the years.  My friend has encountered cutting remarks about their new beautiful/fabulous garden/home from several long-time friends, several.  Obviously, those friendships much thinner to gone.  Sadly, witnessing this scenario happens about once in 4-5 years with clients/friends.  Haters-gonna-hate the jealousy version.
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Mention this only because I see it occur, and to those experiencing it, you probably think it is only you, you're somehow at fault.  Nope.
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All of this, inspired by the floral arrangement, above.  I have zero skills for floral design, it's its own world of skill/talent.  However, this floral arrangement I can do, antique bowl included.  My budget has never allowed for such a bowl, however, I do have similar old bowls from thrift stores, junk shops.  All  with cracks/chips.  Love cracks/chips, I can afford them.
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Not allowing myself to blossom, for lack of vision questing or $$$, not an option.  I adore people who blossom.  Being in bud is as pleasurable as blossoming.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T         
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A client many years ago, huge home, huge property, had a No Zone husband, didn't want her to work, or garden.  Her plan of attack to blossom in her garden?  She worked for cash for a neighbor, paid cash for what she wanted in the garden.  The garden bills her husband paid?  Poor man, he honestly thought the incredible garden cost what he paid.  Their entire neighborhood, sans the men, knew how her garden was paid for.  Old story, clients both passed away....  Hope this isn't too much truth...  Indeed, I have garden stories NOT to be told here.  That's why my Conservatory in the garden for lunch, or later with wine/canapes quite the delight.  Small groups.  Stories I have, and oh my, better, the stories I'm told. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sourcing for the Seasons: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years

Creating a container, or several, for the upcoming holidays.  With beauty, and without angst.
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Ingredients easily transposed to what you can source.  Sourcing includes what is 'found' and what is purchased. 
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Focus on the shape of your container/s, and the silhouette of your arrangement.  Shapes to copy, below.  Not your traditional garden container shapes/plantings, more, taking from the realm of Florists.
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Winter Container Garden Ideas
Pic, above, here.
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Containers, above/below, expensive, even sourced 2nd hand.  Broaden your scope, retaining visions of these, yet transposing to finds at thrift store, junk shop, side of the road on garbage pick-up day.

 Winter Container Garden Ideas
Pic, above, here.
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Pic, above, here.
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Adore this Halloween party, above.  Pure stage decorating, feels like a true Birthday party celebration for hallowed souls....
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Transposing, above, I've already sourced velvety & feathered red cardinals to set upon branches sprayed white, going up just after Thanksgiving, and remaining thru New Years.  Branches from my woodland, and those cardinals sourced at dollar store.  Two for a dollar to be exact.
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Easy.  I like pretty, and easy.  And the fun of the hunt.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Top 2 pics look like Deborah Silver's work, but didn't see her credited. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Modernity of Historic Garden Design: More You

Shoes, below, centuries old.

1750-1800, the Netherlands - Mules - Silk damask, leather
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design, below, centuries old.

Heijlo, 1789, Archief Alkmaar, flickr
Pic, above, here.
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Shoes & Garden 'read' modern.
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"..that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection."  Lord Bacon, written centuries ago. 
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Discovering this Dutch Garden Design, above, I was excited to discovered who designed it.  A new talent?  Who could this be?  Simple, elegant, functional.
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Instead, centuries old.  So modern, it feels like a conversation, no, a new friend and discussion about Garden Design. 
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Why is it a new gardener is convinced they will recreate the wheel of Garden Design?  That would be me, decades ago.  Now?  Blessed to have left that persona in the rubbish heap.  More, with a knowing smile, not persona, ego.  Counterintuitively, historic Garden Design is about becoming more 'you'.  A proscenium for your life.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T