Showing posts with label Axis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Axis. Show all posts

Monday, July 24, 2017

Double Axis: Focal Point Technique

Double Axis.  A focal point must have a focal point at both ends of its axis..
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Amazing, the things they do not teach you in school.
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Focal point bench, below.  Sitting in the bench, you must create a focal point in the opposite direction, bottom.

Weeks of endless Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration

Weeks of endless Summer - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
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Got it?
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Do it.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pics from Ben Bentreath.
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And most think Garden Design is some sort of voodoo, its practitioners thinking up la-ti-da maybe this/maybe that a bit here a bit there.  Nope.  Garden Design is pure templated known geography zero recreating the wheel its mechanics laid bare for all the world to see.  See.  Therein lies the problem.  Pure seeing.  My best epiphanies about garden design came years after looking, not seeing.  The map is not the territory.  Gardens that do not satisfy are exactly drawn from the known map.  Beautiful gardens expose the territory here, and other realms.  Want that?  Get you some.  Bemused I am about how befuddled I was before seeing the territory, trying to follow the map.
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Best compliment ever, recently.  A Canadian client said I was PECULIAR.  Ok, thank you.  In truth it's peculiar to me, trying to live by the map.  Been there done that.  Once you hop off the map, into the territory of your life, there is no going back.  Why would you?  Got it?  Do it.  Want it?  Get it.
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Warning.  Not for the faint of heart.  Leaving the map, for your territory, is exactly where the ancient mapmakers, before knowing the world was round, foretold at map's edge, Beyond this point there be dragons.  Remember the dragon, breathing fire at all who would take his virgin girl.  Every scale of his hide a 'Thou shalt not'.  That fact is living according to your life's map.  Killing that dragon is living in your life's territory.  Got that?
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From, In the Field,

"The privelege of a lifetime is being who you are.

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What you have to do, you do with play.

Life is without meaning.
You bring the meaning to it.

The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be.

Being alive is the meaning.

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The warrior's approach is to say "yes" to life: "yea" to it all.

Participate joyfully is the sorrows of the world.

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.

When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree.
The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.

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We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
If we fix on the old, we get stuck. When we hang onto any form, we are in danger of putrefaction.
Hell is life drying up.
The Hoarder, the one in us that wants to keep, to hold on, must be killed.
If we are hanging onto the form now, we're not going to have the form next.
You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Destruction before creation.

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Out of perfection nothing can be made.
Every process involves breaking something up.
The earth must be broken to bring forth life.
If the seed does not die, there is no plant.
Bread results from the death of wheat.

Life lives on lives.

Our own life lives on the acts of other people.
If you are lifeworthy, you can take it.
What we are really living for is the experience of life, both the pain and the pleasure.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.

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Opportunities to find deeper powers with ourselves come when life seems most challenging.
Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life.
We are not there until we can say "yea" to it all.
To take a righteous attitude toward anything is to denigrate it.
Awe is what moves us forward.
As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don't bother to brush it off.
Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.

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Eternity is a dimension of here and now.
The divine lives within you.

Live from your own center.

Your real duty is to go away from the community to find your bliss.

The society is the enemy when it imposes its structures on the individual.
On the dragon there are many scales. Every one of them says "Thou Shalt."
Kill the dragon "Thou Shalt."
When one has killed that dragon, one has become The Child.

Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss.
You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.

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Follow your bliss.
The heroic life is living the individual adventure.

There is no security in following the call to adventure.

Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.

To refuse the call means stagnation.
What you don't experience positively you will experience negatively.

You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.
Where there is a way or path, it is someone else's path. You are not on your own path.
If you follow someone else's way, you are not going to realize your potential.
(note: this is what the Holy Grail is all about... not some cup --dv)
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The goal of the hero trip down to the jewel point is to find those levels in the psyche that open, open, open, and finally open to the mystery of your Self being Buddha consciousness or the Christ.
That's the journey.

It is all about finding that still point in your mind where commitment drops away.

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It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
THe very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center.

You find the jewel, and it draws you off.

In loving the spiritual, you cannot despise the earthly.

The purpose of the journey is compassion.
When you have come past the pairs of opposites, you have reached compassion.

The goal is to bring the jewel back to the world, to join the two things together.

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The seperateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond that world of opposites is an unseen, but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today, the planet is the only proper "in group."

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.

THe return is seeing the radiance everywhere.

Sri Ramakrishna said: "Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond."

If you want the whole thing, the gods will give it to you. But you must be ready for it.

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The goal is to live with godlike composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces.


A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation:
"As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm.
Jump.
It is not as wide as you think."
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Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers, "JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE POWER OF MYTH

Ep. 4: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Sacrifice and Bliss’

In the fourth episode of The Power of Myth, Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell discuss the role of sacrifice in myth — including a mother’s sacrifice for her child — and the need for all of us to find our sacred places in the midst of today’s fast-paced world. In this clip, the two discuss where heroism can be witnessed in modern society.
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Watch, or read the transcript, here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Color: Use as A Tool

Color, as a magical force, below.
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Fence, below, extends architecture of the house.
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Don't know any of their constraints, below.  Simply a charming garden.
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If the garden, below, is tiny, staining the fence a green/black, instantly enlarges the space.  Pop.  And, makes the fence disappear.
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Merely using color as a tool.
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If the house has shutters, below, often that is the color for the fence.

Clôtures, Maisons de campagne and Piquets de clôtures blanches on ...
Pic, above, here .
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Leave no layer of your Garden Design without thoughts/consequences.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, June 19, 2017

Letting Your Muse Play

For a week I knew Father's Day would be all mine, alone in the garden.  Anticipation was a drug.  Yesterday morning arrived, poof/voila, away he trotted and beloved time with Muse began.  The only concerns were possible snakes in the storage where I had to hunt/gather, and rain.
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Ahead of pulling the plastic back, below.  Cell phone clipped to hip, thick garden shoes on, I said to myself, You could die doing this.
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Hunting an old fireplace mantle, and a door to use as desk top, instead the first thing I found was a missing iron gate, below.  Tears erupted down my face.  Whoa.  Who knew it would mean so much, finding my missing gate.  Ridiculous yes, boo hoo, those tears, but they were hot and earnest.  Go figure, another learning moment about my relationship with my garden.

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Carried the missing gate, below, to its partner that has been safely stowed the entire 2 years living here.

Image may contain: people sitting

My previous garden, below.  Looking from sideyard, into backyard.

Nada mejor que las hortensias para decorar nuestra entrada a casa...

My previous garden, below, looking from backyard to sideyard.

TARA DILLARD

Probably a year away from installing the gates in my new garden.  Their position already planned.  Other layers ahead of the gates.
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Time with Muse yesterday a gift.  Creativity is not linear thinking.  Alone, there were zero questions/admonitions, 'What are you doing in the garden today? ', 'When will you be done?' , 'Why?', 'No, don't do that.' etc.   Muse does not respond to that type of thinking.  Muse takes organically, all given from the heart, and sprinkles pixie dust from other realms.
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A twist on Rossetti's Blessed Damozel.  One lover on earth the other in heaven.  Muse, not bound solely to earth.
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Those days of anticipation about gardening yesterday?  If I had known the depth of joys to arrive, it would have been similar to anticipating Christmas, age 5.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Foyer in the Garden

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

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Garden Design: Double Axis

"The Complete Book of Garden Magic", by Roy Biles is quite dear to my heart.  Discovered before internet cell phones it was a book I would hunt/gather from used book stores wherever I traveled.  Gifting them to the 'right' new owners.  Take the link, above, it can be at your front door in a few days.  Font, line drawings, earnestness, pacing, a man's soul, love it all.
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No other word for it Roy, Magic.
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Double axis, below, in 2 pics.
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Walking along the path, below.

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

Walking along the same path, below, in the opposite direction.

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

Same path, 2 different gardens, double axis.  Magic.
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How else to explain walking a path, yet it becomes a new path, merely walking it in the opposite direction?
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Came upon this double axis path, above, last week.  Think it thrilled me?
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How many of you notice these things?  More, how many of you does it excite?
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Pics, above, from Ben Pentreath's blog.
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Double Axis, another of my garden design 'inventions'.  Name it to claim it.  Once I had the garden path epiphany, it had to have a name.  Have not heard/read about this particular Garden Design technique in a class, symposium, book.  Why?
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A lot going on in the Garden Design, above.  My life doesn't lend itself to so much 'tending' nor do I want so much down time as the garden, above.  Deer are also an issue in my garden.  Would definitely keep the gravel and hedging, perennials would be swapped for flowering shrubs.  Done.  Maybe 2-5 easy perennials kept.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prune an Arch Into It


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

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

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.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Vanishing Threshold: Bunny Mellon

From the garden, below, a view of the terrace.  Exactly the photographic style of the 80's.  Each piece, every layer, in alignment to the Narrative.  This story a trinity between owner, beauty, happiness.
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Vanishing Threshold, inside/outside have no boundary.
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How do I know this?  Before her, below, and a tiny contingent of other 'hers', I was writing the same story at my home/garden.
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Seeing this pic, below, the 1st time, I knew who it belonged to.  Linking backwards, discovering I was not wrong, Bunny Mellon.  Originating in the pages of Architectural Digest, its caption, "Antigua Residence: A terrace features an Henri Rousseau landscape."
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A great laugh, the painting.  My 1st urge, wanting to call my client/friend/mentor Mary Kistner, we needed one of our trademark meandering lunches for me to divulge this rich tidbit.  Mary was creating her Vanishing Threshold trinity decades before I was born.  This, merely another delight we will share once we are in the same place again.  Mary died over a decade ago.

Tour the Exquisite Homes and Gardens of Late Design Legend Bunny Mellon Photos | Architectural Digest:
Pic, above, here.
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Oil paintings I've put on terraces & porches, for decades, for myself/clients have all been from thrift/junk shops.
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Of course Bunny put a Rousseau painting on her terrace.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Mary Kistner was a collage artist in the style of Kurt Schwitters, she installed art shows for other artists at several museums across USA, her memorial service was in a museum, standing room only.  Perhaps you can see those layers in the pic, above.  A few weeks after Mary died I received a call from her estate attorney, Mary left me something & an appointment needed to be made for pick-up.
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In my office, just above my laptop, is her bequest, an already framed piece of her collage art.  Titled, "Feuillage IX", MKistner 2000.  Receiving her bequest, and a few times since, has brought happy & grieving tears.  Mary had, I know, a wicked glint in her eyes & trademark smile, putting "Feuillage IX" into her will to me.  At one of our lunches, it had to be in fall, I shared with her my epiphany about falling leaves, while I was driving along Hugh Howell Road in Tucker, GA.  Decades of seeing falling leaves, I finally got the biblical narrative.  Trees drop their leaves, and are fed by them, every year of their life.          
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More, trees drop their leaves ahead of the brutal season, winter.  Vigorously showing off their lacy branching beauty against the sky, richly taking in strength from what they let go of.  The bible, inspired word of G*d written by man.  Nature, inspired writing of G*d.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Cure for the Green Meatball

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

love the green backdrop to the pieces:
Pic, above, here.
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Bravo to the pruner, foliage to the gravel.  Amazing perfection.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Gertrude Jekyll: Rusticity & Formality

Rusticity with formality, below.  Gertrude Jekyll, Munstead Wood.  Her reign still informed many gardens I studied across Europe.  And, as a girl, a large garden/home visited ca. 1967, built decades previous, in Augusta, GA, owned by Edison Marshal.

Gertrude Jekyll and her garden at Munstead Wood (UK):
Pic, above, here.

Macro drawings of Jekyll's garden, above/below.  Clearly, rusticity & formality.

Image result for gertrude jekyll munstead wood
Pic, above, here.

Going into the micro garden, below.

 
Pic, above, here.

When I came back from my 1st study tour of historic British gardens, I had to create a manner of drawing them.  College merely taught incurves/outcurves blah-ti-awful-blah.  Amusing to find this drawing, below, today, it's exactly what I've done, drawing garden plans.  With embarrassment, assuming it was too simplistic.  No more.  How to draw this garden, below?  Easy.  Design the house and paths first, then fill in the leftover voids.

 
Pic, above, here.

Layers of a Jekyll garden design, below.  Macro-micro.

Image result for gertrude jekyll munstead wood
Pic, above, here.

Jekyll's garden, below, Munstead Wood.  She would have loved using a drone for her gardening.

Annotated aerial view of the garden at Munstead Wood
Pic, above, here.

Classic Gertrude Jekyll flower border, below.  Amusing.  Great reminder she had 15 acres and 14 experienced gardeners working for her.  Her garden easily copied in style, not content.  Flowers, below, easily switched to flowering shrubs.


Pic, above, here.

A bit of her woodland, below, at Munstead Wood.

 
Pic, above, here.
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During Jekyll's lifetime her home/property was entered on foot, no motor entry concession made to the modern era.  After WWI, she wrote of her altered means in gardening due to the expense of labor.  .
Since 2008 garden labor contracted again.  Plants, finally, caught up to their true value.  Labor expense plus growers/wholesalers going out of business, consolidation.  30 years putting gardens into the ground, last year began putting a 30 day guarantee of plant pricing.  When gas prices go volatile we put gas prices in the bid at a given set rate.  If gas goes up, so does the price, if the price goes down so does the price.  More, we only provide work given in the bid.  No more letting a client ask our men, "Need ya'll to get all the privet taken out behind the stream.", labor too expensive, instead, those requests are a Change Order.  Commercially, currently, each man is billed $40/hour, the going rate.  Multiply that by 5 men for an hour of pulling privet.  Not a price any business wants to absorb. .
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This isn't about money.  Yet, in the end, filthy lucre is involved.  My cottage garden of 30 years, a mix of formal & rustic, had a price.  A price never totaled into dollars.  Why would I?  My hunt wasn't the bill, it was my life.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Red Queen Thinking: Get Where You're Going

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

Je Veux Ton Amour:
Pic, above, here.

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saul Zaik: Integrated Indoor & Outdoor Spaces

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

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Garden Design Template: Gravel & Green

A trade article I read earlier this year, European sourced, blamed the lack of young'ish people gardening upon 'older' people being poor examples of gardeners.  More than missing the boat, greater than missing it by a galaxy, they shot past our universe, to be wrong.
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Whatever !  Not going there now.
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Isolating Garden Design templates, you know, the ones that keep cropping up.  (Sorry, too amusing, that horrible pun, it wasn't intended.)
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Garden Design templates, all are centuries old, most are BCE.
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What, oh what, to name them?
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Continually, I'm doing Garden Design work, with no name.  Tara Turf, for example.
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I came to Garden Design, same as most of the herd.  It's a pack animal belief system, especially in USA.  "What do I want to do?  I want this & this & that & etc.  Oh, I love that, it will be wonderful in the front yard."  Wilderness years.  Money & effort, no results, aside from visual proof, arrogance, with zero use of intellect.  Most, alas, never set foot into the wilderness years.  No desire, I get that.  Those getting into the wilderness, never quite pull themselves out.
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A tiny few, decide to leave the wilderness and hire a Garden Designer.  When I decided to leave the wilderness, zero funding.  Off to college for a 2nd degree, this time, horticulture.  Total bamboooozzzzzle was that USA horticulture degree.  Next, off to study historic gardens across Europe for decades.  Finally.  True beginning, learning Garden Design.
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Back to those Garden Design templates.
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You're looking at one, below.  Every element of a garden room is here, sky, ceiling, walls, chair rail, flooring, focal point, flow, function.
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Gravel & Green.


Pic, above, here.
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Wonder lies in each template.  Intuitively, you know, "I can do this."  Better, your mind/heart, understands and morphs the Gravel & Green into shapes, plantings, focal point, perfect, and original to you and your site's needs.
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Now, this moment, whether you like the Gravel & Green template or not, mentally eradicate your existing Garden Design, replace it with Gravel & Green.
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Fun, yes?
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Garden & Be Well,     XO T
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BCE?   Never saw, BCE, until I went to Israel and did the Foot Steps of Jesus tour.  Two weeks of wonder & joy.  Love Israel.  Shock of seeing Jerusalem, from Mount of Olives, and realizing the West Bank is merely a Landscape Architecture construct.  Going to a new settlement and realizing it is literally, Guns and Roses.  Building new homes upon rock, bringing everything it takes to grow plants.  Building settlements is Horticulture.  Landscape Architecture & Horticulture in this humbling biblical place, from its earliest settling.  Ironic, exactly where G*d first placed people, in a garden.  Earth.  BCE, Before Christ's Era.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Binary Thinking is Not For Garden Design

Anatomy of designing a garden first for winter, below.
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Through the year, let Nature take its course or play with seasonal plantings in the urns on plinths, below.
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Perhaps lighting in the pond/pool, below, shining in a direction you wish to see wavy watery shadows in the evening.  A fountain for sound?
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Maybe flowers/candles floating in the water for a party.
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Get the point?  More than a garden, below, it's a proscenium for your life.

FAMOUS FOLK AT HOME: India Hicks and her mother Lady Pamela at the Hicks family home in Oxfordshire, England:
Pic, above, here
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Binary thinking does not lend itself to Garden Design.  
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"No truly great thinker is siloed in a small territory."  And, that is the mind, a truly great thinker, creating the garden, above.
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"Quantitative thinking is knowing the dose makes the poison."  Just enough, above, any more, and the Garden Design is poisoned.  Had a super talented assistant manager when I worked at a nursery for several years.  Alas, he always poisoned his talent, Garden Design, in the last 5 minutes.  He put in too much.  We would wait for him to leave, and take away the poison, leaving the true beauty of his work.  Never, did he get angry with us.  Instead it was always a great smile, after his initial questioning gaze.
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Binary thinking is a fixed mindset.  Garden Design is a growth mindset.  "Blame is a big part of the fixed mindset."  Garden Design receives the blame, too often, and erroneously, of "I can't afford it.".
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No time to go there at the moment.  Another day.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Quotes pulled from, Creating A Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck.
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I didn't save her quotes for Garden Design, though they fit.  Instead, been taken to my last nerve dealing with binary thinking from....  And, happy to get this lens of thinking to up my own game, when my game is stalled.  A growth mindset, for sure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Play a Bigger Game: Focal Points

Well placed urn focal point, below, at the end of the path.  The Garden Design for the urn is playing a Bigger Game.  Do you already see?
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The more directions a focal point is a focal point from, the better the focal point.  It's playing the Bigger Game.

Peter Fudge:
Pic, above, here.
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Looking at the urns, above, from the side direction, they are placed as an asymmetrical pair leading into the covered porch.
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Very nice.  No thought of the ubiquitous pairing each side of the opening.  More, the wider asymmetrical placement creates the illusion of a wider entry into the covered porch.
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Wish I could see the entire garden, I'm sure there's more to these urns we're not seeing here.
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Adore being in gardens playing the Bigger Game.  Even better, designing a garden on paper, putting in a focal point on main axis, then immediately seeing were 2 or more axis belong with it too.  Muse has quite the humor.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Control Amongst Chaos

A scintilla of control, below, amongst the rusticities.  Perfect.
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Does the scintilla jump out at you too?

Discover the beautiful Twickenham home of Lady Wakefield – the carefully collected artworks, fascinating stories and the rich history on HOUSE by House & Garden.
Pic, above, here.
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Formally clipped boxwood, above, without ego, no fear, total matriarchs, framing perennials, climbers, flowering shrubs for their turn owning the stage.
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Take this vignette into winter, and a dusting of snow.  Oh my, those matriarchs know what they are doing.
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Gardens must be designed for winter, before the ease of late spring/early summer.
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More good design in this garden, above, but won't take that path at present.  Photographer perfectly captured the scintilla of control over chaos so brilliantly.
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Have you already figured out the percentage of control to chaos, above?  No?  Hmm.  Get to it.
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These matriarchs, above, teaching a pertinent tale.  Wild chaos can reign, in beauty, with a hint of control.
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Adore the temporality of this particular moment.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pot Cluster Double Axis

Moving backward thru these blog pages you'll discover several posts dedicated to the Pot Cluster.  Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades, this American was smitten by the Pot Cluster.  Often at a front door, often at a back door, often sprinkled somewhere in the garden.  Pot Cluster, I got the memo.
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There is a common thread with Pot Clusters, they are classic or interesting pots, with a choice array of plantings.  Occasionally the Pot Cluster is on a plinth, aka table.
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Whether studying in a historic garden attached to a modest cottage or 2nd3rd5th10th... home/castle of a monarch, there you'll find the Pot Cluster.
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What else to call it?  What would you name it?  Me?  The Pot Cluster.
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Last weekend, Cote de Texas sent me a personalized post, seemed that way anyway.  Within, she posted a double axis with a Pot Cluster, and didn't even know it.
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I adore a Garden Design class in a single photo.  Pot Cluster Garden Design class, below.  More, the home, below, is huge-historic, and the garden space, minuscule.  More than a Pot Cluster Garden Design Class you are also taking a lesson in creating a lush garden in a small amount of space.  How many layers do you see, creating a lush garden in a tiny realm?  Name those layers, describe them in winter.
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If you take a garden tour in Europe always pay extra for the tea/scones.  Most often, served inside.  A Garden Design study is nothing without seeing inside the house, discovering the axis into the garden, site lines, usage for interior, and exterior.  Flow must be entirely around a garden, and from house to garden, and garden to house.  Effortless, beautiful, seamless, no matter the necessities of hvac, water/hoses, etc....
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Enough, let's go inside.



Notice the lamp inside, above?  Same lamp, below.



Different time of day, below, and the lamp staged differently.



Prepared for a dinner party, below, sofa removed and table on axis with French doors into garden.




Interior & exterior of this home are a Garden Design class of Vanishing Threshold.
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No matter your price point, this is your Garden Design class.
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A friend I met at church lived in a welfare apartment.  She is a gardener.  98% found plants/pots/furnishings on her 2nd story balcony.  I had a blast designing her balcony with what she had, using every Garden Design layer used in the home, above.  Rearranged a few things inside too.
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That's the thing with me, I don't except the excuse, 'I don't have the money......'.  My story is backwards in postings, if you know a bit you know I did it without money.
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Excuse the vulgarity, mentioning money.  Perhaps it's because I remember well, in the 80's after college when my gardening began, and the Smith/Hawken garden catalogs arrived in the mailbox, I assumed those beautiful gardens were not for the likes of me, they were shot in gorgeous estates blah-blah how ridiculous those thoughts.  They slowed me down, and I don't want anyone else to be slowed by that, I've proven the money thing to be wrong.
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There's another thing the garden does for the house, above.  Will show it in next post.  Do you already know what it is, and in shock I've been able to refrain from putting it in this post?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T  
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Why are there so few good gardens?  Why is it so difficult to create our own beautiful garden, at the front end?  Several layers, at the beginning.  Ignorance, we don't have the knowledge.  After beginning with ignorance we enter the phase of ineptitude.  Knowledge gained but applied incorrectly, typically using a fragment to expound the whole, with a strong bias towards understanding the map but not the territory.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Masters Class: Adding Subsidiary Focal Points to a Focal Point

Focal points in your garden must be so wonderful they are fought over at your estate sale.
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One focal point per garden room, subsidiary focal points allowed.
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Pots in your garden must be so marvelous they never have to be planted.
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Tara's Trinity of focal points, above.
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The best focal points are placed on axis seen from myriad directions, and better, if each of those axis is not visible from the others.
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Focal points must have a focal point view in their opposite direction.
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No matter the slope of your land, focal points must be level.
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You must know these focal point tips within your DNA.
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A delight, below, seeing this pot recently.  Pretty all year, even when the herbacious plantings are dormant.
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What did you think, first seeing the pot, below?  Did the plantings, and their year-round essence enter into contemplation?

garden with pinks & purples:
Pic, above, here.

Moving on. More details about siting and living with a focal point.  Contemplating a single focal point's effect upon your life, a Providential gift, using my focal point, below.
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Up front, seeing the urn & plinth, below, at a wholesale nursery, I was there buying items for a job, not to get myself a pot/plinth.  After making the purchase for the client job, in a hurry, my feet moved me over to the pot/plinth, you knew they would.  My DNA knew more than my lizard brain which kept saying, You're in a hurry, no time for this, and certainly no money.
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Wholesale pot/plinth were expensive, and wildly heavy.  Had 4 men put it into my pick-up truck.
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Into my garden, below, direct axis from the large bay window fronting my home, my previous 30 year home.



With the urn/plinth at my back, below, this is the view into that bay window.  Now you're entering the realm of Living with your focal point.  Not merely having your focal point.  Huge difference.  Huge.

TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white:

Inside the bay window, below.  Living more deeply with the pot/plinth, having meals at the table, bringing my laptop to the table and working, putting together more journal pages at this table.

my bay window, drop-leaf table, chairs with cane seats, drapes, garden views, vanishing threshold, heart of pine wood floors:

With the focal point urn/plinth at my back, below, turned to a different axis view, a subsidiary focal point.  Ironically a subsidiary focal point, within a subsidiary focal point.  Go me !  Know what I am talking about here?  Hope so.  The blooms of wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' are owning the day, once finished the dovecote recovers its dominance.

TARA DILLARD: A PEAK AT MY GARDEN:

Turning to another axis, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, is another subsidiary focal point.  A planting designed to greet me as I enter/leave my driveway.

TARA DILLARD: Driveway Planting:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back, Laura watching me, totally acting as if I'm not there.

Laura, backdrop to my garden today.:

Another axis view, below, with the urn/plinth at my back.  This view another subsidiary focal point within a subsidiary focal point.  Who can deny the Chinese snowball is dominant?  After flowering the pair of adirondack chairs take their rightful place as subsidiary focal point.  And, destination.  When the snows of spring are this pretty, not about to walk to the chairs, harming the petals on the ground, or sit in the chairs, harming the petals in the chair.  Instead, swimming for days in the intoxicating beauty of the petals.

My front yard today.  Lawn?:
Bottom 7 pictures, shot in my garden.
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More fabulousity with this urn/plinth, above, the house is at the street with 7 neighbor's homes crowding in.  Do you see them?  Do they exist?  Not in my realm.
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This is garden design as Garden Design, capitals for the same reason as using it with Providence.
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Creating a focal point with the Garden Design 'rules' above creates Sacred space.  A moat of grace around your home, and life.
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Today, and for the past 14 months, my urn/plinth have been lying in the materials yard, on their side on a pallet, awaiting placement in our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Clearing invasives, renovating garden sheds, building new outbuildings, grading, drilling a well, renovations to the house, have all come ahead of starting the Garden.  Before moving I tried to tell Beloved what my Garden meant to me.  No words existed.  I have those words now, having been without my Garden for so long.  My Garden was my best Friend, unconditional love.
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Missing my Friend.
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Today, I'll do something I've only done 3-4x's.  I discovered it by accident, at present it's the most potent feel good drug I know.  I will sit in my materials yard for lunch, with accoutrements from my previous garden, about 10 pallets, Friends awaiting placement in my new Garden.  Sacred made Palpable.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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At the opposite of creating a Sacred space, I was on the phone yesterday with a client who had to remove an odd/ugly covered porch addition the previous homeowner had added.  More than ugly, more than unusable, the space felt 'evil'.  Didn't want to be in it or walk thru it to get to the back yard, or even see it.  The owner felt it, and her friend, a client who referred me, felt it too.  The 'evil' room is  now gone, a new space built, with subsidiary gifts.  All the 'evil'?  Gone !

Thursday, October 6, 2016

When Front Door & Back Door are Aligned

This morning I'm expecting a couple of pics to arrive by text.  An out-of-state client sent pics of her interior & exterior via Dropbox.
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An axis of interior views wasn't directly shot, but it seems her front door is on axis with her back door.  Of course I called her, wanting to know if it's true.  'Mostly', she said.  Good enough for me !
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Cannot wait for those pics.  Drawing focal points on axis, at back door and front door, each to be seen from along that central axis, inside, of front door to back door.  From several windows too.

Roger Vivier, Toulouse France:
Pic, above, here.

I don't know what the 'power' is behind creating a double axis of focal points off a front door and a back door, but it's palpable.

tumblr_na42334fee1rvnhllo1_1280:
Pic, above, here.
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Her land is suitable at front door & back door for creating a double axis, more, beyond the front yard is a road, and beyond the back yard is a neighbor's home.  I get to make them disappear.  In beauty, no less.  Not hide them, but, they will be gone.
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When cellulose = protein                                                       …:
Pic, above, here.
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This is so fun.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T