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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Move Your Foundation Plantings While You Gain Your Life

During a time of life turbulence a quote appeared, without seeking, reading a magazine, It's Safe to Let Go.
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Wow, what a concept !  I'm not in charge.  Instead of clinging to that fantasy, Let it go.  Afraid to let go?  Don't be, it's quite a flight.  The ride of your life.
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Realizing it was said, too, in a movie, Out of Africa, "Let it go, this water belongs in Mombasa anyway."
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Moving away from that particular personal era of life, and into the land of green meatball foundation plantings.  You must realize, they are connected.  Literally connected.  Have been hired by several women thru the years, not many, merely several wanting to get their landscapes to match their hearts.
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Amazingly, all of those women had a hedge at the front of their property.  Hedges that I designed to open, Welcome, come in.  More amazing, during those years, being hired by hedge women, never realized I was part of their tribe.
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First epiphany, for me, pull foundation plantings away from the house.  Rather obvious, having studied historic gardens across Europe.  Years, I had my hedge, without a gate, similar to, below.
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Happy, content, thriving, adored having that hedge moved, opened my home, gave breathing space, birds/butterflies more numerous.  Finally, enough of filling the spiritual well, notice I created that fertile ground for myself, my well overflowed, epiphany arrived, put a gate into my hedge.  Just as I had done for clients. 
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Heads-up, none of this stuff works unless the epiphanies are your own, and you'll know.  Not exactly burning-bush moments but you will have the knowledge downloaded into your heart/DNA, and understand.  Still doubting, still unsure?  No worries, it's safe to let go.

923 Likes, 6 Comments - Tom Samet (@tomsamet) on Instagram: “Good Morning "East Hampton!" repost @skaufman4050 Full Bloom!”
Pic, above, here.
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My front yard hedge, below, after putting the gate in.

 TARA DILLARD: GARDEN DESIGNERS BLOGLINK: TARA'S TRINITY OF THE SOUTHERN GARDEN
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
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My front yard today.  Lawn?
Pic, above, shot just inside my front hedge.
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Not snow, above.  Better, Chinese snowball blossom petals.  Caressing my plants, gravel, furniture, home, LIFE.

Playing with my front hedge at the street/curb, below.  Adoring rustic, pastoral, my garden drips abundance, upon many layers.
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Tara Dillard's front gate!
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
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Looking at my front hedge, below, from inside.
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TARA DILLARD: Garden Design Begins Inside Your Home
Pic, above, shot in my front bay window.
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Standing in my front yard, below, inside the gated hedge, looking into the same bay window from, above.
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TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white
Pic, above, shot looking into my front bay window.
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It does take a lot to get here.  Where?  Vanishing Threshold.  What exactly does that entail?  Knowing it's safe to let go.  Your garden is not in your head.  Your garden is in your heart.  Waiting for you.
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About being safe to let go.  You'll have the privilege of relearning it many times.  Each time, more riches.
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It was good fortune, knowing to turn to my garden, letting go.  Deeper than good fortune, an action going back centuries with many, each learning themselves, taking their own action steps of facing the fear, letting go, discovering the abundance of Providence.
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"In building this horticultural paradise, Tradescant presented nature as a book that man might read like the Bible.  He understood the world in the same way as Johannes Kepler, the brilliant German mathematician and astronomer, who had described it as 'the very Book of Nature in which G*d as Creator has revealed and depicted His being and His Will with Man in a wordless tract'."  Andrea Wulf & Emma Gieben-Gamal.
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Imagine my surprise, reading those words, above, last week.  Letting go, too many times to count, tumbling into the best rabbit hole, ever.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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"Christopher Wren believed harmonious proportions came from mathematical laws underpinning Nature."  Wulf & Gieben-Gamal.
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Until reading, This Other Eden, by Wulf & Gieben-Gamal, didn't realize Christopher Wren, architect, was Garden Designer also.
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Foundation plantings are a holy grail of USA landscaping.  It's safe to let go.  Do you realize what I found, moving my foundation plantings?  What words would you use?  What does your intuition tell you from reading this post?   I know what I found.  My life.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to Take Charge of Color in Your Garden

A future client sent me a note recently.  Her car needs struts, the garden will have to wait.  No, her garden will not have to wait !
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Garden Design begins in your head.  Much to resolve ahead of choosing the first plant, type of stone, etc.
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Choosing your color trinity, below, for starters.  For centuries, all the great gardens, now including yours, have an exterior color trinity.  Green-Brown-White is the most used color trinity, a never fail color combination.  More, it's never a repeat.  You get to choose your Green-Brown-White, while your soil, humidity, land shapes, predominant trees and more dictate how color is 'seen'. 
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If you're new to gardening this may seem the start of someone mentioning trite rules you must follow.  Headstrong about recreating the wheel?  Head on out, rawhide, snap that whip, you'll be on-the-road-again, over/over, until you come in from the cold.  Been there, done that. 
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Found this fabric, below, recently.  Made me smile.  A client, at first visit, already had chosen, without awareness, this color trinity, Green-Brown-White with subsidiary color, ochre.  Years later, we are still overdosing on her theme.  Plants, stone, house, barns, furniture, fencing, even her custom stationary.
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Another aspect I adore about choosing a color trinity, once done, color is, mostly, a no-brainer. 

Image result for brown floral fabric
Pic, above, here.
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Green and white have been chosen with specificity for my garden, brown remains to be chosen.  Adoring brown transfer ironstone, I must bring several of my favorite pieces into the garden, siting them different places for sun/shade, north/south/east/west, and pull the trigger for my perfect brown.
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One of many Garden Design layers, the color trinity, requiring zero funds.  Be aware, full brain amperage, with extra kicking in, required .  Once chosen, your colors, must be backed with full confidence. 
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Another Peek into My Pantry | Content in a Cottage
Pic, above, here.

 pure joy 327 ...I'll have to find an excuse to use this somewhere :-P
Pic, above, here.
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Earlier this month our dining room finally painted.  Beloved is a yellow man, several yellows already in various rooms, but he is not a front-end chooser of specific colors.  Gave him 7-8 yellow choices, with chips, for the dining room.  Dining room is large, north facing.
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Walked him through the house, with the chips, holding them to the various existing yellows.
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Of course I had my favorite, but said zip.
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At each room with yellow, he easily axed some of the chips.
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Last room, dining room, and 2 yellow chips remained.
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He easily chose the yellow he liked for our dining room.
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A delicious funnel, shaped exactly like an armadillo trap.  Beloved choosing 'his' yellow.
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Ahead of me choosing color chips for him, I researched Mount Vernon, Monet, and Monticello.  Have been to all three homes, and knew they all had a good yellow, almost matching each others.  Nancy Lancaster was swirling in the mix too.
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 Monet's dining room "For a safer bet, try Benjamin Moore’s historic colors. They’re elegant but not splashy, and will match a variety of furnishings and fabrics. Time tested, they won’t steer you wrong. I’ve used Castelton Mist HC-1 and Beacon Hill Damask HC-2, but look at any of the first six HC colors."
Pic, above, here.
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Yes, Beloved chose, Pure Joy by Benjamin Moore.  My first choice.  I would have been happy with any of the chips he chose from.
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 The yellow interior beautifully complimented the surrounding Monet Japanese Prints
Pic, above, here.
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Almost 20 years ago I bought a vintage book with ikebana floral plates, done in color blocks.  Dozens of pages of  plates.  Choosing their frames, a no-brainer,  below.  More synchronicity, our dining room table is a large drop-leaf gate leg, and against a wall another drop-leaf gate leg table, folded down.  I bought them separately at antique shops long ago, realizing once in our dining room, they can be put together for larger gatherings, exactly as Monet did. 
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 Claude Monet house, France
Pic, above, here.
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A portion of this story was skipped.  Several coats of kilz and primer were needed ahead of painting our dining room, once Pure Joy yellow was a first coat, and Beloved saw it, he freaked.
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Ever seen a feral cat brought inside, and they literally bounce off the walls?
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Have handled that situation. 
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This color 'freak' wasn't my first rodeo.
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In addition to choosing our 'brown', a subsidiary color must be chosen.  It will be one of our yellows.  Great joy in anticipation of choosing.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Take Charge of Your Flowering Containers

Give the Button Top pot a go this year.
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No need to go fancy a simple holly will suffice.  Perhaps a groundcover conifer, pruned into the Button Top.
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Why are Button Top pots rare?
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Not into the Button Top?  Rocket Top?  Square Top?  Square With a Button....  Play.
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This garden, below, a Garden Design course in a single photo.
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Flow, canopy, understory, groundcovers, walls, entry ways, color all year, low maintenance, insect/disease resistant, deer proof, drought proof, maximum pollinator habitat, contrasting textures, contrasting colors, focal points, seasonal focal points. 



Pic, above, here.
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Wish I could swoop this pair to my garden.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, February 5, 2018

Why Have a Garden or Plants Inside

How to write about putting a Garden Design together?  Seriously, how?  After several attempts, writing for my first book's publisher, beyond horrid, I knew what to do.  Write about Garden Design in the same manner of every class I've ever taught in the Horticulture program at the local college, and Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Decades experience with those.
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In addition, this has never been mentioned outside my innermost tribe, choose what biblical scholars have chosen since the bible was written, obsess over a single word.  In a secular manner, of course. 
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At the front end I knew Garden Design, in your personal realm, held a huge gift to wield, selfishness.  That front end lasted almost 2 decades.  Epiphany arrived.  Selfishness, was the wrong word.  Correct word?  Grace.  Amusing.
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Personally, another word, for my own garden and gardening, presented, atonement.  Not religious, more literal, at-one-with.
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Studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades, many were estates with acreage.  Plenty of scope-for-the-imagination transposing their Garden Designs to subdivisions in USA.  Ironically, all, began as farms.
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Time passed, partaking historic world Garden Design for suburban USA, a layer, without awareness, learned.  Combining agriculture with ornamental horticulture.  This epiphany made me laugh out loud.  USA colleges, in their wisdom, separate the agriculture school from the ornamental horticulture school, Providence never has, never will.  Does this really matter?  Think, dead bees.  Won't go beyond this at the moment, quite its own rabbit hole, and we're already in a different rabbit hole.       

Lutyens Bench in Lush Setting | Landscape & Architectural Design: Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Pic, above, here.
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Scrolling thru pinterest yesterday, came across, above.  First thought, that's MY garden.  Designed, exact garden for myself decades ago, in the backyard of my 30 year home.  (Posted in earlier posts.)  Learned this style, Tara Turf Stone Terrace, while in Europe.  Fell, hard, pure putty.  This style Garden Design, above, not understood, in the macro, in USA.
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Southern Living magazine came to shoot that garden twice thru the years.  A day before they arrived, the second time, wasband, decided to help.  When I discovered his 'help' I let out a cry, nothing emerged but spit.  Tried again for voice, none, pure spit.  Knew to walk inside the house I was so mortified, not comprehending.  If he had tried to sabotage me, a life's work, he could not have chosen a better method. 
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My garden, same as above, was entirely pruned of its rustic backdrop hedge.  Gone, poof, over a decade of growing it to Garden Design perfection.  Guess what replaced that rustic backdrop hedge?  The side of my neighbor's home, mere feet away.  Spit?  Miracle I didn't stoke.  Wasband thought the RUSTIC HEDGE was garbage and I was lazy for letting it appear?  Part of a master plan I awaited years for. 
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There is patience, impatience, and, tarapatience which can go either way.
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Will move along, getting irritated just writing this terrible story.
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A few years ago, pinterest again, found this garden, below.  Stopped me flat.  Who did this?  Never, anywhere, country/continent, seen this Garden Design, below, excepting one place, my own garden.  I must meet this person, kindred spirit. 
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Vanity Fair shot this pic, it was within an article about Bunny Mellon, here.  Had never heard of her.  Looked up everything I could after seeing her garden.  Zero disappointment, instead, learning and epiphanies. 

 A birdhouse and pots of citrus. August 2010 Portfolio Inside Bunny Mellon’s Estate Photographs by Jonathan Becker
Pic, above, here.
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Both gardens, above, have the same layer of Garden Design.  Crazy rare in USA.  Do you intuit this layer, know what it is?  Hint, it's the missing link between Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. 
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More, it's the original Sustainable.  Further, it's the original Organic.  In addition, it's the original Eco.  Have I missed any words of horticultural commerce since 1960, aka filthy lucre?
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Head's up, Providence has no ornamental horticulture.  It's all Agriculture.  Remember my choice to obsess over single words?  Notice the capital letters.  Sure, learned a lot across Europe in historic gardens for decades.  Epiphanies from that learning arrived across decades working in my own garden.  Working?  Never worked a day in my garden.  Pure washing-of-the-servants-feet.
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What is this layer of Garden Design, pics above?  Pollinator habitat. 
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Gardening this way requires zero irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides.  Big Whoop, as one of my dearest WWII veterans liked to say.  Best Big Whoop ever, gardening this way increases agricultural crop yields by 80%.  Do the math.  Now do a bit of Johnny Cash, Meditate on it.
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After decades of Gardening, realized, to me, crazy-who-cares-whatever, but I still think it, the bible is the word of G*d written by man.  Nature is the word of G*d written by G*d.  Zero will to push this thinking upon you.  If G*d not your 'deal' fine, Nature is a pure science, as is Garden Design.  Garden Design is no will-o'-the-wisp. 
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From other realms, finding more words, better, describing thoughts transformed into literal experience.
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"Our culture doesn’t think storytelling is sacred; we don’t set aside a time of year for it. We don’t hold anything sacred except what organized religion declares to be so. Artists pursue a sacred call, although some would buck and rear at having their work labeled like this. Artists are lucky to have a form in which to express themselves; there is a sacredness about that, and a terrific sense of responsibility. We’ve got to do it right. Why do we have to do it right? Because that’s the whole point: either it’s right or it’s all wrong."  Ursula Le Guin
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"History is one way of telling stories, just like myth, fiction, or oral storytelling. But over the last hundred years, history has preempted the other forms of storytelling because of its claim to absolute, objective truth. Trying to be scientists, historians stood outside of history and told the story of how it was. All that has changed radically over the last twenty years. Historians now laugh at the pretense of objective truth. They agree that every age has its own history, and if there is any objective truth, we can’t reach it with words. History is not a science, it’s an art."  Ursula Le Guin
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Several years after discovering Bunny Mellon's gardening, I came to understand her topiaries.  Topiaries sprinkled throughout her interiors, and gardens.  She copied the idea of topiaries, and their shapes, from ancient Romans.  Made it her own.  More, shared with all.  With an eye to 'see'.
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"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day- like writing a poem or saying a prayer."  Anne Morrow-Lindbergh
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A garden view you've created, from inside your home, is the same, to me, as Anne Morrow-Lindbergh discovered arranging a bowl of flowers.  Inherently the same, I think, Bunny Mellon thought of her topiaries, and garden.
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"One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel."  Ursula Leguin
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Had an aunt that liked to say, often, Life cannot be lived without art.  Loved her, thought her eccentric, time passed, I know she is wise.
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"Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want, too. If we never find our experience described in poetry or stories, we assume that our experience is insignificant."  Ursula Le Guin
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Oddly, have discovered the opposite, about 'insignificant'.  Not in a good way......We assume that our experience is significant if we don't see/read about it elsewhere.  For Garden Design, proof is rampant throughout continents & centuries & cultures, ugly landscapes, landscapes that don't perform, landscapes that kill bees & poison ground water etc.
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Terminally Unique, phrase I learned in a group Lois formed for friends/family of alcoholics.  Until going into that Lois group I was Terminally Unique.  Blessedly, 1st meeting, got the memo.  Not Terminally Unique, merely collateral damage to the alcoholic in my life.  Significant, insignificant, words matter.  Once realization hit, bigly, about being collateral damage, it changed my life.  Anger & expectations left the room.  Once you lose being Terminally Unique, you realize it's been a wild ride having your fur rubbed off, maybe losing an eye, part of a foot, poof, Velveteen Rabbit, you've been loved into being real. 
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Nothing in Garden Design is original.  Nothing.  Over 11,000 years of Garden Design history, and literature, it's been done before.  More, why not choose to work with the greats?  I do.  Copy, it's the first rule of Garden Design. 
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Humorous reading yesterday morning.  Sunday early, cold, sitting by the fire, reading for pleasure, only the cats for company, sun awakening thru 2 walls of windows.  Discovering, more proof of not being original.  Me.  Not original.  Deeply pleasing, sublime.  Pure at-one-with-atonement.
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"We ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far."  Neils Bohr
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"That is why I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as “objective” and “subjective” are, a great liberation of thought. The whole thing started with the theory of relativity. In the past, the statement that two events are simultaneous was considered an objective assertion, one that could be communicated quite simply and that was open to verification by any observer. Today we know that “simultaneity” contains a subjective element, inasmuch as two events that appear simultaneous to an observer at rest are not necessarily simultaneous to an observer in motion. However, the relativistic description is also objective inasmuch as every observer can deduce by calculation what the other observer will perceive or has perceived. For all that, we have come a long way from the classical ideal of objective descriptions."  Neils Bohr
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" In quantum mechanics the departure from this ideal has been even more radical. We can still use the objectifying language of classical physics to make statements about observable facts. For instance, we can say that a photographic plate has been blackened, or that cloud droplets have formed. But we can say nothing about the atoms themselves. And what predictions we base on such findings depend on the way we pose our experimental question, and here the observer has freedom of choice. Naturally, it still makes no difference whether the observer is a man, an animal, or a piece of apparatus, but it is no longer possible to make predictions without reference to the observer or the means of observation. To that extent, every physical process may be said to have objective and subjective features. The objective world of nineteenth-century science was, as we know today, an ideal, limiting case, but not the whole reality. Admittedly, even in our future encounters with reality we shall have to distinguish between the objective and the subjective side, to make a division between the two. But the location of the separation may depend on the way things are looked at; to a certain extent it can be chosen at will."  Neils Bohr
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Maria Popova, quoting Ursula Le Guin, moves on to Neils Bohr, in her Brain Pickings yesterday, adding, "This, Bohr notes, is why the language of objectivity doesn’t belong in religious rhetoric — religion and its pluralities are best understood, and best applied to human life as an instrument of moral enrichment rather than one of dogmatic constriction, through the lens of complementarity:"
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"The fact that different religions try to express this content in quite distinct spiritual forms is no real objection. Perhaps we ought to look upon these different forms as complementary descriptions which, though they exclude one another, are needed to convey the rich possibilities flowing from man’s relationship with the central order."  Neils Bohr
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Maria Popova goes on to write, " Bohr considers whether or not the tenets of religion can similarly offer useful abstractions, even though they are not to be taken as objective truth:

In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures — consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he’s chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an all-embracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set."  Neils Bohr
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Humbling to have experienced the conversations, above, practicing the art of Garden Design, garden writing, and gardening.  Finally, to the point, the experience of a Garden, gardening, or topiaries inside, is a conversation.  Whether you think so or not.   Don't have the garden you want?  Take your conversation, between you/your garden to a new level, 2nd order thinking to be exact.
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From Shane Parrish at Farnum Street,
“Second-Order Thinking
In his exceptional book, The Most Important ThingHoward Marks hits on the concept of second-order thinking, which he calls second-level thinking.
First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.
Second-order thinkers take into account a lot of what we put into our decision journals. Things like, What is the range of possible outcomes? What’s the probability I’m right? What’s the follow-on? How could I be wrong?
The real difference for me is that first-order thinkers are the people that look for things that are simple, easy, and defendable. Second-order thinkers push harder and don't accept the first conclusion.” Here, Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
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All I wanted was a pretty garden.  What a ride.  Bull is still bucking.  Hanging on, loving it.
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Karl Jung, "Our lives are about getting the inside to match the outside."  
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T
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This is the weekly email digest of brainpickings.org by Maria Popova. If you missed the special annual edition of highlights, here is the best of Brain Pickings2017. If you missed last week's regular edition — Ursula K. Le Guin on what makes life worth living, an illustrated meditation on our paths to acceptance, Jane Hirshfield on writing and the fluid self — you can catch up right here. And if you're enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best Color Trinity

Towards the front end of your Garden Design, choose a color trinity for your exterior.  House, furniture, gates, light fixtures, pots, hardware, fencing, watering cans, door mats, knobs, etc.  In addition, choose a name for your home/garden.  Once you've done both, order note cards, name cards, using the color trinity.
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Green-Brown-White is the classic color trinity for over 2,000 years.  Chosen by the best minds across centuries, seemingly chosen by Providence.  Magic in Green-Brown-White ?  It's unique for all permutations.
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Where do I pull colors from for clients?  Inside the house.  Art, furniture, wallpaper, rugs, etc.  Uniformly, once colors suggested, "I love that !"  Of course.


Pic, above, here.
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In addition to Green-Brown-White, you get to choose a subsidiary color/s.  To be used as hints, and also pulled from interiors, especially your art.  Scrumptious Green-Brown-White, below.  Saved for colors but seems more a current USA political poster.

Padlet example of Medieval Mumblings, an introduction to Medieval History
Pic, above, here.
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Through many years of choosing exterior Green-Brown-White, something pops immediately.  At first painting, home/garden recede into their niche, radiating considered contentment, an air of inevitability, and timelessness.   

 Front yard inspiration-curving line to doorwY with bench along the path, plus arbor over front windows
Pic, above, here.
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Humbling, this moth, below.

 This Spanish moon moth is flaunting his good looks in the handful of days he has left to live. Unable to eat after emerging from his cocoon, the adult devotes all of his remaining time and energy to reproduction.
Pic, above, here.

 Charleston Single House-style home
Pic, above, here.

 'Austeja' (Lithuanian bee goddess) by illustrator Q. Cassetti. I think it would look great as a felted tapestry.
Pic, above, here.
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Aside from Green-Brown-White, above, all those subsidiary colors.  Be still my heart.
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There's little I encounter, not seen thru a Garden prism.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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An answer to my question, yesterday, about Lucinda Wharton:

"Curious about her parents, how they raised this old soul child."

Lady Rebecca Eildon Courtenay (b. 1969), is married to Jeremy Lloyd Wharton; they have three daughters: Alice Lucinda Wharton (b. 1998), Emilia Rose Wharton (b. 1999) and Tatiana Elizabeth Wharton (b. 2002).

-the above from Lucinda Wharton's grandfather's Wikipedia entry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Courtenay,_18th_Earl_of_Devon

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Thank you, The Hunting House, would not have known where to begin.  Lucinda's love for her home in the country, palpable. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Design Your Garden for Winter (not spring): Beauty All Year

Best epiphany about the garden in winter?  Designing the garden for winter is superior to other seasons.  A garden beautiful in February is beautiful all year.
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Rosemary Verey's book, The Garden in Winter, is your source for this epiphany if you're in a bit of doubt.
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In addition to winter being the best season to create a Garden Design, another realm is included, simplicity.  Into those realms, considered micro, is the full blown macro garden in winter.  Your life. 
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Winter's pace is meant to be.  Winter's events in the garden are meant to be.  Pining for the glories of spring in winter?  Not me, never have.  Winter is deep strength in the garden.  A season controlling how we dress, our circadian cycle, our activity levels, and what the activities are, and more.


West garden | Tom Stuart-Smith
Pic, above, here.

At the front end, I knew Garden Design, below, was not for me, my station in life.  Middle class, subdivision, working for a living.  Ten good staff, but they are all on my own hands.  Could not have been more wrong.  Instead of seeing the Garden Design, below, I saw station-in-life.  Guess what else I didn't see, below, at the front end?  Yep, the garden in winter, how to design her. 
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 How to use Frost in Garden Design
Pic, above, here.
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Now, this is what I know, below.  Garden Design does not vary for station in life, it varies by your intensity of perception, whispering the details, taking them for your own.  In the taking, lives are born.

 Landskap Idaman Rekaan Paul Bangay: Tertutup Dan Berprivasi ~ EKSPRESIRUANG
Pic, above, here.
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Garden design, both pics, above, are the same.  Both pics are a complete garden design class for the garden in winter.

 Scotland calling - Ben Pentreath Inspiration
Pic, above, here.
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Studying historic gardens across the globe for decades, I've been into many art museums in different countries too.  Having the art of Providence, above, in my own garden?  Priceless.  Finding these scenes upon a winter's day, a casual walk/perusal, makes time disappear.  Timelessness of other realms become the reality, the unconscious begins its serious work of creativity, grace, joy, peace, putting connections together. 
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 The full summer bloom of gardens in Colonial Williamsburg, VA www.VisitWilliamsburg.com #WilliamsburgVA #ColonialWilliamsburg
Pic, above, here.

If you don't have a garden work area yet, put thought to it in winter.

 The Mellon's Oak Spring Farm in Upperville, Virginia - 2000 acres, four residences, and over twenty cottages. Former home of philanthropist and gardening doyenne Bunny Mellon, who passed away this ...
Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter is inside your home too.  Mainly from the views looking out, which is where every garden begins.  Bring the garden inside physically, all year, especially in winter.

 
Pic, above, here.
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What shrubs for your zone with bare stems in winter will bud/open when cut & brought inside?  Don't know?  Contact your local Extension Service, etc.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Bulbs usually go on sale in winter, cheap/easy to pot.  Adore this grow box, below, never seen one before.

 In this mountable glass-and-brass growhouse, your indoor plants and herbs can thrive without a wink of sunlight (and a less-than-green thumb). #indoor #greenhouse #giftguide #plants
Pic, above, here.
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Bringing a few plants inside for winter, below.  Finally, have done this for myself this year.  Take heart, I'm 30 years into it.  Life was never conducive to interior plants, took the plunge in December.
Discovered a trick, not pleasant at first, about a winter's interior plant table.
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Found at local thrift store for a song, that table, when I moved into my house 2.5 years ago, was stowed with the cats in a back room.  A few fur balls later, the table had a bad side.  No problem, brought table out and put that side next to a wall.
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Life conspired further, work travel.  My pet sitter, cats/chickens, is the best.  But adding topiaries to her duties did not seem polite.  Pulled a leaf up on the mahogany table, placed copper trays filled with water, from Smith/Hawken, for humidity, watered pots/foliage, left for over a week. 
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All was great with chicks/cats and topiaries.  Alas the mahogany dropleaf table.  Unpleasant to be honest, but I've ruined the table.  Took a couple of days to get over the fact of ruining a good piece of furniture.  Get over it I did !
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Whoever gets the table after me, has the choice to keep using it roughly, or refinish.  It's solid, no veneer.  Until then, I have a fabulous interior winter plant table.  Then I noticed other winter plant tables, below, and they are spotted just the same as mine.  On trend, go me.         

 Look We Love: How To Create Cozy English Cottage Style — Look We Love
Pic, above, here.
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Bringing plants inside for winter, below, pay attention to their containers.  I found almost the exact wood container, below, about 3 years ago.  Bought it as a gift for a friend, she brings plants inside.  Then I moved, who knew where that planter went.  Once my topiary order arrived last December I rummaged through the basement.  Found that container, below.  Now it's mine, no thought of giving it away.  Found a classic antique plant stand for it at an estate sale last month too.

 #tbt Mark's watercolor of the entrance hall of John Fowler's "Hunting Lodge" in Odiham near Windsor is an illustration from Mark's book, "Legendary Decorators of the 20th Century" that was edited by Jacqueline Onassis and published by Doubleday in 1992. Fowler found the house in the 1940s and added this entrance and a kitchen to what was essentially a "hunting box" in the Royal Forest. Today the house is owned by another stellar decorator, Nicky Haslam. #markhampton #legendarydecoratorsofthe2...
Pic, above, here.
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Your interior plants don't need to be repotted if you have a variety of soup tureens, clay pots, baskets, other weird containers, to slip them into, below. 
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Soup tureens with a crack or chip are easy to find, and cheap.  Perfect for interior plants.

 Nicholas Haslam:
Pic, above, here.
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Bunny Mellon is famous for her topiary use inside, below, all year.  Discovered recently she liked the idea of topiaries after seeing them in ancient Roman artwork.  I've copied her, topiaries, below, are a copy of her, and next maybe you.


Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter, at its best, below.  How many years have I done these, but outside on my winter patio?  Decades.  Better, branches are easy to procure, free.

♡♡♡
Pic, above, here.
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The garden in winter, below.  The pot could be black plastic from the nursery.  Doesn't matter.  Wicker goes with everything. 

 Portfolio | Nicky Haslam Design
Pic, above, here.
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Have found several of these containers, below, at thrift stores thru the years.  Line with plastic, add soil, poke a few holes, plant the bulbs.  Done.  Stagger planting times, leave outside, bring inside when started to grow, or skip the outside part.  Don't overthink. 

 Carolyne Roehm of course….I love the French steel wicker basket this is in…also the wreath of lower flowers surrounding the daffodils!
Pic, above, here.
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Perhaps the least understood garden design, for me, at the front end, below.  Glad through-a-glass-darkly became clear.  It's about all year beauty, ease of management, living life in the garden, not living life having to work in the garden. 

 My Fotolog
Pic, above, here.
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Giving a Garden in Winter talk tomorrow, handout, below.  Pay no attention to the plants, it's for our zone 8a.  Plants are first on the handout, yet the most important Garden in Winter facts are at the bottom.  It's all about the Garden Design.
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Have a lovely powerpoint to go with it. 
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It's in a historic church 1 county over.  A large group, and active.  More than gardening, this group is proactive politically, historically, conservation, agriculturally, planning/zoning, and etc.  It's amazing what you learn at Garden Club.  If you think it's all about gardening, it's not.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

                                TARADILLARD.com
                                       SEEN ON CBS, NBC, HGTV, PBS      
                                                    NATIONAL AWARD WINNING
                                                 AUTHOR, DESIGNER, SPEAKER
                                                    TaraDillard@AGardenView.biz
                                                                  678-933-1514
                                                   Beautiful garden, beautiful life.             ******************************************************
                THE GARDEN IN WINTER
******************************************************
COPYRIGHT 2018  BY TARA DILLARD

PERENNIALS
Carex                                Vinca minor
Rosemary                          Thrift
Thyme                                Dianthus ‘Bath Pink’
Saxifraga stolonifera         Helleborus
Liriope                               Mondo
Christmas Fern

TREES
Prunus mume
Contorted Filbert                     Cryptomeria
Chimonanthus praecox           Crape myrtle
Acer griseum                           Magnolia
Corylopsis glabrescens             Holly
Hamamelis                               Conifers
Tea Olive

SHRUBS
Camellia             Sarcoccoca      Aspidistra       Lonicera fragrantissima
Daphne               Pieris               Skimmia         Boxwood
Quince                Edgeworthia   Anise                Aucuba
Holly                   Kerria             Hydrangea       Azalea
Scotch broom      Plum Yew      Yew                                    

VINES                                 BULBS
Carolina jessamine               Crocus             Winter aconite    Colchicum luteum   Snowdrops
Evergreen clematis               Scilla sibirica     Grape hyacinth     Iris reticulata     Anemone blanda
Jasmine ‘Madison’

DESIGN:  Know What’s Important
Axis                    Trees                    Color             Texture      Photograph/Feb    
Focal Points        Hedges                 Silhouettes   Fragrance   Ruined Table
Paths                   Groundcovers      Line               Rooms       Vanishing Threshold

The Garden In Winter, by Rosemary Verey,  Beautiful By Design, by Tara Dillard
A Southern Garden, by Elizabeth Lawrence ,  The Garden View, by Tara Dillard

Monday, November 27, 2017

Decadent & Austere

Creating a Garden Design I ask for several layers of narrative.  One, a mission statement, no more than 2-3 sentences of what you want from and for your landscape.  Some clients don't have that type of brain, so I ask for 2-3 sentences describing their finished garden.
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Years ago I began keeping journals.  Not written entries of my day/week kind of journals.  Too simple, beyond boring.  Journals to elevate the days/weeks of my life, no matter its days.  In spite of some of those days.
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Several themes emerged.  Both gardens, below, living large one of those themes, pairs of words.  First pairing of words to emerge, Sacred & Profane.  Remains as delightful as first discovered, excepting now an old friend 'pairing'.

Coen + Partners_07
Pic, above, here.
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Both gardens, above/below, intensely restrained prosceniums yet overtly decadent in metaphor, Decadent/Austere. 

Parc André Citroën
Pic, above, here.
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A sacred/profane trip to small town, south Georgia, Americana presented itself this Thanksgiving.  Couldn't pass it by.  A courthouse square, and the night of Thanksgiving, lighting of the Christmas tree and strands of lights from the courthouse to ancillary buildings/streets.
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Sacred & Profane, small town, still using religion and commerce.  A total joy, no one deluded.  Not even Santa, he was total game, ahead of turning the lights on, exactly on time, Santa drove around the Courthouse Square in his sleigh, bottom pic, reindeer included. 
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Image may contain: night

Before pulling Santa, below, the reindeer were corralled and snacking.

Image may contain: outdoor

Blurry, below, Santa & his reindeer were moving fast around the square.  Santa had to get that tree and lights lit, signalling the beginning of shopping on the square.  Later, I realized I didn't know who paid for the gorgeous extravaganza.  Chamber of commerce, churches, a mix ?  No worries, the crowd was huge, and the underlying intent, profane, honored the sacred.
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Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
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Bought a new journal book, shopping on the square, after Santa lit the lights.  The next morning, up early, cozied in a chair by the Christmas village, with coffee and new journal, hoping for something good to enter.  The hotel coming to life, the ladies cooked a fragrant  breakfast, TV tuned to Macy's parade coming on soon.
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Time flew, the reading was good.  Many pairs of words.
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Mystery/Meaning, Creation/Transcendence, Law/Grace, Righteousness/Corruption, Universalism/Particularism, Pious/Secular, Compassion/Violence, Justice/Judging, Prayer/Listening, Ultimate/Common, Mystery/Reason, Ideas/Realities.  Are you conscious of word pairings too?
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With word pairs came quotes.
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"Vocation is a gift not a goal."  Parker Palmer
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"Design at its core, thrives when a human being cares enough to do work that touches another----it doesn't thrive when it gets more efficient."  Seth Godin.
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Before the internet most clients, in their mission statements included, easy-to-maintain, and not-cost-a-lot.  Efficient, yes?
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After the internet I'm not asked to include little maintenance/money.  Why?  Greater understanding of what a good garden is, from those hiring me.  Good gardens don't have low maintenance/cheap in their mission statement.  That paring flows, more deeply, and is inherent, designing a garden that will change your life.  Seth Godin nailed it, again.
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What pair of words describe the garden you have, or want to create?
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT   

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, 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. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Edward Slingerland: Wu-Wei in the Garden

Most requested by clients/students?  "I don't want to spend a lot of money, it must have little maintenance."  This is what I know for sure.  Replying in detailed response to that pair of demands, via Gardenese language, no one accepts, no one.  From those who have asked, of course.
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"Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons."  Alan Watts, The Way of Zen.
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"Things become complicated only when we think about them."  Alan Watts.


Shanks House in Cucklington - Somerset, England
Pic, above, here.
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"Trying to force a lock bends the key.  For which reason a truly intelligent man never forces an issue."  Alan Watts.  (I must try harder to prevent bent-key-thinking.  Better, when bent-key-thinking intrudes into my life, from another, "I'm not listening to your bent-key-thinking.")
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"To have faith is to trust yourself to the water.  When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown.  Instead you relax and float."  Alan Watts.
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Wielding this style Garden Design, above, rich, humorous, humbling.  Further along the Garden Design archetype than whence begun.  Few immune to the Garden Design archetypes path.  Nothing new, existed well before cuneiform records.
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Humorous?  Simplicity, above, gives you, you.  Richest construct in your life, you.
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"We have allowed brain thinking to develop and dominate our lives.  As a consequence, we are at war within ourselves.  The brain desiring things which the body does not want, and the body desiring things which the brain does not allow; the brain giving directions which the body will not follow, and the body giving impulses which the brain cannot "  Alan Watts.
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Funny?  In my garden, there is no 'me'.  In my garden, my body hears what my brain cannot.  In my garden, I am gone, with the body remaining present.  Follow your bliss, find where you experience eternity here, Joseph Campbell truths.  In my garden there is no me, no time, no hunger, no tiredness, no awareness of bruising/bleeding, no sense of want, no fear, expansive joy.  Deeper, at the conclusion of being in my garden, answers arrived to questions known, and unknown, ahead of being in my garden.  Epiphanies from spirit, without fear.
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Seek presence over productivity.  Gaining maximum productivity, though not sought.  .
"All to easily, we confuse the world as we symbolize it with the world as it is."  Alan Watts. 
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Before I had a language describing being in my garden I labeled it, "The best selfishness ever."  After a few years realized it is grace.  How could it not be grace?  Epiphanies too many, too potent, life changing.  Bounty of resources, from garden epiphanies, beyond measure.  Into the realm of E.M.Forster describing a multi-millionaire woman, one of his characters, as having no 'resources'.  Interesting.  Letting go, giving up control, is a resource. 
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"The brainy modern loves not matter but measures, no solids but surfaces."  Alan Watts. 
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There are places to "Transcend our futile strategies for controlling life and surrender to its living essence."  In the garden, merely one. 
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"We have been taught to believe that the best way to achieve our goals is to reason about them carefully and strive consciously to reach them. Unfortunately, in many areas of life this is terrible advice. Many desirable states — happiness, attractiveness, spontaneity — are best pursued indirectly, and conscious thought and effortful striving can actually interfere with their attainment."  Edward Slingerland
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Your act of choice, is my Garden Design writing.  Write an article about how to dig a hole?  No longer do I confuse the map for the territory, noise for signal.  Though I'm wicked good about digging a hole with a shovel or auger attached to a Caterpillar.  Pure noise, how to dig a hole if you're wanting a good garden, you in your Garden is signal territory.
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For the early Chinese thinkers … the culmination of knowledge is understood, not in terms of grasping a set of abstract principles, but rather as entering a state of wu-wei. The goal is to acquire the ability to move through the physical and social world in a manner that is completely spontaneous and yet fully in harmony with the proper order of the natural and human worlds (the Dao or “Way”). Because of this focus on knowing how rather than knowing this or that, the Chinese tradition has spent a great deal of energy over the past two thousand years exploring the interior, psychological feel of wu-wei, worrying about the paradox at the heart of it, and developing a variety of behavioral techniques to get around it. The ideal person in early China is more like a well-trained athlete or cultivated artist than a dispassionate cost-benefit analyzer."  Edward Slinglerland     
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"Our excessive focus in the modern world on the power of conscious thought and the benefits of willpower and self-control causes us to overlook the pervasive importance of what might be called “body thinking”: tacit, fast, and semiautomatic behavior that flows from the unconscious with little or no conscious interference. The result is that we too often devote ourselves to pushing harder or moving faster in areas of our life where effort and striving are, in fact, profoundly counterproductive."  Edward Slingerland. 
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Clients with gardens getting-there the fastest?  All women, ages 40+, and a gay couple who travel the globe for their work, and are 30+/50+. 
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"Some of the most elusive objects of our incessant pursuits are happiness and spontaneity, both of which are strikingly resistant to conscious pursuit."  Maria Popova
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Wu-wei literally translates as “no trying” or “no doing,” but it’s not at all about dull inaction. In fact, it refers to the dynamic, effortless, and unselfconscious state of mind of a person who is optimally active and effective. People in wu-wei feel as if they are doing nothing, while at the same time they might be creating a brilliant work of art, smoothly negotiating a complex social situation, or even bringing the entire world into harmonious order. For a person in wu-wei, proper and effective conduct follows as automatically as the body gives in to the seductive rhythm of a song. This state of harmony is both complex and holistic, involving as it does the integration of the body, the emotions, and the mind. If we have to translate it, wu-wei is probably best rendered as something like “effortless action” or “spontaneous action.” Being in wu-wei is relaxing and enjoyable, but in a deeply rewarding way that distinguishes it from cruder or more mundane pleasures."  Edward Slingerland.
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"We’re drawn to people with wu-wei, Slingerland argues, because we inherently trust the automatic, unconscious mind due to a simple fact from the psychology of trust — because spontaneity is hard to fake, we intuit that spontaneous people are authentic and thus trustworthy. But Western thought has suffered from centuries of oppressive dualism, treating intuition and the intellect as separate and often conflicting faculties — a toxic myth that limits us as a culture and as individuals. Fortunately, Slingerland points out, recent decades have brought a more embodied view of cognition acknowledging the inextricable link between thought and feeling and debunking, as Ray Bradbury so eloquently did, the false divide between emotion and rationality. (We’ve seen, too, that metaphorical thinking is central to our cognitive development, and metaphor is itself rooted in emotion.) The Chinese tradition, on the other hand, has a millennia-long history of cultivating a more integrated model of the human experience...Maria Popova .
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If you haven't discovered Maria Popova yet, you're going to be glad you have now.
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Letting go, and finding eternity, in the garden, has made my life.  Those in my tribe, share this joy.  This is your garden.  Not me writing about when to deadhead your peonies. 
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Within each Garden Design, from a historic template, wu-wei/grace/abiding, is the bonus.  Guaranteed. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mastering the Art of Garden Design: Not What You Think

At the front end of planning your garden, from personal experience, if there is a problem with the outcome, those problems reside in you, not the garden.
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Assumptions about where to begin, "What plants will I have?", wildly, achingly, charmingly, sweetly, misplaced.  Going a step further, I did, decades ago, realized my initial assumptions beyond arrogant.  Worse, arrogance aimed at Nature.  There for me to wield.  Ha.
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Before we have language, we see Nature.  For most that unspoken language, remains throughout life.  Seeing through a glass darkly, thinking as a child type of stuff.
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Getting the horticulture degree, still, did not unlock the door to creating a beautiful garden, understanding Nature's language.  Off to Europe for decades studying historic gardens.  Designing/installing gardens all the while as vocation.  Dots on the Garden Design map emerged, some connected.  Map is not territory. 
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Having lunch at a client's farm, decades from my starting dot, standing inside her kitchen, looking through to the potager, a dot, outside the realm of Garden Design, appeared, and connected all the  dots.  The master dot.  Epiphanies are a drug of choice.  This one simple, seen since birth, yet zero comprehension for decades. 
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Providence never separated ornamental horticulture from agriculture.  Man's folly, made the separation.  Separation dot date?  Onset of the Industrial Revolution, late 19th century.  Until then we  lived with Nature.  The dot was clear.  Without it, death.
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"The eighteenth century was the culmination of thousands of years of agrarian society.  The nineteenth century would bring in the Industrial Revolution to America.  Until then, most societies based their economies on the raising and trading of crops, so nature was always in control.  People measured the work day by the rising and setting of the sun, and one hailstorm or flood could ruin a year's work.  Everyday life was an ongoing struggle against nature.
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Historically when people have been able to raise enough crops and food to sustain a comfortable life, they have challenged nature even further by turning their outdoor environment into a living art form, a pleasure garden.  Most societies have even given the garden religious significance.
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A garden is a balance between measured, human control on one hand and wild, mystical nature on the other.  It is the place where humans attempt to create their particular vision of an idealized order of nature and culture.  A garden is not just the opposition of unpredictable nature and organized society; it is the mediating space between them.  Human intellect, intuition, nurture, and spirit meld together in a garden.  Since culture shapes both the form and meaning of a garden at a particular place and time....."  Barbara Sarudy, Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805.     

Bernard Hickie Garden & Landscape Design
Pic, above, here.

How little can you have in your Garden Design?  When I design a garden, the last question I ask myself, "What can I take away, and it holds together?"
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Inside a garden, above.  Outside a garden, below.
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Ironically, at every price point client, I'm told, "I don't want to spend a lot of money.  It must be easy to take care of."  These gardens, above/below.  Get it right.  Macro and micro.  Master dot.  Maximum pollinator habitat exists where hi density meets low density.  No, this garden isn't agriculture for man, it is agriculture for Nature.  Hence, us.
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Feed the bees. Without them we perish.  Basic.  Simple.  Nature knows, we forgot.  More to this Nature 'stuff', Barbara Saludy alluded to it richly, above.  Cadence.  Will get to that another day. 

 http://kum.dk/Documents/Publikationer/2009/Bygningsbevaring%20-%20HTML/images/s38.jpg
Pic, above, here.
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One of the most potent Garden Designs you'll see, above.  Tara Turf, meadow mowed at differing heights, with a mix of plantings suitable to the zone, attracting myriad insects, attracting myriad mammals, (reptiles too, love my lizards), in turn attracting different genres of insects, mammals to the hedging and wild wood beyond.  Nature in full cycle, master dot included, high density mixed with low density.  While providing for property value increases, HVAC expense decreases, less maintenance, no chemicals, no irrigation.  Easily maintained with unskilled labor.  Of course the goal is to maintain as much as you can yourself, placing mind/body/soul into Nature's realm, Nature's cadence.  As long as you can.   
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Designing gardens, I design simple.  As requested.  After the concept plan, it's normal to receive requests for more 'stuff'.  Here's the negotiation.  Put this plan in first, if you want more later, easy.  Of course the final plan always includes a few of those extras.  If I don't put them in, the client will liberally dose the garden themselves.  Better to be like Barney Fife, Nip It.
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With a proper garden design, epiphanies daily.  Epiphanies that will change your life.  How could Nature not do that for you?  Example?  It's almost fall, when the trees drop their leaves, baring themselves naked ahead of winter, they are being fed by what they let go of.
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Meditate on that.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T