Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reactive vs. Proactive Gardening

In the macro, gardening is reactive.  Perhaps the genesis, in USA, is the bit of landscaping installed at new homes.  A lawn, and bushes, with a tree.  Lots of lawn to cut, bushes chosen typically grow 2 stories tall yet are sited at the home's foundation, serious pruning needed yearly once grown, and hopefully the tree wasn't sited where it will crack the drive or walkway.
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Reactive landscapes.
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Studying historic landscape across Europe for decades it only took the 1st tour to understand how deeply reactive USA landscaping is.  Gardens in Europe are proactive in the layers, described above, and often in layers unconsidered, in the macro, in USA.  More than proactive about plant choices, they're proactive almost as a civic duty to the community, their immediate neighbors, and in stewardship to whoever may live in their home next, also themselves.
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Personally, vegetable gardens nailed me as a reactive gardener in my 20's.  Still makes me smile at the thought of those-days.  What was I thinking?
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A few proactive choices for your potager & orchard.  No orchard?  No worries.  A single fruit tree, to my way of thinking, is an orchard.


Dome Roof Decorative Steel Fruit Cage
Pic, above, here.

Best to begin with the expensive proactive choices, above/below.  Once seen, but not afforded, it's a joy discovering how other gardeners take inspiration, often surpassing expensive choices in aesthetics & function.

 Each Ogee Arch Fruit Cage is supplied complete with 16mm mesh heavy duty side netting, shaped 19mm knotted mesh roof netting, a door kit and all the pegs, clipsd and ties required for assembly.:
Pic, above, here.


 Fruit cage - Protects against some kinds of pests that might steal the fruit.:
Pic, above, here.

20140609_192816:
Pic, above, here.

 My customer was tired of feeding her blueberries to the birds. If the birds achieve access to the blueberries now, they are either very smart or very large! Everything is bolted & screwed...:
Pic, above, here.

DIY Trellis ideas using willow and bamboo.:
Pic, above, here.



 chicken wire "greenhouse" to keep out birds, deer and rabbits Projects X 2: The Berry Barn:
Pic, above, here.



 chicken wire cloches - maybe then I could grow peas and beans without the rabbits eating them down to nubs!:
Pic, above, here.

 How to Build Raised Bed Covers:
Pic,above, here.


 cloche:
Pic, above, here.

 12 Great DIY Greenhouse Projects • Lots of Ideas and Tutorials! Including these creative mini greenhouses made from 2-liter soda bottles.:
Pic, above, here.
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Before the accoutrements, above, get your garden soil properly amended.  Earlier this month, went to a client's on a Tuesday, and they could not wait for one of our team to get to their small potager that Saturday.  I had taken pics and made a list for our man.  Priority soil.  Theirs was chunky red clay, and needs tilling with granite grit, or river sand.  Saw that potager yesterday.  Planted with vegetables and herbs, chunky red clay threaded with potting soil churned by her local garden center.  No good.  I'll be proactive before fall vegetables are planted, making sure their soil is amended properly.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Southern Living Magazine: A Garden

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


Front Porch with Green Rocking Chairs

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

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anticipation vs. Attainment

One of the things we bought with our ca. 1900 home?  The Milky Way.
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Sunsets, waxing/waning moons, storm clouds, puffy white clouds dotted & dashing across blue skies.
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At our backdoor a stoop is now a deck stretching full, left to right.  Grand conversations of roofing a portion and screening it in.  All was easy, at the front end.  Then came enjoying the deck, and Milky Way.
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Yet, we'd truly like a portion saved from rains.  And sun.  How our home came to be 117 years old without a shade tree at back.  Really?

Tangier, revisited - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic, above, here.

Addressing the sun issue are brainwaves of a vine, above/below.

 rebar and wire mesh instead of plastic lattice or wood. Will look wonderful once it's covered in vines!!:
Pic, above, here.
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Enjoying playing with my friend, Vision Questing.  Found the iron vine supports, top, this morning.  Knowing the iron monger on our team could do them exactly.  Better, the arches easily removed from the posts.  Rendering them temporary if desired, and other choices made later.  Yet perfect if that's as far as we go.
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This phase of gardening, anticipation, I adore.
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Saves money/time down the road.  More, I don't want to pull the trigger too fast, only to think, "Wish we had....."
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Deck still needs staining, to protect from all the sun, furniture is bare bones.  Eating dinner on the deck feels a bit like camping.  Especially when we linger, and the Milky Way appears.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
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Would obviously need a deciduous vine.  Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' a leading contender.  Shady in summer, warm in winter.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Choosing Color: Garden Furniture

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


Pic, above, here.

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



Pic, above,

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


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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Aerin Lauder: Old Soul

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


Pic, above, here.


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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Show Me Your Garden Tools

Only one arena, during my formal Garden Design education included the 'work area' for a garden.  A shed, barn or garage, most with an outdoor space for compost, wheelbarrows, ladders, etc.
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Gardens I studied across Europe, had work areas.  Got the memo.
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Low maintenance gardens, aside from their design, include work areas.  Further, I've added, 2 sets of your go-to tools.  One at the front of your home, another at the back.  Get an odd gift of 30 minutes ?  Go into the garden, get a few easy things done.  Won't happen if you have to hunt for your pruners &tc.  "Show me where you keep your garden tools.", I ask for my garden design work.  
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Almost 2 years moved from my 30 year home/garden I'm still missing my organized garage.  Our ca. 1900 home has no garage, a couple of sheds, both utilized with Beloved's 'stuff', and a graveled basement.  He's sourcing the perfect pole barn now, once built, and a bay enclosed, the sheds become 'mine'.
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Ironically, I tease Beloved he did not fall in love with me, but my garage.  In all sincerity, about every 2 weeks Beloved asks me for some 'tool', Where is, Get me, I need, Can you find, blahblahblah.  You know I want him to have his pole barn.  Knew my garage was important, now I know too well its outsized importance.  
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Jokes collected by Bear … Hope you had a laugh. https://beartales.me/2017/05/03/great-jokes-3-may-2017/:
Pic, above, here.
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Yard work is a breeze when your garage is organized! Get this wall unit from #MarthaStewartLiving and more ideas to store your homekeeping essentials.:
Pic, above, here.
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Nice start, above, but a lot of wasted space.  Condense tools, add a table, staged to hold pruners, nails, screws, twine, wire, &tc
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A pretty table, a lamp, you know the drill.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dry Stream Beds


Oh my, below.  A lot of stone, and effort.  Wish I could have our stone mason, using the same stones, do his magic.  Giving him total freedom, only saying, "Javier, this looks like a truck drove across the lawn pooping stone.  Fix it, however you wish."

Dry Creek River Bed Landscaping | Car Interior Design:
Pic, above, here.


Garden at Kannon - ni...:
Pic, above, here.

Paying attention to neighborhoods closing in on a century of age it's easily apparent which type of stone channel performs best over time.  I've seen variations on this stone water channel, below, for decades in the oldest of neighborhoods.  All, still safely channeling the water away.  Some used stone, some brick, some a mix of both.
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Called to work at a historic home, the stone water channels were a pretty wabi sabi rabbit warren of pattern in the garden and at the base of the home.  The new owner said they wanted to get rid of them.  I asked if their extensive daylight basement stayed dry after heavy storms, "Yes.", was water ponding elsewhere in the garden, "No."  They kept the stone channels.
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 Drainage - driveway landscaping ideas | Park Landscape Design Driveways:
Pic, above, here.
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With new neighborhoods I've noticed what the first houses do in their landscape, the rest of the neighborhood tends to copy.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Entry Ways: Flow & Focal Point

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

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Cure for the Green Meatball

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

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Decadence at Garden Entry

The first time I arrived to Penny's drive, below, my car stopped as the hydrangeas lay heavy either side my hood.  Had to stop.  To take in what was happening.  More than greeting my arrival, I was being caressed.
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Garden Design's decadent greeting.
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Creating entryways in a garden, perhaps the most overlooked necessity.  Early into serious Garden Design study it was obvious, the more entry ways a garden has the better a garden is.
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Penny took it to new layers.

The country garden hydrangea gate.    Renae Moore Designs: Gardening with Tara Dillard:
Pic, above, here.


 TARA DILLARD: Focal Points in the Landscape:

If you've read my missives for a length of time, you know exactly what to do next.  Copy.
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Entry into my backyard, above, entry into my frontyard, below.  Hello.

TARA DILLARD: GARDEN DESIGNERS BLOGLINK: TARA'S TRINITY OF THE SOUTHERN GARDEN:

Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Pics of my garden, above, taken in my previous 30 year cottage garden.  Penny founded the American Hydrangea Society, and the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, GA is a huge annual success.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's Missing from this Front Porch?

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

Image may contain: outdoor and indoor

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Fine Prospect

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Annuals: Easily Have Them or Not at All

Great lip service is given to the quote, "I want my garden to be low maintenance."  What follows that request, as a professional listening to a new client, is the full monty destroying their request for low maintenance.
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I want to look out the windows of my home and the garden views, each and every one, are, "Oh wow."  More,  I want to enjoy myself in my garden.  You know, "Come for lunch this Friday, we'll have lunch in the garden."  In a few days it will be Saturday.  Zero thoughts contemplating garden chores, instead, "Should be a good Saturday to sit in the Adirondack overlooking lake, woodland, chickens, and begin reading my new book that arrived last month."
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About garden chores.  The few I do have are not 'chores', instead they are the gift of stewardship in partnership with Nature.  Best metaphor-come-to-life, to me, for washing-of-the-servant's-feet.  'Gift' is too small in scope, an honor.
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Back to low maintenance gardening.  A garden to be enjoyed, below.

Landscape...:
Pic, above, here.

Colorful annuals have their place.  Somehow they've become the go-to-must-have landscape design ingredient.  Before epiphany, stewardship-not-chores, I knew if a residential landscape design 'needed' annuals, the design was a failure.  Commercial landscape design is another beast entirely.  Yet, thought thru, even they don't need annuals swapped 2x yearly.

 Post Hole Digging for Pot-in-Pot
Pic, above, here.

If you want annuals in your garden, above/below, fabulous method to make it easier.  Before eco/sustainable, having worked professional propagation for years, I knew how toxic the annual flower industry is to Earth.  Packaged soil, wooden pallets shrink wrapped with goods, plastic plug trays, plastic hoop houses, heating/cooling, fungicides, insecticides, pre-emergents, trucking/transportation, mulching.  Nope, nothing eco/sustainable there.  Instead, self-seeding annuals are my choice, if needed at all.
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 Dropping in Pot-in-Pot a
Pic, above, here.
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Annuals could go into the garden, below.  But they don't 'have' to.

 You know this house just has to wonderful
Pic, above, here.
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And the conceit of low maintenance, above, in this garden flows around the entire property, below.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Great use of colorful annuals, below.  You are in charge of adding the color, as needed, not the garden with a swath of dead annuals due to a change in season.

 Inside there is a dining area and fireplace lighting and music complete the scene
Pic, above, here.
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I'm giving a garden talk in April, they requested a certain title, Color in the Garden for Sun/Shade.  Sure I'll do some annuals, don't want to alienate any newbies.  Remember, stewardship.  In addition, I will include plenty of color used historically, green.  My hope is to widen horizons.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tabled Pot Cluster: Simple Beauty

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Controlling an Unsightly View in the Garden

Almost 2 years in our ca. 1900 farmhouse, the pantry still has issues.  Two rotting shelf boards were replaced and the entire pantry painted, but beyond that point of necessity, work remains.
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Another issue, is the pantry window & its view.  Living historically, includes being close to the road & hugging a property line.  Next door is our neighbor in his ca. 1890 home.  

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Meet our neighbor, below.  An evergreen tapestry hedge has been planted, drip irrigation, and we've already pruned hard last summer, will do a last hard prune, making them flush full and fast this spring.  A mix of tea olive, holly, azalea, hydrangea, anise.  Not chosen or designed, left over from a mix of jobs.  A friendship path for neighborly walk thru was put in, and used often.

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Three years ago, never imagining I would move from my 30 year Cottage Garden, I found a toile linen curtain panel.  Custom made.  Junking, $5.

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Now, still adoring my neighbor, above, I only see magnificent aspects of his garden.  Once the hedge is grown, it's evergreen, the toile curtain will probably be taken away.  What's not to love about a tapestry hedge blooming throughout the year along a gravel drive, capped with century old trees & sky?
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Every bit of this mundane story, a truth, currently, for all my garden views.  Looking up, until renovations higher on the priority list are completed.  Patience.  Learning too, more specifically what I moved away from.  Simple, potent, joy of walking thru my home and feeling the love of a garden pouring into the windows.  A friend, a loving friend.   I don't stay there, I stay in my new chapter, it's exciting, joy is different, but no less, joy.
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The pantry is large enough to put a cot in for an emergency guest room, has its own window, door, lighting, with 11' ceiling.  From 1st seeing the pantry, I've wanted to lay on the floor with a comfy pillow and read.  Undisturbed.  Nap a bit, wake, read some more.  While waiting for the garden I must really give myself at least 1 pantry afternoon.
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At this juncture, Beloved would point out a huge gap, no fantasy for stocking the pantry & cooking a great meal.  His point larger than mentioned so far.  Our house has a 2nd kitchen.  My gardening never lessens, merely increases in scope.  That 2nd kitchen will make a fabulous floral arranging stage.
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Books I would bring into the pantry?  GARDEN books.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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We were probably the 1st owner in over 50 years to remove every layer of contact paper lining the pantry shelves.  Two of the boards, once exposed, disintegrated into tiny pulp fibers.  Never seen anything like it.  How had they been holding the previous owner's provisions !  Need to source a wood step ladder, put rarely used things on the top 2 tiers of shelving.  Perhaps the better choice is to leave those shelves empty, take more stuff to thrift store.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tasha Tudor & Robert E. Smith: Ahead of Their Time, Living in the Past

Tiny historic cottage, in Louisiana, was moved to a new site and given its historic interiors, exterior & garden, below.
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Immediately, moth to flame, I noticed the historic exterior color trinity, green-brown-white, below.
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And, its subsidiary color, golden harvested wheat. 


COTE DE TEXAS:

A complete historic (rare to see overdose-on-a-theme) front porch, below.  Furnishings, lighting, colors, footings are brick piers, probably not a lot of stone in Louisiana delta.  
  
COTE DE TEXAS:

Pigeonnier, below.  

 

Add a run to the pigeonnier, and it's a perfect chicken coop, above/below.




Before/after, above/below.





 The garden, above, Smith copied from another historic site.


Axis view, above.  
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Copying the historic template, Robert E. Smith, Antiquaire, created a world.   More, within the world a manner of making a living.
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Before Robert E. Smith there was Tasha Tudor, Jill Adams-Vancimalano said of Tasha Tudor, "She was ahead of her time, but she lived in the past."  Tudor also copied historic templates of home & garden, then moved in to stay, finding a manner of making a living.
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More amazing they did it without internet.
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More than once I've been told, "Quit living in the past."  I just smile.  Really, someone thinks they can judge another person's relationship to G*d and how they choose to live on this Earth?  That smile?  It's a Cheshire cat smile.  You know the one, it says, Bless your heart, without uttering a word.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Thank you Joni Webb, Cote de Texas for writing about Robert E. Smith.  If you like this tidbit about Smith's garden, the full article, here.     
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We're still living with a temporary Chicken Coop, focusing on other renovations.  Glad of it.  Pigeonaire, above, gives more scope for the imagination.  Brick piers, above, make me think the vernacular historic brick piers under front porches in rural middle-Georgia, where I live, were chosen as an 'upgrade'.  Why?  The homes are set upon stone piers.  Sadly, our stone piers were painted at some point.  Our stone mason said sandblasting the paint off the stone piers will probably harm the mortar.