Showing posts with label Focal Point. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Focal Point. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2017

When the Shovels Speak


Through the decades how many discarded shovels have I seen?  Never did I see this, below, in them.

amazing giant fir cone sculpture made from old shovels, by artist Floyd Elzinga... would be beautiful in the garden:
Pic, above, here.
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"...expression is not revelation...Art reveals something beyond the message."
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"A poem of the right shape will hold a thousand truths.  But it doesn't say any of them."
Ursula  K. Le Guin
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I saw shovels and took them for noise, he, above, saw shovels and took them for signal.  Where else am I confusing the map for the compass?
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"Learning is something you pursue for yourself, after all, whereas education is something that is done to you."  Farnum Street
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"The notion that you can look at a work of art as pure form strikes me as idiocy.  If the work comes at you, it comes with everything it's got, all at once."  William Rubin, MOMA curator
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"...A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences.  So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem."  Steve Jobs.
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"Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought." Einstein.
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"Take an object.  Do something with it.  Do something else with it."  Jasper Johns.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT

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, 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

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tara Template: Entry Ways

Once I decided to create a beautiful garden, age 22, living in a garage apartment, no suffering it had 3 bays backing up to 50 acres of woodland & pasture a little like the movie Sabrina, I bought a few things from the nursery, planted them, nothing.
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Nothing.
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Add a decade, books, more planting, Extension Service courses, moved into my starter home, and acquired a 2nd college degree, this time horticulture, and still the great, nothing.
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Insert 2 decades of studying historic gardens across Europe, thankfully, at the front end of those study tours, 'nothing' turned into the mother load.
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Garden Design, aside from being mostly counterintuitive, is palpably honest.  Garden Design hides nothing,  Its secrets freely given.  It was I, seeing 'nothing'.  One of the oddest things I 'saw', when my eyes opened, entry ways.
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And once you get it about entry ways you are well on your way to Garden Design of the ages.
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What is so important about entry ways?
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First layer, answering, is ineffable.  Much as an epiphany, moment of intuitive enlightenment, or a koan.  But there are several layers definitely not ineffable.
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Odd fact about entry ways in a garden.  And, important.  The more entry ways a garden has, the better a garden is.
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Odder fact about entry ways in a garden.  Entry ways are a focal point, and you cannot have too many.  Yet, the rule about focal points, One-Focal Point-per-Area, absorbs and enriches the rule about entry ways.
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Yep.  Told you, counterintuitive.
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More, entry ways in a garden never create an exit.  From both directions an entry way is an entry way.  There are no exits in a garden, only entry ways.

Image result for bunny williams garden
Pic, above, from Bunny Williams garden.
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Entry way into the wildwood, above.  One of my favorite Garden Design arrows to use.
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Without the drama, above, of the entry way, specifically the spheres on plinths, you are not beckoned, Come this way, walk here, you will be enchanted, there is more.  A bit of the Scheherazade layer of Garden Design.
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Gardens are stories.  Gardens are narrative.
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Whether you think so or not.  Don't put your story into your garden.  Fine.  Your garden is telling a story about you.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Very nice, below.  Thought you would like it too.
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Friends of Old Bulbs Gazette
Old House Gardens, Ann Arbor, Michigan, (734) 995-1486

“If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?”

– G.K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, British writer, poet, and philosopher

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Right Green Man

Another Green Man, below.  If you don't know Green Man, take the link, centuries of lore, multiple continents & cultures.
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This Green Man, wrapping a corner, owning the garden & house, yet subtle, below, perfect for my previous garden, 30 years in a red brick cottage garden.
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Now, our ca. 1900 American farmhouse?  No.  Wouldn't look of-the-whole.  One possibility for my house, have Picasso customize a Green Man for me.  Matisse may be the better choice.  Yes, dear Henri.  His Cut Outs steal my heart.
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Ahead of moving into pure history, I had a quaint cluelessness, in totality, how Garden Design focal point choices would change.  

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Pic, above, here.
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No exaggeration to say TRUCKLOADS of garden items were taken to Goodwill once we moved in.  Hard action step, Beloved's big work truck, his team of men dispatched decades of hunting/gathering.  Zero time for yard sale, or to take to consignment.  Out, gone.
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Nothing like a TRUTH, when we do it to ourselves.
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If that makes you laugh, it should, you understand my entire premise of Garden Design.  Layers of truths.  Each simple.  Yet each layer a black hole to previous thinking.  Blessedly so.  Good riddance.  .
Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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Matisse.  Definitely Matisse.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Garden Design Template: Gravel & Green

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


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

Monday, December 19, 2016

How To: Break Garden Design Rules

Made me laugh, below.  Know why?
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Think back to a Garden Design Rule.  Broke it here, in triplicate.  Backhand down the line winner.
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Shooting this Garden Room, many angles can be shot, proving this particular Garden Design Rule reigns.  Pull the shot back, Garden Design Rule broken.
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Know the Garden Design Rules into your DNA, break a Garden Design Rule when it makes your soul smile, a wicked smile.  That's what made me laugh, below.
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Garden Design is a language.  In the beginning, Garden Design was what I wanted it to be.  Rules?  Not for me.  In time, a koan arrived.  In bed last nite, zero desire to read on my phone, instead, wildly strong urge to read from a book, though the lamp would have to be turned off.  Oh my, the bother, yes?
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Two books, grabbed, Daily Strength For Daily Needs, by Mary W. Tileston.  Recommended by Celestine Sibley, a well known columnist for the AJC when I moved to Atlanta over 3 decades ago, and used in many of her columns thru the years.
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Thomas (1795-1880) Carlyle, puts it clearly about why you must break Garden Design Rules, "Know that 'impossible', where truth and mercy and the everlasting voice of nature order, has no place in the brave man's dictionary.  That when all men have said 'Impossible', and tumbled noisily else whither, and thou alone art left, then first thy time and possibility have come.  It is for thee now: do thou that, and ask no man's counsel, but thy own only and G*d's.  Brother, thou hast possibility in thee for much: the possibility of writing on the eternal skies the record of a heroic life."
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With this quote, above, Tileston chose, Matt. xvii. 20, Nothing shall be impossible unto you.
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Along with,

So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low. Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
R.W. Emerson

Looking back, and forward - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design Rules, now I trust them, knowing how to break them.  More, they are the tools to break them with.
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Garden Design Rule broken, above?  Garden Design Rule: One Focal Point per Area.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Monday, December 12, 2016

Historic Layered With Mid-Century Modern

Divine smash-up of mid-century modern AND historic Garden Design.
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My kind of maintenance too.  Rustic, refined.  Sharp mind, sure hand.  
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Ooooh, that color on the furniture.  I'm in.  Had me at hello.
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How little can you have in your garden, and it's useful, and it's beautiful, and it's easy to maintain ?
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Keep it simple sweetie, check.  Pushing all the right buttons.
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Both masculine, feminine.
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Can you label the parts?

creeping-fig-wall-matthew-williams
Pic, above, here.
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Canopy trees, understory trees, wall, floor, focal point, flow, axis.  Exterior architecture, a garden room.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Oddly: Design For Winter

Winter.  Design your garden for winter, and it will be pretty all year.
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Terra cotta pot, below, stopped my eyes/heart/head.  Hmm.  Never seen this particular Garden Design effect.  In this particular moment, below, the terra cotta looks like a movie effect, not real, injected artificially.
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These are the moments, exactly this.  Design, plant, time passes, wait for the exact right weather event, poof voila, you have, below.
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These are my moments of choice.  Dancing with Nature.  And knowing it, while in the dance.  In the moment of awareness, feet are not tethered to Earth, time no longer a force, only the oneness of pure atonement.  Joseph Campbell writes of it much better, "If you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere."

Design laid bare:
Pic, above, here.

Image result for joseph campbell quotes "if you don't get it here
Pic, above, here.

 Image result for joseph campbell quotes "if you don't get it here
Pic, above, here.

 Image result for joseph campbell quotes "if you don't get it here
Pic, above, here.

Image result for joseph campbell quotes "if you don't get it here
Pic, above, here.

 Image result for joseph campbell quotes "if you don't get it here
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT  


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Play a Bigger Game: Focal Points

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

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Masters Class: Adding Subsidiary Focal Points to a Focal Point

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

TARA DILLARD: A PEAK AT MY GARDEN:

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

TARA DILLARD: Driveway Planting:

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

Laura, backdrop to my garden today.:

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

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dovecote or Catcote

Dovecote, below, with a few adjustments I see something different.
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Slightly larger, deeper, and sited at about 8', with a chicken coop ladder.  Voila.  A perch for cats.

Dovecote
Pic, above, here.
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I can see my youngest, Laura, loving this.  She was conceived/born in my previous garden.  Her parents left by neighbors who moved away.
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Until it's made, a long while from today, it's just another thing on the list, I get to decide if it goes onto the house, my conservatory or the coop.  Maybe by the time the carpenter is called, I'll have convinced myself I 'need' 3 !
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Monday, October 3, 2016

Design: Changing Narrative

A 'simple' Garden Design, below, all the layers dramatically in place.  Starting at the top of the picture, now, in your mind, label each layer of the Garden Design, below.
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If you've come to Garden Design, age 50 up, this type of Garden Design holds significant charms vs. coming to Garden Design in your 20's.
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But I'm getting ahead of my story, most of us come to gardening, if we do come to gardening, as the song noted, 'In a heated rush'.  And, 'Seeing what you wanted to see'.
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Until Seth Godin a few days ago I taught garden design for beginners at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and local college, knowing my students needed to unlearn most of what they already knew about Garden Design, as beginners.
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Garden Design appears easy, we try it, and the results prove Garden Design has a lot of elements not readily apparent, though beautifully designed gardens hide nothing.  Excepting. how can you 'see' the process of designing a good garden, how can you 'see' what was left out of the beautiful Garden Design?  Time to switch the narrative from what you thought you knew about Garden Design, as rank novice, to learning the nuts/bolts of real Garden Design.
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Garden Design is not voodoo or feelings about what will work, it is science and art, a historical process, unchanged, since well before the birth of Christ.
 

hedge
Pic, above, here.
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"Narrating our lives, the little play-by-play we can't help carrying around, that's a survival mechanism. But it also hotwires our feelings, changes our posture, limits our possibilities.

The narrative is useful as long as it's useful, helping you solve problems and move forward. But when it reinforces bad habits or makes things smaller, we can drop it and merely be present, right here, right now."  Seth Godin
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Exactly, the narrative we have as beginning gardeners, total novices, is our own narrative.  Limiting our possibilities, doesn't move us forward, literally makes our lives smaller.
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Every historic layer of Garden Design, thousands of years worth, is, above.  Though it appears quite modern.  Bless good Garden Design for that.  It allows playfulness with abandon.
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Thank you Seth Godin, now I know it's not the unlearning of our beginning Garden Design ideas we need to do, it's literally changing the narrative.  When we change the narrative, we change our lives.
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Live a smaller life, never move forward, limit possibilities?  What's not to like about changing the narrative?
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More than gaining a new narrative and ability to create an extraordinary Garden Design, the garden once built/planted will continually renew itself, with abandon.  What does that mean?  Once you've put the effort into building a beautiful Garden Design, the garden rewards you, no effort on your part, with a larger life, forward momentum, and limitless possibility.  And with some brownie points included, again without effort, raised property value, lower heating/cooling expense, easier maintenance & lifestyle.  Not bad, for changing your narrative about Garden Design.  
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So, have you named all the layers of the Garden Design, above?  Sky-ceiling, tall trees-canopy, small trees-understory, pruned hedge-walls, low meadow-floor, urn-focal point.  A garden room.  Plant it and you'll have a moat of grace around your home.  And life.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Subsidiary Focal Points

Exactly why gardens should be simple, below.  Let Nature speak, play, sing, work, be in companionship to your life.

A Fiddlehead and A Fledgling | Content in a Cottage:

Pic, above, here.

 Cat with a Georgia Gerber cat bronze statue:

Pic, above, here.

Did you know your garden is a proscenium for spectacle?  I love the small moments, the never imagined, unbidden.  Perfect.  Tear drops of laughter, amongst time & galaxies.  
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Creating these moments, name it to claim it.  Macro rule, 1 focal point per area.  Micro rule, subsidiary focal points allowed.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Will never forget the years of lunches in my previous garden, during summer, and hearing the hummingbirds zoom over my head.  Do you really think I knew to design my garden for that to happen?  My best Garden Design learning was finally understanding classical Garden Design rules, FINALLY copying them.  Once accomplished, Nature arrived.  Nature more like Tinker Bell than can be explained, excepting through letting Nature reign.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Picture: Garden Design Course

Pulling the gate/columns forward, below, welcomes you from the wide world into their private world, elongates the entry, and adds a foyer to the front door.  Painting the columns same as the house adds them to the footprint of the home, enlarging the home's territory.
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Painting the columns a different color, or if they were stone, still adds good features, excepting they become part of the garden, not the house.
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Great wisdom leaving the tops of the columns empty.
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Front door & light fixtures chosen well, they make the house seem taller.
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Note the gutters, below.  Copper color, not the brick color.  Well done.
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Roof, below, is like jewelry for the house.
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Repetition of square shapes, below, highlights the fabulousity of the tall round urns at the windows.  Super contrast.
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This garden design has been done for centuries.  Have seen it on several continents, and at all price points.  Done it myself, more than once.  Looks fresh & new with each reincarnation.
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Even the front door handle was chosen with care.  Drapes vs. blinds, again, well done.

/\ /\ . D. Keeley:

Pic, above, here.
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Copy, enfilade, axis, cross-axis, color, contrast, repetition, flow, welcome, focal points, ceiling, walls, floor, simplicity, has all the right Garden Design rules checked.
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I have a weakness for Garden- Design- Course in a single picture.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Versatility: French Rain Barrel

When Smith & Hawken had its going-out-of-business sale at its Atlanta store, I had the good fortune to be there shopping with a client.  Little realizing ahead of time, I'd be purchasing things too.
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Ahead of moving from my 30 year home/garden I took 18 van loads to the thrift store.  My house sold within 24 hrs of listing and there was zero time for another choice.  Once in our new home, ca. 1900 American farmhouse, it became apparent much of my cottage garden 'stuff', thought to be so worthy ahead of the move, would not 'work' in the new setting.  Yep, that was a 'moment'.
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A couple of months in the new house, Beloved had his largest work truck, large bed/tall sides, and team of men on site.  Unexpectedly he said I could have the men/truck for a couple of hours.  Code language, get rid of your stuff.  Now.
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Six work ready men, felt like I had just stepped into a fire ant pile, and could not point to stuff fast enough as they were scurrying and pulling things for the truck.  2 rounded loads taken to the thrift store.  I did manage to think quickly enough for one of my clients, and saved some things for her.
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Everything purchased that day at Smith & Hawken remained.  Not a conscious choice, the clearing of stuff was too fast for proper editing.  One of the Smith & Hawken items, a galvanized French rain barrel.
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In my cottage garden I used it as a rain barrel, and later, turned upside down, a table.
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In our farmhouse, currently, the French rain barrel is on it side, wedged not to roll in the seat of a teak bench, used as a Cat House at the back door.  With a cushion inside they love it in winter, and it's a shelter against the rain the rest of the year.   Not a use anticipated when purchased.
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Amazed at the versatility of the French rain barrel, have yet to use it as a planter, below.  More, it made the aesthetic transition from Cottage Garden to Historic Farmhouse garden.
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Why didn't I buy more than one ?

My French Country Home, French Living - Page 8 of 311 - Sharon SANTONI:

Pic, above, here.
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Great enfilade, above.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Smith & Hawken currently sells online via Target.  Hardly a hint of their 1st incarnation yet they may have that perfect xyz for you too.  No, this is not a paid endorsement.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Copying a Simple Historic Garden

Great minds, or, so much for original thinking?
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First, below, I noticed the rusticity, my oeuvre.
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Then searched the enfilade, how far can the eye travel?  Are there cross axis, below?
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Oddly, I sense the loss of canopy, below.  Seeing what isn't there, but had been there for many years.
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Do you see the missing trees too?
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Finally, oh my gosh, design plan, almost exactly, for my new home, a ca. 1900 American farmhouse.
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Ironic, at the front end of my career I was far too 'good/smart/unique' for a design like this, below. Me be ubiquitous, by choice?
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3 decades later, humble enough, and excited, to copy what has worked since before Christ's era, BCE.
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My iteration, George Lindsey Tabor azaleas, deer don't seem to bother Southern Indica azaleas so very much, and fruit trees, along with yet-to-be-determined trees.  Of course I could go ahead and choose all the trees, but what fun, contemplating choices.
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Instead of the water feature focal point, below, a harvest table/chairs, under an arbor, gobsmacked with white roses, 4 huge pots exploding with hydrangea, and 4 sentinels, camellias, at the far corners, beyond the Tabors.  Coming home to my first trinity, created 3 decades ago, Tara's Trinity of the Southern Garden: Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Camellias.
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Paths will be #89 granite gravel, the quarry a mile from home.
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Why so simple?  Age.  Preparing to be elderly in this home, wanting this garden to see-me-out.  Deer proof, drought proof, bug/fungal proof, unskilled labor proof, enjoyment vs. labor percentage totally in my favor, most importantly, beautiful.  A garden to be viewed from the house, and to be enjoyed within.
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More amazing, date of the garden, below, is the era of our farmhouse.
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Boxwood not included in my garden, alas the killing fungus.

Colonial Gardens full ,nypl.digitalcollections.510d47d9-a7ba-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w-3

Pic, above, here.
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Do not be afraid to copy.  Fact, copying is unique at each site.  Another fact, if it's pretty in another garden, it will be pretty in yours.  Last fact, gardening is recorded in written form for over 11,000 years, you will not recreate the wheel, roll with it.  Cheaper, faster, prettier to roll with it.  I got the memo, go me.  Younger, that memo was stupid & not meant for fabulous me.  How do you think I became a Garden Expert?  Made all the mistakes bigger & more thoroughly than you could ever imagine.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Designing the Faux Path

Many times I've used a bit of woodland, buffer between neighbors, as a faux focal point. Occasionally, space allows for this much meandering path, below.  Most of the time, the path is a few steps leading to a faux gate.  In each interpretation the path is 'real'.
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In the moment, below, Nature's yearly leaf fall.  Took me an ancient amount of time to realize, the trees are fed and enriched by letting go.  And the same is true for us, if we'll let go.  During senescens the color of photosynthesis is lost, and the true leaf colors appear.  Another story written in plain view, by Nature, another metaphor.  Beauty in letting go.  

Василий Поленов - Женщина, идущая по лесной тропинке:
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Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vanishing Threshold: House & Garden

Vanishing Threshold, below.  Interior & exterior, married.  The full monty.

The Devoted Classicist:

When a client hires me for the garden, if needed & it's within my scope, I design interior spaces too.  What does that mean?  I know my scope.  Outside, my scope has no restrictions.  Inside, my scope is sourced off-the-shelf, antique shops, thrift stores.  Inside, if special order stone, textiles, furnishings, removing/adding walls, are the playing field, I have an incredible interior decorator on my team.
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Yesterday's jobsite, 60 of the most beautiful acres, streams, meadows, woodlands, gracious sloping views, in the last of the Piedmont before turning into Coastal Plain, are not a challenge in the least to Garden Design.  Thorn on the acreage?  The house.  A ca. 1980's ode the Bee Gee's named aptly, Stayin Alive.  Who wants to merely stay alive?  Thriving is the choice.
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Working with the interior decorator on this project and the homeowner has been quite a team.  There was an obvious wall removed inside, then magic, the interior decorator added a wall to an area I would have never 'seen', yet once designed, of-course-the-wall-must-be-added.  In return, I knew the front porch had to wrap the house, creating a new heart to the home.  Interior decorator never 'saw' wrapping the porch.  Indeed, we are a happy team of cheerleaders for each other.  In addition to giving/teaching each other a new 'eye'.
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Drawing, above, sums up having a home.  Vanishing threshold.  House & Garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic, above, drawn by John Tackett.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just Let It Touch

From the 80's, I've noticed, this focal point conceit, below, used in magazines & books.
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Just let it touch.

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Pic, above, Here.
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If you can't just-let-it-touch, perhaps add a small leafed ivy to clamber your focal point a bit.  Though it could easily be a clematis too.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T