Showing posts with label Front Door. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Front Door. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Garden Design: Double Axis

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

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

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

By pastures green - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Front Door: Well Placed Pots

Well placed pots, below.  Aaaah, the front door, and landing, have space to breath.
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And a well fought battle, for simplicity.
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There's more, below.  Did you see it immediately too?  Ok, huge hint.  Goes under the heading of Cultural Anthropology.
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No?  Another hint?  Subhead, under Cultural Anthropology, Socioeconomics.  Got it now?
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Garden Design, below, blares its socioeconomics & cultural anthropology of this fine tuned realm within Garden Design layers.
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What does this Garden Design and maintenance tell you about the socioeconomics & cultural anthropology for this tribe of people, living in the home, below?


magnoliamerryweather: twentythreefour:
Pic, above, here.
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Beautiful display, above, of the socioeconomics & cultural anthropology of hedge pruning.  Here, above, the 'hedge' is Vertical Lawn, and a vine.  Am using 'hedge' flagrantly.
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Men, with ladders required, above.  Perhaps there's more to this home, higher hedge covered walls at the back elevation, and a cherry picker is required for pruning.
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In most gardens the socioeconomics & cultural anthropology of Garden Design pruning is pruning at chest height.  No ladder, no hired labor, do-it-yourself.
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Yes, an exquisite delight seeing the pruning, above.  For its rarity.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT
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A friend moved from suburbia Atlanta to rural Georgia 2 decades ago, into an antebellum home.  At the time, thought she was crazy.  She said something memorable about the antebellum home purchase, "It comes with a cherry picker."  Recently, they've sold that home, cherry picker included !

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Front Door: Choosing Color

Thirty years I lived in this architecture, below.  Looming driveway/garage, wall with large windows, finally, a teeny tiny sliver, and voila, the front door.
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Garden Design's focus, at the front of the home, is the front door.  More than knowing you by your front door, I should know you from the curb.
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Fun opportunities ahead for this home, below.
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A few changes to make in the coming years, below.
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Move the flag holder from the column to a corner of the house.  No need to crowd the front door more, and zero design sense having 2 focal points side/side.  Garden Design rule, one focal point per area.
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Add stone, left/right of the sidewalk at the front door.  Take out the shrub, below, to the right of the front door, place stone, and to the left of the front door, remove the shrub, add stone.  Finally, breathing space.  And the front door 'stoop' opens to the left, and to the front.  Place a classic iron urn on plinth on the stone, to the right of the front door, at the brick wall.  Plant it seasonally, never more put a wreath on the front door.  Nor, have a cluster of pots at the base of the column.  They're crowding the space, shortening the column, and hiding a portion of the zone's best feature, a proper round column.
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Shutters, at right, below, need to be replaced with properly scaled shutters, with an arc at top.  Yes, very nice.
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Let's spend more money.  In addition to the stone already added, stone the front walk, and the front porch step.  Replace the light fixture.  Theirs is nice and more than acceptable.  Light fixtures are jewelry for the house, go for it.  More money?  Replace shutters at left with custom shutters too.
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Brick exterior with black shutters, greige trim and Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue front door. Kylie M Interiors E-design, Edecor and online color consulting

These pics are from a color consultation by Kylie M. Interiors.  I've done exterior color choices for 30 years with my Garden Designs.  Along with patio/deck furnishings, views into windows with window treatments/furniture arrangement, lighting, urns, all in an effort to get clients OUTSIDE.  Never as an extra profit center, what a quaint world my career began in.
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Black front doors are hard to get right, when they are, wow, shazaaaam.  Mostly, black front doors look like a void, as if the door is open, not there.
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In addition to choosing a front door color to coordinate with house siding, roof, trim it must also, for me, pop from the interior art & textiles.
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Blue, below, is excellent.  However, I would need to go inside this home, see their art, and other color choices, before a final 'blue' choice.
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Choosing color this way is too fun, "Oh I love that color."  Well, I know, you've chosen it in your art.  A zone that makes you HAPPY.

Brick exterior with black shutters, greige trim, Wythe Blue painted front door. Kylie M Interiors Edesign and E-decor color consulting online
Pic, above, here.
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Garden Design choices for, above, I see 'instantly'.  Having a brain 'fixing everything' is tiresome while driving thru neighborhoods.  How many times has Beloved heard, "Gosh I want this whole neighborhood." ?
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A past client posted a pic on Facebook yesterday, she's bought a new home out of state.  Many comments congratulating her.  Me?  It's obvious my comment to her, "You need me !!!!!"
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Garden & Be Well, XO T
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Client needing me, above, a lot like me, no kids, doesn't cook.  I designed/maintained her townhome garden for several years, decades ago, every Friday.  Chose that day wickedly.  Her townhome was in the hi-rent zip code of Atlanta, and Fridays were the best estate sales.  And I drive a truck,  A nice match, still living with many of those pickings.  One Friday, she was cleaning out her fridge.  She had left a large tin of lasagna in her fridge so long it had eaten thru the tin.  More stories with her but they cannot be written in this forum.  So, what kind of forum?  A lunch with me in the Conservatory, just a few of us gals, wine, laughter, everyone's stories.  There is my gold, for writing.  Wish I had been taking notes all these decades.  There is a safety in women's sharing.  All share, none will tell or they'll be exposed too.  Yes.  Total safety.  You men should be worried what is shared.
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No worries, I know the reverse is true with men !

Monday, November 14, 2016

Front Door Garden Design

One reason, below, I must see your home interior before being able to design its garden.
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Was it obvious, at first glance, below, the problem?
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A dark foyer.
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Many houses I've designed the 'matching' glass door.  We source the door to match the existing front door, and our carpenter cuts away the panels, replacing with glass.
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Have never tabulated a list, but so much about Garden Design does not involve plants.

Love a wood/glass storm door painted same color as front door:
Pic, above, here.
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Have had the opportunity to walk into several big box stores this fall, always going in via the Garden Center.  Vulgarians at the gate have won.  Literally.  Greetings via shelves, rows of shelves, dedicated to chemicals, and seemingly innocuous fertilizer.  Beware, n-p-k fertilizer is toxic to ground water, kills earthworms, kills mycorrhizal fungi on roots.
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Had a knowing laugh reading Schopenhauer yesterday, "When we read, another person thinks for us; we merely repeat his mental process.........read themselves stupid."  Yep.  Me.  At the front end of gardening I read myself stupid.  Realized popular garden writing wasn't for me, went back to college for horticulture degree, more stupid.  To the core of my DNA, knew it was stupid.  Thus began decades of studying historic gardens across Europe.  No more books, foot on Earth.
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Then to Machiavelli, "A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men and to imitate those who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savour of it."
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On to Seneca, "Men who have made these discoveries before us are not our masters but our guides."
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Further with Farnum Street, "We need to digest, synthesize & organize the thoughts of others if we are to understand....It's how we acquire wisdom.  How we acquire foundational knowledge.....Without this foundational knowledge we are unable to separate the signal from the noise."
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Thursday, October 6, 2016

When Front Door & Back Door are Aligned

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Simple is the Most Complicated

Centuries of story, below, in this French home/garden, wars, plagues, art, architecture, transportation, taxes, riches, poverty, gain, desire, love, grief, loss.  What remains?  Formality with agrarian.  The former, easily located, can you outline the agrarian parameters, and label them, below?
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Two things, below, never mentioned in my measly USA horticulture degree.  If you're a Garden Whisperer, they don't whisper, below, they shout, in tears of joy or Wendell Berry poetry.
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First, below, is the magic of Tara Turf.  Meadow with a mix of what the wind blows, choices that are planted, herbs, bulbs, etc.  Mowed at 1-4 heights creating formality, paths, guilds.  Just meadow, it has no name.  It's literally biblical.  Earth as Provider.  Pastures & meadows, hallowed ground for pollinators, increasing crop yields by 80% with zero extra effort.  Tara Turf is unique to each site.  There should be myriad Tara Turf's for sale.  Tara Turf Gulf Coast, Tara Turf Mid-Tennessee, Tara Turf North Georgia you get the idea.
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Back to the agrarian parameters, below.  They are, expanse of meadow, feeding both pollinators & livestock.  Tallish meadow lapping the tightly controlled pruning of the topiaries?  Pure metaphor.  I adore this phase of maintaining a historic garden, rich in stories.  Tallish meadow lapping the topiaries cannot stay as a permanent feature, it would defoliate the base of the topiaries.
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Second, the Poverty Cycle.  The landscape below is not a conceit designed in, it's organically evolved.  A thread the worlds best historic gardens each has, eras of deep poverty, due to wars or disease.  Touring those gardens I learned to design using elements of the Poverty Cycle.  With zero Poverty Cycle, below, the garden would be entire shrub beds in various forms/shapes with intricate pruning, paths, bulbs, annuals, a morass of boredom, expensively maintained.


flore-de-brantes-french-chateau-ad-2016-habituallychic-001:
Pic, above, here.
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Before studying historic gardens across Europe, I thought the gardens, above, seen on TV or in books were a bore-bore-bore.  Amusing to look back at that 'me'.  Those days were the 80's and I certainly had every perennial and gee-gaw.  As Zorba the Greek so well said, The full catastrophe.
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Where are you on the pendulum of the garden, above?  What do you see?  Do you like it?  Does the house intrigue you more than the grounds?  What is the metaphor of this garden, above, to you?  Why is this agrarian landscape better than HOA rules/restrictions subdivision?  Oops, a little book club question section.
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Best part, and proof for this garden, above?  Looks good, above, and would look good at a 1959 3b/1b ranchburger.

Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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A few more from Zorba:

  • As I watched the seagulls, I thought: "That's the road to take; find the absolute rhythm and follow it with absolute trust."

  • Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I'll tell you what you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I'm told, intoGod.

  • Is it possible to talk by dancing? And yet I dare swear that's how the gods and devils must talk to one another.

  • How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else. And all that is required to feelthat here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.

  • You must sometimes rejoice that the dark forces of destruction are so numerous and invincible: for thus your aim to live almost without hope becomes more heroic and yoursoul acquires a more tragic greatness.

  • In religions which have lost their creative spark, the gods eventually become no more than poetic motifs or ornaments for decorating human solitude and walls.

  • Action, dear inactive master, action: there is no other salvation
    

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Front Door: Changing a Few Things

'There you go again', said during a much earlier debate.  Architecture, below, with a big fat garage, teensy front door, and a room at the end to finish the story.  I lived in one of these homes for 30 years, the entire neighborhood stuffed with them.  Built in the 80's a few newer neighborhoods outlawed the style in their deed restrictions.  Why?  Not street friendly, not conducive to neighbors knowing their neighbors, hulking garages with their landing strips dominate the entire neighborhood, front doors entered from their service court, not thru the 'garden'.  Very little, friendly.
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No worries, all easy fixes.  Remember, I had 30 years of this particular game.
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First, bravo the style, below, of front door.  Using a ubiquitous 6 panel door would lower the roof height. The long bottom panel, below, heightens the space, then the windows add a warm welcome with a bit more height, wonderful.  Have changed many front doors this way thru the years.
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Beyond this point there be dragons, early map makers wrote at the edges of their maps.
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First dragon I will completely ignore, it is so obvious, the huge conifer.  If you say it must be kept, ok.  Move it closer to the house, and keep it a bonsai espalier against the wall.  Learn how to do it properly, and it will be a pleasant few minutes each year.
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Next dragon, faux stone pavers are designed much too narrowly.  Total function, zero form.  Add more faux stone pavers.  Left of the front path, between drive/front walk, add stone pavers entirely where there is now mulch and those ornamental grass looking things, from house to front step.  Add more faux stone pavers to the right of the path, from the second front step, to the front door.  Why?  Creates a wider foyer, instead of this pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey front door & path.  In addition, instead of a narrow rigid walking path to the front door you've opened up a large landing.  Incredibly affordable too, most big box stores sell these faux stone pavers, and unskilled labor, aka you, can install them nicely.  Hint, if you are doing faux stone pavers yourself, always pull a string.  Always.
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Dragon- of- flat is next.  How to 3-D the walls at the front door?  Add a bell to the wall, preferably to the right of the door.  Either historic or artisan, and scaled properly.  Example, at bottom.
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Dragon downspout, another common issue.  But whoa, the white downspout at left corner.  This situation a bit of an exception.  Normally, paint downspouts copper color.  Here, the white house trim, tight space is all encompassing.  A lot going on with horizontal and vertical white trim, a mosh pit.  Boldly creating an exception, I would only paint the section of downspout, copper color, fronting the brick wall.  Why?  The rest of that downspout is blending with white eve and white vertical trim.  Will include the electrical socket with this dragon, at the left of the front door in the brick, paint it copper color too.
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Dragons on the wall to left of the front door, below.  I cannot see clearly what the 2 white rectangle squares are.  Paint them same color as shakes, they recede, instead of jump forward, look-at-me-look-at-me.
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Dragon, lighting.  Cannot see a light for the front door.  To keep the space feeling large, perhaps a simple recessed lite, in the eve, above the front door or a matching light on the wall, to the left of the front door, matching the light, below, to the right of the garage door.
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Dragon, dead brown mulch.  And it must be replenished yearly.  Plant an evergreen groundcover, done.  Warm & lush vs. dead & brown.
    

blue door | Highland Custom Homes:
Pic, above, here.
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Your turn.  What dragons, above, did you see, that I missed?  How would you change the dragons I did mention?  Please note, I've used affordable changes.  Of course I have changes for a different price point.  This home is lovely, I would truly like to see a stone path/steps.  And, I would add another bonsai espalier conifer, a dwarf conifer, to the left of the front path too.  A tighter espalier than the conifer at right of the path.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Image result for bell at the front door
Pic, above, here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Most Common Mistake at a Front Door

Garden rooms, you must create garden rooms.  That's the mantra, across centuries of Garden Design, but what does it mean, below, in the present era ?
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Most common fail I see at front doors?  Below.
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Best part of this 'fail' ?  Easily remedied.
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What to do, below, to create a garden room?
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Rules abound, below, this neighorhood reeks of Home-Owners-Association.  Must stay within the rules, no one likes that Nasty Gram in their mailbox.
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Reaching the front door, below at left, there is no here, here.  Create a garden room, voila, you are in their world, plenty of scope for the imagination and an elegant welcome/departure.
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Your turn, Garden Design the fix, below, creating a garden room for the front door at left.
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Giving you more time, notice the white downspout, below, house at right.  Really?  Paint the downspout copper color, voila, downspout no longer behaves as a 'column' almost disappears.  Paint the gutters copper color and the house grows taller, copper gutters reach up into the roof.  But this gutter/downspout exercise is merely to give you more time, figuring out how to create a garden room, below, at the front door to the house at left.  While your designing that garden room, lets take out a few bushes at the base of the arched window, below, and place a custom stone step.  Very nice.  It's never a good thing when I'm hearing Cole Porter, Don't Fence Me In, at a garden.
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Done?  Designed your garden room?

Classical Garden Design:
Pic, above, here.

Grow the existing short hedge, at the far right property line, to 7'.  If budget allows, take out the existing hedge, plant a 7' evergreen hedge.  Done.
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You've created a garden room, and private world at the front door, no visible axis into the neighbor's world.
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Must mention, I love this garden design, above, house at left.  Lean, green, serene.  Easy to maintain with unskilled labor.  Green all year, no down time.  Well done.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inspiration for Front Door Color

Yes, your front door matters.  Whether you think so, or not.  Your front door can tell me who you are, or tell me you don't care, or more likely, I care but it's on the to-do list.
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Had to smile at this front door, below.  It's the most often color choice I make for front doors, and I don't mean the blue.  I search interiors for a recurring color in the house, important but not boastful.  Typically, it's found in several pieces of art on the walls.  Clients will say, "I didn't realize I had that color in all my art."  Of course the door color must work with exterior colors already chosen, it's rare not to have it work.
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When clients have a dark foyer, I like to put in the glass door, below.  Literally.  We buy a panel door, and have our carpenter replace the panels with glass.
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Ironically, a year in our ca. 1900 American farmhouse, I've not painted the front door, it remains the seller's blood red color.  Up front, total arrogance, I thought it must be painted quickly, MY color.  It's on the list.  Oddly, the arrogance has disappeared.  The blood red is working for me, until the time arrives and its list number has been reached.

In Good Taste:  Sullen Gregory Design:
Pic, above, here.

Look around your home, what color is 'popping' from the art?
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Does it scare you a bit, and excite you too, wanting to put it on the front door?  It's probably your color.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Color & Architecture's Relationship

It's outrageous what color can do, good & bad, for architecture.
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Painting or staining a fence coming off the front sides of a home, widens its architecture.  Enlarges the footprint of welcome, to the home.
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An easy concept, and wildly affordable relative to the huge impact gained.

Dark Blue Front Entrance A new metal-framed door matches the new windows.:

Pic, above, here.
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Great example, above, about purchasing a properly scaled doormat.  This poor mat, above, looks like it came from a Pin the Tail on the Donkey store.  Dinky is Stinky, is this doormat's trinity fail.  The doors are way too fabulous to be wearing this doormat.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Dinky is Stinky is a great save, protecting you from hunting/gathering the wrong things.  Another great save, 'We're not to that layer yet.'  Both from Susanne Hudson.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Taking Historic into the Modern Realm

Clearly a master's touch, below, playing with history, cunningly modern.
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Sint-Job-In't-Goor Sleutel-op-de-deur

Whimsy, below, in the metaphor of sanctity.  What?  Taking the choice, below, to walk into the garden, you must bow your head, at the shrine of espaliered trees.
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Soon, hedging will shield the house from the outer world, flying buttresses, arc-boutant, to the nave within.
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Is your life worth anything less?
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Stewardship of self.  In all its layers.

Sint-Job-In't-Goor Pastorij


Sint-Job-In't-Goor landelijke woning

For good measure, several ball rooms planted into the back yard, above.

Sint-Job-In't-Goor achtertuin

The long hallway, above at right, a promenade, lit in the manner of le jardin rustique.  With hedging at the backyard too, another nave, a double cathedral built,
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Someone, at the top of their game, above.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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We are still tending structural  outdoor necessities at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse garden.  Pouring more gravel, putting in paths, lighting, plantings, must wait.  One of those 'necessities' a well.  Beloved has worked with the well diggers many times during his construction career, he trusts them.  Good, fine.  My concern is flagrantly obvious.  Where will they find water?  How will it affect designing the garden?  
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We chose similar lights, above, for a renovated shed.  Once installed, I knew those lights would be perfect for the rest of the garden, on posts along pathways.  Imagine my surprise seeing the pic, above.
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What a day I had on the old Kubota tractor yesterday.  Wounded pride, newbie mistakes.  Hilarious being an 'expert' and embarking upon a new learning curve in the garden.  Details sketchy, pride still ruffled.
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Pics from here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vertical Lawn

Vertical lawn, below.  Vine or espalier woody shrub, no worries, either can be your vertical lawn.

image:

Pic, above, here.
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Plenty of lush, above, without a traditional USA foundation planting.
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Instead, gravel to the house.
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First time I saw this style of Landscape Design I was moth to a flame, still am.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls', below, is a diminutive wisteria, purple, fragrant, won't eat your house, blooms 1st year.
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Pic, above, taken in my previous garden.  Dug no plants when I moved, merely took the ones in pots.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Interior: A Reverence for Nature


"A reverence for Nature...", is how the caption begins in Architectural Digest, for the pic, below.

Edie Parker accessories designer Brett Heyman and her family tapped decorator Mark Cunningham for their Connecticut home. In the white-washed entrance hall, a table helps to center the space. | archdigest.com:

Pic, above, here.
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So true.

Pic, above, here.
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People only see small glances of us throughout the day and then make judgments off of that. Stay true to yourself and be proud. #life:

Pic, above, here.
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Stewards of Nature seem to be sprinkled lightly across continents, and eras.  How odd to be finding each other through this thing named, Social Media.
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Happiness is not external, but internal:


Pic, above, here.
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Adore how they think, top pic.  Their foyer a full narrative.  Their garden a vanishing threshold with the foyer, more pics here.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO T

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Creating the Perfect Front Door

Had a pair of platform cross strap sandals the same yellow, below, in high school, called them my 'school bus' shoes.
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Of course I clicked on the picture, for the yellow, then was delighted further.
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Length of the steps is gracious plenty, much too rare, and the real winner, placement of the urns.
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100% outside the door zone, no crowding, making the entry appear smaller.  The urns color, height & width, perfect.  More, they could be empty and still fabulous.  Better, notice the lack of foundation planting?  Swoon.
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Interior of this home, speaking from the curb.



Simple is hard.
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I spend a lot of time in my car going to jobsites, my little van is too noisy to hear when talking on the phone, so, it's the stereo.  Full spectrum, Mozart, Cole Porter, Edith Piaf, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, The Cars, U2, you get the idea.  A lyric that goes deep, each time heard, Zac Brown's, "I've got everything I need, and nothing that I don't."
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Simple is hard, and that line should be the basis of a hymn.  A song of praise & thanks, sometimes a quest.
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It describes this front door, above, and garden.  Perhaps it should be a last question, designing your garden, "Does it have everything it needs, and nothing it doesn't?"  My last question, for years, designing a garden, when done, "What can I take away & it still holds together?"
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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Pic via Content in a Cottage.
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I always pack lunch for the car, today, waiting to be grabbed when I leave, by the front door on the table, peanut butter sandwich, raisins, apple, banana.  Have you read, Pillars of the Earth?  They were always packing lunch, bread/cheese/ale.  Can you imagine a crusty sourdough homemade bread, cheese from your own cow, who only eats from the pasture, and local brew ale?  Don't want the ale for lunch but the comparison always draws a smirk from me when packing my own bland road trip work lunches.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Proper Placement: Pots by the Front Door

Perfect, below.  Placement of the pots, their size, and materials.

Custom Home by E.C.Trethewey

Most often pots are placed too close to the front door, hugging too tight.  A major design flaw.
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The fix, proper placement, is free.
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Proper pots?  Pots at your front door label your interior, and you, within the first 6 seconds.  I must know who you are at your front door.  Worth saving your pennies, for proper pots, and you take them with you if you move.
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Choosing pots?  Ask yourself, "Are these pots so wonderful they will be fought over at my estate sale?"
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic via Ect Builders.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Front Door: Before & After


Lovely home, below, builder-special landscaping.


Page Duke: Before the landscape design

What, below, happened?

Page Duke: A Strong Landscape Focal Point

Adjusting eyeballs back into sockets, the before/after leave only questions.  Did new owners move in?  How much property for the site, for the front yard?  What does the backyard look like, too small, slope, etc?  Who's brilliant idea to treat the front yard as a back yard?  Painting the brick, yes.
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Every penny of this hardscape goes into house value.  Wooooowzzzzzza.
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Views from inside the home changed.  Lifestyle of the home changed.
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Historic garden design, nothing new.  However, totally new here.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics Page/Duke.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Free Garden Design

Modern 2,000+ years ago.  Modern today.
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No need to be an expert, to understand why garden centers are not 'on board'.



Calm.  Facade, bench, pots, gravel, fade their colors into each other.  I see the silhouette of branches in winter striking the house, and gravel.  I hear the leaves, wind rustled, see their fall colors.  Gravel crunching underfoot.
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This house doesn't make the Garden Design special, instead, the choice to have this Garden Design is special.
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Free Garden Design.  Equally at home with a brick ranchburger ca. 1963, pioneer cabin, starter home, $2 million home in a gated community.
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Myriad choices made with this Garden Design.  Especially adore all of the 'no' choices.
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Why is this Garden Design harder to choose than keeping foundation plantings, installed by the builder, and a pocked lawn needing mow/blow/go, fertilizers poisoning groundwater, zero aesthetics to increase property value, no choices for plantings to reduce hvac expenses, no thought for color, or pulling the foot outside to enjoy Nature?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Picture from here.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Best Place to Copy Front Porch Design?

Bed & Breakfasts speak to myriad layers of design.
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Their needs, specific.  They must be inviting, tidy, comfortable, safe, feed all your senses, and perform through all seasons.
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B&B's are on a budget of money & time.  
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Perfect, just like home.
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Glen Ella, below, has been welcoming guests for a century.  
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History, color, repetition, comfort, and welcome at Glen Ella's front porch, below.


One of the first rules of Garden Design, copy.
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Not your style, above?  Doesn't matter, the design rules apply.
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For 30+ years I've had the good fortune of having a family place nearby.  Better fortune, I've not been the one to buy the family place & pay upkeep !  Glen Ella is still beside a dirt road and its Smoky Mountain views not harmed by gentrification.  Throughout the years I've never had a bad meal here and know to make reservations.
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Now, whenever I go to Glen Ella a walk alone in the garden & meadows is deeply anticipated.  Enjoying the present, yet remembering other days/evenings/meals here with deeply loved friends, already gone.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Design Question


Rare, the home needing a 'foundation' planting.
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Rare, the home without one.
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A step beyond, below, not having a foundation planting.
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They've taken on the sacrosanct lawn, with firm intention.


This garden has me at, 'hello'.
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However, the window nearest the garage must have an espalier fruit tree to the right.  And the hedge must have a stone plinth with urn at its end nearest the drive.  One more thing.  Ivy 'Gold Heart', on the house to the right of the front door, tendrils to 14', no more.
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How little can your garden have, and, still be 'you'.  It's the best question.
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Yes, I would make the effort to drive by this home at dusk/evening, to see inside.  Perhaps, a garden's best moments, as it melds with the interiors, vanishing threshold.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic

François - Xavier Van Damme  

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Would love to know what you see added to this garden.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
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NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
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Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
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Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
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Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
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What do YOU want?
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Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
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Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Words: Use with Caution in Styling

With some people, years ago, I learned not to share joyous news.  They took delight in diminishing my joy.  Another epiphany, not too long after, 'I choose the plants in my garden, choose the people in my life.'  Within seconds eject button pushed on several persons.
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Lightening life's load was instant.  No regrets decades later.  


Words in the garden, be wary of using them.  Words, most often, dominate any mood, any narrative, weather, ephemeral delicate beauties, etc.
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Gardens speak, without words.  It is the human cheapening their language.
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Instead of admonishing with a picture proving my 'words' I've chosen an exception.  Words in a garden providing pleasure.  If my garden needs a sign, 'Spring has Sprung', do not ever, in a lifetime galaxy of black holes, hire me.  My garden decadently overflows spring's bounty.  Front door, above, is not my home/garden, it belongs to a young woman.  Her mom renovated/styled the home, to perfection.  'Words', included !
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Love exceptions, and breaking rules.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning:
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.