Showing posts with label Stone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stone. Show all posts

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Layers of Nuance in a Stone Wall

Perhaps for a party, below, the pair of potted hydrangeas?  Love of hydrangeas, past president of the American Hydrangea Society, here, the beauty of meadow, woodland, and sloping hills are too great, to me, to stop the eye with potted hydrangeas.
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Well before these thoughts, there was conversation, deeper, about how to cap the stone wall at entry to meadow-woodland-sloping hills.  Did you already notice that delightful, well constructed, expert nuance?  More, the strong choice made.  Beyond subtle, yet their minds didn't stop with the cap on the wall.
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Did you see that too?  I'll go slow.  Wanting your eyes/brain/heart to see, on its own.

Content in a Cottage
Pic, above, here.
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Hope it sails a thousand ships.
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Quite a sure hand with stone capping, all at the same height.  Yet the crescendo accelerates.  Imperceptibly, the pair of hydrangeas rest upon stone 'columns'.  Notice their slight corners blending into the wall?
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Well done.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT
  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Side Yard Real Estate

Commonly, side yard real estate is ignored.  Perhaps a nod to creating a 'nice' pass-through, at most.
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They got the memo, below.  An entire garden room in their 'side yard'.
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More, they completed every layer of the memo.  Gravel to the house, no foundation planting, and a wall, evergreen shrubs, for privacy.  Pure architecture.  

southwood4.jpg
Pic, above, here.
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Off topic, a sign of the current era of nursery plants, above.  Since the debacle of 2008, commercial nursery contraction, retail nursery contraction, wholesale grower contraction, decent plants are rare.  Plantings at the edge of the graveled garden room, above, are the new normal.  Prior to 2008, my team would have returned those plants as culls.  Worse, guessing from the photo, in addition to fertilized spindly growth, they're probably loosely rooted, perhaps a season or 2 from being bumped up into larger containers.  In the era prior to 2008 it was considered unethical to sell plants newly bumped up/not rooted in.  Now, normal.  It gets worse.  The new normal costs much more.  Labor a huge cost burden to growers, then, again, labor a huge cost burden to crews planting.  Patented plants add another layer of cost.
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A new generation of labor crew leaders has arrived since 2008, how are they to know the new plants at the edge of the gravel garden room, above, are culls?
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For decades, new plantings had to be turned for their best 'front' at planting.  Humorous concept, now, when plants have no 'front' at all. See the gravel, above, thru the foliage of plantings along the concrete?  In the past, plants were so full of vigorous lush foliage, zero gravel would be visible thru them.
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A recent job, we indeed received gorgeous thick lush plants, heavy in their pots & well rooted.  Good timing.  The wholesaler is probably weeks from bumping up plants that haven't sold, into larger pots.  
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Of course Home Depot, Lowe's, and Wal-Mart each forced consolidation of the retail nursery sector prior to 2008.  Most of their current plant purchases are on contract, with the plant wholesaler agreeing to unload/stock shelves with their employees, and take back plants that die or look poorly.  Another layer of cost to you, the retail plant buyer.
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Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.  Could not have imagined these industry changes when I began working it ca. 1985.  Of course back in those days, it gave me my Garden Design career.  The family nursery I worked for did not offer Garden Design, nor keep any employees who did Garden Design.  Why?  Their attitude was an employee doing Garden Design, on their own time, would steal plants.  Why didn't they think an employee doing Garden Design would be buying plants from them?  A customer, not thief.  Their thinking proved detrimental, they bankrupted & had to sell.  Our nursery team mentioned more than once, 'wish they would give us a pay/purchase option in company stock'.  Ironically, the company owning that nursery now, is employee owned.  Go team !  
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

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.

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, 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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Gabion Walls

Gabion wall, below, taming a slope.


low gabion wall with lawn over top of gabions:
Pic, above, here.


 Image may contain: table, plant, outdoor and indoor

Gabion wall, above/below, total environment creation.  Outside the wall, intersection of 2 dusty roads & industrial views.

Image may contain: plant

Isn't it wonderful seeing 'smart' !  More, the arbor, above, probably the variation Beloved & I will use at the back of our home.
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We ate at this restaurant just outside Progresso, Yucatan, above, after visiting the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchaltun last week.  Aside from known Mexican beers, they made, on site, 9 IPA's.  I had their Belgian Blonde Ale.  The food?  Terrible having such a good meal, and IPA, knowing nothing like it back home.
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The restroom zone had a wall of windows, with views into more gabion walls.  Wildly effective, using what's at hand, limestone.  As if the restaurant merely arose from the ground.  A mentor, Mary Kistner, said it best, It's what we do with what we have.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tell Me About the Foundation Plantings in Your Life

Moth to a flame, below, 1st time seeing this style 'landscaping' in England ca. 1988, during my 1st historic garden design study tour.  Skeletal DNA danced in its helix.
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No drifts, no incurves, no outcurves, no tall-something-focal-point-expensive-tree at the left corner, no ubiquitous ridiculous superfluous foundation planting, no monoculture lawn parading as culture, no monthly mow-blow-go, no patch of hot house annuals grown from plugs and trucked to a box store, the 'safe' personality chosen and presented as character, no fertilizer killing earth worms and poisoning groundwater, no allowance for pollinators, just conforming to the highest point of the bell curve, because it's a point inculcated in secondary education as acceptable, when it should be considered a personal failure to reach that point.
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A 'manor' house cannot be a 'subdivision' house.  Sometimes, a client is indeed in a subdivision, yet know they need to set their home free from the shackles of subdivision landscaping.  Great pleasure, releasing a manor house from its bindings of subdivision bell curve 'success'.          

The Echo Chamber - Ben Pentreath Inspiration:
Pic, above, here.
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Garden, above, quite personal.  I want to know the story.  Notice the roller at the front door?  I get the feeling Somerset Maugham, and a few others are coming for cocktails & dinner this evening, above.
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The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger. W. Somerset Maugham
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When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character. W. Somerset Maugham
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Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
Somerset Maugham
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The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill. W. Somerset Maugham
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Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul. W. Somerset Maugham
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It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do. Moliere
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The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men's apples and head their cabbages. Cyrano de Bergerac
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Sometimes in someone's gestures you can notice how a parent is somehow inhabiting that person without there being any awareness of that. Sometimes you can look at your hand and see your father. Sam Shepard
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Personality is everything that's false in a human: everything that's been added on to him and contrived. Sam Shepard
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All quotes, above, here
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Monday, November 28, 2016

Enlarging Territory

Another Garden Design tool, below.  Does it pop to you too?  I'll be starting a new project in a couple of weeks, have already been to the site, and know it will have a variation of this Garden Design tool, below.  At present the new client has a horrid little sign tacked to a post, Private Road.  Their home not visible from the road.
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What to call this tool?
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It's always a good day when your Garden Design quiver gains a new arrow.
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Columns, below, Enlarge the Footprint of the home.
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Often, I use this tool, Enlarge the Footprint of the home, in subdivisions too, where the road is not a concern in the least, but scaling the home properly is.
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Back to the columns, below.  Four columns seems a lot.  Amazingly, this Garden Design arrow-in-your-quiver will also work if there were only a single column, below.
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Two mental models, below.  Place a single column, below, at the right of the lane.  The lane becomes 'public property'.  Next, place a single column, below, to the left of the lane.  The lane is 'private property'.

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Pic, above, here.
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Yes, am curious why there are 4 columns, above.  Pure ego, drama queen stuff?  Oversold by the landscape architect, getting that commission check?  Entry to a compound of several homes on acreage?  Perhaps those 4 columns are much older than the house, above, and owner of the house decided to keep them all?
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What do the 4 columns, above, say to you?
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Lastly, imagine the home, above, without any columns.  Hmm, not so good.  Needs at least one column to enlarge its footprint.
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Garden & Be Well,   XOT

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Before & After: What Change Would You Make?

Layers of good changes with this renovation, below.
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Noticed a change I've made numerous times, different than, below, in the 'after'.
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In the 'after' pic, below, what is the glaring change you/I would make?
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Especially nice, below, is creating a walkway from the street to the front door, changing the front door, adjunct to the service court, aka driveway.  Instead, front door is adjunct to the front yard.  Lovely to enter a home thru a garden.
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Great contrast, creating the arcs at garage & front porch.
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Have I diverted you enough?  Is there a change you would make in the 'after' pic, below?  Yes, there are smaller changes I would make, but they are quibbles.  Mere quibbles.  For me, there is a big change I would make.

Facelifts for Homes. Before and after transformations with great ideas. We are home renovation contractors in Delhi NCR. We give home renovation ideas to customer. Ark Interior is best home renovation contractor in Delhi NCR. We provide home maintenance in Delhi. We provide home maintenance services Delhi. Visit -- homerenovationind...:
Pic, above, here.
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In the 'after' pic, above, I would move the mailbox.  It is crowding the front yard, scaled too large, and has zero need to out rank the front door.
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Yep, I've moved a lot of mailboxes.  Heads-up, zoning/code/deed restrictions must be met.
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A great renovation, hope they've entered it into a local trade competition, it's a winner.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Garden Design: Design in the Silence

Garden Room, below, designed around the Grace of silence, speaking volumes.

clean slate sawyer berson2
Pic, above, here.

 "As a writer you try to listen to what others aren't saying...and write about the silence." --N.R.Hart:
Pic, above, here.
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Image result for themistocles quotes
Pic, above, here.

 Image result for themistocles quotes
Pic, above, here.
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Many compulstions to have in a garden.  The best compulsion?  Simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well,     XOT

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Connecting Garden Rooms: Concave/Convex Stone Steps.

About 3 weeks ago I began working with amazing acreage.  The clients from out-of-state, could have afforded new fancy.  But it wasn't for 'her'.  She went beyond the patience of her family & realtor.  Why?  She had to have her home in the proper setting.  After renovating kitchen & other spaces, she's ready for the garden.  Their acres are stunning.  My job is to frame the views, and they are 360 !
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Lovely step detail:

Pic, above, here.
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Their home faces one of their lakes from a perfect distance, and, with a more perfect slope.
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At present there is no relationship between house & lake.  None.  How can this be?
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Oh my the delight, connecting house to lake with stone steps, concave & convex.
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Client's concave/convex stone steps won't be quite so formal, as above, more rustic, no mortar.
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Of course grading needed, and our stone mason to perfectly 'set' each stone.  Have worked with Javier for years, I think of him as a garden 'jeweler' !
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Alas, clients are building a carriage house, barn, paddock, pool, summer house, potager ahead of their concave/convex steps.  Excited about their other projects, but these steps make my heart sing.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Open, wooded, lakes, slight slopes, mature, oh my this acreage.  Poor Javier, he knows how excited I get about focal points of stone and what Muse sees.  Then, Javier makes my thoughts better.  His Muse speaks too.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Working With Contractors

Dealing with contractors for 30 years, as a woman, never ceases to amaze.  Everything in my Garden Designs has been done for CENTURIES.  I've plucked no ideas solely from books without having seen them in real gardens across continents.
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Had to smirk seeing this stone wall, below.  How many times have I designed a dry stack stone wall, 3' or even 5', and been told, "You can't do that."  You know which sex provided that quote.  Perhaps I should be clearer, not wanting to implicate LGBT.  "You can't do that", said the heterosexual man.
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Sure I've had the male contractor say, "Let me figure that out", of course gay.  Excepting, David. A country boy, straight, and willing to scare himself.  Whatever I threw at him, "Ok", and with a tiny smile and squinching up of his shoulders I knew he was challenged, and would sort it out, he did.  Plucked David from one of the college classes I taught.  He had the right attitude.  Sadly, my David died, age 50, almost a decade ago, I'm still p#ssed at him for doing that.  I know exactly the smiling look I'll see on his face, once I see him again.  It will say, "Ha, you had to sort it out without me !!"  Huge surprise, interviewing, and using other contractors?  Dishonesty.  Who knew?  Rife.  
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Discovered Beloved at a jobsite.  Client hired me for the design, but had her own contractor.  The day I met Beloved, the client had given me clear orders, "Your job is to keep him in line, I want the garden you drew, no changes."  Of course, after knowing his work at her job, I asked him to bid some of my work.  I knew his honesty with clients, designer, employees, vendors.
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Back to this stone wall, below.  Built ca. 1500.  Some guy, now, is going to tell me, "You can't do that." ?  Beyond happy to have found a team of knowledgeable, and honest men.  Ironically, all straight.  You want this wall, below?  Our mason can do it.

P1000221

Found our mason at a jobsite almost 5 years ago.  He was working for another contractor.  His boss decided he needed cussing out in front of everyone, including the homeowner.  The homeowner, our client, told that contractor to never speak to anyone on her property in that manner again.  He responded by firing the mason, immediately.  In return, immediately, our client fired that contractor.  Following that, immediately, we hired the mason.  If it had been a Hollywood movie, every player deserved an Oscar.  What a span of 60 seconds !
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Cannot imagine 'my work' without our mason's work.  He's magic.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic, above, here.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Civilized Garden

Lilly is my tax accountant.  We met yesterday morning, last of everything done, filed.  Go us.  Her office is a sweet little house, ca. 1930, renovated for her work.  Believing in a spoon-full-of-sugar I made an appointment afterward to finally peruse the huge antique shop on the main street, a former dry goods business built prior to the Civil War.  Yes, I bought a couple of things.
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A farm stand with homemade soups/sandwiches/teas/cookies, around the corner, was part of that appointment.  Wanted to stop there since moving in almost a year ago, 1st time was the charm.  Eating on their front terrace filled with plants & willow furniture I was able to check email and return calls.  Then a text from a client, her garden on the way to my afternoon appointment.  How amazing, I could answer her text in person.  Leaving the farm stand I bought a frozen quart of homemade chicken/sausage gumbo for dinner and stopped by home to put in fridge.
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The afternoon appointment was graciously easy, the client lives in NYCity, and was not at her farm, the timing flexible.  Since moving to the country all of my pedicures have been well past their sell-by-date.  The salon is near the copy shop where I had to pick up construction drawings for another client.  At the print shop I discovered the lady who most often helps me is from California, and her father, now in his 80's, was a gardener for movie stars.  Designing, installing, maintaining.  Cannot wait to learn more about his work as time passes.  Pedicure acquired, construction drawings secured.
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Stopping at the client who texted, we had time to walk/talk her garden, with her young daughters & dog Lilac too.  Then we all walked a few houses away to her neighbor who had offered her his custom tree house that his children had outgrown.  Beyond perfect.  Of course it is up in the trees.  Cannot wait to see how this is figured out, without destroying the tree house.  Once moved, it will be renovated into a chicken coop.  Another, go us !
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Her daughters were whittling sticks at a patio table on the gravel terrace off the kitchen when I arrived.  Youngest daughter had a pocket knife just like the one I carry.  Dad gave it to me over a decade ago.  She asked to investigate my knife.  Quickly she pulled a small pair of tweezers from it.  Quite rich, 1st time it was ever removed, had zero clue it was there.  Dad would have enjoyed this, he's been gone 4 years.
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After finishing homemade rhubarb tea it was time to check construction at Miss New York's farm.  I was sent packing with fresh asparagus from the garden, and a slice of cake.  Perfect for dinner with the gumbo.  
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Beloved phoned, he was near.  We could meet at the old cemetery and then start Miss New York's 2 mile driveway thru the woods.  There had been a bit of a 'panic' call, last Friday, from the ASID working inside the house about how her steps were landing into the garden.  Beloved shot the level, I told him my vision for the stone steps coming up to the ASID steps from the new side porch.  All is good.  No 'panic' necessary.
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Guess who was not thrilled with gumbo for dinner?  Beloved.  He felt guilty about it too.  Both of us garden dirty, him more than me, he suggested eating out.  We did.  Girasoles, in Watkinsville.  Glad it's in Watkinsville, not our little farm town.  It's too good.
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This wasn't all of my day, but enough to share.  Amazingly, this is the first day since we moved, about 10 months ago, life feels 'civilized', again.  Work schedule & our farm have been in charge of everything.  Their demands rigid.  Knocked off my feet.  Yesterday, I stood up.
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Before leaving Lilly I asked what she had blooming in her garden.  Her answer, exactly expected.  Left her with a hand written list of flowering shrubs, a succession throughout the year.  Today, will email her nurseries where she can find them.  I make gardens wherever I go.  It's my job.
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MdR 8806-025 Robert Broekema, Fam. Nuytinck
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Pic, above, garden by Robert Broekema.
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Close to what we've started to construct/plant at our farm, above.  Quite civilized, yes?  Finally, getting a garden back in my life.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Front Door: A Course in Beautifully Scaled Details

Off the edge of perfect, below, beyond perfect.
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Have never understood the predilection for oversized lights at a front door.  Studying historic gardens across Europe for decades, diminutive lighting, compared to USA, is the memo.
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Tara Turf, below, to the foundation.  Alone, enough to instigate a nastygram from any HOA.  Here's the deal with Tara Turf, it's a rich way to live, according to Providence.  And me.
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Opulent patina, not pressure washed away, on the walls, below.



Pic, above, here.
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Who knew I would ever think a collection of little green meatballs was charming?  Indeed, these are.  Here, they are a whimsical pun.  You already thought the same thing, right?
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The pair of small spheres.  Swoon.  Their plinths, double swoon.
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Notice the climbing roses?  Not the physical plant but what they do for the design.  Taking very little space, espaliered, they give maximum lush.
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Tiny gravel, above, color of the house, drifting into most-of-a-circle tiny flagstone, again colored to the house, terrace.  With no edging between gravel/plants or gravel/flagstones.  Your already picked up on this huge detail, edging, right?
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Enfilade, above, is something we have at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Ours, 80' long, with heart of pine floor, I'll have to figure out how to get the shot, we even have the trees in back, but our pond is behind the trees.
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Our house, now, has a small gravel parking court in front, we kept the previous owner's half-round of bricks at the front steps.  Unbelievable, the vernacular language is the same, this home, above, and ours.
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This front door, above, says the most important thing, "Welcome."  And, "You want to come inside, this house is interesting, the people who live here I want to know and see more, the garden, and....."
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Beloved is a pressure washing fool.  One of these days, at present I leave the premises when he pressure washes, I will stand my ground, and instead of crime scene tape outlining a body on the ground, Beloved will pressure wash around my body on the wall of our home.  If this were our home, above, I know his pressure washer would have something 'wrong' with it each time he tries to use it.  Buy a new one?  It would have something 'wrong', always, too.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dowager Duchess at Edensor House: Gravel Paths

Dinner tonight in honor of a friend's beloved grandmother.  She would have been 99.  Grandma's chocolate pie will be the star, and focused conversation for all, about grandmothers.  
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A dinner ritual for many years, I was unaware & suppose my continual mention of my grandma earned me an invitation.
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Days a bit longer and  will be able to see my host's garden before last light.  Designed her garden about 2 years ago, and they are totally DIY.
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Snakes are a problem at their home, and they have 2 young daughters.  
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Gravel is designed up to the house, and stones within the gravel, as needed for easier main paths.
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Gravel with pathway stones has been done for thousands of years.
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Another benediction for gravel with stones, below, Debo, Duchess of Devonshire, if Debo does it, case closed.



Duchess of Devonshire, below, at her dowager house, above, Edensor House, an old vicarage, she called, Old Vic.  Note, exquisite pruning, below, to the right of the door?




Centuries old, below, the backdrop landscape behind the Duchess is no accident.  None.  

The Duchess of Devonshire, photographed in 2010 by Emma Hardy

Old Vic, below, rendering to be sold at Sotheby's.

Painting by Catriona Hall, Old Vicarage, signed with artist's monogram, £600 - 800

The Duchess, below, was keen on many outdoor activities, in one of her books, can't remember which, she mentioned how cold/wet/mucky some pursuits were but the game was on for all included, Show No Discomfort.  




Before pie, we'll walk the new gravel paths.  Today, temps are freezing, winds gusting to 20mph, and we will do our best to show-no-discomfort.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics from Sotheby's .  The Style Saloniste has a bit more about the Duchess, here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Designing to Solve Problems: Maintenance & Snakes

From the 1st visit with the realtor to our new home, I KNEW the garden around the house would be gravel with meandering paths & terraces of gravel further from the house.  And, siting of large pots with HYDRANGEA, drip irrigation of course, were paramount.



Leaving a cottage garden of 3 decades, our new garden is American Farmhouse, ca. 1900.  More importantly, its design will be for our 80 year old selves.  I must be 80 years old, have a gorgeous garden with zero worries about maintaining it.  A garden must leverage life, not the reverse.
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This garden, above/below, I shot late last summer.  Limelight hydrangeas in the same situation as my new garden.  Loving, to the center of my DNA, this garden, I had zero clue I would soon be owning similar.  Alas, it's owned by a man, greatly talented, and strong.  My garden must be smarter, my strength not as great.  Game on.



Fearless, gravel will go to the house, similarly, below.

Interesting block +clapboard

Not wanting formality, gravel will lap at our century old pecan trees, Tara Turf will lap at some pecan trees too.

French garden design - gravel courtyard

As time passes, stone will be added to the gravel as needed.  Stone, below, added for rain issues.  And, I will site wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' at my front porch.  Vines or espaliered trees/shrubs add lush without space.

gravel bordered by pavers / french courtyard draped in wisteria

Knowing gravel terraces will be included, below, great anticipation in wondering 'exactly' where.
Screen-Shot-2013-06-10-at-2.49.40-PM.png 666×482 pixels

Transitioning to meadow, I will add checkerboard squares, below.

Make the best of both worlds using green grass paired with square pavers

Furlow Gatewood has smashed a bottle of champagne upon thousands of ships, below, with his allee of hydrangeas in pots.  Copy, it's the 1st rule of garden design.



Wildly, without knowing the deeper truths of our new garden, my initial thoughts for design are more than suitable at age 80.  Even life saving, for any age.  Snakes, the indigenous timber rattler.  Luckily have already interrupted a long king snake under the house.  Lucky, yet totally scared when I saw him.
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Gravel is the best solution, trying to be safe, in defense of snakes near the house.  I got the memo, go me.
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Sourcing pots now, I think I've found them !
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Top 2 pics mine, the rest from my Pinterest Board, Stone.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Brave Enough to be this Simple?

Glen Ella, below, New Year's Eve.
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Still in use, their barn, more than a century later, its current garden design pulls deep admiration.
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Simplicity.
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Mostly, these barns are rotting/caving-in/gone across USA.
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Go off the grid?  These barns are original off the grid support.



Field gathered stones, below, still functioning.


Perhaps my favorite view of the barn, below.  Simplicity of garden design, and views into the guts of its architecture.  What is the narrative?  Was it added on to?  More than once?


Barn still in use, above, totally garden designed.  Yet, to most, it will seem derelict, dangerous, and they will think, "Why don't they do something, or tear it down?"  Without realizing the brain power creating this current narrative with form/function.  More than brain power, a relationship with Providence.
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Would you be this bold, above, as a garden designer?
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Simplicity is a hard/impossible task.
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Simplicity requires the ego to mask itself.
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No worries about that, once you realize your ego can shine via the simplicity.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Arrived with friends, for dinner, at Glen Ella near dusk, the later seating was booked.  Cold, little light, and everyone walked toward the entry, and warmth.  Not me.  I forgot they existed.  My behavior, whence a good garden appears, targeted on the hunt.  The garden, camera, me, a trinity & zone flying beyond time, social acceptance, whatever.  Poor unfortunate souls needing drugs to arrive in this zone.  
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Have met 1 other soul with this trinity to Nirvana, in Italy, a Delta pilot.  He/I were constantly in each other's way and beyond irritated, beyond the moon irritated.  A few days of this hell we knew some sort of 'arrangement' had to be discovered, some sort of 'friendship'.  Finally, we spoke.  Of course he had to let me know he was a Captain, and a bit about his lovely large home etc.  Woo-woo, let him know a friend's dad had been a Flying Tiger, and original pilot hire by Delta, and he lived around the corner from me growing up.  Told you we didn't like each other up front.  And by the way, someone had to train the astronauts how to fly their rockets, uh, that would be my dad in the simulator with them, former Air Force test pilot.  Isn't it rare the events bringing out our best 7 year old selves, in a snit?  Oh that archaic lizard brain.  You know exactly what happened next.   Talked our way to what is best for both of us, have been true friends since.   He's a wonderful pilot, and person, the best.  Adore his wife, she's a junker for antiques too.
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Grew up knowing the neighbor was a Flying Tiger.  Thought it was euphemism.  During college saw a movie with John Wayne, Flying Tigers.  Consistently, when I'm wrong, it's never a little.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Design: Defining Space with Paths


Garden paths are ahead of plantings in the garden design process.
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Lawns & Tara Turf are paths too.
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Paths are dictated by the house, function, patio, driveway, shade, trees, existing plantings, new features, etc.
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Shot yesterday, below, this new path follows a well trod dirt path my client created during 2+ decades in his home.
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Stepping stones, and edging stones were chosen to copy the type of stone put in by the builder originally.
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Gray cobblestone edging is more common, but not for this site.  I needed to flow with the history already created, aka keep it simple sweetie.
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This project should be completed by the end of the week.  Can't wait to do the walk thru with the owners.


Foot path location, below, used to create new formal stone path.  Many garden paths would be complete, with just stones in dirt, below.  This home is formal French architecture, the garden is not large, the entire garden is treated as a courtyard.


His original dirt path, below.


Stone edging piled, below, are called rubles.  By us !   I think they are correctly named stone rubble.
Brown/beige/white gravel was chosen, too, to copy the existing stone color on site.
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Owner enlarged the scope of the project once we began.  Always happens.  Always.  I think it's because owners 'see', once the paper design becomes 3-D.  Of course there is great humor in knowing a few days earlier only a certain amount of money was available.  Then, poof, voila, money landed from space to enlarge their garden project.


Paths are instant in a garden.  Compare top/bottom pics.  This project is incomplete but the changes are 180.
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Human nature, aka untrained garden design brain, thinks plants will create an instant landscape.  I think of this as job security.  
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Garden & Be Well,     XO T

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.


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.

Monday, December 1, 2014

When it's Time to Change the Design


You'll know when it's time to round the corners.
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Time passes, trees grow, shade encroaches, turf dies.
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Freshly installed cobblestones, below.  What happens when there is even more shade?
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Forget grass, plant a groundcover.
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Sure, this is change.  Refinement too.


This progression is years in the making.
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And, a metaphor for 'life'.
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What corners does your life need to round?  What turf does your life need to let go?  Where does your life need you to invest in cobblestones installed by experienced hands?  How long did this chapter of life take?  Why didn't I realize, sooner, this corner always needed more space?
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Answers to these types of questions arrive in 3 places, for me: in my garden, walking in Nature, or in the shower.

From childhood, I've found gardens, and Nature, to be great conversationalists.
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But.  Have been stumped by a garden request since last week, a new lecture title.  Help me if you can, please.  What is 'new' in gardening?    
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 Gardening is an ancient craft, yet each garden I create is 'new'.  But.  What is 'new', to you, in gardening?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken at jobsite.
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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.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

William Morris: Nuance of Beautiful & Useful

At a jobsite last week, below, a stone path on a slight slope with a slight curve.
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The man creating this path is a stone whisperer.
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His lead stone says, 'Welcome.', with, secondary stone saying, with great nuance, 'Turn this way.'
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Stones are not set in mortar.  Yet, solid, stable, and rank as art.  William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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In nuance is the metaphor.
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The fallen branch, below, Nature hard at work, boldly flinging bright white, fungi.  Most people never achieve the beauty of this fungi, nor courage in mission.  Doing the next-right-thing is, too often, hard, until it's the easiest choice available.  My best teachers are in my garden, the nuance of allowing Nature to speak. 
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Cannot imagine my tiny cottage garden without it's formal stone terraces, clipped boxwood, conservatory, and more, not having its Wildwood.  Earth's path with Providence playing the leading role.  


Michael Dirr said, "Of all the trees in the forest, oaks have the wildest sex."
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Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."
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Oak seedling, below.


 I specialize in Le Jardin Rustique.  More than nuance, they are gardens giving far more than they ever demand.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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All pics taken last week.  No idea how the bottom pic did the 'swirl thing', nor why it perfectly targets the oak seedling.  Providence or accident?  You know my answer !
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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.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
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.