Showing posts with label Tara Template: Garden Design Equation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tara Template: Garden Design Equation. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mastering the Art of Garden Design: Not What You Think

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tara Template: Garden Design Equation

Worst question, ever, "What plant should I place here?"
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Coming to Garden Design after receiving a BS Engineering, I remember well that line of Garden Design thought process.
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Not merely a terrible question, it lies in the wrong galaxy of where to base questions about Garden Design.  Then came the degree in Horticulture.  More galaxies of wrong thinking.  That education taught me to be a man with a truck, power equipment, bags of chemicals, monthly contracts, designing to commodify every layer of Garden Design for the maximum need to manage the landscape for hire.  And, design the 'landscape' while standing in the street, looking at the house.
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What plant goes here?  Garden Design begins inside your home, below.  What are the views out your windows, where do you mostly live in your home, how do you use the various rooms with window views?  What is the style of your interior furnishings?  What colors have you chosen?  What type of art have you surrounded yourself with?  What theme does the architecture of your home present, what theme do you want it to present?

A behind the scenes moment from my Nora Murphy Country House Style Holiday Issue. Time to water everything! Happy Friday! :) #TGIF #HolidayDecor #greenthumb #gardener #paperwhites #topiaries. www.noramurphycountryhouse.com:
Pic, above, here.

Looking out the windows, above, of your home are the lines indicating where to place focal points, below.

 Large Armillary Sphere Garden Art in Many Colors finegardenproducts.com:
Pic, above, here.

More, once those focal points are placed in the garden, from interior views, the views into your home must be Garden Designed, below.  Now, we're having some real fun, double axis.

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Pic, above, here.

In addition to the eye traveling from inside your home to outside, the foot must flow as freely, below.  How will you handle foot traffic?  Lawn, sidewalk, stepping stones, how will feet move easily throughout your property?  Flow.

 a view of the gardens--Monet's house and gardens:
Pic, above, here.

If you already have trees, below, the paths will situate themselves.  No trees?  Design your trees, ahead of paths.  No sense placing paths, only to move them later due to a tree's growth.

modern style sidewalk:
Pic, above, here.

Canopy trees, above, are the tall trees growing 30' and higher, understory trees, below, give nice shade, yet grow to only about 30'.  Tree, below, planted to shade a 2 story home with 11am-setting western sun.  More, this understory tree was chosen to be deciduous, allowing the winter sun to heat the house.
TARA DILLARD: December 2011:
Pic, above, shot in my garden.

Once the mechanics of focal points on axis from inside your home, flow around the entire property and trees are accomplished, a place for dining, below, near the home/kitchen/family room, is designed.  Furnishings must match the style from your interior.


 restored house & garden, london... what a beautiful view of the garden.:
Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, evergreen shrubs.  Hedges with purpose.




love:
Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, deciduous flowering shrubs.

 susanne hudson desk - Google Search:
Pic, above, shot in my garden.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, groundcovers.  Mulch is a great conceit of the mulch and landscape maintenance industries.  Yes, mulch is needed initially, but your Garden Design should include groundcovers to eradicate that need within 3-5 years.  Groundcovers are cheaper in the long run, less maintenance, and more lush.  Dead brown mulch vs. living green groundcovers.

The circle and round turn are planted with pink saucer magnolias, many ferns, and white lilies.:
Pic, above, here.


Een van de meest herkenbare eigenschappen van de klassieke tuin, de symetrie, komt hier duidelijk terug. Een rustgevend plekje om even in de schaduw te kunnen zitten!:
Pic, above, here.

Next layer of Garden Design, below, perennials/annuals.  It's rare I do a perennial garden.  Why?  High maintenance & too seasonal.  Instead, I use flowering shrubs, and a few stalwart perennials needing little care, no water, no fertilizer, resistant to deer.  Garden Design, above, is low maintenance, pretty all year, functional for outdoor living, and views from home into garden.  Maintenance?  Blow, whack, done.  And, not much whacking in a year.

 Tom- Like these plants layered but want it to look clean-- agastache, echinacea, sedum and more...:
Pic, above, here.

A small Garden Design test, below.  Label what you see.

 I love white farm houses! We will be painting our house all white soon:):
Pic, above, here.

TARA DILLARD: Curb Appeal
Pic, above, I shot in a client's garden.

Next layer of Garden Design, below.  A place in the garden to sit/relax, and have views into your home, above.

 TARA DILLARD: September 2012:
Pic, above, shot in my conservatory.
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This conservatory, above, is 23 steps from the back door of the house, yet realms away in spirit.
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Wood, windows, antiques, wood stove, conservatory above, were rescued over a decade's time, stored in my garage, till money was saved for the carpenter/electrician.  Not having money for your garden has never been an excuse for me.  I had no money, and still had a garden.  Only mentioned here because at the front end, fresh out of college with the first degree, I too thought 'money' was what was separating me from the beautiful garden I wanted (aka deserved).  The more I learned about Garden Design, it became clear, Garden Design is for all, no excuses, merely how your brain can execute.  Game on !
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Garden Design Equation.  I completely draw a garden, in the order of the layers described above, before choosing the first specific plant by name.  Flow, shapes, placement, uses.
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Along the way, I spent decades studying historic gardens across Europe, created my own garden, and toured myriad gardens across USA.  Taught at the Atlanta Botanical garden and local college for decades, lectured at symposiums/garden clubs/corporate retreats, designed hundreds of client gardens,written several books, had a TV show, yet at the base of what I do, it's all listed, above, for you to take and create the garden you want, and deserve.  
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This time knowing 'deserve' in the poetic sense of Wendell Berry.  By what you've learned, and created with your own hands in relationship with Nature's realm.
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Of course there are templates within the templates, but this Garden Design Equation template, will get you where you're going.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Tara Templates are being written for a 3 day workshop.  A proven method to create a beautiful historic landscape, sustainable for you, and Earth.  Who is the audience?  Anyone wanting to create their own Garden Design, realtors, interior decorators, master gardeners, horticulture school students, lawn maintenance companies.  Allied and collateral professions needing a Garden Designer on their team.  Nothing is hard about Garden Design.  Oddly Garden Design is wildly counter intuitive, with many layers, seemingly non-existent, yet a base to every Garden Design.  What are the unseen layers?
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Interested in taking the Workshop?  Let me know what you want it to include.  Not interested in taking the workshop, let me know what you think it should include.