Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Move Your Foundation Plantings While You Gain Your Life

During a time of life turbulence a quote appeared, without seeking, reading a magazine, It's Safe to Let Go.
.
Wow, what a concept !  I'm not in charge.  Instead of clinging to that fantasy, Let it go.  Afraid to let go?  Don't be, it's quite a flight.  The ride of your life.
.
Realizing it was said, too, in a movie, Out of Africa, "Let it go, this water belongs in Mombasa anyway."
.
Moving away from that particular personal era of life, and into the land of green meatball foundation plantings.  You must realize, they are connected.  Literally connected.  Have been hired by several women thru the years, not many, merely several wanting to get their landscapes to match their hearts.
.
Amazingly, all of those women had a hedge at the front of their property.  Hedges that I designed to open, Welcome, come in.  More amazing, during those years, being hired by hedge women, never realized I was part of their tribe.
.
First epiphany, for me, pull foundation plantings away from the house.  Rather obvious, having studied historic gardens across Europe.  Years, I had my hedge, without a gate, similar to, below.
.
Happy, content, thriving, adored having that hedge moved, opened my home, gave breathing space, birds/butterflies more numerous.  Finally, enough of filling the spiritual well, notice I created that fertile ground for myself, my well overflowed, epiphany arrived, put a gate into my hedge.  Just as I had done for clients. 
.
Heads-up, none of this stuff works unless the epiphanies are your own, and you'll know.  Not exactly burning-bush moments but you will have the knowledge downloaded into your heart/DNA, and understand.  Still doubting, still unsure?  No worries, it's safe to let go.

923 Likes, 6 Comments - Tom Samet (@tomsamet) on Instagram: “Good Morning "East Hampton!" repost @skaufman4050 Full Bloom!”
Pic, above, here.
.
My front yard hedge, below, after putting the gate in.

 TARA DILLARD: GARDEN DESIGNERS BLOGLINK: TARA'S TRINITY OF THE SOUTHERN GARDEN
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
.
My front yard today.  Lawn?
Pic, above, shot just inside my front hedge.
.
Not snow, above.  Better, Chinese snowball blossom petals.  Caressing my plants, gravel, furniture, home, LIFE.

Playing with my front hedge at the street/curb, below.  Adoring rustic, pastoral, my garden drips abundance, upon many layers.
.
Tara Dillard's front gate!
Pic, above, shot in my front garden.
.
Looking at my front hedge, below, from inside.
.
TARA DILLARD: Garden Design Begins Inside Your Home
Pic, above, shot in my front bay window.
.
Standing in my front yard, below, inside the gated hedge, looking into the same bay window from, above.
.
TARA DILLARD: Looking into my living room from the garden, chinese snow ball, lamps on, blue + white
Pic, above, shot looking into my front bay window.
.
It does take a lot to get here.  Where?  Vanishing Threshold.  What exactly does that entail?  Knowing it's safe to let go.  Your garden is not in your head.  Your garden is in your heart.  Waiting for you.
.
About being safe to let go.  You'll have the privilege of relearning it many times.  Each time, more riches.
.
It was good fortune, knowing to turn to my garden, letting go.  Deeper than good fortune, an action going back centuries with many, each learning themselves, taking their own action steps of facing the fear, letting go, discovering the abundance of Providence.
.
"In building this horticultural paradise, Tradescant presented nature as a book that man might read like the Bible.  He understood the world in the same way as Johannes Kepler, the brilliant German mathematician and astronomer, who had described it as 'the very Book of Nature in which G*d as Creator has revealed and depicted His being and His Will with Man in a wordless tract'."  Andrea Wulf & Emma Gieben-Gamal.
.
Imagine my surprise, reading those words, above, last week.  Letting go, too many times to count, tumbling into the best rabbit hole, ever.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT
.
"Christopher Wren believed harmonious proportions came from mathematical laws underpinning Nature."  Wulf & Gieben-Gamal.
.
Until reading, This Other Eden, by Wulf & Gieben-Gamal, didn't realize Christopher Wren, architect, was Garden Designer also.
.
Foundation plantings are a holy grail of USA landscaping.  It's safe to let go.  Do you realize what I found, moving my foundation plantings?  What words would you use?  What does your intuition tell you from reading this post?   I know what I found.  My life.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Why Have a Garden or Plants Inside

How to write about putting a Garden Design together?  Seriously, how?  After several attempts, writing for my first book's publisher, beyond horrid, I knew what to do.  Write about Garden Design in the same manner of every class I've ever taught in the Horticulture program at the local college, and Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Decades experience with those.
.
In addition, this has never been mentioned outside my innermost tribe, choose what biblical scholars have chosen since the bible was written, obsess over a single word.  In a secular manner, of course. 
.
At the front end I knew Garden Design, in your personal realm, held a huge gift to wield, selfishness.  That front end lasted almost 2 decades.  Epiphany arrived.  Selfishness, was the wrong word.  Correct word?  Grace.  Amusing.
.
Personally, another word, for my own garden and gardening, presented, atonement.  Not religious, more literal, at-one-with.
.
Studying historic landscapes across Europe for decades, many were estates with acreage.  Plenty of scope-for-the-imagination transposing their Garden Designs to subdivisions in USA.  Ironically, all, began as farms.
.
Time passed, partaking historic world Garden Design for suburban USA, a layer, without awareness, learned.  Combining agriculture with ornamental horticulture.  This epiphany made me laugh out loud.  USA colleges, in their wisdom, separate the agriculture school from the ornamental horticulture school, Providence never has, never will.  Does this really matter?  Think, dead bees.  Won't go beyond this at the moment, quite its own rabbit hole, and we're already in a different rabbit hole.       

Lutyens Bench in Lush Setting | Landscape & Architectural Design: Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Pic, above, here.
.
Scrolling thru pinterest yesterday, came across, above.  First thought, that's MY garden.  Designed, exact garden for myself decades ago, in the backyard of my 30 year home.  (Posted in earlier posts.)  Learned this style, Tara Turf Stone Terrace, while in Europe.  Fell, hard, pure putty.  This style Garden Design, above, not understood, in the macro, in USA.
.
Southern Living magazine came to shoot that garden twice thru the years.  A day before they arrived, the second time, wasband, decided to help.  When I discovered his 'help' I let out a cry, nothing emerged but spit.  Tried again for voice, none, pure spit.  Knew to walk inside the house I was so mortified, not comprehending.  If he had tried to sabotage me, a life's work, he could not have chosen a better method. 
.
My garden, same as above, was entirely pruned of its rustic backdrop hedge.  Gone, poof, over a decade of growing it to Garden Design perfection.  Guess what replaced that rustic backdrop hedge?  The side of my neighbor's home, mere feet away.  Spit?  Miracle I didn't stoke.  Wasband thought the RUSTIC HEDGE was garbage and I was lazy for letting it appear?  Part of a master plan I awaited years for. 
.
There is patience, impatience, and, tarapatience which can go either way.
.
Will move along, getting irritated just writing this terrible story.
.
A few years ago, pinterest again, found this garden, below.  Stopped me flat.  Who did this?  Never, anywhere, country/continent, seen this Garden Design, below, excepting one place, my own garden.  I must meet this person, kindred spirit. 
.
Vanity Fair shot this pic, it was within an article about Bunny Mellon, here.  Had never heard of her.  Looked up everything I could after seeing her garden.  Zero disappointment, instead, learning and epiphanies. 

 A birdhouse and pots of citrus. August 2010 Portfolio Inside Bunny Mellon’s Estate Photographs by Jonathan Becker
Pic, above, here.
.
Both gardens, above, have the same layer of Garden Design.  Crazy rare in USA.  Do you intuit this layer, know what it is?  Hint, it's the missing link between Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. 
.
More, it's the original Sustainable.  Further, it's the original Organic.  In addition, it's the original Eco.  Have I missed any words of horticultural commerce since 1960, aka filthy lucre?
.
Head's up, Providence has no ornamental horticulture.  It's all Agriculture.  Remember my choice to obsess over single words?  Notice the capital letters.  Sure, learned a lot across Europe in historic gardens for decades.  Epiphanies from that learning arrived across decades working in my own garden.  Working?  Never worked a day in my garden.  Pure washing-of-the-servants-feet.
.
What is this layer of Garden Design, pics above?  Pollinator habitat. 
.
Gardening this way requires zero irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides.  Big Whoop, as one of my dearest WWII veterans liked to say.  Best Big Whoop ever, gardening this way increases agricultural crop yields by 80%.  Do the math.  Now do a bit of Johnny Cash, Meditate on it.
.
After decades of Gardening, realized, to me, crazy-who-cares-whatever, but I still think it, the bible is the word of G*d written by man.  Nature is the word of G*d written by G*d.  Zero will to push this thinking upon you.  If G*d not your 'deal' fine, Nature is a pure science, as is Garden Design.  Garden Design is no will-o'-the-wisp. 
.
From other realms, finding more words, better, describing thoughts transformed into literal experience.
.
"Our culture doesn’t think storytelling is sacred; we don’t set aside a time of year for it. We don’t hold anything sacred except what organized religion declares to be so. Artists pursue a sacred call, although some would buck and rear at having their work labeled like this. Artists are lucky to have a form in which to express themselves; there is a sacredness about that, and a terrific sense of responsibility. We’ve got to do it right. Why do we have to do it right? Because that’s the whole point: either it’s right or it’s all wrong."  Ursula Le Guin
.
"History is one way of telling stories, just like myth, fiction, or oral storytelling. But over the last hundred years, history has preempted the other forms of storytelling because of its claim to absolute, objective truth. Trying to be scientists, historians stood outside of history and told the story of how it was. All that has changed radically over the last twenty years. Historians now laugh at the pretense of objective truth. They agree that every age has its own history, and if there is any objective truth, we can’t reach it with words. History is not a science, it’s an art."  Ursula Le Guin
.
Several years after discovering Bunny Mellon's gardening, I came to understand her topiaries.  Topiaries sprinkled throughout her interiors, and gardens.  She copied the idea of topiaries, and their shapes, from ancient Romans.  Made it her own.  More, shared with all.  With an eye to 'see'.
.
"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day- like writing a poem or saying a prayer."  Anne Morrow-Lindbergh
.
A garden view you've created, from inside your home, is the same, to me, as Anne Morrow-Lindbergh discovered arranging a bowl of flowers.  Inherently the same, I think, Bunny Mellon thought of her topiaries, and garden.
.
"One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel."  Ursula Leguin
.
Had an aunt that liked to say, often, Life cannot be lived without art.  Loved her, thought her eccentric, time passed, I know she is wise.
.
"Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want, too. If we never find our experience described in poetry or stories, we assume that our experience is insignificant."  Ursula Le Guin
.
Oddly, have discovered the opposite, about 'insignificant'.  Not in a good way......We assume that our experience is significant if we don't see/read about it elsewhere.  For Garden Design, proof is rampant throughout continents & centuries & cultures, ugly landscapes, landscapes that don't perform, landscapes that kill bees & poison ground water etc.
.
Terminally Unique, phrase I learned in a group Lois formed for friends/family of alcoholics.  Until going into that Lois group I was Terminally Unique.  Blessedly, 1st meeting, got the memo.  Not Terminally Unique, merely collateral damage to the alcoholic in my life.  Significant, insignificant, words matter.  Once realization hit, bigly, about being collateral damage, it changed my life.  Anger & expectations left the room.  Once you lose being Terminally Unique, you realize it's been a wild ride having your fur rubbed off, maybe losing an eye, part of a foot, poof, Velveteen Rabbit, you've been loved into being real. 
.
Nothing in Garden Design is original.  Nothing.  Over 11,000 years of Garden Design history, and literature, it's been done before.  More, why not choose to work with the greats?  I do.  Copy, it's the first rule of Garden Design. 
.
Humorous reading yesterday morning.  Sunday early, cold, sitting by the fire, reading for pleasure, only the cats for company, sun awakening thru 2 walls of windows.  Discovering, more proof of not being original.  Me.  Not original.  Deeply pleasing, sublime.  Pure at-one-with-atonement.
.
"We ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far."  Neils Bohr
.
"That is why I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as “objective” and “subjective” are, a great liberation of thought. The whole thing started with the theory of relativity. In the past, the statement that two events are simultaneous was considered an objective assertion, one that could be communicated quite simply and that was open to verification by any observer. Today we know that “simultaneity” contains a subjective element, inasmuch as two events that appear simultaneous to an observer at rest are not necessarily simultaneous to an observer in motion. However, the relativistic description is also objective inasmuch as every observer can deduce by calculation what the other observer will perceive or has perceived. For all that, we have come a long way from the classical ideal of objective descriptions."  Neils Bohr
.
" In quantum mechanics the departure from this ideal has been even more radical. We can still use the objectifying language of classical physics to make statements about observable facts. For instance, we can say that a photographic plate has been blackened, or that cloud droplets have formed. But we can say nothing about the atoms themselves. And what predictions we base on such findings depend on the way we pose our experimental question, and here the observer has freedom of choice. Naturally, it still makes no difference whether the observer is a man, an animal, or a piece of apparatus, but it is no longer possible to make predictions without reference to the observer or the means of observation. To that extent, every physical process may be said to have objective and subjective features. The objective world of nineteenth-century science was, as we know today, an ideal, limiting case, but not the whole reality. Admittedly, even in our future encounters with reality we shall have to distinguish between the objective and the subjective side, to make a division between the two. But the location of the separation may depend on the way things are looked at; to a certain extent it can be chosen at will."  Neils Bohr
.
Maria Popova, quoting Ursula Le Guin, moves on to Neils Bohr, in her Brain Pickings yesterday, adding, "This, Bohr notes, is why the language of objectivity doesn’t belong in religious rhetoric — religion and its pluralities are best understood, and best applied to human life as an instrument of moral enrichment rather than one of dogmatic constriction, through the lens of complementarity:"
.
"The fact that different religions try to express this content in quite distinct spiritual forms is no real objection. Perhaps we ought to look upon these different forms as complementary descriptions which, though they exclude one another, are needed to convey the rich possibilities flowing from man’s relationship with the central order."  Neils Bohr
.
Maria Popova goes on to write, " Bohr considers whether or not the tenets of religion can similarly offer useful abstractions, even though they are not to be taken as objective truth:

In mathematics we can take our inner distance from the content of our statements. In the final analysis mathematics is a mental game that we can play or not play as we choose. Religion, on the other hand, deals with ourselves, with our life and death; its promises are meant to govern our actions and thus, at least indirectly, our very existence. We cannot just look at them impassively from the outside. Moreover, our attitude to religious questions cannot be separated from our attitude to society. Even if religion arose as the spiritual structure of a particular human society, it is arguable whether it has remained the strongest social molding force through history, or whether society, once formed, develops new spiritual structures and adapts them to its particular level of knowledge. Nowadays, the individual seems to be able to choose the spiritual framework of his thoughts and actions quite freely, and this freedom reflects the fact that the boundaries between the various cultures and societies are beginning to become more fluid. But even when an individual tries to attain the greatest possible degree of independence, he will still be swayed by the existing spiritual structures — consciously or unconsciously. For he, too, must be able to speak of life and death and the human condition to other members of the society in which he’s chosen to live; he must educate his children according to the norms of that society, fit into its life. Epistemological sophistries cannot possibly help him attain these ends. Here, too, the relationship between critical thought about the spiritual content of a given religion and action based on the deliberate acceptance of that content is complementary. And such acceptance, if consciously arrived at, fills the individual with strength of purpose, helps him to overcome doubts and, if he has to suffer, provides him with the kind of solace that only a sense of being sheltered under an all-embracing roof can grant. In that sense, religion helps to make social life more harmonious; its most important task is to remind us, in the language of pictures and parables, of the wider framework within which our life is set."  Neils Bohr
.
Humbling to have experienced the conversations, above, practicing the art of Garden Design, garden writing, and gardening.  Finally, to the point, the experience of a Garden, gardening, or topiaries inside, is a conversation.  Whether you think so or not.   Don't have the garden you want?  Take your conversation, between you/your garden to a new level, 2nd order thinking to be exact.
.
From Shane Parrish at Farnum Street,
“Second-Order Thinking
In his exceptional book, The Most Important ThingHoward Marks hits on the concept of second-order thinking, which he calls second-level thinking.
First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.
Second-order thinkers take into account a lot of what we put into our decision journals. Things like, What is the range of possible outcomes? What’s the probability I’m right? What’s the follow-on? How could I be wrong?
The real difference for me is that first-order thinkers are the people that look for things that are simple, easy, and defendable. Second-order thinkers push harder and don't accept the first conclusion.” Here, Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
.
All I wanted was a pretty garden.  What a ride.  Bull is still bucking.  Hanging on, loving it.
.
Karl Jung, "Our lives are about getting the inside to match the outside."  
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO T
.
Perhaps you would like to receive Brain Pickings.  

This is the weekly email digest of brainpickings.org by Maria Popova. If you missed the special annual edition of highlights, here is the best of Brain Pickings2017. If you missed last week's regular edition — Ursula K. Le Guin on what makes life worth living, an illustrated meditation on our paths to acceptance, Jane Hirshfield on writing and the fluid self — you can catch up right here. And if you're enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

Not a paid endorsement, nor bartered, Brain Pickings or Farnum Street.
.
Perhaps you would like to receive Farnum Street, 
.ER 160,000 SUBSCRIBERS

Sign up for wisdom from Farnam Street

"Farnam Street is devoted to helping you develop an understanding of how the world really works, make better decisions, and live a better life. We address such topics as mental models, decision making, learning, reading, and the art of living.
In a world full of noise, Farnam Street is a place where you can step back and think about time-tested ideas while asking yourself questions that lead to meaningful understanding. We cover ideas from science and the humanities that will not only expand your intellectual horizons but also help you connect ideas, think in multidisciplinary ways, and explore meaning.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, and run by Shane Parrish, we operate around the globe and have helped millions of people master the best of what other people have already figured out."

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Home Office & Garden

Garden Design begins inside your home.  Views looking out.  Especially your important views.  Your  office desk must have a good garden view.  Too bad cell phone/laptop/blogs didn't exist at the front end of my career.  Why do so many put their office in a basement, with views to horridity?  In a noticeable shift, many clients now put their home office in prime real estate, not the basement.
.
Winston Churchill, below, at his Disraeli desk.
.
Image result for disraeli desk
Pic, above, here.
.
I had a carpenter copy, below, Winston Churchill's Disraeli desk from this photo, above, about 2 decades ago.  He had no dimensions to copy from.
.
Carpenter asked what type of wood.  A bit showy, immediately answered, tiger maple.
.
My office has been repainted the past week, not quite complete, with unexpected plaster repair.  Color?  Best color ever, and I did not choose it, this room was already painted lightest pink by previous owner.  Never a pink person, walked into the room, LOVE, at first sight.  As the days pass, almost 3 years in our ca. 1900 home, I love this pink more.
.
 Image may contain: indoor
Pic, above, shot in my office yesterday morning.
.
Tiger maple Disraeli desk, above, setting on a table awaiting Conservatory construction. 
.No automatic alt text available.
Pic, above, tiger maple Disraeli desk, shot in my office yesterday morning.
.
Aside from making me happy, the pink walls have another super power, the pink changes drastically throughout the day, by the second.
.
Found the exact pink for repainting, Benjamin Moore, Classic Colors, Key Pearl - 885.  If you've wanted a faint, magical pink, Key Pearl.
.
Empty, my office echoes, have been doing many whip-poor-ill whistles, ridiculous, but oddly deeply, satisfying.  With furniture it's overstuffed, several pieces awaiting removal to that future Conservatory.
.
As Matisse did with many works, my office and my garden have no threshold, they are one.  Vanishing Threshold.
.
Wanting to give you a fabulous garden, wonderful, a home & garden without threshold, beyond wonderful.
.
Now that you know, hope you already have this for yourself, if not, create it, own it, live deeply in it.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
A few home office events, below.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Creating a Life of Roses

She sensed I was sinking.  I didn't know I was.
.
With time, clarity.
.
At the driveway between the Big House where she lived, and the Carriage House where I lived, backed by 50 acres of wood & pasture with horses & dogs & cats, and solitude, she slipped me a volume, 
.
.
A life raft.




Written at Long Barn, above, the home she rented from, Vita Sackville-West, Morrow mentions a moment.  Coming into the room, a climbing rose tendril & bloom had fallen inside the open window.
.
In that instant I was crying, heaving cannot breath tears.
.
My life was horrible, and no where near having something as beautiful and sweet as a rose blossom falling into my house from the garden.



Jumping forward a decade+, I walked into my home office, upstairs, opened the window, and a climbing rose, dropped tendril & blossom softly onto my desk.
.
This rose said, "You've been flying for quite awhile, you grew the wings you needed."   Until that moment, I had forgotten those heaving tears a decade earlier.  New tears, as unexpectedly, with the same heaving force, except I was catching breaths between laughter.
.
Jumping forward 2 decades, I'm still in awe of these 2 roses, anchoring a decade, and the start of living.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics from Yale library, here.  This is my Janus, January, story, what is yours?
.
Of course I read all of Morrow's books after the 1st gift.  Have given them as gifts.  Paying it forward.  Giving it your all?  Not happy?  Buy the book, hit the link.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Hepcat

Finally, met a HEPCAT, below.
My right hand on his dropleaf table at Scott Antique Market this month, he anticipated my intent, before I finished my sentence, he had grabbed my right hand & lowered to his knees. Firmly guiding my hand (me clueless) to a screw. They were loose on purpose.
Bought the Hungarian chest & too cute watering can, above, before I met my HEPCAT.
HEPCAT knew loose screws would make it quicker to get the legs off the table.
HEPCAT wanted $175 for the table, (me- intense eye contact), then he said $145? I said, "You think about that price while I wander the booths & come back." "$100?" "Sold, will you keep the table while I wander?" He grabbed my hand, "Let's shake."
.
There was something intensely USA-of-my-childhood, real, true, honest, earnest, delightful, a light behind his eyes, spiritual, joyful, peaceful, warm, intelligent, been thru the fire & came out a phoenix within HEPCAT.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
HEPCAT, George, was at the location inside the perimeter & selling his wares outside on the sidewalk at the end of the building. Poppets, you do realize what these acquisitions are for? My new conservatory!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Garden Design: No Flowers

Designing a garden, now, with horrid views thru a pair of formal dining room windows.  Horrid.
.
Pool pumps, rickety/collapsing/rotted potting table, spent/broken pots, stacked plastic bags potting soil, you have the vision.
.
Luckily pool pumps are backed by another wall of the home, clad in lapboard.  Easy fix.  Carpenter will fence pool pumps, to proper height, in matching lapboard, each section removable for maintenance.  Have ridden this bull at rodeo before.
.
Remaining disasters easy fix too.  The pair of windows are several feet apart on the same wall.  Carpenter will make custom potting table running full length of window-wall-window.  At each window, clustered, a collection of topiaries in her well chosen lead color pots.
.
A flock of topiaries, plenty to swap inside her dining room, yet have rich amount for outside views too, on that new potting table.  This is Vanishing Threshold.  Notice, Garden Design goes inside.  More than the topiary arena, but that's beyond the scope of this missive.

463 Likes, 13 Comments - White Flower Farmhouse (@whiteflowerfarmhouse) on Instagram: “Topiaries in the shop #northfork #nofo #farmhousestyle #topiary #whiteflowerfarmhouse…”
Pic, above, here.

Garden Design begins inside your home, below.  Views to the garden, everything.

 7. Мой дом
Pic, above, here.
.
Just wow, below.  Curtains take on a new meaning in this home.  Candle & vase of foliage pure homage to the work of Providence.

 The Autumn Window = happinessPic, above, here.
.
How could I let my client look at pool pumps and a broken potting table?  Not in my realm.
.
Gorgeous 30 Modern Dining Room Decoration Ideas https://bellezaroom.com/2017/09/03/30-modern-dining-room-decoration-ideas/
Pic, above, here.
.
Another new layer for her Garden Design.  Replacing a wall of windows with this door, above.
.
 Susanne Hudson's conservatory, with hydrangeas.  via Tara Dillard.
Shot pic, above, in Susanne Hudson's garden.
.
She's also getting her Conservatory this layer.
.
 Red Door Home: October RDH Blog of the Month – Belgian Pearls
Pic, above, here.
.
Muse surprised me, above.  Client is also getting the open portion of this structure; client's scaled a bit longer.  It's on axis with the opposite end of her garden. 

This is phase 2, with my client.  Mentioned new clients to her, and their husband's mostly worried about the 'Garden Designer' spending money on flowers.  Her best laugh of the appointment.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best Color Trinity

Towards the front end of your Garden Design, choose a color trinity for your exterior.  House, furniture, gates, light fixtures, pots, hardware, fencing, watering cans, door mats, knobs, etc.  In addition, choose a name for your home/garden.  Once you've done both, order note cards, name cards, using the color trinity.
.
Green-Brown-White is the classic color trinity for over 2,000 years.  Chosen by the best minds across centuries, seemingly chosen by Providence.  Magic in Green-Brown-White ?  It's unique for all permutations.
.
Where do I pull colors from for clients?  Inside the house.  Art, furniture, wallpaper, rugs, etc.  Uniformly, once colors suggested, "I love that !"  Of course.


Pic, above, here.
.
In addition to Green-Brown-White, you get to choose a subsidiary color/s.  To be used as hints, and also pulled from interiors, especially your art.  Scrumptious Green-Brown-White, below.  Saved for colors but seems more a current USA political poster.

Padlet example of Medieval Mumblings, an introduction to Medieval History
Pic, above, here.
.
Through many years of choosing exterior Green-Brown-White, something pops immediately.  At first painting, home/garden recede into their niche, radiating considered contentment, an air of inevitability, and timelessness.   

 Front yard inspiration-curving line to doorwY with bench along the path, plus arbor over front windows
Pic, above, here.
.
Humbling, this moth, below.

 This Spanish moon moth is flaunting his good looks in the handful of days he has left to live. Unable to eat after emerging from his cocoon, the adult devotes all of his remaining time and energy to reproduction.
Pic, above, here.

 Charleston Single House-style home
Pic, above, here.

 'Austeja' (Lithuanian bee goddess) by illustrator Q. Cassetti. I think it would look great as a felted tapestry.
Pic, above, here.
.
Aside from Green-Brown-White, above, all those subsidiary colors.  Be still my heart.
.
There's little I encounter, not seen thru a Garden prism.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
An answer to my question, yesterday, about Lucinda Wharton:

"Curious about her parents, how they raised this old soul child."

Lady Rebecca Eildon Courtenay (b. 1969), is married to Jeremy Lloyd Wharton; they have three daughters: Alice Lucinda Wharton (b. 1998), Emilia Rose Wharton (b. 1999) and Tatiana Elizabeth Wharton (b. 2002).

-the above from Lucinda Wharton's grandfather's Wikipedia entry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Courtenay,_18th_Earl_of_Devon

.
Thank you, The Hunting House, would not have known where to begin.  Lucinda's love for her home in the country, palpable. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Garden Design: Lucinda Wharton, Permission to Go Big

“A flowerless room is a soulless room, to my way of thinking; but even one solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it.”
VitaSackville-West

At the curb, I must know who you are.  Your home/garden speaking, your language.  Garden Design is not about where to put a 'plant', instead, Garden Design is getting the language right.  More correctly, the language is opera, an intensification of reality.   
.
Came across this garden, below, recently.  Immediately adored, understood.  A single photo.  Stop luxuriating in my words, go, now, to your garden/home, think, a single photo.  Do I know you, and understand?  Not necessary to 'adore', understand, yes.  Does your photo take me somewhere?  No?  Maybe you have been somewhere, but if you can't take it to show-and-tell, you've heard the language but don't understand it.



Plantings, above, beyond marvelous.  They frame the opera.

Image result for lucinda wharton

Felt strongly enough about the home/garden, top pic, to investigate further.  Discovered the owner of this home/garden.  Pure gold.  Large branches and stalks, above/below, are my favorite for inside.  Who is this person, liking them too? 

Image result for lucinda wharton

Then, better, below.  The branches dropping their gold. 

Image result for lucinda wharton

Image result for lucinda wharton
.
Playing with arrangements in the same spot through the seasons, above/below.
.

 Image result for lucinda wharton
.
During college I spent breaks/summers at my grandmother's home, incredibly happy years.  Myriad layers of happy.  With no training/classes/mentoring, farm raised, grandma always had a gorgeous Garden.  Abundant flowers, from the Earth she knew to enrich.  A Garden Whisperer, in hindsight. 

Image result for lucinda wharton

In my bedroom, during those years, there was always a huge antique leaded cut glass vase on my dresser, backed by a large mirror, stuffed with grandma's flowers.  Nothing else on the dresser.  The flowers my joy.  Changing the flowers, I would go into the dining room, and stand in front of the sideboard with grandma's collection of antique crystal vases.  Gazing.  Knowing what was in the garden, and which vase would be best, next.
.
These years were my late teens to age 22, college graduation, marriage, real life begins. 

Image result for lucinda wharton

Image result for lucinda wharton

Image result for lucinda wharton
.
Not a one-trick-pony, above/below.  More traditional.

Image result for lucinda wharton

Image result for lucinda wharton



Image result for lucinda wharton
.
At the front door, above, again.  Time, has passed, the opera performs.  Understanding from first glance, top pic, now, above, understanding is sublime.  Garden & interior a well written & performed opera.  More, in the sharing, joy is given. 
.
Most surprising part of the opera, and it shouldn't be?  The author is a young woman.  The ages I was living at grandma's.  Lucinda Wharton, below.  Looking forward to following her career.  Her life embracing garden, home, art, talent, history, architecture, and more.  In addition she's already famous for her art works, here.  Adore a good opera.
.
LUCINDA WHARTON
All pics, above, here.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Collateral to Lucinda's story is life.  What it gives, takes away, teaches.  Wasn't too deep into my 20's, a second college degree, paid for wasband's master's degree, working dreg jobs in the Jimmy Carter 21% interest economy, blah, blah.  Infertility.  No friends my age, they had babies.  Instead, friends, incredible women 50's-90's.  Their mentoring, love, fun, life success/failures.  Life gives us all the same teachers, excepting at different times, with different sources.  Pay attention, or not. 
.
I had to veer from that girl choosing vases & cutting flowers.  Had to.  They weren't mine, after all, were they?  G*d bless the child who has his own.
.
Bless the path given, and taken.  Also 21% interest rates, a better economy and I would have never turned into the garden center parking lot, with a sign, Help Wanted.  At that point, working for a bank, soul crushing.  Knew I had to leave the bank when imagining, in great detail, my head exploding, brains dripping down the frosted glass of my bosses office door.  Yep, time to go. 
.
Wish for a different life path?  No. 
.
Looking forward to Miss Lucinda and all her doings.  How she nurtures her talent, what comes her way, and makes her path even better opera.  Zero sarcasm there, a lot of war, death and strife in opera too.  Anyway.  Move along.  Happy to be Lucinda's cheerleader.  Curious about her parents, how they raised this old soul child.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Decadent & Austere

Creating a Garden Design I ask for several layers of narrative.  One, a mission statement, no more than 2-3 sentences of what you want from and for your landscape.  Some clients don't have that type of brain, so I ask for 2-3 sentences describing their finished garden.
.
Years ago I began keeping journals.  Not written entries of my day/week kind of journals.  Too simple, beyond boring.  Journals to elevate the days/weeks of my life, no matter its days.  In spite of some of those days.
.
Several themes emerged.  Both gardens, below, living large one of those themes, pairs of words.  First pairing of words to emerge, Sacred & Profane.  Remains as delightful as first discovered, excepting now an old friend 'pairing'.

Coen + Partners_07
Pic, above, here.
.
Both gardens, above/below, intensely restrained prosceniums yet overtly decadent in metaphor, Decadent/Austere. 

Parc André Citroën
Pic, above, here.
.
A sacred/profane trip to small town, south Georgia, Americana presented itself this Thanksgiving.  Couldn't pass it by.  A courthouse square, and the night of Thanksgiving, lighting of the Christmas tree and strands of lights from the courthouse to ancillary buildings/streets.
.
Sacred & Profane, small town, still using religion and commerce.  A total joy, no one deluded.  Not even Santa, he was total game, ahead of turning the lights on, exactly on time, Santa drove around the Courthouse Square in his sleigh, bottom pic, reindeer included. 
.
Image may contain: night

Before pulling Santa, below, the reindeer were corralled and snacking.

Image may contain: outdoor

Blurry, below, Santa & his reindeer were moving fast around the square.  Santa had to get that tree and lights lit, signalling the beginning of shopping on the square.  Later, I realized I didn't know who paid for the gorgeous extravaganza.  Chamber of commerce, churches, a mix ?  No worries, the crowd was huge, and the underlying intent, profane, honored the sacred.
.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
.
Bought a new journal book, shopping on the square, after Santa lit the lights.  The next morning, up early, cozied in a chair by the Christmas village, with coffee and new journal, hoping for something good to enter.  The hotel coming to life, the ladies cooked a fragrant  breakfast, TV tuned to Macy's parade coming on soon.
.
Time flew, the reading was good.  Many pairs of words.
.
Mystery/Meaning, Creation/Transcendence, Law/Grace, Righteousness/Corruption, Universalism/Particularism, Pious/Secular, Compassion/Violence, Justice/Judging, Prayer/Listening, Ultimate/Common, Mystery/Reason, Ideas/Realities.  Are you conscious of word pairings too?
.
With word pairs came quotes.
.
"Vocation is a gift not a goal."  Parker Palmer
.
"Design at its core, thrives when a human being cares enough to do work that touches another----it doesn't thrive when it gets more efficient."  Seth Godin.
.
Before the internet most clients, in their mission statements included, easy-to-maintain, and not-cost-a-lot.  Efficient, yes?
.
After the internet I'm not asked to include little maintenance/money.  Why?  Greater understanding of what a good garden is, from those hiring me.  Good gardens don't have low maintenance/cheap in their mission statement.  That paring flows, more deeply, and is inherent, designing a garden that will change your life.  Seth Godin nailed it, again.
.
What pair of words describe the garden you have, or want to create?
.
Garden & Be Well,   XOT   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thinking Like Nicky Haslam & Bunny Mellon

Garden writing.  In the macro.  During the 80's House & Garden, and Horticulture magazine, were electric.  Editors knew who to hire for their garden articles, which gardens were acceptable, for both photography and words.  More importantly they knew how to edit, aka, curate.  Blessed was the era. 
.
I see clothing, food, health, interior design writing/photography and still find good hiring and curating.  Getting their message, mission, conveyed.
.
All the clothing/lifestyle ideas, below, point toward action, see/do.  An informed attitude, curated.  See it, get it, do it.  No where do I see, below, details about how to wash the clothes, dry the clothes, perhaps iron, buff the shoes, apply the make-up, etc. 
.
You've taken my point.  With garden writing, I take you for having intelligence, wit, and nuance.   

wear this there: the native hotel.
Pic, above, here.
.
 A John Fowler pelmet
Pic, above, here.
.
Pic, above, is a garden writing pic.  Yet, again, produced outside the garden writing venue, interior design.  Many thanks to interior design writing/photography honoring the garden, as greatly as they do.
.
Garden design begins inside your home, from the views looking out.  No surprise the owner of this home, above, is also a famous gardener, Nicky Haslam, who is, in addition, a well known interior designer, bon vivant, singer, writer... 
.
Would be good to see a collage, similar to the top pic, next to the pic, above.  More, and have it be a normal part of the processes of garden writing.  Me?  Yes, I want to be that garden writer, but for the filthy lucre, my plate is full, garden designing, contracting, speaking, writing.  No worries, working on this idea, finally beyond the macro, into the micro. 
.
As I write about garden-writing and how it comes up short, so, too, Nicky Haslam, “Decoration has become a faintly pejorative word...  There is almost no acknowledgment of the design world and its contribution to the economy by our government but there are endless accolades for fashion.”   
.
Several years ago, Georgia was in a dire drought, and the governor turned off the water for all outdoor garden use, all.  Harm to the horticulture industry was extreme.  Two leaders, from agriculture and horticulture, put together their facts/figures about their respective industries, with their combined value to the Georgia economy, in sales & jobs.  They made an appointment with the governor, 48 hours later Georgia's water was turned back on, with restrictions, but water flowed. 
.
Perhaps you merely thought I was writing about the state of garden writing, isn't-that-quaint type of foolishness.  Money is on the table.  And, being lost.
.
Big money, at least the governor thought so.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XOT
.
Finally arrayed my interiors with evergreen topiaries.  Delivered to the front porch last week.  A box full of thriving plants & a box of books delivered to the doorstep are one of life's delights.  Plant stands, antique ironstone saucers, trays, baskets, terra cotta pots, ironstone cache pots, sourced for years, waiting.  Beyond the garden design conceit, for centuries, having plants on the windowsill, top pic, and elsewhere inside, Bunny Mellon, perfected interior topiary to its own art, almost the raison d'etre of her interior design.  Remember, see it/get it/do it, from above ?  Seeing Bunny's interiors, I knew to trust having evergreen topiaries. 
.

Pic, above, Fred Conrad, here
.
Adore the off hand, seemingly lower than subsidiary focal point, topiary, above, with Bunny. 
.
Meeting with a client yesterday, wildly fabulous appointment (we flagged her new drive/parking court/front walk), I mentioned to her what happened, bringing the topiaries into my interiors.  No words for their impact, excepting one, spiritual.  My client immediately said, "Of course they are, that's why flowers are brought to someone in the hospital."  Reminded me of a friend's home, perhaps the best interior decorator I know, yet she's never done it professionally.  Her interiors so incredible, the very air is designed more fabulous.  Again, no good words for describing her work.  And, she always has a live plant as part of her interior design. 
.
"I don’t really come by to pray,” Mellon once told the rector of an Episcopalian church in the Norman medieval style that she financed and helped design. “I come in to talk with God because he’s a dear, dear friend of mine."  From,  NYTimes Bunny Mellon obituary, here.
.
Also, from her obituary, "...shockingly extravagant and studiously understated: Her aesthetic motto was “nothing should be noticed.”  Recently a client texted me that quote.  It had impacted her too.  I had first read it in the obituary.
.
With a long time client last week, delving into a new life layer with house/garden, we sat together vision questing.  Almost the full tapestry of 'life' woven throughout.  I had mentioned Bunny Mellon xyz.  Whatever.  Leaving the appointment, standing in her back hallway toward the door, she hands me a photo torn from a magazine years ago,  something else she wants for her garden.  It was a photo of Bunny Mellon's arbor allee of crabapple trees.  
.
Putting topiaries in my home did not provide the expected results.  Instead, far greater has been gained than imagined.