Thursday, August 21, 2014

Place Focal Points Like Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst

You must see the table + 2 chairs the way I first saw them, below.  Hidden amongst the boxwood parterre.



Walking a bit further, along the front garden's main central axis, below, a hint.


Walking toward this wickedly sited subsidiary focal point, below.



  Walking toward the home and old millstone table, below.


 Walking away from the home, the impromptu trinity of furniture in the garden, below.


Here's the deal with well sited focal  focal points.
.
The more axis a focal point has, the better the focal point.
.
There is more detail about this in one of my books.
.
This isn't something you learn in school or a symposium lecture.
.
You learn it studying the best historic gardens across the globe.
.
For decades.
.
I have a favorite, easy, multiple axis design.
.
Works every time.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken this week.  Same garden as previous post.   Remember, the more axis a focal point has the better the focal point.
.
Sissinghurst has a naked man statue, on plinth, with 5 axis.
.
Hello, I was awake & got the epiphany.
.
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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Warning: Strawberry House

Viewed from the front of the house, below, the Strawberry House sits calmly at the side of his antebellum home.


Viewed from the back of his antebellum home, below.




When told it is his 'Strawberry House' the game changed.
.
My life must include being able to say, "Let's walk to the Strawberry House."
.
Until yesterday I was clueless about the lack of a Strawberry House in my garden & vocabulary.
.
Adore anyone forcing me to up my game.  
.
These are the moments keeping me in gardens across the globe.  
.
The hunt. For delight.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken yesterday in the same garden as previous post.
.
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.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pinterest: Furniture in the Garden

Still glowing & fragrant, Southern for sweaty-from-the-day, 48 hr whirlwind with Susanne Hudson in good gardens.
.
Had to share at least 1 pic from our jaunts, below.
.

Acreage, antebellum, private home of _____________.
.
How have I not known/met this man, or heard his name?
.
Unavailable, he gave us access to his gardens & barns.
.
A garden design class is in this pic, above, but for now it is merely enough to know Furniture in the Garden.
.
Pinterest, at present, is a joy to eye & intellect.  Adore intuitive learning from good pics.  Since childhood I've been attracted to British shows on PBS and furniture-in-the-garden.  OF COURSE I titled one of my Pinterest boards, Furniture in the Garden.  Click, here, to see it.
.
Local interest, Martha Tate owner of HGTV's Gardener's Diary, and Liz Tedder, 19 times (so far) in Southern Living magazine were with Susanne/me.  Met Martha in my early 20's professionally and sadly only recently met Liz Tedder, she came to the Conservatory Susanne & I built for a Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival display 3 years ago, which is now fronting editor's letter of Better Home's Gardens magazine this month.  1st time in Tedder's garden.  How does that possibly happen, should have been 76th time.  Best news?  Liz is writing a book.  And, I was demanding of what it should have.  Don't you do that?  Why not ask for what you want to see pics of and know about?  This doesn't begin to cover spending the nite in Susanne's world famous garden, again.  Luff, luff Susanne's mom.  Asked her if I could call her, MiMi, today, she's 80's & I'm 50's.  Hugs & kisses in both directions.
.
Drawing a garden for a Federal style home tomorrow.  Life is rushed, and good.
.
Notice Tara Turf, above?  How could I not adore this 'new' friend?  Will post more pics, and his name/link once I meet him and get permission.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

On Houzz: Stone Steps in Waiting

Recently on Houzz here, below.
.
Modern renovation to vintage home.
.
Seriously good modern.
.
Made me laugh.
.
Why?
.
Happens all the time with new architectural construction.
.
Tunnel vision harking back to the old map makers, "Beyond this point there be dragons."


With long term clients, they learn to finish 'certain' landscape items sooner rather than later.
.
How do I know?
.
They tell my general contractor, "Don't tell Tara, we will not do XYZ yet but please put in those 3 stone steps so she won't be so upset."
.
This beautiful old home with new renovation, above, went international with its 3 gorgeous stones 'not complete'.  In Tara Talk those stones are jewelry-for-the-landscape.  Setting is complete, stones are bought, please let the jeweler do their work.
.
Best part of this home/garden?  Nothing has to be 'undone'.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
 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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Create Wall Art Using Old Tools

Their collection, below, better than most museums.


Do not know the names of 95% + of these tools.


 Do not know how to properly use most of them.


Decades of scouring for old tools, never found most of these.


 If this homeowner is in Garden Club they're a perfect venue for a monthly meeting.


There must be someone who knows all these tools and could speak about their proper use, name, era, what the earlier/later versions were, what types of wood they are made from, how the metal was forged, which parts are handmade vs. machine made, how many decades of use they encountered, which crops each tool could help with, which parts of the country they were most widely used, what is their derivation from the European counterpart, & etc.
.
Each tool, silent witness to greatness.
.
Pulling Earth's bounty to our benefit.
.
The action feeding mind, body, spirit.
.
Perhaps this is the great metaphor from Providence, personally pulling Earth's bounty.  We don't work the tools they work into us every good thing.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Heading off to any trip Beloved has learned he must say, "We are not going into any museums."  Luff me a local museum.  Guess who always says, "I'm glad we came in this museum."
.
Asked to lecture at a huge symposium for Atlanta Botanical Garden, they gave the title, Tools.  Honored to be asked, via phone this was pre-internet, I hung up in sinking fear.  What did I just do?  How can I speak for an hour about tools?
.
Straight to my 8" thick Webster's dictionary for the Latin & Greek derivations of 'tool'.
.
First definition is, 'weapon'.  Interesting.  Second definition is, 'penis'.  Yes, talk was in the bag.
.
You know what happened.  Have been asked to give this talk many times since !

Took pics at an open garden this spring in Buckhead, aka Atlanta, GA.
.
 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.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Do You Make This Costly Landscape Mistake?

Anti-mulch Landscape Design, below.


A mature landscape should not need mulch.
.
Landscape Designing for dead brown mulch interspersed with green meatballs is a construct of USA garden centers & testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch.
.
Landscape Design your garden to include covering ground with shrubs, groundcovers, perennials, bulbs, & meadow.  Enriches soil, increases pollinator habitat, decreases cost/labor.
.
Significantly less to buy from the garden center & maintenance team.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Pic of an Arne Maynard garden found here.
.
I did the dead brown mulch thing for decades.  Ugh.  Still catching up with the shrubs & groundcovers.  Where mulch is still needed I use leaf litter mulch.  Arrives free and alive with bacteria, fungi, earth worms etc.  Amazing, in hindsight, how lock-step I was with the dead brown mulch everyone-else-had.
.
Most amazing landscapes, to me, employ ideas of killing all insects/fungi, mono-culture lawns unwelcome to birds/pollinators, need irrigation, nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizer toxic to ground water, require men in trucks with gasoline powered machines, aka totally man-made constructs.  Where are these landscapes?  At almost every large house of worship across USA.  Their metaphor shouts, "In this house we honor G*d but surrounding it 'man' is in control."  Where are their fruit orchards to feed the hungry, meadows to feed the butterfly/bird/etc, trees bringing eyes to the sky in thanks for Earth, opportunity to gather together in strength of hand/body/mind/spirit touching Nature while pulling forth Her Bounty, harvesting fruit to feed body & Spirit with plenty leftover to give to those in need?  Oddly, have never seen that at a large house of worship.  Have seen it in community gardens.    
.
A slight neo-exception I have seen is The Cove, Billy Graham's conference center.  Much of the landscaping is the retaining of Nature.  When I was in their bookstore, many years ago, I was excited to look for the garden section.  You know what I found.  Zero garden books.  And, Life began in a garden.  Link, here, to see their green meat balls in dead brown mulch at the foundation of their conference center.  Terrible metaphor of words, 'foundation-of-their-conference-center.'  

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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Bunny Mellon's Terra Cotta Pots/Topiaries Can Teach Us

House, cabin, barns, pastures, lakes, meadows, orchards, livestock are part of her domain.
.
Family, friends, church, community building, volunteering are more of her domain.
.
She's recently asked for something 'small', local terra cotta pots, known not to freeze/crack, with plants.
.
Property is ready for this layer but how to have this layer leverage her garden & life?
.
Plainly, "How do they get watered & how do they not add more work to the farm?"
.
.
Connected with a potted plant specialist yesterday, we will meet at the farm next week to see if it's a good fit.  Aside from maximum talent, need a team player, someone willing to build a long term relationship.  
.
Once the 'fit' is finalized I look forward to sharing her work with you.
.
My job, keeping things fabulous yet easy, demanding magic from my muse & each person on the team.
.
Leaning toward creating 3 greenhouse zones for myriad potted plants, drip irrigation included.
.
Caretaker will move the pots, as the owner chooses, for events.  To move pots from greenhouse to garden a 4-wheeled wagon with tallish sides that can be pulled with the Gator.
.
1 greenhouse, small, in the courtyard next to the potager, for the owner to easily use for the house & covered porches.
.
Live plants in terra cotta pots have been a missing layer in her home.  According to me, & of course I told her.  Go me.  (This type of thinking, and blurting, does get me into a pickle or two.)
.
For sure, ivy topiaries in several sizes/shapes, orchids, old fashioned begonias-geraniums, whatever the client wants, and lastly the potted plant specialist creates wonderful potted plants we don't know we need yet.
.
Exactly, teamwork.
.
Have been a fan of Bunny Mellon for decades, she had many homes & a busy life.  How did she manage her terra cotta pots with plants?  With greenhouses & a caretaker.  Voila.  Caretaker is already part of our team we simply need to add the greenhouses with drip.
.
If you see any disaster zones let me know.  If you see something fabulous to add, let me know.
.
I wake up at 3am too often, but know to push my brain into a garden.  This morning at 3am it was 'this' garden.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XOTara
.
Pic found online, no provenance.
.
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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Design Your Landscape --The Ultimate Guide

Lush in early summer, minimalist during winter.
.
Views into the home considered, views from home into the garden considered.
.
Canopy trees, walls of plantings, flooring with plantings - gravel.  Within this trinity are contrasting foliage textures, contrasting foliage sizes, contrasting foliage colors, a color theme, repetition, focal points, subsidiary focal points, pots so fabulous they can remain empty,  pots/focal points so fabulous they will be fought over at your estate sale, use of plinths for proper heights with urns, backdrop of the home included, color echoes of flowers to paint color on home, repetition of color on iron pieces fence-downspout-lighting-trellis-arms of bench,  seating with arms & back tall enough to rest the head/nap, transition zones from formal to wild wood, house/garden have a vanishing threshold, maximum pollinator habitat with its high density/low density,  ornamental plantings increasing potager yields up to 80%, sensory delights with visual-fragrance-sound of birds & wind thru foliage - foot upon gravel, historic-a template older than CE.


I see an entire Landscape Design course in this picture.  What do you see?
.
Name it to claim it.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pic via Pinterest, here.
.
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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Happens When the Turkey Looks Back

Bounty, beauty, thanks.  The Trinity I-choose-to-believe is the foundation of scenes on vintage ironstone & china.


Now, too, I see complete college courses at the intersection of agriculture & horticulture.
.
For centuries 'we' looked at the turkey, above, in Thanks.
.
The turkey now asks, "What have you done?"


Fruits, vegetables, livestock, enough to feed family, barter, sell.
.
Letters would arrive, early 60's, when I was a little girl from my paternal grandmother.  Mom would call sister/me and read aloud the missive.  Her letters always included vegetable seeds from her own garden or a friend's.  To conclude the reading mom tossed seeds/letter in the garbage.  Her duty done.
.
I ALWAYS wanted to grow the seeds.  Mom's disdain palpable, it was safer to let those seeds go.
.
Dad never knew.  A brilliant NASA engineer with lives on the line, it was more unsafe to mention wanting those seeds to him.
.
A sad story, then.  But, oh my, the joy it has brought to my days since.  FREEDOM from their ways of thinking, being, doing.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
In defense of dad, Ted Freeman, Charlie Bassett, Elliot See, Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee, co-workers, neighbors, friends, had all recently died.  USA remembers the successes, correctly so, many lived the losses too.
.

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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Nicky Haslam Guide to Lining Up the Pots

Do it like Nicky Haslam.



What is Haslam doing ?
.
Copying.
.
Specifically, below, he's lining up pots and statues/plinths, and repeating a minimalist color theme.
.
Copy the copycat.  He's not original.
.
Yet, totally original.
.
Copy, it's the 1st rule of Garden Design.
.
I discovered, Lining up the Pots, while on a tour of historic gardens across Italy decades ago.
.
Been lining them up ever since.
.
Not convinced?
.
Still wanting to be original & unique?
.
If it's beautiful in another garden it will be beautiful in yours.
.
Every site is unique.
.
Price point has no claim to this garden design rule.
.
When choosing your pots to line up they must be so fabulous they can remain empty.  
.
If the pots lining up do not match, their rims must be at the same height.
.

 Liking a good sentence, it's not uncommon for me to bath with Nicky, below.

.
Perhaps you should start bathing with Nicky.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Wall Street Journal pics of Nicky Haslam's home.  And, mine at bottom.
.
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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Layer Your Garden, Save Money & Create Less Work

Espalier apples, below, layered with flowering plants increase yields to 80%.


 Flowering trees, bushes, ground covers, above/below.  Chosen for sequence of blooms, toughness against drought/disease/insects, position for layers, and, attractiveness to beneficial insects & song birds.


Once mature, garden layers eliminate need for mulch & fertilizers, less or no mowing, prevent weeds, and enrich soil.        

                                         What garden center wants you to have this type of garden?  They cannot sell you annuals, weed killers, fertilizers, mulch.  Yearly.  For decades.
.
When is the last time Suze Orman saved homeowners this much money, and costly effort/time, while benefiting Earth?  And put healthy, tax free, inexpensive fruit/vegetables on the table, with garden layers increasing property value while reducing HVAC expenses.  Suze, who?  Go me.  And you.


Did you know nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers kill soil mycorrhizal fungi & earthworms, & are toxic to the water supply?



Unexpected 'majesty', aka stateliness-dignity-beauty, in my little garden's layers, above.



Through the apple orchard, above, Laura. 
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken yesterday at the Bay Terrace, aka front yard.  Today, working at the table Laura sitting on, above.  Stopped for apples last month at the grocery store.  Asked the clerk if she had the product correct, each apple was over a $1.  Hello fruit trees, and veggies in my garden !!
.
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.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Minimalist Guide to Building Your own Conservatory

Better Homes & Gardens magazine recently put a Conservatory I built with Susanne Hudson for the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in their magazine again.  Haven't read it yet but am curious.
.
My garden is 8500sf total, including house.  This is for tiny gardens too.
.
Conservatory in my garden, below,  best investment in 'me' ever.
.
Salient facts: 12' x 18' is the minimum size, doors must be on 2 walls minimum, electrical outlets on every wall, chandelier, ceiling fans, wood stove.  Site parallel or perpendicular to your home.  
.
 A 'moveable' structure meets most zoning laws allowing you to site properly.
.
90% rescued materials, below.  Most, a century old.
.
A decade of search/rescue + filling the piggy bank to pay for labor/materials/electrical.  Voila.


Choose a good carpenter, let their talent shine on your team.


Never tire of these French doors, they began life a century ago, 1 each side of a fireplace, in my grandmother's Federal style house.


Ground was not level.  Stone steps were rescued, and gravel chosen for the floor.  No worries getting finished interior grade level.


Conservatory, above, Susanne & I built, in the new BHG magazine.  Styling, above, is ours, the magazine has theirs.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Top 3 pics in my backyard.  Wanted a larger Conservatory but space did not allow.  Squeaked by with the minimum, 12' x 18'.  The day my Conservatory was completed and the men helped bring in all the antiques from the garage, then left, I sat in the finished Conservatory for the 1st time alone, IT BEGAN.  Life's tipping point.  Who knew?  Beware of getting what you ask for.  It WILL change your life.  What was seen thru a glass darkly will shine clear.  In that moment you will let go of every thing holding you back.  Fear that crippled will fall away as if you knew nothing of its existence.
.
Lunch Ministry is often held in my Conservatory.  Amazing the amount of laughter, and tears, this blessed Conservatory has already harbored with friends.  Beloved, when he realizes I'm in the Conservatory, most often, will leave me alone until 'I' decide to come in.  Grace pulsating.
.
Minimalist?  Mentored, as a little girl, by Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities but must have the luxuries."  From age 7, wisdom understood.  An understanding never appreciated by my dad, a little more by Beloved.  Kindred spirits totally 'get it'.
.
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.