Monday, September 22, 2014

Chris Evert + Ralph Lauren: Copy the best in your Landscape

Before & during teen years, I copied everything Chris Evert.  This dress, below, hangs in my guest closet. today.  Amazingly, its metaphor, now, 180 to the winning reasons for saving it.  
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Copy.
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It's that simple.
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 Graduating college with engineering & horticulture I could not design a beautiful landscape to save my soul.  Off to Europe, 2+ decades, studying the best historic beautiful landscapes the world has experienced.  


 # 1 Beautiful Landscape design idea, COPY.  Copy the best landscapes.  You will not recreate the wheel.  Better, it's already created for you.  Trust this concept.
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Why did I forget copying Chris Evert?  Never a talented tennis player I retired a 2 time district 4-A singles champion amongst other titles won.  Seriously, I was not a gifted tennis player.


Habitually Chic posted Ralph Lauren's new coffee shop recently, and it had me laughing at all he COPIED so well.
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Fern in a terra cotta pot, above, is the same concept I add to client's homes.  Bring life to a room with something ALIVE.  Look at all the best interior decorators of the past century.  Plants brought inside, as if, just from the conservatory.  COPY.
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Don't just copy, Copy the Best.
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Green-Brown-White is the best and most used beautiful landscape design color trinity of the past few centuries.  Which green is for you?  Personally, I'm using Ralph's coffee shop green.

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Harvest table with a pair of urns?  This pic had me laughing AND dialing Susanne Hudson, the interior decorator on my team.  She taught me this idea decades ago, and have copied the concept since.
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Huge secret about copying the best ideas and talents.  
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When you copy the best, for yourself, it will be unique to YOU.
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Be brave, 'copy', is guaranteed to work for you.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Notice Chris Evert's lace panties & ribbon in her hair?  Totally what I did too.
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Ralph Lauren's pics by Habitually Chic.

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.
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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.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Beautiful Landscape: Seeing 'After' at 'Before'

Can anyone abide another magazine caption mentioning all you see?  Note, below, ivy clad walls, shuttered French doors, and etc ad naseam.  Why do magazines do this to beautiful garden pics?  A Tara Dillard caption, below.
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This garden, below, is a college course in vanishing threshold, combining home and garden into a moat of grace & joy for living.  (For starters.)  This garden, below, is pure narrative of the owner's character.
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I could write 5 fabulous captions with this pic but it's not where I'm going today.  Can you 'see' to create this when it does not exist?


Earlier this year I designed a landscape for this home, below.  A second garden design for this family, they popped out of their first home when baby #2 was born.  
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Realizing the need for flow, below, was instant.  How to achieve it too.
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Most homes have, below, yet most homeowners want, above.
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What would you do, below, to achieve, above?
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There is zero connection from steps to lower back door, and there is a stoppage of flow with distance to lower back door.  Aside from zero invitation to be in this zone.



Soon, a flagstone terrace will stretch from steps to end of the home, French doors will replace the double-hung windows, and the terrace will infill under the covered porch.
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Flow.


Obviously more than Flow needed in their Landscape Design.  Notice, above, how their new terrace is wrapped in privacy from the neighbors.
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Hand drawn Landscape Design, on site.  Myriad more brain regions tapped than sitting in an office at the computer.  
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Top pic via Pinterest.  Bottom pics taken at jobsite this week.  Edited drawing to remove client info.  Designing on site, by hand, does not make me a better Landscape Designer than anyone.  But the science holds true of methods used vs. brain regions tapped.  Need all the help I can get !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
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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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Maya Angelou: Beautiful Landscape + Beautiful Life

A client recently asked, "That crape myrtle tree at my patio is too messy, is it ok to cut it down?"
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A beautiful crape myrtle it was planted before we met.
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Alas, they are messy.  For weeks.  Very messy.
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My answer?
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It's important to be tied to the land, follow its progression through the seasons.  Devote unencumbered time, just you and your garden.  No phone, no agenda.  Let the body work in your garden, while your brain is finally using regions untouched.  Answers to questions you didn't know you had will arrive.  Plants emit wavelengths absorbed through your skin, let Providence work into you.  Literally.
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At the front end, it seems like work.  But that's wrong.  It is grace & joy waiting for you to tap their powers.


Part of my inner strength, pure grit, arrives sideways as I putter in my garden.  Body responding intuitively to doing the next-right-thing while mind has left the shackles of this Earth.
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Maya Angelou knows why my answer is counterintuitive, below.

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I believe in more than a beautiful landscape, I believe the action steps of creating/keeping a beautiful garden are the key to a beautiful life.
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Beautiful garden, beautiful life.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics via Pinterest.  Top pic from Penelope Bianchi's fabulous garden.
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Told the client to use an electric blower with extension cord, Toro.  Notice, stewardship begins with you for the garden, changing to the garden in stewardship of you.  

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.
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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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Garden Design: Aging in Place

Keep- it- Simple- Sweetie works, every time.
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Perhaps my Garden Design rule breaker, Overdose- on- a- Theme, is how you want to garden design, in spots, instead.


If this were the only garden space, above, I had until age 89 it would be my life's goal/mission to be the sole soul maintaining this sweet garden.
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Why?  Means I would be climbing a ladder to clip the espalier fruit tree or gather fruit, in season.  Oh my, the joy of clipping the low hedge and spiral.  Puttering about with the pots, bulbs, mentally deciding thru the years how to out-perform the previous year/s in fabulosity.
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If this little garden design did need a hired helper it merely needs unskilled labor twice a year.
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 Beautiful, low maintenance, mentally stimulating through the years, no chemicals or watering needed, fruit to eat, turn into jam or give away.
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These little doorway gardens are quite common in historic gardens across Europe.  History is the best teacher.
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Lawn with foundation plantings, fertilizer, insecticides, pre-emergents, and a plop of colorful annuals twice each year?  Mr. Mow-Blow-Go-Commodify-All-I-Touch on contract to arrive weekly?
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Not for me.  Mentally & spiritually soul crushing along with being bad for my physical well being.
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Aging in Place.  Make the choice in your garden for type of garden design, the beauty, mental paths and joy in the maintenance whether you do it, or a helper.  Take the joy.  Joy, it's always there, whether you think so or not.  Take joy, Tasha Tudor's favorite saying.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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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.
.
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, September 15, 2014

Garden Design: When is it Time to Change Bedlines?

I visit my childhood home often.  Instead of biking its few roads as tradition, I walk them.
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The house originally on this site, below, was my favorite in the neighborhood.
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A confluence of hurricane & money conspired for it to be torn down, another lot bought, and this home fills the new space.
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Behind this home is Clear Creek meeting Galveston Bay, salt water meeting fresh.
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Remember the time before these trees were planted.  Stunning to accept, trees grow, shade arrives, time passes.
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Approaching, the classic color trinity, green-brown-white, never fails to delight.
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Nor the evergreen groundcover, Asiatic jasmine.  Especially against St. Augustine lawn.


Proof of time's passage, below.  St. Augustine being shaded away.
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Time to reshape the beds.
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Instead of focusing merely on the present, reshape bedlines into the future, below.


 Now that you are an expert Bedline Garden Designer, you see your next project, below.


Curious, which visit will I walk by and they've reshaped their bedlines?
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A small garden design touch with huge results.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Beautiful landscape, above, ready for more than mow-blow-go.  Want my pruning expert to release the trees & shrubs from their prison of electric trimmers.  Take away the ca 1980's subdivision builder brain and enter into the myriad histories of le jardin rustique from across the globe, and centuries.  At this price range, more than a few dollars can be made in real estate value.
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Ca. 1980's subdivision builder brain?  Still in use at new construction.  And, like a new car, value drops the moment ownership is signed.
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Shot pics in Nassau Bay, Texas, my home town.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
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Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Garden Design: Enlarging Color Echoes, by Pamela Harper

My team finished a student housing project last week in Auburn, AL, below.  



After, above, before, below.


Pure pride in our work, the most common response, is widened eyes and a comment, "Student housing wasn't like this when I went."  Zero comments about our work !


As the project completed, the interior team color echoed the exterior team.  Without collaborating.  A sign the owner chose his teams wisely.  Everyone, on mission.  Team players.



Pamela Harper wrote of Color Echoes in the garden ca. 1994, and I heard her lecture about this during her book tour at the time.
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Of course my concept of color echoes is larger than Pamela Harper's,  Why?  Houses & gardens are equal in garden design in a vanishing threshold.
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Interior decorator, above, put me on her team for a house she designed both architecture/interior.  You know the house, it's in the previous 2 posts.
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Surveying our work, then seeing her interiors, this SMU grad sounded like a total Auburn Tiger.
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At the pool table, above, is exactly what you must do for your interiors/exteriors, vanishing threshold.  AKA, color echoes.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics shot last week and earlier in the summer.  Loved the day palm trees arrived on the bed of an 18-wheeler.  Perhaps the day the pool filled was better?  Notice the pool decking?  It's travertine pavers set in gravel.  They are echoed at the entry to the formal lobby.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
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, September 12, 2014

Garden Design: Use Axis to Site Stone Steps

Where, below, to put fieldstone steps, gathered on site, into the slope?


Fieldstone steps on a sweet slope in a meadow are both focal point and invitation.


At the crest of the slope, above, I face the house where every axis faces my eyes, front porch, side door, windows, back porch.
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There, will be the digging-in of field stone steps.
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The more entry ways a garden has the better a garden is.  The more axis a focal point has the better the focal point.
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Those air conditioners?  Not a problem.
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Solved that, below, at another client's.  Will do the same lapboard 'fencing', above.  Panels are removable.  Life is good with custom carpentry.  Better with a garden you adore around your home.

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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Same garden as previous post.
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I know what meadows are, aside from status symbol.  A gift from Providence.  From a meadow, crops & livestock for our survival.  Free for the taking.  Toil?  Hardly.  In the process of taking from the land we are given metaphors for life.  Providence does speak.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
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Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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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, September 11, 2014

Free Garden Design Class: Flow

 “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir, 1838-1914, American naturalist, author, and wilderness advocate

Arriving at jobsite yesterday morning, below.  Already knew: 3 generations, 80 - 7 mos., gather here, 400+ acres, cattle, 3 acre lake, view a mile deep from the back porch.
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Matriarch wants a new gate, below, patriarch a stone column.  Will match stones to the house, field gathered from the property, smaller stones as plinth with fieldstone topper as done a century ago.  Sourcing historic farm gates from England making every effort to keep this gate's frame & let an iron monger copy our new (old) idea.  



Do you know what an Alice In Wonderland house is?  They get bigger the closer you walk.  That's this house.
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Go slow reading this, v e r y s  l  o  w.
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What is missing, below?
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Flow.
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Cole Porter wrote about this house, don't- fence- me- in.
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Coming off the right side of the porch, I've put steps.  
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This door, below, leads to the kitchen.  What do you think I designed here?
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Seriously, design this, right now, in your head.
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From the corner of the front porch, and along the entire side of the house I've put in local gravel, 26' wide, straight to the foundation of the house.  A priority making things simple for the matriarch & matriarchs she's raised.  Aside from being historic they must unload groceries easily from their car.  


What else did I do, below?
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What would you do?
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Remember, Cole Porter.
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Have sited fieldstone steps, gathered on site, into hillside.
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More about 'exactly' where they go in another post.  Very easy, stay tuned.
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View, below, from the back porch.
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Have removed the 1st fence, not needed for cattle anymore, and put a gate, needs to be sourced, into the second, with a stile too.  A path of invitation to the lake, adding a flagstone terrace, fire ring, and Old Town canoe with tiny motor attached.


Do you see, below, Cole Porter again?  Where?
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Help, I can't get on/off the porch at the side of the house.
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At the open end of the porch, below, I have put in steps.


Fireplace, and 2 pair of French doors are inside this screened porch.
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Help, I can't get out.
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A pair of screen French doors have been designed into the far right panel, on axis with an interior pair of French doors, with stone steps.  You knew that, right?
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 You should be in the swing of this 'flow' thing.  Finish the song.
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1 thing left to do, below.
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What is it?
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A pair of steps off the left side of the front porch.
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Voila, FLOW.
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Garden design, for plants, must be vintage with no maintenance.  What do you think I did?
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Sleep on it.  Will post the plant design soon.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pics shot at the jobsite yesterday morning.
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This patriarch is one of the closest copies to John Muir I've met, though he looks exactly like Deke Slayton, who lived around the corner and my dad designed booster rockets for, with Wernher von Braun, and trained at the controls .  The matriarch?  I bow low in praise of her.  Met one of the matriarchs she produced, close to my age, at a jobsite we shared, and how I came to the work.  Matriarchs are a special love of mine.  Yet many do not produce matriarchs themselves.  Odd, yes?  When women of a certain age have not crossed into the matriarch zone it is Joseph Campbell, 'if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.'   Discovered Garden Design 'flow' at Lake Rabun, the family home I married into/out of.  Would marry that alcoholic again solely for what I learned about Garden Design at Lake Rabun.  Driven for Garden Design?  A bit.  Toss in decades of studying historic gardens across Europe.  Yes, I was anal enough to add a motor to the Old Town canoe !
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Flow is done in a Garden Design first.  Not plants.
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Please pass this post to any of your friends who are interested in Garden Design.  It's that important, aka it took me 30 years to be this simple, and sure.  And, my work for Hedgerow Farm.  

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.
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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, September 9, 2014

Garden Design: Dancing Naked in the Potato Patch

Ca. 1900, below, a 1794 engraving.  Have designed across Atlanta for decades, of course I know where the best junk shops are, and go when clients are nearby.
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Tried not to buy this platter, barely $10, below.  Yet its image seared the might of Providence & what we've lost across centuries.
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The scene, common until post WWII, and in thanks of Providence.  Food & lifestyle & health & metaphor combined.
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Why WWII?  Cheap gas, in USA, and the selling of lawn chemicals to housewives 'needing' to protect their children from harmful insects.  Did you know housewives were a first target of international chemical companies?  
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Men needing their testosterone lawns.  Power equipment, weed free, deep green, perfect.
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Not where I'm going with this post, just a primer for the direction.
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Saw the cabbage truck driving, below, last weekend.  A few slid off on the curves & made cole slaw.  Understand the mood we were in?  Adult giggly, silly, happy for a fine day, and down time.



From childhood have adored garden sheds, garages, garden rooms.  The smells, tools, solitude, no adults near, atonement.



 Harvested last weekend, the dirt gracing these potatoes, below, made me want to find their field, take off my clothes and roll.  A primal urge.  I must be a potato'ist, or soil'ist, no man/woman has ever made me feel this way.  Skip naming my team the Redskins, I'm a potato'ist and can name my team the redskins.
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Soil on these potatoes is alive & asks my hands to reach out and touch.  I do.  There is benediction. Never felt in church.  Read, gout de terroir or, taste of the soil.   


Views from the farm stand, below, there it was again.  Perhaps a slight sprinkle of rain, everyone let's take off our clothes and go dance in the field.  This vanishing threshold of bounty & nature is high church.  Let's give thanks in dance.  Prayers in singing.


Along the side of the road, below, where we first saw the cabbage truck.  This is why Garden Design never bores.  Providence humbles.


Had a wonderful day of Joan Rivers last weekend.  She always said what everyone was thinking anyway.
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This is what I was thinking at the vegetable stand.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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I shot the pics last weekend.  
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Baby, hope this explains why I kept telling you to get the okra but my brain/mouth were saying squash.  Was lost in naked dance with the soil in the fields, thanking Providence.   
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
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, September 8, 2014

Why You Need to Know Dinky is Stinky


Aside from repetition- contrast- color- copied the window boxes are screaming one of my favorite Garden Design rules.
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Dinky is Stinky.


At the entry way to this hotel, above/below, are begonias.


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When I'm asked a question, and the answer is, 'Dinky is stinky", I know what comes next, widened eyes & complete epiphany.
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The best gardens know, Dinky is Stinky.  A treat to come across a commercial garden getting their garden right.
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Nothing dinky or stinky here, of course we stopped for a refreshing summer cocktail on a hot afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains.
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 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics shot last weekend.  Gin, elderberry, cucumber, lime, sublime.
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Those begonias !  Remember well, a tiny era during the 80's when interesting begonias were easy to find.  Those days, long gone.
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Collateral information, if you can count the number of flowers, you don't have enough.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
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.