Showing posts with label Curb Appeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curb Appeal. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

Take Two Hikes and Call me in the Morning: Nature Deficit Disorder

A client, late 40's, lived in a gated community of very-nice-homes, had a lake house too, and traveled the globe for pleasure.
.
Her husband thriving in his job, her children matriculating successfully through education & life.
.
All in good health.
.
Yet, something in her spirit was not fed.  A major narrative not written, and she knew it.  Worse, she felt it.
.
Unhappiness, one of life's greatest teachers, gave her intuitive listening and action skills.  Lake house needed to be sold and the gated community had to be left.
.
Farm house, acreage, woodlands, meadows, barns, spoke, and bought.  Immediately, heirloom livestock, and pre-industrial methods of land management emanated from spirals deep within her DNA.
.
They were there, abiding, always.  Contemporaneously, her intuitive sense of abiding became a tidal wave of choice,    
.
From childhood, Nature, spoke to my spirit, of course I thought it spoke to everyone.  Wrong.  Unhappiness came earlier to me, than my client, above, infertility, loss of family, alcoholic spouse, youthful expectations that I needed to please those close to me, yet hearing/feeling the need for atonement.     
.
I began to create a garden.
.
Atonement found.
.
Miss Abiding & Miss Atonement have learned more together, than ever they could individually.  Detect the Jane Austen quality of this particular section of narrative?
.
Strong matriarchal women, we find laughter in this ironic gift from Providence.
.
Where is this going?  Where are you in this?
.
Your DNA was formed in combination with Nature too.
.
Science is catching up to what too few have found due to unhappiness.  
.
How the mind processes information in Nature vs. man made culture is profound.  
.
Regions of the brain working on your life/work issues in silent thought while you think of other things are different depending upon if you are walking in Nature or a city.  Science.
.
Light, for an easy, and odd, example.  Did you know reading a book by Nature's light is processed in one brain region, and reading a computer screen without Nature's light is processed in a different region of the brain?  Which region do you trust most with your memories?  Not hypothetical, pure science.
.
Real estate costs more at the shore of lakes, rivers, oceans.  Why?  Chemistry.  Your body is mostly water and when it is near large bodies of water the ions in the water molecules start pulling pleasantly towards each other.  Science.
.
Children raised on farms acquire gut bacteria preventing them  having more health issues than those raised in suburbs or cities.  If children live on farms to about age 10 those good health effects are life long.  Science.
.
A science study put a control group of people to walk in a city, another, to walk in the woods.  White blood cell counts, which help fight infection, were statistically higher for those waking in the woods.  Scientific conclusion?  Plants must be emitting a wavelength we absorb thru the skin.  



Take Two Hikes and Call me in the Morning, recently in Digg, mentions Nature Deficit Disorder, 


Learned Helplessness, is a horrible inheritance from one generation to another.  Worse, you don't know you have it.  Until epiphany.  Betty Friedan wrote of what she 'saw', The Feminine Mystique, but I'm a child of one those women and living the results.  My strangest epiphany came with having chickens.  Never been around chickens, until I had clients with chickens.  Decades of gardening, personally/professionally, did not prepare me for what my chickens taught.
.
Until the chickens my gardening was for pleasure.  My chickens arrived less than a week old, it didn't take long for them to be old enough for their chinoiserie style coop/run.  Once in their coop, my gardening was forever changed, from amusement, to stewardship.
.
How could I know settling for amusement was paltry?  Stewardship, rich.
.
My grandmother could run a farm, raise livestock, harvest, kill, preserve, cook, sew.  While being active in her church and civic duties.  She received a 4 year nursing degree, did graduate work in New York and settled into Augusta, GA for her full time job at a hospital as head nurse.  She was the last of USA's agrarian culture.  Without which learned helplessness creeps.
.
Washington Post, review of,

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation

           " In this lively and deeply researched history, Andrea Wulf (best known for her prize-winning chronicle of 18th-century English gardening, “The Brother Gardeners”) examines the botanical pursuits of America’s first four presidents. Those men were, it turns out, obsessive gardeners, but gardening was much more than a preoccupying hobby. It was central to their vision of the American republic. Jefferson and Co. believed that the agrarian life would safeguard the new republic’s virtue and that the future of America lay with the independent farmer. As Washington summed up, “Our welfare and prosperity depend upon the cultivation of our lands.”
.
Selfishly, I wish Andrea Wulf would write about Abigail Adams.  She, and her husband had no slaves.  She was alone much of her marriage and farmed the land, successfully, while raising a family, many years as a single woman, and political adviser to her husband.


Notice the scale, below.  Often I design this intimacy in landscapes.


From, Take Two Hikes and Call Me in the Morning, "Natural spaces, on the other hand, engage our “involuntary attention.” On a hiking trail your attention flits to different spots like the birds flying by—to the tree bark, the blue sky, the leaves on the ground. Paying attention to these sights requires little effort on our part, making it less demanding, and providing a break for our minds. The respite seems to be part of why we find nature relaxing. Indulging our involuntary attention is in fact one of the best ways to treat attention fatigue."  
.
 Working with Nature, for decades, I know to trust Providence.  Need to find a solution to work, family, life, health choices/issues?  I form the question, in detail, within my mind, go into my garden or walk around Stone Mountain, for an hour, totally letting go of the question.  At the end of my time with Nature, there is an answer to the question.  Most often, it's an action step answer.  Sometimes, the answer is, take-more-time-in-Nature.  
.
The last fact is scary to some.  When I don't take time for the right choices, it becomes lizard brain thinking.  Years of support group therapy for those with family/friends who are alcoholic, gave me valuable insights.  First, 'Don't force a solution.'  Aka, don't make choices based on fear.


Have you already 'seen' my joy at playing with the words, 'Nature', and, 'Science'?


Don't care about the science or Nature?
.
Easy answer, in Nature's favor.
Money.
.
Created properly your landscape can shade your home in summer, reduce cold winter winds, and let the sun help heat your home in winter.  Maintenance issues can be reduced from weekly to monthly, even bi-monthly.  A proper landscape, and soil preparation, needs no fertilizer or chemicals, and little to no watering once established.  Instead of ornamental trees, fruit trees add to grocery savings, and health.  Well landscaped homes sell faster, and for more money.  
.
I use Nature as George Washington, John Adams......  What other choice?  The Big Box garden center?  The neighborhood Home Owner's Assoc?  Monsanto?  Even the Extension Service is agriculturally complicit with industrial farming.  Accepting success by the ton & dollars made.  Not  families making a livelihood and their communities built and thriving upon them.  Wendell Berry, (“True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.”),writes about farming for the success of your soul, the land, people, cities, & country, in great wisdom, for decades.  
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Wendell Berry,   "Works of pride, by self-called creators, with their premium on originality, reduce the Creation to novelty — the faint surprises of minds incapable of wonder.
Pursuing originality, the would-be creator works alone. In loneliness one assumes a responsibility for oneself that one cannot fulfill.
Novelty is a new kind of loneliness.

Wendell Berry (Photograph: Guy Mendes)
There is the bad work of pride. There is also the bad work of despair — done poorly out of the failure of hope or vision.
Despair is the too-little of responsibility, as pride is the too-much.
The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.
For despair there is no forgiveness, and for pride none. Who in loneliness can forgive?
Good work finds the way between pride and despair.
It graces with health. It heals with grace.
It preserves the given so that it remains a gift.
By it, we lose loneliness:
we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance,
and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of life, who move also in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in fragments."
.
 To attain knowledge add things every day.
To attain wisdom subtract things every day.
— Lau Tzo.
All pics, Pinterest.  If you aren't doing Pinterest, please consider it.  If you are reading this I KNOW what you curate on Pinterest boards will teach & inspire me greatly.

 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Makes a Garden: Vanishing Threshold

Studying the best historic gardens in Italy, decades ago, it was obvious their gardens are in relationship to the home/villa.
.
USA landscapes, I was taught in college, are to be designed from the street, looking at the house.  Preferably by testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch.  (Zillion situations where this is fine, too.)
.
Easy to understand the joy/love getting my horticulture degree, yet agony in its belief system.  Hence, trotting off to Europe for decades,  truly learning about gardens.

Yesterday, on Pinterest, I saw both homes, above/below.
.
Zero school needed, to decipher which garden is European or USA style.
.
One garden is in relationship with its house, the other, tacked-on quite adequately.  
.
Yet, both gardens have the same ingredients.

.
When a garden is not in relationship to the house, aside from it likely being the builder's special du jour, I call them Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey gardens.
.
2 pics, all you need to become an expert at deciphering a garden in relationship to its house or a pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey garden.
.
I adore learning thru pictures.
.
Vanishing threshold gardens are first designed from inside the home, not the street.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
The thing about 'judging' anonymous gardens is unfair.  Please don't think I'm doing it here.
.
Too many reasons a garden cannot be judged.  One never knows if it's a job loss, elderly widowed owner, alcoholism or other addiction may live inside, major health issues, working too many hours with travel included, some people are happily oblivious with deep interests elsewhere, & etc,
.
  For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Design Rule for Cute

One is not in control of which pictures will grasp the heart.
.
Did owner of the apartment or building decide life could go no further without a bee skep at its corner?
.
Totally sexist, was it a man or woman who originated this idea?
.
What inspired, specifically, the bee skep and its placement?
.
How was the artist chosen to create the bee skep?
.
What is the bee skep made of?
.
How was the scale of the bee skep chosen?
.
4 bees, is there significance with '4' bees?
.
How is the bee skep attached?
.
How many people did it take to attach the bee skep?
.
How much did the bee skep cost, how much was the labor to attach the bee skep?
.
What era & country of origin is this particular bee skep based upon?
.
What type of bees were chosen for the bee skep, what are they made of?

.
Cute?
.
Hardly.
.
Whimsical. 
.
Totally.
.
Beyond whimsical, a statement.
.
What statement does the owner intend?  Literal, metaphor, reality, spiritual, a mix...
.
Remember, the more you go inward, the more you outwardly connect.
.
Garden design rule for cute,  
.
Cute Kills.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
.
Have enjoyed the shrinking of the aisles of cute garden resin products at Wal-Mart as the economy readjusts.  
.
For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Banishing Frustration with the Design Process

There is nothing you will do in your garden, that has never been done before.
.
Embrace the spirit of friends you didn't know you had.
.
Their thoughts & choices are waiting for you to partake.
.
Architecture, site, Nature, resources each play a role too.
.
Resist any of the above, and I promise, you will not like the garden you create.
Some of the people I like to work with?  Russell Page, Christopher Lloyd, Rosemary Verey,  Harold Nicholson/Vita Sackville-West, Arne Maynard, Deborah Silver, Arabella Lennox Boyd, Julia Trevelyan Oman/Sir Roy Strong, Cecil Beaton, Beatrix Farrand, Sir Edward Lutyens, Gertrude Jekyll, Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, Wendell Berry, Penelope Bianchi, William Morris, and more.


Especially endearing, and important, are gardens developed over time.  Perhaps a wheelbarrow path, above, evolved because the wheel of the wheelbarrow spoke !  Saw one in England, and have enjoyed designing several since then.


One impertinence I never commit, is to quickly, without thoughtful consideration & props, design any garden space.  None.  No matter how small or how many times I've done it before.
.
The the left of the brick path, above, grass is dying due to shade,  In addition, with grown children & a flock of grandchildren, the entry to the path is too narrow.
.
Flags were placed, then adjusted, looked at from myriad angles, adjusted again, conversation back/forth with client & stone mason, and lastly, agreed upon.
.
Most often, an inch or two in a garden design will not matter.  Sometimes, an inch or two in a garden design is the difference between a beautiful functional delight or 'I can't stand this but it's paid for and I will put up with it for the next 2 decades.'
.
Do not rush the process of designing/installing your garden.  Know that it is a process.  A pleasure to be partaken with your new friends, above.
.

Don't want you to be frustrated trying to create your beautiful easy landscape.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken yesterday on the job, top pic via Pinterest.
.
For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Best Design Adds Depth to Walls


Homes in subdivisions, at all price points & eras, commonly lack 'depth' with exterior walls.
.
Another garden design fact/rule learned studying the best historic gardens across the globe for decades.
.
A few examples from my Pinterest Board, Focal Points.








Garden Design: Adding Depth to Your Walls, should be my next book title.
.
Never a dull moment designing your garden.  Layers of beauty, and epiphany.
.
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.
.
NOTE to my gardening friends... look for changes to come. 
Knew before computers/cell phones, sitting in Atlanta traffic on way to a client, 'I must reach a larger audience with the same amount of effort.'   Soon after that epiphany I signed my CBS-TV, and, books contracts on the same day.
.
Then I read an article in the NYTimes about something called 'blogging'.  Saved the article for a year before reading it.  Studied all the blogs they mentioned, hired a computer expert they quoted, and attended a blogging seminar.
.
Blogging 2.0 has arrived, my knowledge is 1.0.  A believer in copying the best historic gardens across the globe it flows into every arena of life.  Watching Maria Killam grow her career/blog/life over the past 3 years made its impact.  Signed up  for a year's course with her blogging expert, Jon Morrow
.
Changes will be slow, plodding is my adored method.  Pulling triggers here/there is spice in the mix.
.
What do YOU want?
.
Nothing is too small, too big, or too ego crushing to mention.
.
Passion lies in sharing what has filled me to the depths of grace, joy & atonement, the best landscapes created over the last 2,000+ years.

Just so you know... 

 I  welcome your input.