Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

Choosing Chairs

Choosing chairs for your garden, a couple of things to include.  A chair back tall enough to lean the head back to rest or fall asleep.  And, arms.

image

Lovely chairs, below, but after-dinner-conversation will flow longer, enrich & be funnier, sitting in the chairs, above.  Wine will taste better too.

image_thumb40



Table/chairs, top pic, large enough, perhaps conversation splits into 2 groups, and a pair of chairs are pulled away and closer to each other.
.
When clients have a party I always have the same request, Please take pics of your furniture afterward.  I learn most, and adore learning daily, from gardens living/leveraging lives.
.
Cote de Texas recently wrote about John Saladino, here,  and his various homes thru the years.  A rich article.  Almost a design course.  And, where both pictures were found.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Friday, July 24, 2015

Best Garden Design Rule for 'Eyesores'

Yesterday's surprise, below.
.
We didn't know the wedding tent would have 2 sides filled with equipment.  Southern summer wedding, air conditioning happily wanted.  
.
3 hay bales had been sourced for power box/satellite dish.  Those 'eyesores' no longer mattered, once a/c was set up.
.
Game changer.
.
Early in the day my contractor said there was no reason for me to stop by the jobsite, he could site the hay.  You know I was coming to the site.  Once there, I knew he wasn't about to let me leave, or site the hay himself.  Adore this type of horticultural humor.  180, not needing me to needing me, oh so rich.
.
What you must know about eyesores in a landscape and focal points.  Easy garden design rule.  Basic.  One of the first I learned in college.
.
If you have an eyesore, place a focal point nearby to draw the eye.



Every wedding guest will look at this view, above/below, walking from ceremony at the lake, to the barn.


Great serendipity, the hay bales are round, greater contrast with straight lines of tent/barn.


 More than hiding eyesore of a/c, I had the good fortune of pretending the hay bales had been left in the field, as they are across several counties at present.  Timing was good.


Seen from the barn, above, another axis for the hay bales to look 'natural'.


Contractor, above, leaving field after siting last hay bale, happily thinking, If mother of the bride is unhappy with hay placement, Tara gets-the-talkin'-to.  Better, he only had to site each bale once.
.
Take away? If you have an eyesore in the garden, put a focal point nearby to draw the eye.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken at jobsite yesterday.  Could not get out of the field fast enough, and it wasn't because of heat/humidity.  With each step, looking down, making sure no fire ants or timber rattler !

Monday, July 20, 2015

Nancy Lancaster: Finding a Library to Copy


Garden Design has several first-rules-of-design, one of my favorites, COPY.  Don't take this rule, as I did for too many years, as a crutch or not unique.  Each site is unique, and, how YOU copy is unique.  End of theorem?  Copying is unique.
.
Moving house after 3 decades I've discovered how much my library is woven through most layers of my life.  New home has no library.  With manly help, I helped tote my boxed library to a shed behind the house.  A terrible activity.  Using Garden Design principles, the hunt has been on for types of library shelves to copy in our ca. 1900 American Farmhouse architecture home.
.
Nancy Lancaster,  below, is my choice.  A touch rustique, exactly how I Garden Design.

The library in the home of Nancy Lancaster, the late, legendary English country house interior designer. The library was created from an orangery, an outbuilding next to the coach house in which she lived during her last years. Her many books were housed in this stylish, yet comparatively modest space. Note the use of the tops of the bookcases to display sculpture, pottery and art. This is a well-known room to most interior designers.

Until painting my house, about 5 years ago, my library looked like this, below.  Chaos was organized because it evolved over decades.  Once painters put things as they wished, I never again found a book easily.

Ben Pentreath’s English Decoration pg. 64 #library #bookshelve #books

When a library lover says all their books are boxed, you know what it means.  A few books, for life to continue breathing at bare necessity, are in my office, below.
.
Table & lamp, below, in my new office, had been in my Conservatory.


Book shelves, below, were bought for my previous office.  They had been organized.


Chaos reigns.  Little did I know, packing the books from my prior office, they would become my sole library.  Probably for a year.
.
New library will be in the central hall, totally Nancy Lancaster, with sconces added.
.
Cannot wait to get the Gardening section back in order.  Until then, my feathers are not quite smooth.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Top pic, here, 2nd pic, here.  Bottom pics, my office this morning.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Front Porch Furniture Placement

Temps & humidity are at their extremes.
.
Yesterday, after lunching with a friend in town, I had the good fortune of riding shotgun while my friend had to stop, below, for a few minutes.


Without words, tone poem, this front porch is a full class, How to Design Your Front Porch.


No incorrect note is played here.  Of course the Kimberly Queen ferns were showing off, but even the Christmas cactus was thriving.
.
I don't know the owners, yet, but you know I will.  Their front porch looks/feels like a fine spring day.
.
Will get the white they used for home/furniture, and sparkling gray on the floor.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Garden: Foot Swing

This is the swing, below, I thought was hanging from our old pecan tree.



The wood seat on our swing, below, rotted long ago.


Wise teachers arrived yesterday, below.


 Their inner narrative was one of use, above/below.


My narrative, wildly wrong.


This is a foot swing.  Never had a 'seat'.  Paying attention to the knot, and height, it never had the intention of being a sitting swing.


This morning, above, Laskett's tail truly is this magnificent.  
.
We think the pecan tree, above, in the sunbeam, is as old as the house, 115 years.  Maybe older.  
.
Friends came to lunch yesterday.  Rather, friends brought a feast for lunch.  Homemade, the bounty arrived in baskets, including fresh tea, my 1st watermelon of the season, breads, cheeses, chicken, pimiento cheese, more/more/more, cotton table cloth & linen napkins.  How did they know, even my linen napkins are safely hid in a box amongst stacks of boxes?
.
Our kitchen not functioning until painting and renovations completed in the pantry.
.
Their arrival a great deadline to get many things done.  Their first time seeing our farmhouse, its land, and walking the grounds where the orchard will be, the new conservatory, where the gravel drives will curve, property pins, views, and dreams.
.
And the girls on the swing.  Many clients, thru the years, with children even younger, I've drawn their children's gardens once they graduated college, married, bought their 1st home. 
.
Seeing these girls on the swing, I'm excited for the right time, and drawing their 1st gardens.  Knowing, when I do, it will feel like 15 minutes ago they were teaching me about my own foot swing.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Top pic, Ben Pentreath.  Bottom pics mine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Front Porch: Open Wide

Rich in sublime detail I'm curious about the front porch, at the drive way side.

Residential | Martin & Malkemus

Perhaps more shutters between arches?  A ceiling fan suggests moments of leisure.  Foundation hedge is a barrier between home & garden.  Forcing foot traffic to the front door.

Plantation style home...

Choices are good, this 'landscape' is good, adding choices makes it a good garden.
.
Between the open arches, above, add choices.  How?  Take away foundation planting & add more brick steps across the front.  Then, you've made house & garden a vanishing threshold.  Significantly changing the use of the porch, and its 'feel'.  More, you've made a narrow'ish front porch entry luxuriant in scale, and tied the history of the home's architecture to the garden.
.
I think of these gardens, above, as pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey gardens, one size fits all.  And this home is worthy of a garden matching its patina.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics here.
.
Humorous how curious this home/garden make me.  And, perhaps reasons for the 'landscaping' would put me in agreement.  Without knowing more, it's all Cole Porter, don't-fence-me-in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cottage Garden vs. American Farmhouse Garden

Moving from cottage garden to historic American Farmhouse architecture garden has, in less than 2 weeks, taught much.
.
One lesson, after moving team finished near midnight, was apparent at first light.
.
Cottage garden accouterments, though loved & used for decades, are not at home in their new garden.  In fact, they are cringe inducing.  Go me not knowing this, indeed.

that is probably the back door, but I like it as a front door too!    Gil Schafer in The Great American House via Velvet and Linen

Yesterday I had unexpected resources in Beloved's team of men & trucks.
.
Pallets were loaded with 'keepers' and Beloved moved them with his Caterpillar under an old oak, no weeds/grass, near a fence line, trucks were loaded & driven to Goodwill.
.
Wish I had not moved the cottage garden accouterments here.  Yet, if anyone had said at the front end, 'Don't take your entire cottage garden', I would have scoffed, and moved everything anyway.
.
What a difference daylight makes.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pic via Gil Schafer.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Design: Creating Flow

How will you get from point A to point B ?
.
Flow.
.
Flow is at the front end of my Garden Design Equation.
.
When I was in college, SMU, someone mentioned the sidewalks in front of Dallas Hall were poured, AFTER, they saw where students tread dirt paths thru low meadow.
.
(Privately, off topic, in person, you may wish to ask me about the tunnels under those sidewalks.  That was a crazy fun date.)
.
Architecture, interior design, color, materials, scale, below, are sublime.  In addition, flow is the unseen subliminal element.  So good it's taken for granted.



At our ca. 1900 American Farmhouse architecture home, below.  We haven't lived here a week, how can we possibly know where to put paths, parking courts, drives, terraces, pole barn, and links throughout all?
.
Overflow parking, below, from my office view.  My little van, Tess, is in front of the house, and another truck with long open bed trailer are in the drive along the opposite side of the house.
.
The golf cart has yet to be brought from the house we sold, nor 2 tractors and 2 more work trucks.
.
None of the above traffic/parking issues includes guest vehicles.
.
I adore this.
.
Creating flow/parking in our own garden.


Foot traffic, below.  Tractor Supply had a single boot choice for my new home, below.  Work shoes from my former cottage garden, not sufficient in the least.
.
Drive, front parking court, overflow parking, a path, hugging the house are speaking.  Good news.
.
Further from the house, the flow has no voice.


At the back of the house, 2 out buildings, at left & at right, must be moved, due to flow.
.
Building at left is impeding vehicles, and building at right is blocking the deck we're building around the back of the house.


Both buildings a century old, clad in metal more recently.  We'll reuse the wood in our new shed I want built in the orchard, to be planted.
.
Hope you sense the best element in creating flow.  Anticipation.
.
Every layer of a garden is exciting.  Never tiresome.
.
More than anything I want several dump trucks arriving with our gravel.  Too soon, don't know exactly where to place it.  Patience.  This is where G*d taught me patience, in a garden.  We all get life lessons, yet they arrive in their own time and have different teachers.  If we don't 'get' the bigger life lessons, they keep arriving until we do.
.
Patience.  Your impatience is why I have a career.  Every client, just like I was at the front end of gardening, thinking they can put in a garden, do, and it's horrendous.  After my first garden making, vile of course, it was off to years of Extension Service courses, symposiums, then another college degree, in horticulture, finally touring historic gardens across Europe for 2+ decades.  Now, I know a few things about gardening, and thrill at the new lessons still arriving, every day.
.
Moving into this new home/garden it is clear, I am an experienced gardener but a new farmer.  Adoring a new learning curve.  And living Thomas Jefferson's, " but tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener.   ", backwards.  G*d has a sense of humor in this new lesson, which feels like a gift, not a lesson.  Great segue into Joseph Campbell's, "
When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning... a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be."
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Top pic, Wendy Posard, bottom pics taken yesterday in our new home/garden.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Designing to Solve Problems: Maintenance & Snakes

From the 1st visit with the realtor to our new home, I KNEW the garden around the house would be gravel with meandering paths & terraces of gravel further from the house.  And, siting of large pots with HYDRANGEA, drip irrigation of course, were paramount.



Leaving a cottage garden of 3 decades, our new garden is American Farmhouse, ca. 1900.  More importantly, its design will be for our 80 year old selves.  I must be 80 years old, have a gorgeous garden with zero worries about maintaining it.  A garden must leverage life, not the reverse.
.
This garden, above/below, I shot late last summer.  Limelight hydrangeas in the same situation as my new garden.  Loving, to the center of my DNA, this garden, I had zero clue I would soon be owning similar.  Alas, it's owned by a man, greatly talented, and strong.  My garden must be smarter, my strength not as great.  Game on.



Fearless, gravel will go to the house, similarly, below.

Interesting block +clapboard

Not wanting formality, gravel will lap at our century old pecan trees, Tara Turf will lap at some pecan trees too.

French garden design - gravel courtyard

As time passes, stone will be added to the gravel as needed.  Stone, below, added for rain issues.  And, I will site wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' at my front porch.  Vines or espaliered trees/shrubs add lush without space.

gravel bordered by pavers / french courtyard draped in wisteria

Knowing gravel terraces will be included, below, great anticipation in wondering 'exactly' where.
Screen-Shot-2013-06-10-at-2.49.40-PM.png 666×482 pixels

Transitioning to meadow, I will add checkerboard squares, below.

Make the best of both worlds using green grass paired with square pavers

Furlow Gatewood has smashed a bottle of champagne upon thousands of ships, below, with his allee of hydrangeas in pots.  Copy, it's the 1st rule of garden design.



Wildly, without knowing the deeper truths of our new garden, my initial thoughts for design are more than suitable at age 80.  Even life saving, for any age.  Snakes, the indigenous timber rattler.  Luckily have already interrupted a long king snake under the house.  Lucky, yet totally scared when I saw him.
.
Gravel is the best solution, trying to be safe, in defense of snakes near the house.  I got the memo, go me.
.
Sourcing pots now, I think I've found them !
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
.
Top 2 pics mine, the rest from my Pinterest Board, Stone.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Creating Flow: Garden Design Equation

With an engineering degree, and horticulture, you know I've invented a Garden Design Equation, moons ago.  Yes, good gardens are math.
.
Will do a long post about the Garden Design Equation, but not today.  Promise, you will love the Garden Design Equation, and totally 'get' it.  Have taught it in my college classes and seminars losing no one yet.
.
Living in our new American Farmhouse Architecture home, ca. 1900, for a total of 3 nites, the Garden Design Equation beckons.
.
Blessedly no gardening has been done here for decades, Poverty is a Great Preserver, indeed.  Why is this good?  Not a lot to 'undo'.
.
Focal point on axis, below.  Vanishing Threshold.

image

Focal points must be sited as focal points from more than a single direction.  This type of focal point, urn above, is one of the best.  Do you know why?  Needs no planting.  Low maintenance.  Let your garden leverage your life.  Your garden works for you, not the reverse.
.
From the outside, below, first impression, your garden must tell me who you are, this garden does.
.

image

But my narrative, above, has skipped some of the 1st elements of the Garden Design Formula.
.
Focal point siting is often 'obvious' but must wait until 'flow' around the property is managed.  Flow for cars, and walking, maintenance, and larger spaces, a gator/golf cart.
.
Do you see what else is obvious when creating flow?  Turf is included in 'flow' equal to a gravel path-drive-terrace.
.
This garden, below, is designed for low maintenance too.  Did you already spot that?  The tractor can easily do its job, and the evergreens need once/year attention, no irrigation needed, no chemicals, no fertilizers.
.
Had to laugh when I saw this pic, it's exactly where my Garden Design Equation is percolating at our new home.  Flow.
.
Drive & Parking Court, below.
 
image

Had already told Beloved I will design a gravel drive, gravel parking court, gravel paths, with boxwoods and Tara Turf.
.
The Garden Design Equation formula at work.  Historic too.  In the greatest of ironies, I studied historic gardens across Europe for 2+ decades learning how to design a garden with 'plants'.   What was truly learned is flow, repetition, rooms, axis, max pollinator habitat......etc.

image


Oddly, too, I've had this idea, below, in mind for the area with my above ground propane tank.  Cannot wait for the before/after shots of my propane tank.  Who knew such delights could be had?  Adore taking the worst a garden offers and turning it into use and beauty.

image

Big effect, below, little input.  Been done thousands of times across the centuries, and will be done again at our new home.  Copy.  NEVER worry about copying.  Each site is unique, making each iteration new/fresh.  Again, the Garden Design Equation, and why it works.  Your garden is unique, and the brain cells you apply enhance every effect.

image

Gratuitous, below, if you know anything about Historic Garden Design.
.
And, of course, I will copy it too.  Daffodils
.
Notice something else about all these pics?  Deer proof.

image

Luckily my new bathroom needs a 'tweak'.  And, there is a window overlooking the new orchard/rose arbor.  This is exactly how my tub will site, at its window.

image

image

Single story, our American Farmhouse, is quite long.  3 days here, I know for sure, both front/back doors will have their own set of work shoes/shovels/pruners/wheelbarrow/hats.
.
A garden must leverage your time.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics via Cote De Texas, from Elle Decor




Monday, June 8, 2015

Removing Foundation Plantings


A few times across the decades I've designed a garden with existing foundation plantings so wrong from inception, by the builder of course, they had to be removed.  Hollies were the culprit, and damaging to foundation, sidewalk, driveway, and monetary damage to the home's value.
.
Each time all foundation plantings were removed there was a husband squawking.
.
Each time I said, "Trust me."
.
Each time, once the plantings were gone, the husbands said, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"  They liked seeing how pretty their home was, finally, after living in it for years.
.
Huge lesson in this.  Removing ugly improves a garden.  Ironic, human intuition says, "I'll keep the ugly, better than nothing."
.
This, below, is sublime.  A delightful narrative in all sorts of directions via the pic.

Old Farm House

What the home looked like, below, before foundation plantings were removed.  Narrative is rather narrow.



More about this home, the Enos Kellogg Homestead, ca. 1784, here.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara

Friday, June 5, 2015

French Toile: Anna Belle Hydrangeas, Tool Bouquets, Garden Shed

A good French toile, below, come to life.
.
Shot this week, I'm greedy and would like daily access.
.
Shoot when the rose is cascading blossoms.



Shoot on a snowy day in the dead of winter.


 Shoot on a bleached out hot humid Southern afternoon.


Shoot from inside the kitchen, two big windows view this French toile.
.
Fall shots, with rain, a refined camera allowing you to smell the petrichor from foliage, and rusty tools, or corrugated metal.  Divining the distinctions of each.
.
A great year for Anna Belle hydrangeas.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics from Susanne Hudson's garden this week.  Come see her garden, it's on tour this Sat/Sun, Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Elements of a Famous Garden: Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival

Shade encroached lawn, below, so it was removed & a gravel path was added with a row of boxwoods.
.
Then, unexpectedly, a gift of huge pots with boxwoods, and an entryway was created, below.
.
This is a new portion of Susanne Hudson's famous Douglasville, GA garden.  Her garden is on the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival tour this Saturday/Sunday.
.
Aside from being in magazines, on TV and tours, Susanne's garden should also be famous for how easy it is to maintain.
.
And, deer proof.
.
Susanne's garden reads like a Garden Design Manual.
.
Garden Design Elements:


  Complete architecture above, ceiling, walls, floors, doorways, rooms.

Hallway (gravel path)
Foyer (zone between arbor/boxwood in pots/end of gravel path)
Walls ( fence, side of house, hedges)
Color  (house/fence white theme)
Color ( layers of green, dark green, light green)
Color (granite gravel chosen to flow with white theme vs. brown river pebbles)
Ceiling (sky is designed by framing with canopy & understory trees)
Entryways (the more entryways a garden has the better a garden is)
Ballroom (invitation to the ballroom via the arbor, implied mystery, the garden beckons you)
Parlor (invitation to the parlor thru the large boxwood pots)
Art on the Wall (house is backdrop to the garden)
Art on the Wall (one focal point/area is the macro rule, here it's the arbor)
Flooring (gravel, low meadow)

Garden Design is Interior Design with different arrows in the quiver.  When you see a garden you like, there is a language to describe every element.  Learn the language, in this lone pic, above, and your quiver will be full for any garden you see moving forward.

When I give this lecture, I move to a new pic, use the laser pointer, and let the audience shout out what it is.  By the 3rd picture all are fluent.  Even those that were skeptical.  Name it to claim it is true for garden design.  Once you can name it, you can put it in your own garden.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pic taken by Susanne Hudson.  Spent the night with Susanne earlier this week, preparing for my lecture at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival this Saturday, 2pm, in the new courthouse.

Monday, June 1, 2015

When it's Simple, You're Dancing

For years I've known the best question to ask after 'completing' a Garden Design, "What can I take out, and it still holds together?"
.
For decades I've had the privilege of being hired by women in their 70's-80's.  Most widowed, or divorced.  Why privilege?  Aside from demanding beauty with ease of maintenance, that's easy, the known quantity, yet unspoken, is staying in the house, till the end.  We're playing at winning the end game, without stress.  The end game is not for sissies.  Roofs with major winds, plumbing issues within a slab, a toilet leaking from upstairs while away on a trip flooding the entire home, a cancer diagnosis, perhaps a stroke, living for months with a grown child needing grandma's help with their little ones during a job transition.
.
When I'm hired by these women, I understand unspoken reasons.
.
Now, moving into a new home, I'm designing my new garden for my 80 year old self.

Sfeervolle stadstuin met veranda  www.buytengewoon.nl Bart Bolier - Tuinarchitect ontwerp@buytengewoon.nl tuinontwerp | tuinrealisatie

Looks 'modern', above, yet follows every classic Garden Design rule since before Christ's era.

Planete Deco

Without awareness, or training, I know something, in metaphor, about Garden Design, Herbert Muschamp wrote in describing Venice, "The function of the City was to translate the religion into a visual & spacial code."

John Rocha. Provence

Beloved has asked me, more than once, always in exasperation, "Are you always a Garden?"  Yes, thank you.  More than believe, active choices are made throughout the day, every day, to 'Take Joy' as Tasha Tudor did, by knowing into my DNA, "Our energy flows where our attention goes."

From Bunny Williams' gorgeous home and inspiring garden, the subject of "An Affair with a House" - lovely stone patio!

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?", W.B. Yeats.  If you have a landscape, your answer is public, every picture in this post, the owner knows the dance, and dances.  

Garden of Axel Vervoordt in Belgium

Above, plain?  Hardly.  You're seeing the dance.
.
Riet verveelt nooit. Deze prachtige stoelen in combinatie met een tafel met een gietijzeren onderstel.. http://www.royaldesign.nl/tuinmeubels/tuinstoelen/vergrijsde-rieten-stoel-nina/0600-100/C/38

Why aren't more gardens, above, like this one?  Aside from easy to maintain, interiors flowing outside, do you notice the major force?  This garden reeks of invitation, alone or a pair, and quickly available to expand for a group enjoying dinner/wine.

Landscaping by Stijn Cornilly

This garden, above, combines the previous 2 pics.  Scroll upward and look again.  This is the dance.
.
Haven't moved into my new home/garden yet, but I'm already dancing its dance.
.
Isn't it time you dance yours?
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
All pics Pinterest: Vanishing Threshold.