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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Washington Post: Richard Arentz Home & Garden

My construction team laughs at my proclivity for garden designing French doors from windows, adding retractable screen doors too.
.
From the French doors, below, site a focal point on axis, add a path to the focal point, plant an allee of understory trees with flying buttresses of canopy trees, underplant with an evergreen groundcover, finish this garden room with its walls, an evergreen hedge.  Put in a cross axis just behind the evergreen hedge.
.
This garden design, written, above, pictured, below, is a classic 1,000's of years old.  It sites beautifully along the sides of a home too.


Running Cedar, landscape architect Richard Arentz’s home. Winter King hawthorn allee. The ground cover is lenten rose, an evergreen perennial.:

Notice, potted plants each side of the French doors, above, become interior floral arrangements.
Choosing a rounded bowl for the orchids was no accident, nor choosing the arching/caning habit in contrast to the exterior understory trees.
.
Staging this shot, they've used both house/garden as 1 proscenium.
.
In addition to describing how to design this house/garden, above, the verbage is correct.  Most often, clients know what they want, have a pinterest board, yet do not have a vocabulary for what's in their pictures.
.
Garden, above, is also little maintenance, and with the right plants, deer proof/drought tolerant/no chemicals/pollinator habitat.  If the house, above, is facing western sun, the allee of trees is shading the house in summer, dropping its leaves allowing the winter sun to help heat the house, lowering HVAC costs.  And, raising property value, while increasing the joy of living here.
.
Pic, above, from Richard Arentz's Washington Post article, by Adrian Higgins.
.
Biggest take away?  House & garden are a single proscenium.  Site the garden from inside your home.

Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Garden Design Rule: The Tablescape

Vanishing threshold, below, a fecund tablescape.
.
A tablescape proscenium.


Across Europe, studying historic gardens for decades, have seen tablescaped tables on  terraces, luring, without words, propelling feet & intellect to investigate.  
.
Their insouciance ineluctable.  
.
So often seen, having a tablescaped table on a terrace/deck/patio/porch seems to be a Garden Design rule. 
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
.
Pic by Carolyn Barber from here

Friday, January 15, 2016

Nicky Haslam & Miles Redd

Copy, it's the 1st rule of Garden Design.  If you don't like rules, who does, you'll like this one.
.
Each permutation of 'copy' is unique, guaranteed.
.
Copying from the best means you are opening a treasure chest to major talents across the globe, and time.
.
Copy, it's a 1st rule of Interior Design too.
.

Sussex Farmhouse




Redd brought in a breakfront to anchor the space and had it painted in one of his mother's favorite colors, an 18th century-inspired chalky green. A table skirt made from taffeta is a soft contrast to the mahogany ladder-back chairs.

Copy, it works for 2 of the best, above.  It will work for you.
.
Copy, glad my epiphany came, but why was I stubborn for so long, thinking I could recreate the wheel?  My work became more original once I knew to copy.  Who doesn't enjoy riffing on a theme?  Though, beware the trap of derivative works becoming stale.  
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Florist Shop Technique in Your Garden

I remember well going into the old tiny white clapboard house, engulfed with oleander, gardenias, and sago palms, on the way to League City, TX, with its front half turned into a florist shop, they lived at the back, with mom when she needed to send sympathy flowers.  In the 60's this was not a phone call or internet purchase.  The large glass front refrigerator stuffed with flowers awaiting, scents, vases, ribbons, cut stems in a pile, no, I was not waiting in the car.  Life was electric in that tiny shop & home.
.
Saw that house, long abandoned, during my last trip home in December.
.
No matter its current state it has sailed a thousand ships in my work.  I have a Pinterest board for Florist Shops.  Clients with acreage, and little time, I send to that board to inspire when they have an open garden or private function.  Temporary beauty easily arranged.
.
Claus Dalby, below, from Denmark uses the Florist Shop Technique.  No matter your continent, style, budget, the Florist Shop technique is for you too.    



Pic, above, Claus Dalby.
.
Florist Shop Technique.  My favorite type of gardening, see it do it.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T
.
Thank you Janelle McCulloch for another great find.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Willie Nelson & Wendell Berry: Save Farmers Save USA


Late to the party, realizing, first from Wendell Berry, then an English ironstone transferware platter, a century old framed print of a farm, studying landscapes across Europe for decades vs. abhorring my USA ornamental horticulture college education, and most recently Willy Nelson and his Farm Aid, the separation of agriculture from ornamental horticulture is not possible.  It is the industrial complex separating them, to their benefit, our loss.  Connecting the dots has been slow, not boring.  Ironic, forces of industrial farming,  commodities/labor, are now borderless, and have played a role across Europe since WWII, cracks in those borders are daily news, and huge in our current presidential election.
.
With industrial farming, residential landscapes became industrial.  Mow-blow-go, chemicals to kill bugs, chemicals to kill fungus/disease, chemicals that create bombs are used to fertilize plants while killing beneficial mychorizal fungi/earth worms, aka killing soil, even poisonous used car tires are ground up/dyed & used as mulch, releasing toxic heavy metals into the soil, groundwater, and above a certain temperature become fumes absorbed thru your skin.  How did residential landscapes flip industrial?  After WWII chemical companies lost their buyers.  First buyers targeted by chemical companies in USA?  Mom's with small children playing in the yard.  Spray chemicals to get rid of bugs.  Voila, start of industrial residential landscapes.  Discovered this tidbit a few years ago when keynote speaking at the Perennially Yours Symposium & hearing Paul Tukey speak.
.
Lose family farms, lose rural towns across USA, Wendell Berry has written for decades.  What?  Without family farmers, there is no community of shop owners/service providers/arts venues/car dealerships/medical providers/small banks etc, instead there is a WalMart/Family Dollar/Dollar General servicing several dying communities within driving range.
.
The Extension Service, for decades, while providing help to farmers, has based success upon production of crops/livestock, solely, not success of farms & communities, even less, healthy soil, safe drinking water.    
.
Depressing, above, yet liberating and joyful to 'see' and step away from the industrial complex, more, empowering.
Note, below, from Willie Nelson, he saw all the above, 3 decades ago, deciding to help & stay strong and positive.
Friend
Welcome to Farm Aid! Whether you're a farmer, a music lover, or someone who cares about good food and family farmers, Farm Aid has something for you.
Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and I serve on the Farm Aid board because we believe that when family farmers thrive, we all thrive. Family farmers are stewards of the land and grow the kind of good food that we all want. And successful farms strengthen their communities - they are the true economic engines of our country.
We've come so far since 1985. Over the last 30 years, Farm Aid has inspired more people to care about where their food comes from and the family farmers who grow it.
Stay strong and positive,

Willie Nelson
Farm Aid


english transferware...:

Pic, above, via here.

Plates, above/below, I had thought, for decades, 'boring'.  Then, 'saw'.  The patterns, prayers of thanks and method to daily honor what is so freely given, to us.  USA constitution had considered these prayers of thanks, inalienable rights, "
    Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).

    Natural and legal rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights"                                                              .
Red Transferware Platter Travelers Horses Children Roses English China:

Pic, above, via here.

STANDING WITH FAMILY FARMERS

Farm Aid works year-round to build a system of agriculture that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities. Our annual concert celebrates farmers, eaters and music coming together for change.

Landscape Transferware, I have actually collected several of these myself! I love brown and white dinnerware.:

Pic, above, via, here.
Found/bought a platter in the pattern, above, it is a scene of agriculture sustaining an entire community.

 

A friend recently bought a home and moved to Saint Simons Island and posted this picture, above, of a sunrise, including this line of poetry, "The holiest of all holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart..."   Without a garden I doubt I would have understood its meaning.  In my garden I celebrate secret anniversaries, by the hour.  My greatest root of 'strong & positive'.  
.
“It’s mighty hard right now to think of anything that’s precious that isn’t endangered,” Wendell Berry told Bill Moyers. “There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places. My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts.”   “People who own the world outright for profit will have to be stopped; by influence, by power, by us.”            "  
.
Amazing words from Berry.  They call poets, canaries in the coal mine.  Berry is a poet, and "fierce laureate of the natural world."  
.
A current article, below, about industrial farming, including foreign refugee workers in a small USA town. Workers, brought in as refugees, needed as low paid workers for industrial farming with taxpayers subsidizing the rest of their needs. Ironic, USA family farms paid living wages, and created communities which were the backbone of USA, and without killing soil/poisoning water supply.  Until I read Michael Pollans's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Cargill was not on my radar.  Not so now.  Cargill is all about corn, and Pollan manages to make corn sexy.
.
In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune  recently:
"Cargill will change its hiring policy — allowing employees to be potentially rehired 30 days after termination, not 180 days — in response to a walkout by Somali workers in Colorado.
After a dispute over Muslim prayer time, about 150 employees at Cargill’s sprawling Fort Morgan, Colo., plant didn’t show up for work for three days — grounds for termination. They were fired. Some of those workers claimed they weren’t allowed to take prayer breaks, while Cargill claimed that it was still following its policy allowing the breaks.
Minnetonka-based Cargill said in a statement Friday that it will change the hiring policy at all of its North American beef plants, allowing former employees terminated for “attendance violation or job abandonment” to be considered for rehiring 30 days after being fired. The workers would have to reapply for their jobs.
“We believe the change in our beef business policy related to how quickly a former employee may be eligible to reapply for positions at our beef plants is a reasonable update to something that’s been in place for quite a few years,” Cargill Beef President John Keating said in a statement.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been representing many terminated Somali workers, said it welcomed Cargill’s change in hiring policy, though it criticized Cargill’s prayer break policy as ambiguous."
Again, Cargill, and others in the industrial farming camp, need cheap refugee labor, salaries paid are not a living wage, the USA taxpayer fills out the rest in welfare payments.  Don't mean to paint Cargill as a 'bad company'', but it's been obvious to Willie Nelson & Wendell Berry, for at least 3 decades, this is exactly where leaving the family farm was headed, the path of unintended consequences.   
A book list, helping to move from industrial farms to family farms.
.
Wendell Berry's books.
Tara Dillard's books, ornamental horticulture producing crops yielding up to 80% greater.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.
The Omnivore's Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan.
The Garden in Winter, by Rosemary Verey.  Ornamental horticulture yielding crops up to 80% greater.
.
What do ornamental horticulture gardens have in common with agriculture?  Pollination.  Pollination.  Pollination.  A factor increasing crop yields by 80%.  
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
With more time, this should include new scientific studies about Nature & our health.  Nature & our biomes.  Without which, of course, we die or live in disease.  But I have a residential garden needing a hot tub sited !  Need time & every brain cell to create the most usable yet elegant hot tub known to mankind.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Garden Design Cheat Sheet: Design Shapes Before Plants

Upon the land, below, do you see garden rooms?  Parlors. dining room, foyer, hallways, mudroom, doorways and more.  And, with the garden rooms, do you see what is dealt with?  Flow.
.
Site the first garden room, using the world's most used template, see previous post, from inside your home.  Once your 1st garden room is sited, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Play with rectangles, squares, ovals, circles & more, adding enfilades.
.
Need a lawn?  That is your Lawn Room or Meadow or Playing Field or Pasture whichever endeavor best suits your 'lawn' needs.
.
With this drawing, below, everyone is an expert garden designer.  Intuitively knowing what is a tree/shrub/groundcover/stone/gravel/focal point on axis/double axis/flow.
.
Most important, this is the order of designing your garden, shapes.  No worries about specific plants at this phase.  Shape, then specific plants.
.
USA has the Extension Service for best plant choices/zone.  Outside of USA visit nearby old good gardens, and botanical gardens.

Pic, above, via Jala Gardens.

Worst garden design question to ask at the beginning?  What plant goes here?
.
Our ca. 1900 American farmhouse is at the start of the Garden Design phase.  Garden rooms & flow.  We must flow via foot/car/tractor/gator, and I must have an orchard, potager, shrubbery, vistas, pleasure walks, garden house, chicken coop, vined arbor for harvest table.  The garden must have something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, ease of maintenance, and make me think, 'Oh WOW', each time I look outside any window of our home, zero watering, chemicals, fertilizing, deer proof, provide a tasty tidbit for the table throughout the year, more than Earth friendly, wildlife friendly, a garden of stewardship, enriching in waves beyond my soul.
.
Topics inherent within this mission statement?  Increased property value, decreased HVAC expense, happier days, stewardship.
.
Read all of the above, again, with laser precision about property value, decreased HVAC expense, and ease of maintenance.  I went after all of the above, for the love of gardens, instead found many of the truths in a simple phrase, G*d almighty first created a garden.  Won't go into that rabbit hole now, instead, money.  2015 was my year for several real estate sales, for myself & others, fast and at market value, with several perks added.  No, I'm not a realtor.  The homes were staged inside/outside.  All of the above skills put money in my pocket, and my friends pockets too.
.
I was gardening to follow my bliss, in addition, much later, a great deal later, discovered I was following the money too.  Thinking of selling your home in the next 3 years?  Stage it now, live in the joy/beauty, reap a larger sales price.  Have your cake, eat it too.
.
Not selling your home?  Create a beautiful garden, for you, Earth, friends/family.  Beautiful easier living.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XOT  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Garden Design Cheat Sheet

Big smile when I saw an old friend, below.  Pair of focal points in double axis, laid in line with central pane of central window of house.  Choosing another historic winner, layers of green, while contrasting shades of green & sizes of foliage.  Nor does this garden skimp upon the full design, using, canopy trees-understory trees-walls of shrubs-groundcover shrubs & flooring.
.
Magnificent.
.
Simple.  Proven.  Copied for centuries.
.
Complete garden design class in 1 picture.
.
Lovely home, yet this Garden Design is for all eras & price points.  Especially troublesome architecture.  Think 1960's brick ranch backing the garden, below.  Pendulum swing, in full, yet the garden design holds true.


My Favorite Landscape Designer, Howard Design Studio, Lllc.:

Pic, Howard Design Studio.
.
There are 2 top garden designs surviving the ages, this is 1, above.  And, the 2nd is a variation added to this one.
.
Look at the pic, above, while mentally labeling each part.  Canopy trees.  Understory trees.  Focal point on axis.  Double axis,  Flooring.  Walls.  Once you become familiar with garden design terms, you own the process.  Promise.
.
This is perhaps the most copied Garden Design of the ages, yet it is new/fresh with each iteration.
.
This is your cheat sheet.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What Historical European Landscapes Can Teach Us About Our Own Landscape

Freshman year of college, aged 17 & having skipped my senior year of high school, I found myself in a cavernous classroom, with hundreds of souls listening to our puppet master gushing ad nauseam into the ether about macro/micro economics.  Except, for me, it was worse.  Little puppet master, obviously, held the secret to vast knowledge, yet his vocabulary was pure gibberish entering my brain.  Looking around, everyone else seemed to get-it.  Stress was building, my 1st college coarse, and knew the game was over.  Finally, I asked my closest amphitheater attendee, "What is a margarine, sounding like, 'marrghareen'?"  An hour spent locked on that word, nothing.  Smiling, she said, "Margin."  Decades later, it still amuses to think in terms of macro/micro.  A personal inner life joke.  How nice it would be to sit for an hour this afternoon listening to Little Puppet Master again, explaining the world's current banking & etc.
.
Years after the macro/micro pairing, I locked onto another, sacred/profane.  Most recent pairing to make waves, amusement vs. stewardship.  (If you've ever locked onto a pairing of words.....please leave them in comments, I would really like to know !)      
.
Moving on, into the macro about USA landscaping.  Lawn, foundation plantings, mulch, annuals, maintenance contract, fertilizing, insecticides, fungicides, irrigation, pre-emergents.

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” -Vincent Van Gogh I posted a photo of this sweet little house on Facebook last week, and man did it grab a lot of attention! Over 400,000 people reached and 2,057 shares- woah! <:-O The house is just across the lake from us, and it was …:

Pic, above, Pinterest.

With my starter home I immediately gardened as my father had, mowing, and, chemicals, faithfully, monthly, to kill bugs.  I'm not a rebel.  Within a year, I had stopped the 'method', I was trying to get pregnant.  Thinking to stop chemicals until the babies came.  The babies never came, infertility.  However, within 6 weeks of not using chemicals, to kill insects, I noticed I had fewer insects than when I was spraying to kill them.  Macro to micro.  I never used chemicals again, 3+ decades and counting.

Time Present and Time Past: The Grand Tour: Classical Antiquity and the British Class System:

Pic, above, Pinterest.

Within 5 years of zero chemicals, I had zero turf remaining.  Almost 3 decades without grass.  Recently moved to a ca. 1900 American farmhouse, there is no lawn, only meadow or woodland or gravel.  Studying the best historic gardens across Europe, it only took seeing 1 to know there is a template for landscapes, in the macro, trees/shrubs/groundcovers/stone focal point/low meadow cut at 2-3 heights/zero irrigation/no chemicals.
.
It took designing/installing historic European style landscapes, for decades, to learn they are not merely about no lawn/no chemicals etc.  The agenda is much greater, pollinator habitat, and balancing the sacred/profane, into stewardship of Earth, community, self.  Amusing, I had accepted micro as macro for so long.
.
Surprisingly came across a concise micro/macro about American agriculture in an article in The Guardian,  about Edward Luttwak, " Military strategist, classical scholar, cattle rancher – and an adviser to presidents, prime ministers, and the Dalai Lama. Just who is Edward Luttwak? And why do very powerful people pay vast sums for his advice? "
“Most people live such pointless lives,” said Luttwak as we walked toward his gate. “Not desperate lives – they have cable television – but pointless. For politicians, it’s not pointless, but it always ends in disappointment and bitterness. But meaningful? Their lives are not as meaningful as the Mennonites. The Mennonites are free in the Hegelian sense – they are self-consciously free. And they have unintentionally revealed the ongoing fraud of American agriculture. They don’t destroy the land, they don’t drug animals to death – they make vast profits using 18th-century technology. Personally, I cannot live that life, but I want it to flourish. I relate with Ulysses because I demand an interesting life. I demand it.”
Full article, The Machiavelli of Maryland, here.
.
Bunny Williams's Pet-Friendly Homes - Design Chic:

Bunny Williams home, above.  Her garden resonates, it's the historic template, yet more.  Obvious she has demanded that her life be interesting.  Her book, An Affair With a House, is one of the few I tell my clients to purchase.  If you learn best via photos, her book is for you.  It's about interior/exterior, vanishing threshold.
.
Bottom line?  What kind of landscape do you want around your home?  The landscape of your heart, that makes you smile, or one fitting in with the neighborhood?  Choose in the macro.  Then follow the micro templates of your choice.
.
How do you choose in the macro?  Pinterest.  Create a board of pics for landscapes you love.  Don't stop the board until you have at least 100 pics.  There will be a thread amongst the pics, and your landscape will be that thread.  Promise.  Macro, create your Pinterest board, micro, deduce the thread from your Pinterest board.  More than putting in a landscape you'll be creating an interesting life.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T

Monday, December 7, 2015

7 Steps to a Beautiful Easy Landscape

Why, really, have a Garden?

"...understand that what you resolve will need to be resolved again. And again. You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness."

//:


"...a mistake for which you alone will pay."

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure, Delray FL 2, 1959, Library of Congress:
Pic, The Sunday porch:enclos*ure, Delray FL 2, 1959, Library of Congress

"Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue."

all the beauty things...:

Found on vestidoslindosatelier.tumblr.com
"You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else."

Courtyard garden:
Found on decoestilo12.blogspot.com
"Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room."
image: Found on cotedetexas.blogspot.com
"The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming."
.:
Pic via, The Little Hermitage.
.Topics, above, your garden will answer, absolve, comfort.  From, 
"Tiny Beautiful Things will endure as a piece of literary art,” Almond writes, “as will Cheryl’s other books (Torch and Wild), because they do the essential work of literary art: they make us more human than we were before.”
“But it’s a memoir with an agenda,” Steve Almond writes, “With great patience, and eloquence, (Sugar) assures her readers that within the chaos of our shame and disappointment and rage there is meaning, and within that meaning is the possibility of rescue.”
"Inexplicable sorrows await all of us. … Life isn’t some narcissistic game you play online. It all matters— every sin, every regret, every affliction."
.
In a Garden, there is rescue.  How many decades, now, have I known to frame a life question/event, head into my Garden, let the question go, and come away with calm, and answers?  In my Garden, more often, free ranging thoughts arrive, unbidden, life's action steps.  "How did you know to do that?", "Well, I was in my Garden."
.
If the essential work of literary art is to make us more human than we were before, Gardens are a book.  Gardening, in popular culture,  is a shovel, shredded car tire mulch dyed a redwood hue, mowing, swapping annuals 2 seasons/year, pouring chemicals.  In those gardens, who can hear?  In those gardens, chaos is fed.
.
Curated these pics for you, I know each Garden is taking you in, welcoming, calming, inspiring, lightening the load.  A Garden Design course could be made from these few pictures.  Every topic a Garden imbues, is shot above.
.
Have you already realized, in these pics, a Garden's mission statement & your 7 steps?
.
7 Steps to a Beautiful Easy Landscape:
* A place to nap.
* A place to live your life between house/garden.  Terrace, deck, veranda...
* Framed views from inside your home, into the garden.  Vanishing threshold.
* Pockets of pure Nature, rusticities.
* Furniture in the Garden.  A place to share dinner/lunch with family/friends.
* Choose a Garden color trinity.  Green/brown/white is the classic, a proven friend.
* Interior style must flow into your exterior style.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Over lunch, in my Garden, in the Conservatory, I have heard stories, no woman shares, unless she's in a Garden confessional.  Great laughter, loud laughter, much laughter, mostly laughter and tears too.  The confessional safe, all have shared, exposed themselves.  Leaving the Conservatory is leaving the events of the stories lighter, yet the spent laughter grows heavier in joy as time passes.
.
Thank you Farnum Street for inspiring today's post.

Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Transpose Interior Style Into Your Landscape


Designing a garden, I must go inside your home.  I need to see how you live in the home and which garden views, from inside, are the most important.  Your color choices are important, from, sofa, wallpaper, paint, art, accent pieces.
.
Another element is how furniture is arranged in the living room, dining room, and breakfast room.  Those arrangements I often copy exactly for furniture groupings outside, in your garden.  Style choices for the garden furniture too.  Your interiors/exteriors must flow.

bf58c76ba18d487ffad347b19039df40
pic via The Garden Home.


 Provence, terrace de luxe:
Pic via Pinterest, here.

Arranging plantings in your garden, I often copy a few groupings, below, from table top, chest top, mantle top.  Transposing a pair of lamps into a pair of understory trees, pair of plates into a pair of plant drifts, pretty bowl at the center, below, could easily be the focal point bench/urn, you get the idea.

Arranging Decorative Accessories on a Sofa Table and other  pieces of furniture.

Pic via The Garden Home.

 :
Pic from Pinterest, here.

Garden, above, could be pulled from a mantle with a pair of vases, a lovely bowl in the center, and a nice painting on the wall.  See it?
.
How you design your table tops inside your home says a lot about how your brain works symmetrical/asymmetrical etc.  And I know you'll like the same styling outside.
.
Quite fun, it never pales, when a client will say, "Oh, I love that.", then I reply, "I simply copied that chest top you have in the dining room.", "OMG, you did."
.
Subtle & sublime.
.
No one taught me to do these things, I just knew to do them.
.
My grandmother, Laura, was a great piano player, by ear.  Little access to sheet music, she was known to play the newspaper or magazines.  Transposing written words into notes.  I like to think I've transposed her piano playing into my garden design methodology !
.
Now, look around your home with new eyes, and take it outside into the garden.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T


Friday, November 27, 2015

Tweaking a Good Garden


Ernest Hemingway, "Never mistake motion for action."
.
If you're working in your garden, and it's easy, you're probably doing it wrong.  Looking back at the early years of gardening, in my 20's, what would I tell that girl?  Most of gardening is counterintuitive.  Copy historic gardens from Europe.  Choose the simplest solution.  Keep your love affair with plants last on the priority list, top your plant list with those-great-bores performing against, drought, flood, deer, disease, insects, with little maintenance.  Do not design your garden from the street, stand inside your house, look out the windows, and begin designing the garden.
.
Question pretty garden pictures, are they supporting the house, property values, Nature, and lives of those in the home?
.
The Glam Pad: A Glamorous Palm Beach Bungalow:

Pretty garden/home, above.  But.  If the sidewalk/street is at the front, move the hedge forward along the sidewalk/street, replace a central part of the turf with more paving, turn a couple of those windows into doors, and create a courtyard, espalier a flowering evergreen woody shrub against the solid wall for instant lush with little maintenance, choose comfortable seating, and small tables at the chairs for easy outdoor dining, and......
.
Past my 20's I cannot look at garden pics without the brain overlay.  Better, it's not personal, the ideas are all historic, done for centuries.
.
How many other ways to historically change this sweet garden, above?
.
Many.
.
This is my idea for a garden show, have 10 entries do the same project.  Would be happy to do all 10 myself.  That would be fun, challenging myself, making each one sublime.  But I would still want to see how 10 other people would do it.  Am selfish that way, always wanting to see more, learn more.  Always.
.
How would you change this garden, above?
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Pic from here.  I have a Pinterest board, Changes, filled with good gardens I would like to tweak.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Curated Not Collected

Sourcing focal points/pots/furnishings for your garden, before any item comes home, ask yourself, "Is this piece so wonderful it will be fought over at my estate sale?"
.
Paying attention to the best gardens several observations resonate.  Alas, the most important, don't.
.
The best landscapes have multiple narratives of curating.
.
Lack of curating creates a common theme amongst new landscapes, hodge-podge-lodge.

Moving from my 30 year cottage garden into a historic American Farmhouse taught me more about curating.  Several layers of curating are site specific, other layers travel well.  Wish I had known this before moving.  2 massive truckloads to Goodwill later, I've earned a new expertise.
.
Last weekend I was able to further curate garden accessories on their 12+ pallets.   
.
Head Collection, below, made the transition, along with terra cotta.  Still looking for St. Francis' head, he started the collection.



Clusters of vintage watering cans, below, made the narrative move.  Hopefully the huge chandelier, below, will find the perfect arbor or oak/pecan tree branch.
 

Cat collection, below, made the move.  Laura, below, was conceived/born in my Cottage Garden. and loves the move.  Enjoy watching her create routines. 


Next best focal point rule, after the one at top, one focal point per area.
.
How do the heads & cats fit into 'one focal point per area' ?
.
Subsidiary focal points.  Not main focal points they are tucked within foliage, only seen by the observant.  
.
How many people toured my small Cottage Garden & never saw the head/cat collections?  Many.
.
Those narratives, curated.
.
Collections can overwhelm, if you are there, with too much stuff, lucky you, a new brainwave, curate.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics taken this weekend.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Small Garden Landscapes: 2 Opposing Views.

In France I learned to Sky Scape, which is landscaping with trees.  Until then I had never considered landscaping the sky.  Small gardens, especially, respond to landscaping the sky.  Which is why my tiny cottage garden lived BIG.
.
More, I use trees with contrasting foliage textures, and seasonal blooms/berries/fall color too.
.
Spring, below, Sky Scape in my cottage garden, Chinese snowball & Kwanzan cherry.
.


Last weekend I was keynote speaker at the Clayton County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers 10th Annual Symposium.  My topic, The Garden View.  Another speaker's topic, Gardening in Small Spaces.
.
My lecture included bits about small space gardening too, since I had 3 decades in a small garden.
.
Amazingly, their small space gardening & my small space gardening were 180 degrees from each other.  Their view looked down at the small garden, literally, below.  Which I enjoyed, seeing the various small plant combinations.

color - Click image to find more hot Pinterest pins....put pots in front flower bed by strawberries...great idea!
Pic, above, from Better Homes & Gardens.

Top/bottom pics are my view of small space gardens, looking up, into trees & sky.



Though small, my cottage garden, with Sky Scaping managed the cluster home subdivision beautifully.  Both top/bottom pics were shot in my front yard, at least a dozen houses encroaching.
.
Not in my realm.
.
Obviously, the sky view, and the view looking down are both important.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Amazing venue.  More amazing was the finished product of the symposium.  Catered lunch, folder with handouts and vendor discounts, vendor booths, raffle drawings, snacks, extra drinks, excellent audio/visual help, etc.  Thank you Clayton County Master Gardeners for making my job easy.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Focal Point: Design Both Ends

If you are looking at a beautiful focal point (bench, urn, front door, &tc), you must be able to be at that focal point, turn, look opposite, and have a beautiful view.
.
This front porch, below, intriguing on its own, owns a great view in the opposite direction.
.
Detail.

An allee, below, of conifers.  Pruned into an arching view.

6 The Firs, ca. 1900, Library of Congress

From the street view, below, the same conifers retain their full exterior silhouette, with no hint of the surprise allee within.

3 The Firs, ca. 1900, Library of Congress

And, the gap in the hedge, above, is permission and invitation to enter.
.
Big impact plantings, balancing scale to the house, and a welcome.  More importantly, low maintenance, drought tolerant and deer resistant.
.
Ca. 1900, these pics, from Enclosure Take Refuge, who found them from,  *Photos by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, made me smile at recreating, their garden design.  My previous garden had the exact hedge, except it was cleyera punctuated with tea olive.  They were 'plant of the week' at $1.97 from my local family owned nursery.  My hunt was for evergreen, full sun, size.
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Adore those front steps, adore.  Though totally not to code in our era.  And the darkly stained wood.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Copy a Large Landscape into Your Small Space

Great example of historic/classic garden design in modernist disguise, below.

nelson byrd woltz landscape architects / hudson highland cottage, new york:

Don't have a rural property?  Your home is a classic 60's ranch in a sea of other 60's ranches?  Yes, you can have this landscape in your front yard.
.
How?  What exchanges to make?
.
The meadow/woodland, above, are the street & neighbors homes, so, block that view, keeping the rest of this incredible landscape design.  Behind the stone/cement walls, plant an evergreen hedge.   Choose for zone, height, drought tolerance, resistance to insects/disease, and deer.
.
This landscape, above, is pure jewelry for a 60's ranch house in comparison to their builder installed  ubiquitous foundation plantings long ago pruned into green meat balls & meat loafs.  
.
More, depending on the size of your site, this design, above, has plenty of room for a golf cart to zip around.
.
Most odd, copying this landscape design, above, into a 60's ranch front yard provides the same elements of space, calm, and beauty as in the larger setting, above.  Promise.  It's one of those odd things you learn after decades of designing gardens.  The sky provides different types of magic, and confers 'size' to small spaces.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pic from Gardenista.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Happens When 2 Queens Take on Pot

After Scotland, weeks of studying historic gardens, I came home the Queen of Pots.
.
Years later, I encountered another Queen of Pots, Deborah Silver, below.
.
She put me into a new chapter.

container-detail.jpg

Deborah's take on pots made me realize, "Perhaps I've been harming myself, by only doing 'my' Queens Pots."  Harm?  Embracing the seasons, in honor & thanks.  Enjoying hunting/gathering, assembling.

holiday-containers.jpg

winter-container-arrangement.jpg

red-bud-pussy-willow.jpg

straight-and-curly-copper-willow.jpg

copper-curly-willow.jpg


winter-container-arrangement.jpg






My Queen's Pot, above, so wonderful it can be empty. or planted.
.
Deborah took my theme, and didn't 'plant' in the traditional sense.  She creates exterior floral arrangements withstanding 'weather', for months.  Seeing her pots, why-didn't-I-think-of-that?
.
Bottom line?  Choose pots so wonderful they can remain empty all year, AND you have a choice of adding an exterior floral arrangement.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Bottom pic from my garden, top pics from Deborah's recent post.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Creating the Perfect Front Door

Had a pair of platform cross strap sandals the same yellow, below, in high school, called them my 'school bus' shoes.
.
Of course I clicked on the picture, for the yellow, then was delighted further.
.
Length of the steps is gracious plenty, much too rare, and the real winner, placement of the urns.
.
100% outside the door zone, no crowding, making the entry appear smaller.  The urns color, height & width, perfect.  More, they could be empty and still fabulous.  Better, notice the lack of foundation planting?  Swoon.
.
Interior of this home, speaking from the curb.



Simple is hard.
.
I spend a lot of time in my car going to jobsites, my little van is too noisy to hear when talking on the phone, so, it's the stereo.  Full spectrum, Mozart, Cole Porter, Edith Piaf, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, The Cars, U2, you get the idea.  A lyric that goes deep, each time heard, Zac Brown's, "I've got everything I need, and nothing that I don't."
.
Simple is hard, and that line should be the basis of a hymn.  A song of praise & thanks, sometimes a quest.
.
It describes this front door, above, and garden.  Perhaps it should be a last question, designing your garden, "Does it have everything it needs, and nothing it doesn't?"  My last question, for years, designing a garden, when done, "What can I take away & it still holds together?"
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO T
.
Pic via Content in a Cottage.
.
I always pack lunch for the car, today, waiting to be grabbed when I leave, by the front door on the table, peanut butter sandwich, raisins, apple, banana.  Have you read, Pillars of the Earth?  They were always packing lunch, bread/cheese/ale.  Can you imagine a crusty sourdough homemade bread, cheese from your own cow, who only eats from the pasture, and local brew ale?  Don't want the ale for lunch but the comparison always draws a smirk from me when packing my own bland road trip work lunches.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Flying Buttress in the Landscape

At first meeting, enchanted.  Understood, "You're a flying buttress."
.
Frame your home, the garden, create rooms, mystery, with little effort.   Little input, big impact, what's not to like?
.
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris has fly buttresses, shouldn't your home?
.  
Not a Garden Whisperer?  Don't see, below, a flying buttress?
.
It's the evergreen hedge, scalloped higher at its end.
.
P1030912

Same flying buttress, below, inside view, vanishing threshold.

P1030922

Another layer of interest, and function, below, in the garden.
 
P1030919

Another 'ideal' to achieve, above,  See it without me mentioning it?
.
Garden only.  No 'stuff'.  Ubiquitous USA plastic hose carriage on wheels tethered to a faucet, blessedly absent.  Common USA resin sign, "Welcome", blessedly absent.  Fluttering nylon flag in garish colors "Seasons Greetings".....
.
Arcadia created.  And, lived.  No signs, flags, intentions.  Intellect engaged, action steps taken, lives well lived amongst chaos given to all.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pics from Pentreath-Hall.
.
This is a Voysey house.  Discovered Voysey by accident, researching an old hall tree I bought in the mid-80's.  It's a Voysey ! Second antique I ever purchased, go me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Boxwood Fungus: We No Longer Design/Plant Boxwoods

Gardening is a safe lover to give your heart to.  She asks for everything you've got, in the wildest seduction.  Layers of intellect, strength, spirit, & more, you give.  Garden gives back, wildly, beyond measure.  A dirty lover, Garden dresses you in her garb, soil, foundation of life.  Bathing Her off, is privilege.
.
Like cows in Pasture, Nature smiles at us on her Pasture.  We plant into Garden, we gussie her up with paths, houses, pots, benches, arbors, lighting, yet nothing compared to Garden's creations.  Think Grand Tetons, for starters.
.
Fortunate souls tap into Garden's love, gaining insight, energy, answers, ideas, calm, the list is long.   Alexander Pope, ca. 1625, said it best, "God Almighty first planted a Garden."  We should do less?
.
Susanne Hudson, her garden, below, called a few days ago, her boxwoods, over 300+ so far, dead/removed, due to the boxwood fungus.  Sharing her story, the facts of infection to death/removal, a timeline of many weeks.
.
A few questions, then I said, "They are your sanity", "I know", she said.  Susanne is a matriarch, easily giving of her time/talents/grace to elderly parents, siblings, children & grandchildren, even her town.  Watering her boxwood, tapping into her relationship with Garden, has been the nurturing of sanity, calm, taking life's yoke with Garden, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light".     



Pic, above, by Tara Dillard, Susanne Hudson's garden, here.

Madison Cox Design:

Pic, above, Madison Cox Design, here.

Little House - Barnsley, Cotswolds; I love my little English cottages!:

Pic, above, Pinterest, here.
.
I will not design or install boxwoods for clients until there is a cure found for boxwood fungus.
.
No garden exists at our ca. 1900 American farmhouse.  Beloved & I have heated discussions about every Garden choice, except one, from the first, we knew 4 huge boxwoods would be bought from our supplier in North Carolina, and planted at the front porch.  No expense spared.  And, the only purchase at our new home with, "No expense spared", as an expectation.
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara