Showing posts with label Edwardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edwardian. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Copy from those at the Peak of their Game

You do a thing in the garden with your full IQ, passion, energy, wallet, time.  Influenced by era.

At my front door, above, if you know the 80's, you're seeing Horticulture magazine, covers of Smith & Hawken catalog, and articles, pages long, from House & Garden magazine.
So, where do you think I'm going with this?
That trinity of resources, above, was from the best brains at the peak of their game.
  Drenched in the poverty cycle of the Great Depression & rusticities of turn-of-the-century Lutyens/Jekyll with generous splashes remaining of the Belle Epoque.
So, when asked what plant should go in a certain spot or what is wrong with their lawn.  I pause, long.
Themistocles comes to mind, " "I cannot fiddle, but I can make a great state from a little city."
So, when I'm told, "I want a garden but I don't have a lot of money."
Winston Churchill comes to mind, "....when he was asked to cut arts funding in favor of the war effort, he simply replied, "Then what are we fighting for?"
The best thing I've ever done in my life was to say, Yes, when my soul told me to have a garden. 
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
If you want a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, and causes you to tap the brake pedal, as you look in the rear view mirror heading out, become my client, local or on-line.
Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Doorstep Gardening

A bit of vine & gravel to the house.

Repeated across continents for centuries.
Affordable to install, inexpensive to maintain.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Pic via A Bloomsbury Life.  After years of lust for gravel & vine I did it for myself.  Still curious why I waited so long.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Edwardian Simplicity

Pecan Orchard needs a gate. A simple gate.Visiting an English country house & garden I fell in love with this gate.
Simple, but not.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
This gate starts a conversation, Pecan Orchard needs a taller/wider gate. The garden, above, typically English, a wildwood beyond a gate luring you away from the formal garden. Wondering, finally, if you'll find Sirens, Nyads, Dryads, Satyres.... The last 2 sentences summing up the best of Landscape Design !

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Depth in Simplicity

Simplicity. Flat wall softened into 3-D with: light fixture, bell, foliage, arbor. Kinetics of bell, gate, foliage, light, invitation for eye & foot. Repetition of color. Just inside the gate, below.
Piquant surpise, below, look closely, an outdoor shower.

Not far away, below, more depth in simplicity with stones in the wall.

Surprise, a second gate, below.
A curve, using iron instead of brick & wood amplifying depth in simplicity.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Pics taken in Athens, GA last month. Same Italianate garden as previous posts. Begun in the 70's this garden is still evolving, enjoy walking thru it. A landscape design class could be taught here.
Notice the diminutive light fixtures? Perfection. Leaving intact a design feature of th Edwardians.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Gertrude Jekyll, Englishwoman & world's 1st landscape designer, said, When I design a landscape the first thing I consider is what to put on the house. Fascinating. College degree, uncountable lectures attended and not one person ever, ever, mentioned what to put on a house. I design with vines and espaliered woody shrubs on homes.

You can vaguely see the wires on the house, below. Vines with outward growth add a dimension of lushness & softness.
In winter, the wires are barely visible. Entirely cloaked in summer.

Run galvanized wire in horizontal lines 2' apart.
I use masonry screws for brick walls & a jackhammer drill. Copper wire doesn't carry the load of galvanized wire.
Woody shrubs espaliered against a home need no wires or trellising. Use espaliered shrubs for low maintenance.
I took the pics last month in England at Wisley, Royal Hort. Society.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Waking at 2am last night I dwelled upon this man. His PLINTH entertained me. He's Edwardian, placed in an English Park surrounded by homes older than he is. Pedastals and bases are plinths. Made of stacked bricks, limestone, marble, &tc.
Questions about this plinth:
* Did the sculptor choose it?
* Did a committee choose it?
* How was its height, length, width decided upon?
* Who chose the material and why?
* Who placed the plinth/statue within the park?
* How was the location on the plinth chosen to place the statue's foot?
* Who decided which direction to face the statue?

What I do know:
* The sculptor lived in a house facing the park.
* The sculptor is famous (sorry, didn't get pic of the plaque).
* The sculptor left the statue, in his will, to the park.

What I want to know:
* Which house the sculptor lived in.
* Where was the statue placed at his home?
* What type of plinth was it on?
* Is this the original plinth?
* Did the sculptor leave precise directions for placing the statue, plinth in his will?

What I fantasized about this man:
* He was given to me.
* Placing him in my landscape.
* Cutting plinth lower to properly scale it for my tiny garden.
* Getting rid of his plinth and putting his lovely foot on a local granite boulder.
* He looked great in front of the bay window.
* He looked great in the hedge in my backyard on axis with summerhouse.
* He looked great on axis from my office window.
* Fell asleep before I placed him.

Lovely thoughts of a man's PLINTH.
Ha, what do you think about at 2am?
Took the pic last month in England.
Garden & Be Well, XO T

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I've seen these steps across Europe. If they're good in someone else's landscape they'll be good in yours. Lutyens did them many times. A bit art deco?
Simple, a 5 bar gate. The Edwardian house understated but grand. Choosing simple wasn't due to low funds but good landscape design. Contrasting formal elements with the informal adds drama. A formal gate, easily afforded, would have ruined the effect of venturing into the Wild Wood. A pleasure garden. Their name before tv, internet, phone........

A stone step without mortar. Flagstone pavers and stone risers. They won't move dug into a gentle slope. The stone wall is drystack, no mortar. Contractors easily oversell this situation with mortar.

Garden & Be Well XXOO T


After lecturing last week in England it was off for the backroads, hedgerows, B&Bs, tiny villages and gardens. I was in the Midlands/Cotswolds/London areas. The garden above is Edwardian. I lust after these landscapes. This is a side view of the home, now a Trust Property. Notice the expert use of espaliered plants. A winter garden and gorgeous. The dormant plants provide summer's glory. The bench is a destination. The round gutter contrasts the many squares. Gravel crunches underfoot. A romantic, functional landscape.