Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Friday, December 6, 2013

Want Elegance? Espalier

No room for 'lawn'?  Little space to landscape?

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Go vertical.
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Woody shrubs with medium or slow growth are best.  No wires or trellis needed.
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Merely espalier.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Please add ESPALIER to your quiver of garden tools.
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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.
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Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
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Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon.
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pic via Tumblr

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Abolish Your Foundation Plantings


What to do when your foundation has plastic coverings at the windows to your basement?  
 With this eyesore, abolish your foundation plantings.  1st, maximize the plastic coverings in function/aesthetics, 2nd, can they be glass?  If they can be glass, determine to find the glass for free.
When I received the question, yesterday morning, I immediately thought of this garden, above.  No foundation plantings but lots of  LUSH.
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And this garden has the charming table/chairs.
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Proof of the landscape design rule: place a focal point near an eyesore to draw the eye away.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Took the pics in England, admired it's beauty & economy of maintenance needed AND usage.  Not a garden only to be pretty, a garden to be enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gertrude Jekyll: Munstead Wood

Christopher Lloyd said, "The garden dies when the gardener dies." Gertrude Jekyll's beloved home, Munstead Wood, above.
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Technically correct, but dead.
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I see a garden needing its mistress. Missing her. Aching for her.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic above, Charlotte Wehychan.
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I also see maximum pollinator habitat: canopy/understory trees, walls, groundcovers, high density, low density. When Jekyll designed landscapes was she aware of her interface with pollinator habitat?

Monday, April 4, 2011

David Austin Roses Follows This Rule

Visiting David Austin Roses in England is more than roses. It's good Landscape Design. Fabulous focal points. And worth the effort.My rule for focal points, just-let-it-touch, above.

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Cheap focal points aka terrible-bad-disgusting look best at the dump, or at least engulfed in a vine.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took the pic, 1 of 100's, at David Austin Roses in England. Was there at peak rose season.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How To Place Beautiful Things

My beautiful pot on plinth, below, placed on axis with the middle window pane of my bay window at the drawing room. Thus sited, it's part of my drawing room. Not separate.How to place, below, a beautiful summer house?
On axis with a main pair of windows from the home, of course !
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Oops. No pic of the view seen while in the summerhouse above. Ha, must get back to the Cotswolds for it.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Top pic in my sweet garden, in the Bay Terrace, aka front yard. I took the bottom pic in the Cotswolds at Sir Hardy Amies garden.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Landscape Design Perfection: Sir Hardy Amies

I took this pic in the Cotswolds in Sir Hardy Amies garden.A complete landscape design course, in one picture.
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Looks easy, can you do it?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Money is not a criteria. Rescued plants, rescued hardscape & etc..... Yes, you can do this.

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.
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Simple, but not.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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 !

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sir Hardy Amies, Constance Spry, David Hicks

Constance Spry, below, of floral fame. A nice article about her in yesterday's NYTimes.With her, ca. 1960, Sir Hardy Amies.
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A decade (longer?) ago I visited a fabulous (you know, like, cool, shazam, wow, the best EVER) teeny garden in the Cotswolds; its owner absent. Leaving, my guide said, "The owner is couturier to the Queen." Yeah, whatever, I'm an American & you think I'll fall for anything.
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I bought, David Hicks, My Kind Of Garden, Edited by Ashley Hicks, last year, it includes Sir Hardy Amies garden. Bingo, my beloved little garden.
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In the pic, above, it lists Sir Hardy Amies as, "...the clothing designer..."
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When I can sweet-talk my way into using a SLIDE PROJECTOR in this dreadful PowerPoint era it's pure selfishness to see my dear, darling, perfect gardens in rich, soul satisfying colors. Sir Hardy Amies garden tops the list, of course there is Helen Dillon's garden too, and.....
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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My dream PowerPoint presentation? 4 machines, facing the 4 compass points, in a huge auditorium. You'll be sitting amongst the garden: looking forward-backward-left-right. Poppets, how many gardens do you think can be shown this way? It's exactly how I design gardens, every direction beautiful. Those preaching: sustainable, eco, green, organic, pollinator & etc.... set a very low bar and harm PUPPET BARBUDA'S beloved Landscape Design profession. Gardens must be all of these things and a Vanishing Threshold with the interiors of your home, and, low maintenance. Anything less than epiphanical and the giver of grace, well, Puppet Barbuda is sad for those 'poor unfortunate souls' living with such a landscape.
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Indeed, I asked my lecture venue in St. Louis, MO next year for 4 PowerPoint projectors, he laughed!!!!
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Pic taken from the NYTimes article.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beatrix Potter's Beehive

Sharon Lovejoy visited Beatrix Potter's home recently, below.Poppets, look at that darling BEEHIVE !!!!!!!!!!!
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Exactly what I need for my tiny property. Exactly. This feels good, already, in anticipation. If I can't find it to buy I'll use the pic & my carpenter will make it.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Never heard of Sharon Lovejoy? Gardener, writer, artist & more wondrous things.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sacred & Profane of the Best Landscapes

The best landscapes have elements, below, of the Sacred
and elements, below, of the Profane.

Landscape design is about contrasts.
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The Sacred & the Profane. Got both?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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(Big leaves with small leaves, blue foliage next to burgundy foliage, pyramid forms next to horizontal forms, blowsy hydrangeas bursting over neat green hedging, spikey flowers by round flowers, & etc.)
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Top pic taken last week at Stone Mountain Park, bottom pic England.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Landscape Design

Think this is unkempt? A landscape design, above, an illusion of country. Nature. Not one leaf is unconsidered. The dirt path? Part of the landscape design.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Took pic in England.
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Living with a manicured lawn yet love the garden above? Yes? Life is too short not to have a garden nurturing your spirit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Foundation Plantings are Ridiculous

Why a stupid row of evergreen meatballs when you, below, can have this? Why give away your real estate? Foundation plantings are a tired concept.
One espaliered shrub adds a lushness legions of sheared green meatballs will never approach.
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In your mind, at this moment, take away your foundation plantings. Good, have fun destroying a landscape and creating your garden. One matching your interiors, architecture, intellect & spirit.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken when I was in England. Got rid of my foundation plantings over 15 years ago, la-ti-da.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BOOKS by BEVERLEY NICHOLS

Beverley Nichols, Englishman, lover of gardening, junk, antiques, cats, history, books, domestic help, his friends, the stage, music, entertaining, reading, & an author. Do you know of him?
Mary Kistner, a mentor, gave me 1 of his books circa 1999. Bought 2 more at that time.

Have reread each several times. This year is a SIGNIFICANT birthday.

Bought myself, so far, stone cat for the Bay Terrace, 3 antique blue/white jardinier's while lecturing in Richmond, VA, and this morning, 12 books by Beverley Nichols. Dahlings, ya'll are expensive, had to buy them, getting the cheapest used versions, before telling you about them.
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Of his friend, Marius, "In the dusky glass of a rococo mirror he could see the shadow of ancient battles; he could trace the beginning of a nation's decadence in the scroll of a picture frame, and find the outlines of a philosophy in the border of an aubusson carpet." And on the next page he writes of George Washington & General Lafayette wallpapering together at Mount Vernon.
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Which, of course, reminded me about John Adams & Thomas Jefferson touring gardens in England for a fortnight, with only their manservants.
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Didn't know these important TRUE details about America's founding fathers?
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Oops, apologies, off topic. Buy any, or all, books by Beverley Nichols. Ha, remember, I snagged the cheapest copies off Amazon moments ago.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Amazon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

FORMAL + PSO

Deep winter dormant, I still know what this garden looks like. And why it works.
Formal hardscape: hedges & lines contrasted with chaos of plantings + informal tree trunks.
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Italians have cone shaped shrubs, with scruffy PSO's, behind evergreen hedges. (My favorite!)
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French gardens are quite rigid with evergreen hedging enclosing, oh let's say, tulips.
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Ah, the English. Evergreen hedges exploding with herbaceous borders & flowering shrubs.
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Take this style, evergreen hedge +lines + backfill plantings. Make it your own.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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PSO? Plant Shape Only!! Yes, more pics I took recently at Wing Haven.
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My garden began as mostly English. Now, it's Italian + English.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ROUNDABOUTS HERE & THERE

Roundabouts, below, get you around a garden.
Roundabouts are a fabulous landscape design tool. Use where 2, or more, paths intersect.


This woman, above, was beyond ready to take her frontyard in hand. Corner lot, too big, unattractive, way too much mowing, little property value, and most importantly, it did not make her happy. (Ha, beware the woman not happy with something.)



Grass was reduced, paths with roundabout designed, groundcovers, evergreen shrubs, & understory trees to survive drought/flood & aging in place. Aging in place? Want to be 88 with weekly garden chores? Ha, didn't think so. It's designing for unskilled labor, tough plants, and timeless beauty on axis from window views.

From the house, above, a stone roundabout anchors the view. Evergreen hollies anchor the entry path, variegated sweetflag (groundcover) surround the roundabout.
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Designed in the grand tradition with a low maintenance theme. Not completed, above, and already showing promise. And her? She's HAPPY.
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Small roundabout, above. Notice something important about the pot, above? It doesn't HAVE to be planted.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics of completed roundabouts I took last January in the botanical garden in Birmingham, England. My client sent the pics of her roundabout.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THE SECRET OF FABULOUS LANDSCAPES

Entering Great Dixter, below, the household drive. Tires crunching along the gravel, scent of meadow.

Passing thru the yew hedge into this, above.

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See the landscape design secret?

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No?

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Back your car down the drive, park it on the road, get out, walk up the gravel drive, slowly, and thru the yew hedge.

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Notice the contrast of meadow to clipped lawn? Formal to informal?

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Ha, the secret tool of the worlds most famous landscapes is

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CONTRASTING FORMAL & INFORMAL GARDEN ROOMS.

Did you think this gravel drive & meadow were 'natural'? Ha, not one inch of this drive or meadow were unconsidered. TOTALLY DESIGNED.
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TARA TURF was born in this meadow over a decade ago. And the epiphany of what the best landscapes create, FORMAL GARDEN ROOMS NEXT TO INFORMAL GARDEN ROOMS.
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CONTRAST.
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Yes, contrast flower shapes/colors, tree forms, foliage colors/shapes & etc. Knowing, contrasting FORMAL/INFORMAL is the most important.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Lucky me, taking the pics at Great Dixter while Christopher Lloyd was alive. Note: In another area of Great Dixter meadow is designed up to, and touching, the house. Ha, remember the Tara Rule of Just Let It Touch?
Oh, meadows have been sustainable-organic-eco-low maintenance-beautiful since before language was invented.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

TRAILING DRESS, GARDEN, HOWARD'S END

"Why did we settle that their house would be all gables and wiggles, and their garden all gamboge-colored paths?" Won't tell you what 'gamboge' is. Why take away a pleasure? A great day when a dictionary is needed. "Trail, trail, went her long dress over the sopping grass, and she came back with her hands full of the hay that was cut yesterday..." Mrs. Wilcox walking in her garden peering into her house, Howard's End. This scene from Howard's End so enchanted me I had to buy the book. Not imagined by the movie director, I discovered, but written into the story.
You must understand, walking about my garden, and peering into my house, calms & fills me with energy. A private, sublime, pleasure. Why would I share it with anyone, these thoughts? Then discovering my private joy was written about by E.M.Forster in 1910.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics via Hooked on Houses from the movie, Howard's End

Friday, November 6, 2009

THE SECRET OF GARDEN ENTRIES & HALLWAYS

Did you know, the more entries a garden has the better a garden is? Why?
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Garden Entries are focal points drawing the eye, foot, imagination. Leading to foyers, hallways & living rooms. If you can do it inside, dahlings, you can do it outside.
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Above, Garden Entry with tiny landing leading directly into a hallway. See it? Can you label each section? Spread it farther. See the walls? See the ceiling?
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Creating a garden is no more than creating outdoor rooms.
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My favorite garden hallway is above. I took the pic in the Cotswolds. Don't you want to see where the hallway leads?
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How important are Garden Entries & Garden Hallways????????? Today, I'm off to finish a landscape design for a garden full of living rooms. I will add Entries & Hallways connecting them. La-Ti-Da. One of my favorite things to do.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Friday, October 30, 2009

LIVING AS STILL LIFE

Setting your tools down, do they look this good? I saw the gardener, as he was working, set these down as I was meandering Great Dixter in England.
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EPIPHANY.
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My gardening, without effort, should look like a still life. Just like Great Dixter.
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Now, mostly, it does.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

KISS: Keep It Simple Sweetie

How little can you do in your landscape and have it evoke in picaresque who you are? Splendiferous you.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Thank you Krystol for this pic