Showing posts with label Focal Point. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Focal Point. Show all posts

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Best Garden Design Ideas

The best garden design ideas are simple.  And have been done for thousands of years.
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No worries, ever, about copying them.
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Each site is unique.
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Any garden design idea you choose to copy will be original and fresh in your garden.
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Focal point on axis with backdrop, below.
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With greater surprise as the garden is walked, there are more axis on this focal point, below.



Same table, above/below, as yesterday's post.
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Except shot from different axis.



Backdrop hedges are as important as the focal point and axis.
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Without the backdrop hedges you would see a mash-up of other garden rooms.
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Gardens must have mystery.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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I didn't want to copy pretty gardens when I got out of college.  I wanted to be unique.  Those unique efforts created cringe worthy gardens.  Aside from ugly, they cost money, and the worst loss, TIME.  No one can buy more time.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Garden Design Ideas: Double Axis

Garden Design is almost a features game.  A template of features show up in every good garden for over 10,000 years.  Literally.
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Focal point on axis, below.



Focal point on axis, below.


When the same focal point is viewed in 2 axis you have a Double Axis.
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You must have Double Axis with your Garden Design.
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At a minimum.
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But don't stop there.  Sissinghurst Castle has a male nude statue on axis from 5 main views.
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Do the math, that's 10 axis views.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Slow down, go back to the 10,000 year remark.  Why did I put it in?
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A little point made, you will not recreate the wheel.  Instead drive the known wheel, make it travel where you want.  That, alone, is enough to keep you occupied for a lifetime.  
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I shot the pics last month.  

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Warning: Strawberry House

Viewed from the front of the house, below, the Strawberry House sits calmly at the side of his antebellum home.


Viewed from the back of his antebellum home, below.




When told it is his 'Strawberry House' the game changed.
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My life must include being able to say, "Let's walk to the Strawberry House."
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Until yesterday I was clueless about the lack of a Strawberry House in my garden & vocabulary.
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Adore anyone forcing me to up my game.  
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These are the moments keeping me in gardens across the globe.  
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The hunt. For delight.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics taken yesterday in the same garden as previous post.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.


Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Ways to Get Subsidiary Focal Points Right

Not a focal point, below, but a grand subsidiary focal point.
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Garden Design Rule: One Focal Point per Area.
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Not my rule, but agreed to.
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What to do?  Invent another rule.
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Focal Points are allowed subsidiary focal points nearby if they recede, touch foliage, don't draw attention.   Can be numerous if properly chosen & sited.
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Focal Points & Subsidiary Focal Points must both be so wonderful they will be fought over at your estate sale.


Pots must be so wonderful they can remain empty.  This young man, above, has dead plantings and he's fabulous.
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More, he flows with the style of the home's interior.
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Dogs, 3 young children, parents each own a business, they have farm property nearby, and a lake house.
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Get the picture?  Zero time for the garden.

Designing for women 80+, taught me how to truly design with tough love.  A huge honor, and weight.  They demand beauty, must have unskilled labor to maintain & little of it, something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, focal points on axis from inside views into the garden.  Nothing can go wrong with the garden.  Nothing.  Health issues arise, the house needs a new roof, a toilet floods.  If the garden has issues, they may decide to move.  It is my goal, their garden gives strength & joy to carry on in their home.  
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic this week in a client garden.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Garden Design Rule for Eyesores & Terrible Garden Gifts


This client was not home at the start of my work.
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I lasted an hour before I HAD to Move-The-Duck.
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Wish they had hired me before the new concrete walkway, and electrical outlet.
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Not much to do, if the dressed duck must stay.  Did you know there is a Garden Design Rule for this situation?  If you have an eyesore, place a focal point nearby.
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Doubt my professor imagined this dressed duck as a focal point.
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However, when children, grandchildren, or the toughest, a bit too prickly daughter-in-law are involved, the fill-in-the-blank must be 'displayed'.


Now, the dressed duck is drawing the eye away from the electrical box and providing welcome at the steps.
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A mentor said, "It's what we do with what we have."
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This garden has a child.  The duck will happily stay as long as the dressed duck magic is needed for her.
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The prickly daughter-in-law?  Easy, use her gift prominently in the garden for a few months then it has an 'accident'.  Tree limb, wind, ice, when it is safely taken to the thrift store.  In one garden the offensive item, a resin dollar store birdbath, could not be easily 'lost', that daughter-in-law had prickles of toxic steel.  The birdbath was horrendous.  Epiphany !  I designed a creeping fig at the base to engulf the offensive birdbath turning it into something lovely.
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Knocking at a friend's door for a lunch date I locked eyes on her new wind chime, melted glass beer bottles hanging from fishing line on a bit of tree root, then her.  She merely said, "My step-daughter."  I replied, "It fell and broke into shards."  Now you know the story of that thrift store item.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite this spring.  In the South terrible garden gifts are received with a smiling exclamation, "You shouldn't have, bless your heart."

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elements of Simplicity in Garden Design


Plain?  No, totally designed.
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 Embellishment?  Why?  What is that about?  Lack of confidence, knowledge of the wrong sort, arrogance against Providence?

 Tara Turf.  Gravel from the local river.
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Century old bricks made in Milledgeville, GA, an hour's drive.
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I designed the buttress copying an antebellum cotton warehouse seen near Atlanta.
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The walled garden was the client's idea.  
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It was my good fortune to design & site it.
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Oddly, with total confidence.
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Whence does that come?  Truly, a subdivision child ca. 1960, living in a subdivision still.
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Degreed in USA horticulture, not taught how to  design a good garden to save anyone's soul.  Much less my own.
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Off I went, $20 bills stuffed singly & slowly, somehow paying for 2+ decades of studying the best historic gardens across Europe.
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With this project, 300 acres, I learned what the real focus of those decades had been. 


Garden design working with land & home.
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More, mind/body/spirit.
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Land & home, team members with the garden design.  Literally, the best performers with the most talent.
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That college degree in horticulture?  Training to work against the land, ignore every gift of Providence.


Doubt any of my college professors could give a concise sentence about the style of Henry Repton.  In, "Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Repton wrote:
“The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the four following requisites. First, it must display the natural beauties and hide the defects of every situation. Secondly, it should give the appearance of extent and freedom by carefully disguising or hiding the boundary. Thirdly, it must studiously conceal every interference of art. However expensive by which the natural scenery is improved; making the whole appear the production of nature only; and fourthly, all objects of mere convenience or comfort, if incapable of being made ornamental, or of becoming proper parts of the general scenery, must be removed or concealed”.
The garden views, above/below, totally designed.  Providence reigns, human arrogance replaced with a pride in unveiling Nature's gifts.


Henry would know this garden.
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Beyond the Tara Turf, above, is my best design work.  Views across a Natural pasture into woodland.  .
Curiously, this type of gardening is perfect for the starter home on a postage stamp with little budget.  Instead, that type of home is built with an expensive landscape.  Lawn with mowing/chemicals/fertilizers, bushes needing regular pruning & mulching, nothing to shade the house reducing hvac, nor fruit trees to feed the household, certainly not any focal points on axis with the house to feed the spirit.
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Truth, with your full intellect, if you demand more from your landscape you will have it.
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By the time anyone hires me, that choice has been made.  Incredible to work for people who have engaged with their own lives.  Same, when I lecture.  Every chair filled with people who have engaged with their life.  They aren't there for me, nor am I, we are there for the same reason as Henry.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at a jobsite earlier this year.
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The capitalized words? Used in the vintage sense.  Underlined sentence at the top?  Describing myself on the front end.  This has not been a boring ride !
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Three Best Mistakes to Make in Your Landscape

Choose to make garden mistakes on the side of too simple, too little, too plain.
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Better to want more later than dig-up, move plantings, replace a now-thought-cheap/tacky-bench, regret the shape-style-color-of.....
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Long term, cute in a garden grates.  Whimsy is better.
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Be wary of 'words' in a garden.  They hold thoughts hostage that should flow randomly, Cole Porter's, Don't Fence Me In.
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Of course there are exceptions to all of the above.  Indeed.


This morning, above/below, Tomato & Hydrangea.  Perfect name for a spiked tea & scones cafe.


Feeding cats & chickens, assessing what the night wrought & will it rain today.


Tomato still in its peat pot with cellophane wrap & tags.  Awaiting a much larger pot & bamboo cane trellis.  Perhaps this weekend?  Hydrangea blossoms hanging lower, petal margins crispier, will I cut to dry or leave to enjoy from the windows?


Calm.  Boring is good.  Idle chit-chat in the head.
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Something new to learn about Social Media.  Facebook cannot control pictures during war.  Images seen cannot be unseen, merely absorbed into a safe, prayerful, place.
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Again, my Garden working for me.
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Have you watched the award winning foreign film, Burnt by the Sun ?    "The film depicts the story of a senior Red Army officer and his family during the Great Purge of the late 1930s in the Stalinist Soviet Union. Like a tragedy bySophoclesBurnt by the Sun takes place over the course of one day."  Wikipedia
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Oddly, it's beautiful. 
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Glad it taught my heart to assimilate what I saw yesterday within mundane ubiquity of beauty in a tomato & hydrangea.  The gift of choices, health to act upon them, perhaps a dinner party in late summer honoring the last of the tomatoes.  With dried hydrangeas in a vase.
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This is freedom.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden this morning.
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2nd Best Design Rule for a Focal Point in the Garden

  Their French architecture manor house is in a subdivision with ubiquitous, and aging, landscaping.
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Fabulous timing for me to design.
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Hidden in the small backyard, below.
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Lucky me, able to work with this piece.  Now, their subdivision foundation plantings are a garden & this bench is between a pair of large windows with an espalier Sasanqua behind it.
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Don't need to know a thing about gardens to know this bench, above, trumps leggy green builder's meatballs.
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Then the story.
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She told me how decrepit the bench is and I could have it.  My hunger to create beautiful gardens is obviously the greater ego over owning this bench.
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No hesitation, telling her, "I would love the have the bench but will love it more in your garden to make me look good as a Garden Designer."
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And, I know she'll fall in love with the bench in its new location.


Then, the story of provenance.
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An estate sale.  2 beautiful ladies lost their home to a shoddy renovation gone bad and to court.  Their home/garden had been in books/magazines including one of my hardcover books.  Worse, the ladies did not win in court yet the contractors were at fault.
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Hopefully client/me will catch up with these incredible women again.
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The 2nd best Focal Point rule?  Just Let It Touch.  Let the foliage 'just touch' the focal point.
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1st rule of focal points?  Focal Points must be so wonderful they will be fought over at your estate sale.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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 For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:

Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Front Porch: Formal + Informal


Design Rule: Contrast.
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A touch of the Queen + Ellie Mae Clampett.
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Urn on Plinth + Galvanized Buckets hanging with ropes.

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Your garden must tell me who you are before stepping inside your home.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic taken this month.  Jeri Farmer's lovely home/garden was on the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival Garden Tour.  Jeri & Susanne refreshed the garden this year and time/money were both running short yet pots were still needed for the ferns.  Of course Susanne said, "Put them in galvanized buckets."
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:

Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lamps in the Garden

The old altar table, below, has a new life.


In Susanne Hudson's garden.


 Doesn't every garden need lamps, books, gravel, art, a copper wash tub, large mirror, and


hydrangeas too?
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken last week in Susanne's garden, it was on the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival tour.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:


Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Elements of a Garden: What do you see?


Formal with informal.
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Designed garden with controlled woodland.
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Garden rooms flow in contrast to each other.
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Color theme, green-brown-white.
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High density & low density for maximum pollinator habitat.
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Every garden room needs at least 1 cone shape.
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Cone shapes draw eyes to the sky.
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Cone shapes are hard to design, easy to do too many.
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Pair of cone shapes at an entry way expand the invitation.
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Contrasting shades of green,
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Contrasting sizes of foliage.

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Designed for structure 12 months of the year.
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Clipped hedging.
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Axis.  Double axis.
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Paths easy to walk.
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Fencing & gates chosen to flow with the house.  How do I know?  I just do.
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Stone in the paths matches stone elsewhere in the garden and on the home.  How do I know?  I just do.
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What did you see when you looked at this pic?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Lost provenance on the pic.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning:
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.