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

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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bunny Williams Potager: Complex, Pretty & Easy Life Support

Have seen potagers, below, for decades.  Across Europe & USA.  
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Potager: flowers, vegetables, herbs, clipped edging.
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Recent epiphany about what a potager is.


Mixing flowers & herbs with vegetables increases yields up to 80%.  How?  Increasing pollinator habitat.
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Clipped hedging keeps chickens out.  Chickens destroy vegetables/herbs/flowers, but eat harmful bugs. 
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Plus, you get chicken shit.
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Instead of a merely sweet, pretty, easy, garden design style, the potager was
a life support system throughout much of history.  Terrible history, with subsistence living, wars, plagues, no anti-biotics.
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How did anyone, aka me, not know this about a potager?  My grandmother knew these things.  My mother falls within the scope of Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique.  The generation of women leaving farms/agrarian knowledge behind to live a modern life raising children, tending house with a maid's help, and no work outside the home.  Oh, the drudgery of it all and yes I'm one of those grown children crying throughout, The Help, every time I watch it.
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" Friedan says that this change in education arrested girls in their emotional development at a young age, because they never had to face the painful identity crisis and subsequent maturation that comes from dealing with many adult challenges.[9]"
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Sinful forgetting, a client named this loss of agrarian knowledge.
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Recently, because I now have chickens, mom has told stories about Grandma's chickens.  Grandma was an RN & head nurse at her hospital in Augusta, GA.  throughout those years she kept chickens and incubated many.  Mom was an only child and said how she hated the time her mother spent with the chickens.  From the stories I know Grandma raised significantly more chickens than her family needed or could feed easily with food scraps.  Why?  Grandma was giving away eggs and laying hens to every woman she met who needed a helping hand.   
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pic Bunny Williams
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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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Words: Use with Caution in Styling

With some people, years ago, I learned not to share joyous news.  They took delight in diminishing my joy.  Another epiphany, not too long after, 'I choose the plants in my garden, choose the people in my life.'  Within seconds eject button pushed on several persons.
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Lightening life's load was instant.  No regrets decades later.  


Words in the garden, be wary of using them.  Words, most often, dominate any mood, any narrative, weather, ephemeral delicate beauties, etc.
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Gardens speak, without words.  It is the human cheapening their language.
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Instead of admonishing with a picture proving my 'words' I've chosen an exception.  Words in a garden providing pleasure.  If my garden needs a sign, 'Spring has Sprung', do not ever, in a lifetime galaxy of black holes, hire me.  My garden decadently overflows spring's bounty.  Front door, above, is not my home/garden, it belongs to a young woman.  Her mom renovated/styled the home, to perfection.  'Words', included !
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Love exceptions, and breaking rules.
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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, March 24, 2014

Planting in Drifts + Ultimate Status Symbol

Several hundred acres, several barns, several thousand bulbs to plant.
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Constraint?  Bulbs must look like they've been on property for a century.
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What to do?
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Toss out every known morsel of garden design since 1960.  (Easy, been there/done that.)
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Plant in blowzy DRIFTS.


Drifts must be organic tear drops.  Stubby or elongated + versions in between.



From inside the barn, below, to the house.


Did you know this about Garden Design?  If you create beauty in one direction, it's beautiful in its opposite.  
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Notice the foot path, above?  
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How few know a foot path through meadow is one of life's ultimate status symbols.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite yesterday.
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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.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Little Input, Big Impact

A bit of meadow, stretch of wild wood, bench.  Done.


In the depths of winter, still, one of the best invitations.
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Pictorial definition, LITTLE INPUT, BIG IMPACT.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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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.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me to speak to your group, local or out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Garden books by Tara Dillard, Amazon