Showing posts with label Front Porch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Front Porch. Show all posts

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.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
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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, March 19, 2014

Choosing Color at the Front Door

Moving the pots, below, a mere inch wider will make the doorway wider.
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Staining the pots the same color as the siding, and moving the pots 3" wider creates an entirely new entry focusing on the custom door.
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What is the right answer?
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Don't know without seeing the interior.


REPETITION,  is your best friend in a small space.


In the Daily Mail Associated Press pic, above, I forgot about the topic/article I clicked on when I saw these pots.  Elegant, understated, quiet, no need to show-off, seemingly bespoke.
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Ironically, & counterintuitively, designing small spaces is tougher than acreage.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Top pic, 5th & State.
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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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ridiculous Fun vs. Doing-the-Right-Thing

Tell me again why Americans are so wedded to green meatball foundation plantings.
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Proof, below, you can still have those green meatballs at the foundation.


Today's assignment: In your mind, take away your foundation plantings, replace with furnishings-gravel-urns-plinths, from above, in any permutation that is ridiculous fun & fabulous.  Really, do this, complete the assignment.  You have the rest of the day.
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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.
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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 Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Port Cachere: Before + After

I was hired to 'refresh' the landscape.
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Leaving the port cachere as-is was not an option.  This is their main family door.  
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We went shopping at the Americas Mart in downtown Atlanta last month sourcing merchandise.  Not everything had arrived by this week but enough to get started, below.


This table is temporary, above-below, a very nice temporary.  Soon, once a vintage large French buffet is sourced I'll get you more pics.


I made do with the few pots/flowers she had last Monday, above/below.


Small moments of beauty, above.
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As she gets into her car to leave, and then returns, her port cachere is embracing arms for going into the world & returning from the world.  A matriarch in every layer of her life, she has a lot going on and appreciates all Providence provides.  It's in the small moment thanks are deeply felt.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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pics taken at jobsite last Monday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Doorstep Gardening


A bit of vine & gravel to the house.


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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Front Door: Create an Entry


Ceilings are not high, below.  A transom was over the door.  I removed it and added a taller door & sidelights.  Creating more height,
I chose 2 panels + the upward curve.  Love the doorknocker Miss Florida found.  We did a lot of back/forth online with knockers & paint color & hardware.   


Urns fabulous enough to be empty were designed & plinths  for height adjustment.  Ironically, Miss Florida, who always says, I don't know anything, has consistently put in seasonal arrangements from prunings in her garden.


I also took away the foundation plantings, aka green meatballs, and used espaliered fruit trees + groundcovers.
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The white is too white on the house.  Alas, it had just been painted before I was hired.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite last week.  We are doing a new layer!  The drive, front woodland & upper arrival drive.  Cannot wait for the groundcovers to fill in, brown dead mulch, anywhere, has touched my last nerve.
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Front Porch: Take that Rail Off

"Take the rail off", I said.  Friend, not client, we knew the obstacle, husband.  Years passed. Now, below.    Understand intuitively who took the rail off & built the new step?




Ahead of the curve, they sold their lakeside mcmansion, and moved here, her childhood 2B/1 bath cottage.  When it's full of their 5 children, 15 grandchildren, & friends (lucky me) the house does not feel small, only unlimited horizons of love & joy.
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"Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now?"  William Stafford.  Gifting this lovely quote to my dear friend who lives in the cottage, above.  

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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken last week.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to Choose & Site Pots in the Landscape

300 acres, 3 'mostly' matching pots totaling 3 centuries of age and no pots placed on the property, yet.  
(Does the pot, below, tell you, "Touch me."?  If it does it means you are an old soul & kindred spirit.)


Pots must be so wonderful they can remain empty, if desired.  Here, they needed to match the history of the home & be within a certain size range.


Perfect, above, they do not draw attention to themselves.  And still allow seating on the low stone-capped columns.


2 men/pot setting them in place.  My general contractor said, as the pot, above, went up, "...That's a ballsy spot."  As if he earned a response.


3 years getting to this layer, placing pots.  Best part?  Looks like they've always been there.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken at jobsite last month.  Found the pots, plus several more, at Scott Antique Market a couple of months ago.
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Did you pick up on the major component of getting the right pot in the right spot in your landscape?  Something few are good at, patience.
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Knowing to choose pots that can remain empty is such an important 'discovery'  I claim it as one of my inventions.  If you think through the carbon footprint of 'annuals & potting soil & fertilizer' for container plantings along with your time & money you'll understand beautiful empty pots.
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Of course planting sublime pots is a layer of fun in the right season of a busy life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

So What is the Most Important Element of Architecture?

A small handful of homes during my decades of garden & home renovation have packed a surprise.


They appear 'normal' when I park at the first visit.  Knocking at the front door the surprise is apparent.


Saying to myself, "......this home is HUGE."
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The reasons must be many for the illusion.  Top of the list is, proportion.
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Ironic, architecture & life have so much in common.  Proportion.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pics taken at job site, same home as previous post.  Perhaps this is the magic ingredient of architecture engaging Thomas Jefferson........1789 Mar. 24. (to Joseph Willard) "We have spent the prime of our lives in procuring [young men] the precious blessing of liberty. Let them spend theirs in shewing that it is the great parent of science and of virtue; and that a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

French Planter: Color

I put these planters across the front of a home last Saturday, though a bit larger.  


However, zero temerity for foundation plantings, plenty of gracious #89 granite gravel.


Not this big, above, but did put in this size for a home needing to hide garbage cans.
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Taxus x media 'Hicksii', pruned similar to Great Dixter's, is the plant choice.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Top pic Old Long Island, bottom pic, Things That Inspire.  .
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Color.  Client house is gray, white trim, black shutters, apple green door.  Planters can be any of those but white.  A nice amount of space but not quite enough to handle the boldness of white.  Apple green is my choice but the gray or black are acceptable too.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Front Porch: A Way to Test Design

Good design is pretty, comfortable, affordable, leverages activities and your spirit.
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Good design is also 'testable'.


With a camera.  Can you take spur-of-the-moment pics and they are worthy of a magazine, catalogue or book cover?
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If you must 'style' your pics so far from how you truly live in the space you're not done designing the space.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics Susanne Hudson's front porch, last month, which is mere feet from a busy road.
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Last weekend a client showed me a pic of her baby granddaughter in the garden.  It could have been used in a magazine for toddlers. A quick snap without thought of the background beauty.  And that was intentional in the Garden Design.  The client 'got it' after the pic.  Granddaughter, grandma & designer....trinity of happy!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2 Questions for Patios, Decks, Porches

Graduating with another degree, horticulture, I was fully aware creating the gardens of my soul had yet to be discovered.  


Luckily Penny McHenry came into my life.  She invited me to lunch the first evening we met.  A lecture meeting with packed audience we were in the 3rd row.  I plopped next to her & knew she wasn't amused.  We began talking, garnered a stern glance from the speaker then talked so long the security guard asked us to leave, the building was closing.
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In her garden, the next day, one of the biggest theatrical curtains of Garden Design opened when I saw her back deck.  From the first glance I knew.
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When looking at a patio there are 2 questions.  Is this space so wonderful I must see inside the house?  Is this space so wonderful I must see the garden?
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Ironic.  Patios, porches, decks, & their styling, were not mentioned during my degree program.  Nor any symposium I had ever attended.
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Penny did it from innate talent.
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Innately I knew, copy good ideas.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic Susanne Hudson's front porch last month.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Front Porch: Long & Narrow

Placing table + chairs at the 'L' of a porch must be in the helix of our DNA.


The web has enough pictures to fill a seductive hardcover coffee table book.


 At the opposite end of the porch, above, more seduction, below.




Places to read, serve a meal, have conversation a basic trinity for your porch.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics shot last month on Susanne Hudson's porch.  A field gathered collection of furniture with a tight trinity of color: green, brown, white.  Comfort oozes in her still life's.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Front Porch Plants

Choose pots, containers, plant stands so fabulous they can remain empty, if desired.


It's obvious, below, these plant stands can remain empty or filled easily for a party or whim.


Hydrangeas are in their black plastic container, hidden with erosion control fabric.
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This front porch is meant for reading, I'll give you something worthy: "Wendy (nothing to do with Peter Pan but short for Wendell) Howell was a grand American gone native (How yer dawgs?) whom I prized as a friend because she did not take to just anyone and made an exception for me.  She like whippets and whisky and had too many of both.  Lots of husbands (including a Roosevelt) had come and gone and she eventually settled with a lady vet in one of those Irish cottages which were rare then and now only happen on postcards.  It had an earth floor and stable doors and, in the sitting room, a vast opening for the fireplace where, if you bent down to look up the chimney, you could see a big patch of sky. At the entrance to the cottage was a sculpture of two whippets, old friends to me as they were an echo of a similar model by Gott at Chatsworth.  Wendy held a pilot's licence but luckily never offered to take me for a spin."  Debo Mitford.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken last month Susanne Hudson's front porch.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Curb Appeal Before Entering the Front Porch


Don't tell me 'welcome' with letters on a sign or doormat, show me.


The curb appeal of this tiny frontyard says, "Yes, you want to see the porch, inside the home, and the rest of the garden."


And you're experiencing the potency of the garden's color trinity, without being aware.


Adore the smartness of cast stone urns filled with cast stone flowers & fruits.
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Get the color trinity?  Green, brown & white.  Trinity of the ages.  Low maintenance, serene, elegant.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics shot in Susanne Hudson's garden last month.  Girlfriend is serious!  Curb appeal + front porch fabulosity.  We are working on a book together and planning another spend-the-night this month.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hanging Hydrangea

"Hanging hydrangea", said Robin

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to Batman.

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How few choose to hang their 6" pots of hydrangea!
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics last month in Suzanne Hudson's garden.  Don't you still see people talking in their Batman/Robin cutouts?  No?  How boring.  I do.  Of course I thought they were the stupidest thing on the planet watching, enthralled, the first run episodes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Table You Want on Your Porch

Rescued: door, windows, stool.  


Love the sexy lines of this stool, we chose it first so more galvanized accouterments placed for balance.  
    



 Dinner table, floral arranging table, potting table, styled table.  Whatever, they're FREE.




During the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival we caught many pairs of friends sitting, visiting, enjoying the breeze, loving the views.
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Susanne Hudson & I sat in the chairs admiring our work.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken earlier this month at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.  The porch got bigger with the furniture added.  Why?  More function added along with the beautiful forms.   How did Susanne & I get the porch done, we schlepped everything you see into place.  
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No magic minions.
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Passion is the magic.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Trumeau on the Porch

Century old teller window, below.  Susanne Hudson saw it differently & made a trumeau.  Placed upside down, mirror installed,  a few inches cut off for scale & equally historic molding applied.


Kimberly Queen fern, below, tolerates blasting sun.  Vintage white baskets, below, $4 total, thrift store.


Faux bois table in the back corner?  Found in junk shop under $10 and it's made of resin.  Sprayed, who knows?
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken earlier this month at my garden, created with Susanne Hudson, at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.
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Apologies for  vulgarities about filthy lucre, it's in defense of my profession.  How many more times must I hear, "I can't afford a garden."  Stool, old windows, door etc....were rescued, aka free.
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By good accident Susanne's reflection is in the mirror.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Use Heads in Design

Got heads?



They're for


exterior, and


interior.
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Have you noticed a formula for your favorite interiors & exteriors?  Not into formulas?  No worries, formulas are nothing more than Shopping Lists!  Now, I have your attention.
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I've always been drawn to interiors with heads & ......
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In my garden is a decades old collection of broken heads.  Most were a $1.
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Top pic from same home/garden as previous post.  Bottom pics Nicky Haslam, via Cote de Texas article.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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More than heads, bodies too.  And urns with plinths.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Front Porch: Chain Rail

Lunch, below, this week.  Every home seen from the chair I sat in was a century old and white clapboard.  


Front porch columns each have iron rings, below, for chains lost to history, I've already designed their replacement.


With their 'swag' to mach the arch, below.


Will copy a pair of the columns, deeper into the garden, as entry to a garden room with enfilade from the front sidewalk.
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Repetition.
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Notice the power lines, bottom pics?  The bane of my existence for a mature camellia I wish to keep and limb-up into a tree.  They will contact the power company to see what can be done.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics same garden as yesterday's post.