Showing posts with label KISS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KISS. Show all posts

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Burn Your Light

Light from the garden, below.

Interesting legs, garden light a few of my favorite things.
Oh my the criticisms, for decades, for leaning inward, to seemingly insignificant small joys.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!"
I met Peter Pan yesterday, and he wasn't lost.  With a bigger life I doubt I would have known.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
My bedroom, above, renovation still needs yellow/white French check draperies a la Charles Faudree.   Walls, Benjamin Moore - Sundress.  Hence you won't see more till then!  Painting by, Christine Gholson.  Truly, the light in my home is enriched by the garden.
A quote in NYTimes long ago, "The more you go inward the more you outwardly connect." Pure permission, be-who-you-are.
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, July 11, 2013

Gardener's Kitchen

This, below, has already gone to my contractor.

A gardener's kitchen.

All about the garden view.
Contractor's response, "You can't afford to lose cabinet space."
Sitting in the kitchen now, I'm imagining how much more garden I will see.  Wind, birds, blooms, snow, rains, fall foliage, exfoliating bark, berries....
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Pics via Cote de Texas.  Of course new counters & painting too.  Kitchen is almost 3 decades, my starter kitchen, a relief to discover its next chapter.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the Porch with Drapes

Nothing was here, below, a few days ago.  

The porch, below, when we began.

The corner 'before', above, and 'after', below.

Lamp, above, seen from the garden, below.

Porch 'before', below, viewed from the garden.

 Of course you want to look in the window, above.

 Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
Pics of Porch Garden I created with Susanne Hudson at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival earlier this month.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Covered Screened Porch

Garden view, daybed, lamps, table w/chairs, blue/white, cozy, stuffed with amenities.  Staycation is too small of an idea for this room.

Flowing from garden to kitchen with doors, & views from master bedroom and living room.

This couple is always doing something with their grown children & spouses with grands.

Tipping point for the TV is obviously the grands.

Daybed, slounging chairs + a table with chairs for projects/computer?  Perfect trinity.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
Pics same house/garden as previous post.  It's obvious Susanne Hudson has put her skills here.   I have a strong weakness for grandparent/grandchild relationships.  Mine still fills me with incredible strengths.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Front Porch Simplicity

When the competition is an old Pecan Orchard I know to go simple, below.

Soon the tea olive, above, will engulf the end of the porch.  And then be pruned into a tunnel, for the pure life necessity of leaving the porch at its tiniest entry.  Silent Partner doesn't think this is needed.  He has his reasons, I have mine.  200 acres and I am particularly interested in this square foot.

My competition, above.  Fields, Pecan Orchard & Home, a perfect trinity.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Pics taken this month at jobsite of several recent posts.  Leaving the Pecan Orchard alone includes creating Tara Turf, siting daffodils, boxwood & historic brick path, keeping fence at the road and saying 'no' to foundation plantings.
Another fabulous Landscape Design making me unemployable to the largest landscape design/build/maintain companies across USA.  Planned obsolescence of irrigation, keeping fence, no foundation shrubs, no zoysia, no annuals.
MATH on what 'those' companies would lose in installation & a single decade of maintenance with my design.  New fence, irrigation system & rows-upon-rows-upon-rows of green meatball shrubs. Lawn: 2 acres sod, mowing, irrigation, pre-emergents, fertilizer, edging.  Shrubs: several prunings yearly, mulch in the beds, pre-emergents, fertilizing, replanting annuals 2/year.
Minimum annuals charge is $500/season by the best firm (of course I use the best, Simply Flowers, & of course they are needed in many commercial, and residential situations.)  Monthly maintenance $500.  Fence $4000, irrigation $4000, mulch 350/year, chemicals/fertilizer 200/year, &  foundation shrubs $5000, 2 acres zoysia sod $52,800.
$141,300.00 for a decade of traditional USA Landscape Design.  My Landscape Design, above, $50/month maintenance fee, no foundation plantings, no irrigation, no chemicals, no mulch, little pruning, no sod, little mowing, keep fence, no fertilizer, no annuals, $6,000 for a decade.  (A kind woman, I give away the concrete foundation expense of the brick path, mine are in dirt.  Otherwise add another $5000)
$135,300.00 difference. 
Has the math sunk in?  
My work/style is not meant to save money, yet it does.  It's historic Italian.  Enfilade from the interior of the home, pollinator habitat, a thanks to Providence, a joy to look at and live within.  When away on vacation my gardens are carried in the heart with a yearning to know everything while gone & return soon.  If you can leave at all.
Chill Pill Urban Ag!  There are other ways in this industry to make money.  Ask Silent Partner !  Thank you for letting me be on your Outreach team.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Foyer & Front Porch

Foyer, below, with garden light.

Window, above, from the front porch, below.

It's my job, vanishing threshold, getting it right.
This project  uses my entire team: interior decorator, general contractor, foreman, crew team & equipment, carpenter + team, mason+team, pruner+team & of course the homeowner.  We are 3 centuries of experience.
With no weak links.  Communication flows.  Every ego wanting to know what is not right or not working, how else to get it right?
And we all love getting dirty.  Homeowner too.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Pic taken at jobsite yesterday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Small Kitchen Garden

A few vegetables, greens, roses.  Done!

A rare patch of sun designed the location of their kitchen garden.  Their beloved dog dictated the fencing.  When we designed/installed their garden something fabulous happened.  'They' took over immediately their creativity unleashed.

Notice the leaf litter mulch?

A tree fell & her husband used it for the fencing.
Sublime to create a garden for long-time-marrieds and they play like kids outside.
Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
Pics taken at jobsite this week.  Alas, I was called back because of septic work that demolished a quadrant of the front garden.  Have posted their garden before & must go back in spring for more pics of various garden rooms that they've lightly touched with 'art' yet let Nature rule.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sanctuary Gardens: Terry Hershey

Last year a client forwarded Sabbath Moment from Terry Hershey.

Every week, I take the time to read all of it.  Often passing it forward.
He gardens too, above.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara

Terry Hershey

Uncle George

December 10, 2012

What is honored will be cultivated there. Plato   

If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Jesus     

Do you have any relatives that make you wonder
about the gene pool in your family tree?  Well, Uncle George was demanding and difficult. Looking after him was stressful, taxing and thankless.  Driving to the funeral of Uncle George, the young man let loose with pent-up emotion.

"Thank God," he says to his wife. "I suppose I'm sorry he died, but I've got to tell you, I don't think I could have stood one more day with that annoying man. I've had enough. And I'm telling you that the only reason I gave so much time and energy to your Uncle George was because of my love for you!"

"My Uncle George," she says flabbergasted. "My Uncle George? I thought he was your Uncle George!"

We collect Uncle Georges. It is the perfect metaphor for any anxiety, worry, fret, disquiet, apprehension or fear that is elevated to the level of urgent consternation. Uncle George consumes us. And he's not even our uncle. 

"Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things."
Jesus, The Gospel of Luke 

Which means there is a shift: I am now worrying about stuff I can do nothing about. And I give the better part of my attention, energy and time to non-essential matters.

And yet. For all our objections to the contrary, we collect worries like we collect all our STUFF... there's always room for one more. It seems to take care of something. I know I like to use Uncle George to let you know how important, or busy, or indispensable I am. It's still about control.

But worry and fuss is a pickle, because it gums up the system. Stops the flow. Worry, from an Anglo-Saxon word "to strangle" or "to choke." As if literally cutting off the air supply that allows us to breathe emotionally and spiritually.  

It's not just the accumulation of Uncle George(s), it is that we have become untethered and susceptible. So we feel at the mercy of--whether it be exhaustion, public opinion, the need to pacify or please, the need to impress, or fear or embarrassment or potential failure.

Here's the deal: preoccupied with Uncle George, I am quite literally, not myself. I am of two minds. I am exhausted, busy, pulled in many directions... and numb, not really available for people I love. And I am not really available to any wholehearted fire or gladness or desire or intention.  This is not to say that we can't engage in activities, or service, or work. However, work that is fueled by a need to be needed, or need to prove value is too consuming, leaving no time for rejuvenation, or prayer, or delight, or the quiet work of the Spirit.

So. What to do? As if we don't feel bad enough, some opt for the willpower-on-steroids approach, "Just cut it out!" That lasts for a half hour or so, about the same amount of time I can give up serious dark chocolate.

Others opt for techno-cure. Our paper had an article promoting "Hot gadgets to chill on vacation." Who knew? To think I can't relax unless I have the proper equipment. (Although, maybe they have a devise to help me remember all the stuff I forgot to worry about.)

The bottom line? With Uncle George we lose focus. When this happened to Jesus' friends, ("because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat," The Gospel of Mark), Jesus--mercifully--didn't preach or lecture or lead a prayer or offer a gadget.  The story says, immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowds away. "Come with me by yourselves," Jesus told them, "to a quiet place and get some rest."

It's not about creating a life absent of stress.
It's about being present, even in the hectic.
In other words, it is in the rest, the refueling, the "be-ing," the Sabbath that we refocus on essential matters, and allows us to let go, to be present, even in the busy, the noise, the demands, the lists.   

My friend tells the story about a Nativity play at his parish. Mary and Joseph show up at the inn, hoping for lodging. The little girl, playing the innkeeper, has only one line, "No room." But she apparently isn't beholden to the script. She opens the door (of the inn), looks at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at the priest. She looks back at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at her parents. She looks at Mary and Joseph and says, "Oh well, you might as well come on in for a drink."
Yes... I think that's great. We need the freedom (wisdom) of that little girl... the spontaneity and joy and compassion and gladness that comes from not being beholden. 

Today I am stressed. I have a rather intimidating pile on my desk (it could be two piles, but I'm afraid to try and separate them). I have obligations and travel commitments and speeches to make. I recognize that with the stress, I go through my days with a different point of view. It is predictable that I no longer see surprises, or splendor in the unexpected, because now I am too focused on what is missing, and I see only defects, imperfections and blemishes. This worry is gumming up the system. It is choking my sense of awe. Perhaps I've lost sight of essential matters.

There is more work to be done tonight, but it can wait. Sarah Mclachlan is singing Silent Night, there is a little Bordeaux left and a couple more ornaments for Zach to put on the tree. Right now, this is more important. It is the heart of Sabbath. The music washes over me. And, at least for the moment, I don't give any thought to Uncle George.
I want to know if joy, curiosity, struggle, and compassion bubble up in a person's life. I'm interested in being fully alive.  Alan Jones    

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Poems and Prayers          

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened. Mark Twain
Why I am Happy
Now has come, an easy time. I let it
roll. There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by and a willow listens
I hear all this, every summer. I laugh
and cry for every turn of the world,
its terribly cold, innocent spin.
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on.
And I know where it is.
William Stafford

Dear Lord,
Help us to do our very best this day
and be content with today's troubles
so that we shall not borrow the troubles of tomorrow.
Save us from the sin of worrying,
lest stomach ulcers be the badge of our lack of faith.
Peter Marshall 

Be Inspired

Misty River -- Heather's Song
Melissa Etheridge -- Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Sarah Mclachlan -- Silent Night

Favorites from Last Week:    
Patty Griffin -- I don't ever give up  
Patty Griffin -- Forgiveness  
Final dance in the movie Strictly Ballroom   
The only response is gratefulness - Brother David Steindl-Rast
When it don't come easy - Patty Griffin 
Sarah Mclachlan -- Answer 
The Prayer --  Shy Boy and his Friend Shock the Audience on Britain's Got Talent
Sarah Mclachlan -- In the arms of an angel 
Pete Seeger -- Forever Young 

Notes from Terry
(1) Sabbath Moment is only possible because of the generous gifts of readers.  For those who have donated... THANK YOU.   If you wish to be a part of making this gift possible, I appreciate your gift.     

Sabbath Moment is available to everyone--with the invitation that people forward it, and share it with those around them.  Please forward Sabbath Moment... if you work at an organization--please consider forwarding Sabbath Moment to every member of your staff or team.   

(2) Enjoy a stroll in my garden...   

(3) Share Sabbath Moment --  Here are the recent issues. Please forward the link, or cut and paste.  For archived issues, go to ARCHIVE
December 3. 2012 -- The Imposter 
November 26. 2012 -- Okapi
November 19. 2012 -- Old Rabbit

(4) Every day... there are PAUSE reminders every day on Facebook
Please hit the LIKE button... it doesn't hurt and it helps the cause.  And... pass the word.   

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Color in the Garden

Which part of this doesn't speak?

A full narrative.
Great metaphor.  It's more important what we say 'no' to in the landscape.  And life.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
Pic via Slim Paley - A Classic Combo

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Curb Appeal: Color, Pots, Lights

Pair of pots, pair of lights, pair of sidelights, black front door.

                                                       Works in myriad situations.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
Pics taken at a client last week.  KISS.  Keep it simple sweetie.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easier Than House Plants

Vintage plant stand, below.
Why be normal?
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
Blue/White is the theme for this Florida room.  Time to maintain houseplants?  Not on her agenda!  Quirky projects demand quirky ideas.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vanishing Threshold with Liz Caan

Eye catching, welcoming, simple, confident, a statement, sense of place, timeless, elegant.

Inside Liz Caan Interiors, below,

the Vanishing Threshold frames exterior views & is a backdrop for her aesthetic.
It's the biggest impact when you can do all these things with the fewest amount of materials.  'Elegance is refusal.'
Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
Pics Liz Caan Interiors

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Which is Cheaper: Yew or Perennial ?

Low maintenance & affordable are ubiquitous in a mission statement.

Why have a perennial garden?  Requires skilled labor to maintain & most disappear in winter.  Per square foot & volume & maintenance perennials are ridiculously expensive compared to the long life-size-maintenance expense of yew topiary.
Yews survive centuries, perennials survive years.
Of course Garden Centers & Design-Build-Maintain businesses promote perennials.  Perennial flowers are intoxicating.  And important to their recurring  bottom line.
Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
Went less maintenance than the above.  Used understory trees & groundcover (no mowing) in a checkerboard pattern in the front garden for a young couple with babies in their starter ranch home.  How did they get so smart so young?  Me?  I planted zillions of perennials at their age.  Now, only the hardy (iris, dianthus 'bath pink', lenten rose, fern, peony) remain.  Zillions more blooms with my flowering shrubs & trees & vines & groundcovers.  Love my garden but zero time for much maintenance and became disgusted with the thief of time/money with perennials/annuals and don't get Puppet Barbuda started on the dreadful eco impact of perennials/annuals.  You know, greenhouses, heating/cooling, water, soils, pallets, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, 18-wheeler trucks.
Pic via My French Country Home

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quietly Good

New construction completed earlier this year, below.  House & garden stand sentry as old souls.

Shadows fall on their proscenium as atonement.

As if they think, "Of course we abide here.  This is ours, the rent we pay is grace."
Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
Pics taken at a jobsite last week.  Asked the client for a walk through with both of them.  Wanting to know, "How are the parts working?"  A lot of challenges with this site & no room for error.  Exactly my type of fun.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Creating Layers

View into the garden, below.  Pic taken at jobsite last week.

 Not mature yet, above, but doing its job.  You don't know what that job was.  Means the job was done right.

My job?  Hide the view (pic taken 2 years ago) of the dependencies, above, create mystery, pull your feet to investigate, be a proscenium for all weathers, fill the spirit of any mood, provide entertainments for small groups, large gatherings & yet be easy to maintain while providing maximum pollinator habitat for potager, bees, & yet more.  Now we're in the realm of my Landscape Design classes.
Every step in Landscape Design is counterintuitively simple.  
Garden & Be Well,           XO Tara
My basket is in yet another pic.  It was a 2 basket day.  Did you know I rate my days by how many baskets are needed?  The best days are 4 basket days.  Means I've been designing & lecturing & overseeing an installation.
Last visit home my sister told me it was infantile and not appropriate for a woman my age to use baskets.  In fact, the little basket I was using embarrassed her.  We were having Sunday lunch at the club with mom.  It's a joy to irritate her without trying.  When the server was clearing away she told me how cute my basket was & what a great idea to use it.  Sensing the Cheshire smile my sister received from me?  Obvious I'm the younger sister.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Princess Sturdza & Making Shade

Princess Sturdza's home, Le Vasterival, and garden in France were a hilarious welcome.  She was waiting for us standing on a tree stump holding a long sharp stick.  Describing the treasures awaiting we were also told 'never' to set foot in one of her beds.  Within the hour a silly German man leaned forward to ask her a question.  As quickly as his evil-offending-foot tapped her bed she whacked it with the stick.  Hard.

 We arrived, above, I still see her & hear the crunch of gravel.
Last nite was my SHADE lecture.  Instead of the ubiquitous pics & ridiculous focus on shade plants blah-blah-ad nauseum bore.  I focused on making shade where desired, and the pruning away of shade where it's too thick.  

Like the Princess my home leads with a bay window, above.  
It's tiny, faces full sun, a street & several neighbors.  A trinity of unpleasantness easily landscape designed into a charming Bay Terrace garden with gravel, shade, focal point, seating & privacy from the neighborhood view.    
Who's the Princess?
Garden & Be Well,       XO Tara
Top pic from internet, my Le Vasterival pics are still slides.  Bottom pic my bay window yesterday.  A great place to read, use wireless, lunch/dinner, journal, enjoy the birds-blooms-filtered lite.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Conservatory Built With Existing Wall

Too many garden walls haven't had their

Conservatory attached.
Today's assignment: walk your garden, exactly as Mrs. Wilcox did at Howard's End, and decide where your Conservatory is to be placed.
Garden & Be Well,        XO Tara
Pic via Belgian Pearls.   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wickedly Neo-Unprepossessing

Across Europe the best gardens, with attenuated home of course, invite you thru a neo-unprepopressing entry.
 Arriving, above, I knew it was a carriage house or guest cottage.  How?  They told me I would lecture in the porte-cochere.  Executed to perfection, below right. 
 Whoever owned the estate HAD ME at the curb. 
 In the porte-cochere, above.
The bench is a metaphor for the house and garden.  Detailed, quality, elegant, enduring, comfortable, welcoming.
Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
Did my 4 lectures in 2 days last weekend in the porte-cochere, at Sugarloaf Country Club Garden Tour & Boat Show.  This house & garden donated proceeds to Mothers & Daughters Against Cancer.  Of course I have more pics for you.