Showing posts with label Stone step. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stone step. Show all posts

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Top Garden Design Feature to Help Sell Your Home


For decades this, below, was a bare slope with mulch.


Now, flow exists around the entire home.
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Flow.  Is it easy to walk around the entire home?
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90% of my out-of-state Garden Design work has come from past clients hiring me for their new home. They've each said the same thing, "You helped me sell my home, fast."  The ubiquitous beauty, color, lighting, etc. was important but I know the, unexpected, #1 reason they assume their Garden Design helped sell their home.  Flow.
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Flow.  Get you some.
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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.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Front Porch: Foundation Plantings or Steps?

Easy knowing they use their front porch, below.  Mosquito repellent sitting at the French doors on the right.
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Their front yard is large & they have children.
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Foundation plantings here are an interesting choice.
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Of course, they have a fabulous large back yard too.


Privacy isn't needed otherwise the foundation plantings would be a bit taller.


Would you, if this were your home, keep the foundation plantings or move them & replace with steps?
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Plant selection is perfecto.  Large house & garden, 2 careers, children, dogs, and a yard easy to maintain.
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Always ask questions.  Makes you an instant garden designer.
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If this were a town home front porch it's amazing how a bit of height on the foundation plantings provide a sitting area with privacy.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics at a soiree last weekend.  This house is close-in Atlanta.  A pocket of woodland in the city.    
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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.

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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Friday, September 13, 2013

How to Tame Trouble

Met a new client last nite with a no-mans-land of trees/ivy/invasives/drainage ditch/weeds.  Its ownership 'looks' like it could be their property or their neighbors.
What to do is quite easy.


An entry & path will instantly take ownership and tame the trouble.
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Clearing invasives, controlling ivy/weeds, planting desirable understory trees & etc... will take a bit more time.  Happily, now there is a road map.
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Garden & Be Well,             XO Tara
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Exciting times, their brown brick home with brown shutters will soon be WHITE !
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Pic Litchfield Hills, lost provenance of photographer.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stupid Does Have a Price

Beware the landscape contractor, with one of my Garden Designs, "No, can't be done."


Stupid does have a price tag.
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Fieldstone retaining wall, above, in dirt.  No concrete + mortar.  Italy has quite a few olive orchards, older than Christ, still holding proud their fieldstone in dirt terracing.
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Stupid-does-have-a-price-tag, said fieldstone in dirt did not work, he wanted to make more money with concrete, mortar, chipped stone.  I don't use him anymore.  My jobs have grossed millions since then.  Do the math.
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When I mention my Team it's from the heart & head.  They make my designs better.  Why did I fall for SDHAPT?  I met the author of Never Be Lied to Again, when I was the garden expert on NBC-TV morning show.  Zero awareness of those lying to me at that time.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pic Old Long Island.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Japanese

Invitation.  




 "...eternals as applicable in the smallest of spaces as in the vast acres of a country house garden." Sir Roy Strong.  Above, vast as a mountain range.


Water Mirror, miroir d'eau, above.




Water breaks the footprint of the Tea House, above.  Small touch, huge impact.


Looking outward, above, from the bamboo window seen coming in the entry, top pic.


Framing the view, above, for centuries this has been done.  Is a brick ca. 1960 ranch less worthy?


Hidden, then meandering, above, then spilling into the pond, below.


Why, above, do we like walking on water?

 At the minimum, 2 stones.  Male & female.  Earth & sky.  Ying & yang.  Even the shadows are benevolent.


Leaving the Japanese garden from its other side, above, into a pecan orchard.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken Massee Lane Garden last weekend.

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.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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$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)
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$135,300.00 difference. 
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Has the math sunk in?  
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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.
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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.

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."
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Garden & Be Well,         XO Tara
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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.

Friday, May 25, 2012

How To Increase The Drama

Subtle drama, ego in check.  Pair of stone columns, iron gate, half-round stone steps & on axis a Japanese maple.  Not a gaudy statue or etc.
 Do you see the opportunity to increase the subtle drama, below?
Remove the pinestraw bed & let the turf flow to the stone wall.
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Small tweek HUGE impact.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic taken last weekend at my lecture venue.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Retaining Wall Lust

Have your eyes & brain accepted this, below? 
 Aside from lust pure astonishment.  This retaining wall is hidden away in the family parking court.  That murdering Roman thing with stone building slaves ca. 1 BCE, then the poverty cycle with the bricks.  Later, much later.  But here it all is, in narrative.  Mine.
 Another chapter to the story, below, at the end of the retaining wall.  Tuscan hillside, fieldstone steps are Jane Austen rusticities.

Framing my lust, below,  relative to the house.  Steps & hillside look as if they were there, leftover from some ancient Roman volcano.  Vesuvius, 79 ad?
 She, the owner, waylayed me.  Oh no, ick.   Grabbing my right arm in both her hands saying, "I'm taking you to the Bellsouth room."  I had no time for this, so deeply involved in my lust for the retaining wall, fieldstone steps, & garden.  Outwardly nice, inwardly thinking how to get away.  Get back to her garden. 
 She marched straight here, above, my arm still in her hands.  "Isn't this the greatest spot?  I love looking at it and go to the bench often, have you ever seen steps like this,  &....."
 My attitude went 180.  Couldn't get enough of her.  That bench?  Of course I hadn't seen it from terrace level.  The bench overlooks the 18th hole of a PGA yearly stop.  
Portion of the Bellsouth room, above.  We paid it 'no mind' as Neil Diamond would sing.  I was in girl-crush as we walked the rest of her house & grounds spilling life stories, work, men, spirit. 
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pics taken at my lecture venue last weekend.  Love how conversations flow with women amongst my tribe.  How did EM Forster know us so well?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Front Porch: Before & After

 Landscape Design after, above.  A bit of work so obvious no one thinks a Landscape Designer is needed.  Afterall, the builder & previous Landscape Designer missed it, below.

Did you notice a pendant light was added too?  Top pic. 
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics sent by the client from a jobsite last week.  She wanted to do this for years.  Her husband said, 'why do we need to do this?'

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stone Step At The Frontdoor

We only needed a bit of a step, below.
 With great joy we found the perfect stone
on site.
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It speaks of rivers, dinosaurs, time.
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Landscape Jewelry for sure.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pic taken at a jobsite last week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fieldstone Steps

Fieldstone steps, below.  Pure labor, no mortar/concrete.
Cheapest choice when I began my career.  Now, depending upon the jobsite, pre-cut stone is cheaper.  Easier to handle they reduce labor expense.
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Of course, my favorite, is field stone.
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Oddly, at the front end of availability pre-cut stone steps were the most expensive.  
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More odd, I meet people now, who think field stone steps are, by far, the cheaper choice.  
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Found the pic online.  Must put in some days taking pics of our projects, good excuse to see them again too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gertrude Jekyll: Munstead Wood Inspires Pool

A 40 acre Alabama garden I'm working on has the bones of Gertrude Jekyll's home, Munstead Wood, below.
I've been asked to put in a swimming pool off the back terrace. Seeing these curves, above, I knew immediately how to shape the swimming pool.
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How do I design 40 acres? I start at the house.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic via internet. All my travels in England, and never to Munstead Wood.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Landscape Design Zero Plants: Before & After


Landscapes take 3 + years to look good, on average. Most gardens get stuck in the '+'.
Unfinished, this garden is ready for showtime. Those pallets of stone, above, MAKE the garden, below. Ha, no plants, yet a garden is born. Why?

Landscape Design 'listens' to the site.
The biggest focal point in a garden? Your home. Vanishing Threshold.
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Consider: paint colors, light fixtures, shutters, doors, views into windows, turning windows into doors, getting rid of disgusting foundation plantings, pathways to move the eye + foot thru your garden, land stewardship, how to be in the garden for pleasure (tea-wine-canapes-luncheon-reading ipad-etc.), historical concepts of landscape design, thriftiness, no watering once established, no chemicals ever, no fertilizing once organically stabilized, groundcovers instead of mulch, succession planting, something coming into bloom throughout the year, canopy trees, understory trees, evergreen walls, & more.
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Consider all of the above & you won't wait 3 years, or 3 seconds, for a beautiful garden.
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Proof is in the pics above.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Look at the new frontdoor again. See what I did? Took out the transom, replaced with a taller door. Getting rid of that subdivisiony horrendous aspect, ca. 1970's, of windows/door at same height. Guess how we chose the color for the frontdoor? (Another post.)
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Eco Gardening is a SMALL concept. Vanishing Threshold is how I create a garden.
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(Puppet Barbuda has zero attitude, she's all PUPPET'ude !)

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Garden & Its Mistress

Carriage house, fescue, boxwoods, pair of elms, stone wall/stone terrace/steps, below, all new, perhaps 12 minutes old in the pic.
Client is successful, headstrong, bold, smart, athletic, spiritual, demanding, puckish.
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Today she is in a hospital bed unable to move or speak.
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Before surgery she directed her brother to finish her landscape with us.
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My hope & prayer? In addition to complete recovery, I want to hear her ask: why those boxwoods are 6" off, why didn't you get bigger elms, why isn't the potager edged with dwarf boxwood, why aren't existing boxwoods-in-pots sited & etc.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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This story, this incredible woman, has dug itself in. She's in my prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Materials Indicate Movement

Parking at the left with concrete block/gravel, enter the home at stones + wood steps, driving lane of cubed stone/gravel.Stone at doorway, below.
Concrete blocks/gravel for parking, below.
Cubed stone/gravel, below, for roads.
And, below,
they look great together.
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Did you notice something FABULOUS? Each is water permeable.
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Nice to pull onto these surfaces & hear their bit of crunch and feel their texture under your tires.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics from Mixson, my project in Charleston, SC.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Steps

The change in elevation was deceptively 'not there' without my new Conservatory.
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Alas, My Dear Ladies both use canes. You know they will be in my Conservatory sharing wine/canapes before dinner.
Stone steps are dry stack, above. And, ta da, rescued from jobsites.
Serendipitously, I put in a side door to my conservatory. That door has a meandering woodland path, no steps. SAFE, for My Dear Ladies.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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No pics yet of the meandering woodland path leading to the side door. My guys put the steps in, wish I could say I did !!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Create Magic At Each FRISSON

FRISSON's are potent. Do you see this one?FRISSON's, done well, create magic.
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Transitioning mortared steps to a step set in dirt is a FRISSON. Sure, I could have designed all the steps with mortar but I wanted a more exciting FRISSON (and this path is not a high traffic area).
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Consider each FRISSON in your landscape. Where: potager meets woodland, turf meets flowering shrub border, house meets garden, terrace meets Tara Turf, path meets pond & etc........
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic taken during construction in a client's backyard last month. Client is DIY with some of the plantings, dwarf mondo will be planted between the stones set in dirt.
Andre Breton, photographer-poet-writer-surrealist theorist-expert on Soviet Modernist architecture was the one drawing my mind, via his photography, to the importance of FRISSON. Gertrude Jekyll was big on the FRISSON.