Showing posts with label bench. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bench. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Designing Redolence

Not only historic, I want my garden designs to be redolent of having read, and adored, E.M.Forster.  Jane Austen, Wendell Berry, my grandmother, you get the message.


A garden must be more than 'there', it must take me somewhere.
.
For decades I've known, I travel farthest in my garden.
.
The owner of this garden, above, discovered me in my gown getting pics at 6am.  I knew it was she who created the magic.  As I walked barefoot in the dewy grass we meandered while she told me her garden's story.
.
Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
.
Pic Piper's Cove, Jamaica.  The resort was built in the early 90's and she could only afford tiny plants.  I know exactly how she feels about each one.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What is the narrative of your garden?

Cute kills.


Whimsey is for the intellect.
.
Pure narrative.  Got any in your garden?  These cats, this narrative, melts me.
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
.
Pic Deborah Silver, Dirt Simple.  She designs & owns a nursery.  Take the link, enjoy her shop.  Are there even 10 such shops in USA?
.
This pair of cats are also, subsidiary focal points.  Name it to claim it.  I've had to name a lot of things in this garden design world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Outdoor Kitchen Planning

At the pool an outdoor kitchen is planned under the new room addition.
 Yesterday's meeting included lighting choices. 
 And space planning.
 Kitchen island, yes you're sensing the presence of Magic Man again, will be on wheels & made of teak to match the cabinets.  A stone banquette in the corner will have her signature custom cushions with Magic Man making the table to her exact dimensions.
Outdoor kitchen yesterday morning!
.
Client is an interior decorator with a specialty in space planning.  Quietly successful, she's word-of-mouth only. 
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
Pics taken at jobsite yesterday morning. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How To Create Exterior Simplicity

The hedge is brilliant.  Vine on the risers is more brilliant.
Topiaried green meatballs are fun.  Terra cotta on the table?  Perfection.
.
Notice the lack of pattern on the textiles?  Be careful with exterior textile pattern.  Very careful.
.
Many interior rooms look onto this view.  Without going inside I know it's an obvious Vanishing Threshold.  Without going inside I know the owners.
.
How little can the landscape have and hold together?  Whoever 'tossed' out this much simplicity is good.  Very good.
.
Low maintenance, weekly blow & trimming 2x/year. 
.
Choose a color theme.  It should flow from the interiors. 
.
Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
.
Pic via Cote de Texas.  When I worked at a nursery one assistant manager was incredibly talented at displays.  BUT, we would always beg him to stop.  He would create the above, BUT keep going.  On his off day we would cleanse the abundance. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steal The View: Stone Wall

Classic Landscape Design, below, focal point with backdrop.
What you don't know?
.
Bench, tiny flagstone terrace, pots are at the property line.
.
Behind the bench?  Trees & low stone wall are on the neighbor's property.
.
Landscape Design rule: steal the view.
.
Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
.
Pic taken last week in a client's frontyard.  Love a win-win.  My client's garden looks larger and the neighbor's garden looks larger.  And, this new garden area has a 'presence' immediately.  So much of landscaping takes 'time' to develop a presence.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Atlanta Botanical Garden


Mershon Hall, below, site of class I'm teaching at Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Magic-be-in-this-garden.
.
You must understand it's a full sun landscape, hi humidity, hi temps, unbearable to body/mind.
.
 Yet the eyes take in: pretty, perky, cool, happy, comfortable, rushing water, a Chihuly & etc.
.
Somehow, the designer, made old-fashioned annuals look new & exciting.  Then I have to smile at the landscape design rules followed.  Spikey flowers next to round, a color theme, contrasting foliage colors/sizes,  multiple axis, focal point, enfilades, hi density & low density.
.
I MUST find out who designed the plantings !!
.
Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
.
took the pic last Tuesday nite at ABG
.
UPDATE: garden planning by members of the horticulture department  ABG.....wasn't given their names but they are a dream team!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How To Use High Density vs. Low Density

CONTRAST is Landscape Design's potent tool. 
 
 Penelope Bianchi is the QUEEN OF CONTRAST.  Above, a high density garden room.  Lots of 'things'.  Do you know how wicked hard it is to stage a lot of 'things'?
Because Penelope is, indeed, QUEEN OF CONTRAST, another garden room, above, is low density.
.
Each picture a masters class in Landscape Design.
.
How to use high density vs. low density? Contrast them.
.
Garden & Be Well,          XO Tara
.
Pics via Velvet & Linen of Penelope's garden.  The garden is only 15 years old, yes, you may want to look again.  And, it's for sale.  Can you imagine the excitement & ideas swirling in Penelope's mind about her new garden.
.
High density vs. low density isn't only a Landscape Design tool.  Landscapes with high & low density have the greatest pollinator habitat.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Faux Bois Bench: Well Sited

A lovely incident along the gravel path, below.
(Notice stone edged gravel, decrepit terra cotta, leaf litter mulch? Melts my heart.)
Same bench, same path, from opposite direction.
.
Thus, a good garden. It could be 2 different paths, 2 different benches or 2 different gardens.
.
How to create Double Axis. A class by itself.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken last week in Susanne Hudson's garden.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nassim Taleb: 3 Views

From, The Bed of Procrustes, a new book by Nassim Taleb."Education makes the wise slightly wiser, but it makes the fool vastly more dangerous."
"You are only secure if you can lose your fortune without the additional insult of having to become humble."
"You are rich if and only if money you refuse tastes better than money you accept."
.
Wesley Yang wrote about Taleb, "He made what he has called his "fuck you" money when his bets against the market made him millions on Black Monday in 1987." "...the content of his next book, Anti-Fragility, ...will be about how we can create systems that mimic the resiliency of nature."
.
Taleb also wrote, The Black Swan, and, Fooled by Randomness. Both bestsellers. Both about Wall Street.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken this week, of my month old Conservatory, from my bedroom window. Poppets, you should see my VINTAGE 25 year old linoleum kitchen floor, with battle scars.
.
Conservatories are for the soul, kitchen floors a necessity. Younger, I would have done the 'right' thing, the floor. This age is exquisite, bringing me the Conservatory.
.
No doubt, fate will bring a new kitchen floor, including, of course, new countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, stove, refrigerator. Last year in the kitchen was: ceiling reconfiguring, painting, 4 new chandeliers & cabinets. In the interim, I don't look down.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Landscaping A Rental Home

Chandelier Chick, single with a fabulous career taking her across the continents, rents a tiny working-class ca. 1940's cottage, the last street of its kind in this section of Atlanta, enveloped by cluster mansions & located minutes from her job.At the terrace level by her back porch she sited a little garden & pond. White washed cinder blocks & the gravel? Yep, that's Chandelier Chick's touch, dancing in the Poverty Cycle with keen intellect.
Mornings with coffee, or evenings with wine, her bench,
pond, birds, plants, meadow, & views fill the spiritual well.
.
Who wants to spend a lot of money on a rental house?
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken last Saturday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Axis, Bench, Focal Point In Your Landscape

A note yesterday, "Should I buy a pair of these.....?" "Yes", in reply.$200 each. Don't know the name of the shop. Designed her Birmingham, AL landscape a year ago & know there is a perfect place.
.
Where? TBD !!!!
.
Why is To-Be-Determined so extraordinarily exciting, always, in a landscape? When, many parts of life To-Be-Determined contains a wariness, an acceptance, a sense of 'this too, shall pass'. (Trees are noble shedding their leaves. Enriched by what they shed. A metaphor to hang on to. Oh, no, I have to relearn it over-over.....)
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic via Birmingham........ I'm partial to benches as focal points. You may never have time to sit on your bench but looking at a bench from inside your home gives the illusion of repose.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Landscape Design Solutions

Scored concrete & a roundabout of pavers in the parking court, below, diminish its 'nature'. Softens the impact.From their fabulous patio, below, a view into the garden via an enfilade with the parking court. Every landscape has its thorns. Mostly 2 cars, more with family/friends.
Another view from the fabulous patio, below.
The foyer between parking court & patio, above. I removed the turf & put in rosemary behind the bench, 1 Michelia figo behind that & etc. Both evergreen & fragrant. Views from the patio with the plantings will obscure views of the parking court & block neighbor's views into the gate of garden/patio/home. (Double Axis with little input AND no mowing, weedeating, yet adding privacy, fragrance, increased property value, & better curb appeal.)
More of the same foyer, above. Copied rosemary behind the bench, Abelia 'Rose Creek' behind that & etc. Mystery created! From the patio you'll see hints of the fabulous garden. From the garden you'll see hints of the fabulous patio. Of course, the parking court is diminished.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Turf, pic above, removed also. Used pairs of boxwood at the sidewalks leading from parking court into the parterre. Used repetition with the Abelia and existing Pittosporum. (Pittosporum, viewed from the parterre, will block views of the front of the cars.) Repetition, is a potent Landscape Design tool.
.
Same Macon, GA garden as the past few posts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Magic at the Corner

Behind the hemlock, below, a street & stop sign. View from the bench, above, another street & another stop sign.
.
Yes, the front corner of a corner lot. In an almost century old subdivision in Athens, GA.
.
Conifer-hardwood-shrub obscure views in one direction yet provide backdrop for another view.
.
Ah, poppets, the bench. Elegancies of a dark stain, an overdose of curves, all-year warmth of wood, perfection of scale & an invitation of repose.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic taken last week. Stay tuned for more of this fabulous garden.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ranchburger: Beauty Without Stress

Lining the foundation of this ranch, below, were the obligatory-neatly-in-a-row, evergreen meatballs. Between the house & frontdoor sidewalk I removed the line of meatballs,
put in a flagstone terrace with teak bench/coffee table, low evergreen shrubs, groundcover, understory tree, & pots. Voila, ta-da, but of course.
.
My Dear Lady has been slowed by multiple health issues for over a year. Yet her garden has never been a worry for maintenance, even during this 5 weeks without rain.
.
This is the point of good Landscape Design: can you work a million hours, travel, caretake a loved one, or have health issues & still maintain a beautiful landscape?
.
A beautiul landscape not allowing for real-life is not a beautiful landscape, it's stress.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pics taken earlier this week in the same garden as previous blog post. Poppets, "I" did not literally perform labor in this sweet garden my contractor did. Wish I could rip out mature shrubs, install flagstone terraces & etc.... !

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NOT ALWAYS PRETTY: Free Design Fix

"What can I do?", below, in my email last week. In winter a wasteland, above/below.
A few ideas to fix this landscape: evergreen shrub/s, evergreen groundcover/s, hydrangeas, espalier evergreen shrub at blank wall, keep & rearrange perennials, bench (need the curve of a Giverny bench)at base of espalier evergreen shrub with flagstone leading to it, stain board under rail same color as shutters, use a darker shade of white on trim/rails/posts/windows creating sense of space, climber up corner post & along top of porch. Treat entire space like a window box. Prepare the soil and pack your goodies in. (Note: Cheaper than annuals, above, less maintenance, & pretty all year.)
.
More ideas to fix this landscape (phase II from piggy bank): all of the above plus remove rail at end of porch & add a stone step creating a new entryway to porch with stepping stone from drive to porch. Pair of evergreens at each end of this new path. Match same evergreens with a pair at front steps.
.
Let's spend some money to fix this landscape (fat piggy bank): Remove front/side rails & add stone curbstones for steps where each rail section is removed. Add flagstone terrace between concrete/house with space for the evergreens/climber/espalier/bench, surface sidewalk in same stone as new flagstone terrace, remove large section of turf in front of house abutting the sidewalk creating a courtyard space with same plantings used at house plus an understory flowering tree with clematis growing thru it. Create entryway in this new courtyard space on axis with the front steps to house. Voila, an enfilade to the front door. Depth, drama, curb appeal.
.
Old money fix: evergreen groundcover, pairs of evergreens at entries, evergreen climber, evergreen espalier at blank wall & bench. (Gotta love the old money fix!)
.
Eccentric garden fix: is the owner in love with Warhol, Monet, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jekyll, mid-century modern, MOMA, natives, topiaries, conifers, roses, herbs, dahlias, fragrance, pollinators and etc? Fun in each direction.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SIMPLICITY

This is my weakness: leaf litter mulch. No edging. Moss & lichens. Evergreen flowering shrubs. Petals on the ground. Patches of bare earth. Bench & bush. Low meadow leading to wildwood. Fragrance. Sound of wind thru leaves. Birds. Beauty.
.
Do you know yours?
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Pic from Castle Renswoude Utrecht, Netherlands via It's About Time.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

ILLUSION OF REPOSE

Chairs & benches are favorite focal points. Why?
They give the illusion of repose.
.
Weeks & months may pass without time to sit in my garden. Doesn't matter.
.
Potency lies in the illusion, throughout my days, seeing from the windows, views prettier than any Hallmark greeting card.
.
Seriously. How can Hallmark compete with a deep red cardinal landing on the top of a chair & singing to his mate? A squirrel bringing lunch to the arm of a bench in the potagere?
.
Comfort must not be illusion. Sit test each chair/bench.
.
I don't care if it's rescued or only $19.95. If it's not comfortable & fabulous, don't take it home. Remember my estate sale question, "Will this be fought over at my estate sale?"
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
I took the pic in Susanne Hudson's garden.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PATH & PATIO

PATH GIRL, born 1935, hired me early summer. She was stuck in her backyard. One glance, I knew. First, stain patio furnishings a shade from inside.

More important, paths. PATH GIRL created a beautiful garden but the paths weren't 'done'. A roundabout, below, radiates paths.

Gravel to the rescue. PATH GIRL shoveled her own. Edging garden beds with stone found on-site & fallen tree limbs. Not quite finished yet. Yes, dearies, part of the design, use what's at hand.
An alcove of path with an antique marble bench &, while sitting on the bench, a pineapple, symbol of welcome, at your feet.
And the pre-built potting shed, Magnolia Hall, is steeped in gravel too.

Up to its side, adding a new sitting area.

Many weeks of shoveling then an invitation to lunch.


Crabcakes & conversation. Hours of connection.

In the dining room a 2nd, smaller, table for games, reading or dining with a view.

Vanishing Threshold views, above & below.

NOTES & RESOURCES:

* Edge gravel path, with stone or brick, closer to the house.

* Edge gravel path with fallen tree limbs farther away from the house.

* Transitioning edging materials creates another layer of interest.

* Paint Colors for deck furniture: Behr Ultra Exterior Satin [primer & paint all in one] at Home Depot. Antique Red UL 170, Native Soil 179-22 [taupe].

* Powder Coating of wrought iron table/chairs: http://www.millerpowdercoating.com/. 4251 Wayside Ct. #B, Lilburn, GA, 770-931-1505.

* Rug for deck, not shown, http://www.rugsusa.com/

* Shot pea gravel: Atlanta Landscape Materials, 5996 Buford Hwy., Doraville, GA 770-936-8462

* Lantern, not shown, http://www.nadeauimports.com/, Buckhead Store.

* PATH GIRL had the shot pea gravel delivered to her driveway. It took her several weeks to shovel from the pile to a wheelbarrow then dump into place. A neighbor, seeing her shovel, offered help. With a smile of appreciation she happily declined. Enjoying her gardening too much to let others in on her fun. Remember PATH GIRL, born 1935, is DIY.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TRIPLE AXIS FROM THIS BENCH

A landscape where you might see a, "disheveled wood nymph after a night carousing with satyrs." as N. Singer wrote. Oops, digressing. Sitting in the bench, above, you'll see the house, below, a double axis.
Sitting in the bench, and looking right,you'll see this axis, above.
.
The more axis a focal point has the better a focal point is.
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Krystol, thanks for your pics.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

DOUBLE AXIS IN YOUR LANDSCAPE

If you have a focal point bench in your landscapeyou must be able to sit in the bench and see another focal point. Double Axis.
.
My invention, Double Axis. Realizing all the best gardens have it. And. Yes, dahlings, more. The more axis views a focal point has the better it is.
.
From the house, above, you see an Enfilade to the focal point bench. From the bench, above, you see an Enfilade to the focal point house/terrace/urns.
.
Isn't it amazing how one line in a garden looks like 2 gardens when viewed in opposite directions?
.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
.
Thank you Krystol for your English pics.