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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Repurposed from a Slave Cabin


Decades ago she was at the slave cabin and knew, "This will be a bench in my garden."
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Hearthstone of the fireplace, below, in the disintegrating slave cabin she had the epiphany.
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In her late 90's, I've know this story for 2 decades.  


Her birthday soiree was a large affair a few weeks ago.  A man was near the bench & I asked if he knew its story, "No."  A speechless event, the body bows backward, eyes lock on stone & there is silence while the mind absorbs the horror.  Taking in the beauty & grace of the present moment.




She & I have sat many times thru many years on this stone.
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No stone should have its history.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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You must understand the South.  Without her intervention this stone's history would have been lost long ago.   Probably scooped out of the way with a Bobcat for some new house in a subdivision.
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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.


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.
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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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garden Design Course: Free in a Single Pic

Under a pecan tree not much grows.
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Tara Turf is best.
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Why?
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Increased pollinator habitat increases crop yield up to 80%.
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 Susanne Hudson found herself with 4 benches needing a home.  Exquisitely, they found a home.
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Please put this on one of your Pinterest boards.  It's a free Garden Design course !
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Garden Design: backdrop, canopy-understory-groundcover aka ceiling-walls-floor, color, texture, scale, flow, garden rooms, mystery, serene, poverty cycle, curb appeal, focal point, subsidiary focal point, vintage theme, simplicity, low maintenance, pollinator habitat, urban gardening, structure all year.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Pic snapped with my phone last week.
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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
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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, 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.
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For decades I've known, I travel farthest in my garden.
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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.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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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.
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Pure narrative.  Got any in your garden?  These cats, this narrative, melts me.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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Pic Deborah Silver, Dirt Simple.  She designs & owns a nursery.  Take the link, enjoy her shop.  Are there even 10 such shops in USA?
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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!
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Client is an interior decorator with a specialty in space planning.  Quietly successful, she's word-of-mouth only. 
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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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.
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Notice the lack of pattern on the textiles?  Be careful with exterior textile pattern.  Very careful.
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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.
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How little can the landscape have and hold together?  Whoever 'tossed' out this much simplicity is good.  Very good.
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Low maintenance, weekly blow & trimming 2x/year. 
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Choose a color theme.  It should flow from the interiors. 
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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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?
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Bench, tiny flagstone terrace, pots are at the property line.
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Behind the bench?  Trees & low stone wall are on the neighbor's property.
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Landscape Design rule: steal the view.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara
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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.
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You must understand it's a full sun landscape, hi humidity, hi temps, unbearable to body/mind.
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 Yet the eyes take in: pretty, perky, cool, happy, comfortable, rushing water, a Chihuly & etc.
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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.
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I MUST find out who designed the plantings !!
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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took the pic last Tuesday nite at ABG
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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.
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Each picture a masters class in Landscape Design.
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How to use high density vs. low density? Contrast them.
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Garden & Be Well,          XO Tara
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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.
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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.
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Thus, a good garden. It could be 2 different paths, 2 different benches or 2 different gardens.
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How to create Double Axis. A class by itself.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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."
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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."
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Taleb also wrote, The Black Swan, and, Fooled by Randomness. Both bestsellers. Both about Wall Street.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Who wants to spend a lot of money on a rental house?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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Where? TBD !!!!
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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.....)
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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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.
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Yes, the front corner of a corner lot. In an almost century old subdivision in Athens, GA.
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Conifer-hardwood-shrub obscure views in one direction yet provide backdrop for another view.
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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.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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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.
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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?
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A beautiul landscape not allowing for real-life is not a beautiful landscape, it's stress.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.)
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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.
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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.
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Old money fix: evergreen groundcover, pairs of evergreens at entries, evergreen climber, evergreen espalier at blank wall & bench. (Gotta love the old money fix!)
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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.
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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.
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Do you know yours?
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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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.
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Weeks & months may pass without time to sit in my garden. Doesn't matter.
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Potency lies in the illusion, throughout my days, seeing from the windows, views prettier than any Hallmark greeting card.
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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?
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Comfort must not be illusion. Sit test each chair/bench.
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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?"
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I took the pic in Susanne Hudson's garden.