Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanishing threshold. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vanishing Threshold: Looking into Roger Hazard's Windows




Junior high through high school I was on my bike after doing dinner dishes.  Stay at the house with both parents home?  On my bike, gone.  We lived in a beautiful neighborhood surrounded by Galveston Bay, marsh, a salt water lake, Clear Creek, and plenty of palm trees.
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Instead of getting out of my parent's house the rides became a choice for their joy of solitude, learning I do my best thinking exercising & sweating.  College was 4 more years of biking, those years in Dallas, TX, a several mile radius from campus, SMU.  Had my own car in college but it was most common I would turn down social invites, saying I had plans, and head off on my bike, alone.
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Now, I design views into homes from gardens.  This zone I have no name for but call, Vanishing Threshold.
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It's rare to come across Vanishing Threshold in any article, much less 3 Oscar worthy shots.  Roger Hazard is the winner, and it seems his dog, & partner too.
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Enjoy, but enjoy with a purpose.  What can you do to create beautiful, warm, inviting views into your home, from the garden?

window boxes filled with pink flowers


 Pink door and pink flowers in windowbox


dog Buck in window

Garden photographers, too often, overlook this zone, Vanishing Threshold.
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More about this house/garden, HERE.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics via Hooked on Houses from Roger's website.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Front Porch Furniture Placement

Temps & humidity are at their extremes.
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Yesterday, after lunching with a friend in town, I had the good fortune of riding shotgun while my friend had to stop, below, for a few minutes.


Without words, tone poem, this front porch is a full class, How to Design Your Front Porch.


No incorrect note is played here.  Of course the Kimberly Queen ferns were showing off, but even the Christmas cactus was thriving.
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I don't know the owners, yet, but you know I will.  Their front porch looks/feels like a fine spring day.
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Will get the white they used for home/furniture, and sparkling gray on the floor.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, July 10, 2015

What Makes a Good Guest Room ?


Quirkiest delight of my career has been lecturing out-of-state for Garden venues.  Mostly, they have little money to spend, and I'm given the choice of a hotel or some one's home.
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Is there a better way to know a place than staying in a private home, and help a non-profit save money?
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On this path I've learned what I want/need in a guest room, host, and activities offered.
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The room?  Plenty of cleared surfaces, a chair, lamp by the bed, books/magazines, something to set my glass of water on at nite, easy access to electrical outlet.
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Because it's work, I need quality time alone to run thru my powerpoint & handout, one last time, ahead of a presentation that may be some one's one-and-only Garden presentation, or even more difficult, some one's 42nd and I must delight/educate their inner spirit to see their own garden new again.
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Inherent to the visit there is a walk with my host, thru their garden.  Adore seeing plants in new soils & zones.  Garden groups help the host, and there is a tour of several other local gardens, usually 1/2 day with lunch at a delightful cafe. Pride in their location, I feel as if my garden ladies are chamber of commerce emissaries.
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Then, dinner.  Now we get the husbands, and open bar.  Dinner is most often at someone's home.  Cocktails before dinner never disappoint, ever.  If it's Make Way For Lucia, hightum-tightum-scrub, E.F. Benson, we are all tightum, by today's standards.
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And the husbands, why-did-I-let-her-drag-me-here-'tude, does a 180 after the first round.
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Beyond this point, I will leave laughter, conversations, stories, to your imagination, but I know it's not close to these evenings.  Something about strangers, kindred spirits, I'll be gone by morning, souls splayed, safety in sharing, they can't tell on you, because you could tell on them.  Basic kindergarten rules.


Still unpacking boxes for my new office, a dozen had engulfed the guest room, above, now the guest room is functional, though far from complete.  Office should be completed this afternoon.
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Hope I've hit every layer for my guest room.  Cannot wait to get the walls painted a creamy white, keeping the existing white trim.  Windows on 2 walls, am anticipating some power naps here too.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T
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Why would I stop lecturing for Garden venues?  They are my original base, truly have little money, and I learn so much seeing the private gardens.  Fun does have a price, it is Joseph Campbell's, 'Follow your bliss.'  
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It has been a privilege fiercely learning about Gardens traveling the globe for 2+ decades.  Gaining a heart's desire carries obligation.  Lecturing outside Garden venues, bringing Gardens to the People.  Corporate venues, women's wellness, trade shows, etc.  Places not normally associated with a garden, yet there is a hunger, a need to be filled, only a Garden answers.
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Secondary venues, not garden venues, pay well, I added a clause in my speaker's bureau contract 'allowing' me to continue with the Garden venue lectures.  They are content with the arrangement.  Happy this is true, but sad it is a truth about garden venues.
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Why are they so lacking in funds?  Partially, attitudes about Nature Wendell Berry writes much of.  Attitudes killing towns, supporting atrocious behavior toward livestock, annihilating soil, ourselves.  Further, our government is passing laws making elements of Nature commodities we no longer own upon our own property.  Each of these nuggets gleaned because I like to Garden !  Liking to Garden is political?        

Monday, June 22, 2015

Creating Flow: Garden Design Equation

With an engineering degree, and horticulture, you know I've invented a Garden Design Equation, moons ago.  Yes, good gardens are math.
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Will do a long post about the Garden Design Equation, but not today.  Promise, you will love the Garden Design Equation, and totally 'get' it.  Have taught it in my college classes and seminars losing no one yet.
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Living in our new American Farmhouse Architecture home, ca. 1900, for a total of 3 nites, the Garden Design Equation beckons.
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Blessedly no gardening has been done here for decades, Poverty is a Great Preserver, indeed.  Why is this good?  Not a lot to 'undo'.
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Focal point on axis, below.  Vanishing Threshold.

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Focal points must be sited as focal points from more than a single direction.  This type of focal point, urn above, is one of the best.  Do you know why?  Needs no planting.  Low maintenance.  Let your garden leverage your life.  Your garden works for you, not the reverse.
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From the outside, below, first impression, your garden must tell me who you are, this garden does.
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But my narrative, above, has skipped some of the 1st elements of the Garden Design Formula.
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Focal point siting is often 'obvious' but must wait until 'flow' around the property is managed.  Flow for cars, and walking, maintenance, and larger spaces, a gator/golf cart.
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Do you see what else is obvious when creating flow?  Turf is included in 'flow' equal to a gravel path-drive-terrace.
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This garden, below, is designed for low maintenance too.  Did you already spot that?  The tractor can easily do its job, and the evergreens need once/year attention, no irrigation needed, no chemicals, no fertilizers.
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Had to laugh when I saw this pic, it's exactly where my Garden Design Equation is percolating at our new home.  Flow.
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Drive & Parking Court, below.
 
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Had already told Beloved I will design a gravel drive, gravel parking court, gravel paths, with boxwoods and Tara Turf.
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The Garden Design Equation formula at work.  Historic too.  In the greatest of ironies, I studied historic gardens across Europe for 2+ decades learning how to design a garden with 'plants'.   What was truly learned is flow, repetition, rooms, axis, max pollinator habitat......etc.

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Oddly, too, I've had this idea, below, in mind for the area with my above ground propane tank.  Cannot wait for the before/after shots of my propane tank.  Who knew such delights could be had?  Adore taking the worst a garden offers and turning it into use and beauty.

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Big effect, below, little input.  Been done thousands of times across the centuries, and will be done again at our new home.  Copy.  NEVER worry about copying.  Each site is unique, making each iteration new/fresh.  Again, the Garden Design Equation, and why it works.  Your garden is unique, and the brain cells you apply enhance every effect.

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Gratuitous, below, if you know anything about Historic Garden Design.
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And, of course, I will copy it too.  Daffodils
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Notice something else about all these pics?  Deer proof.

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Luckily my new bathroom needs a 'tweak'.  And, there is a window overlooking the new orchard/rose arbor.  This is exactly how my tub will site, at its window.

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Single story, our American Farmhouse, is quite long.  3 days here, I know for sure, both front/back doors will have their own set of work shoes/shovels/pruners/wheelbarrow/hats.
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A garden must leverage your time.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics via Cote De Texas, from Elle Decor




Friday, June 5, 2015

French Toile: Anna Belle Hydrangeas, Tool Bouquets, Garden Shed

A good French toile, below, come to life.
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Shot this week, I'm greedy and would like daily access.
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Shoot when the rose is cascading blossoms.



Shoot on a snowy day in the dead of winter.


 Shoot on a bleached out hot humid Southern afternoon.


Shoot from inside the kitchen, two big windows view this French toile.
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Fall shots, with rain, a refined camera allowing you to smell the petrichor from foliage, and rusty tools, or corrugated metal.  Divining the distinctions of each.
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A great year for Anna Belle hydrangeas.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics from Susanne Hudson's garden this week.  Come see her garden, it's on tour this Sat/Sun, Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival.

Monday, June 1, 2015

When it's Simple, You're Dancing

For years I've known the best question to ask after 'completing' a Garden Design, "What can I take out, and it still holds together?"
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For decades I've had the privilege of being hired by women in their 70's-80's.  Most widowed, or divorced.  Why privilege?  Aside from demanding beauty with ease of maintenance, that's easy, the known quantity, yet unspoken, is staying in the house, till the end.  We're playing at winning the end game, without stress.  The end game is not for sissies.  Roofs with major winds, plumbing issues within a slab, a toilet leaking from upstairs while away on a trip flooding the entire home, a cancer diagnosis, perhaps a stroke, living for months with a grown child needing grandma's help with their little ones during a job transition.
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When I'm hired by these women, I understand unspoken reasons.
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Now, moving into a new home, I'm designing my new garden for my 80 year old self.

Sfeervolle stadstuin met veranda  www.buytengewoon.nl Bart Bolier - Tuinarchitect ontwerp@buytengewoon.nl tuinontwerp | tuinrealisatie

Looks 'modern', above, yet follows every classic Garden Design rule since before Christ's era.

Planete Deco

Without awareness, or training, I know something, in metaphor, about Garden Design, Herbert Muschamp wrote in describing Venice, "The function of the City was to translate the religion into a visual & spacial code."

John Rocha. Provence

Beloved has asked me, more than once, always in exasperation, "Are you always a Garden?"  Yes, thank you.  More than believe, active choices are made throughout the day, every day, to 'Take Joy' as Tasha Tudor did, by knowing into my DNA, "Our energy flows where our attention goes."

From Bunny Williams' gorgeous home and inspiring garden, the subject of "An Affair with a House" - lovely stone patio!

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?", W.B. Yeats.  If you have a landscape, your answer is public, every picture in this post, the owner knows the dance, and dances.  

Garden of Axel Vervoordt in Belgium

Above, plain?  Hardly.  You're seeing the dance.
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Riet verveelt nooit. Deze prachtige stoelen in combinatie met een tafel met een gietijzeren onderstel.. http://www.royaldesign.nl/tuinmeubels/tuinstoelen/vergrijsde-rieten-stoel-nina/0600-100/C/38

Why aren't more gardens, above, like this one?  Aside from easy to maintain, interiors flowing outside, do you notice the major force?  This garden reeks of invitation, alone or a pair, and quickly available to expand for a group enjoying dinner/wine.

Landscaping by Stijn Cornilly

This garden, above, combines the previous 2 pics.  Scroll upward and look again.  This is the dance.
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Haven't moved into my new home/garden yet, but I'm already dancing its dance.
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Isn't it time you dance yours?
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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All pics Pinterest: Vanishing Threshold.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Micro & Macro Mission Statements


What's the mission statement for your garden?
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Mine?
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I want to look out every window of my home, and unprompted, exclaim, 'OH WOW'.  Everyday, many times each day, and night.  
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Of course that is too small, micro.  Macro, I must have something coming into bloom every 2 weeks, all year.  Little maintenance, no irrigation, fragrance, pollinators, and views I choose, the sky framed to my amusement, etc...
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Before the internet, cell phone, digital camera, I demanded of my garden a roll of 36 slides, taken any day of the year, each slide worthy of a magazine/catalogue/book cover.  The brain wave, for taking any garden picture.


Yesterday, above.  Shooting my front garden, in the Bay Terrace, Laura.  Days of sorrow & tears, in moving, I refuse to allow to take away a single moment of the many joys, grace, & life victories pouring forth, in moving.  


Tears were not dry on my cheeks, from shooting the pics top/bottom, before time to celebrate, above, milestones for the move.
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Beloved/I had quite the day, zooming in 2 cars follow the leader, sometimes 1, against 'major' deadlines, downtowns/parking meters/back roads/storms/lawyers/judges/morons/saints/banks etc, like a Doris Day/Rock Hudson film.  
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After my vinegar/water spilled in his car, already frustrated he was beyond perturbed, then I discovered his huge commercial project blue prints were more than wet with 'my' vinegar/water, holes were eaten thru his blueprints.  The more perturbed Beloved got the harder I laughed.
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(Really 'my' vinegar/water only spilled because of his driving.), Beloved had to head out-of-state to that huge commercial job, now full of vinegar/water holes, good to give a man something to remember you by.  Called him on the phone to stay.  No.  Then came the weather.  No.  Weather came bigger.  No.  Roads closed, and it was already rush hour in Atlanta.  
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Guess who was toasting with champagne?
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Of course he was.
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Need to let you know about the vinegar/water, you'll probably be drinking it soon.


In my new garden, I know, epiphanies/metaphors will arrive, specifically, to place my loved garden properly.  
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Faith.  Trust.  Grace.
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Trinity of strength. 
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Top/bottom pics are separate photos, I doubt I'll ever get over the luxury of taking as many pics as desired.  During the days of slides, sometimes, I had to wait for developing because I had no money.  Importance of each slide being fabulous was imperative.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO T

Friday, May 15, 2015

Howard Slatkin: Tete-a-tete

My new house, 115 year old American farmhouse architecture, has a large formal dining room with a corner of windows.  Not a large arena within the room, but I knew from the 1st walk thru the corner would be a favorite spot.  Less than 24 hours later I made an offer on the house.
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Howard Slatkin, below, nailed it for my dining room corner, below.
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The daily 'look', below.

howard slatkin dining room

And, arranged, below, for my favorite, a tete-a-tete.

Dining room in NY apartment of Howard Slatkin. Habitually Chic®

Though I haven't moved in I know where my guest will sit.  1 window has a fabulous view, the other 'needs work'.  Alone, it's obvious where I will sit.  Ok, both views 'need work', at least one is completely vernacular.

Lunch on a Russian table, New York dining room of Howard Slatkin, from his forthcoming book "Fifth Avenue Style" from Vendome Press. Photo by Tria Giovan.
Solitary luncheon is the most common, but I had excellent mentoring in dining alone.  Miss Louise, my beloved grandmother-in-law, long a widow, always chose a beautiful setting for herself, alone, and for our many dinners together, tete-a-tete, of course.

"Casual" window-side dining in Howard Slatkin’s fantasy of a Fifth Avenue home.

Another mentor, Mary Kistner, along with her beautiful table settings, taught me her favorite tea recipe, Earl Gray mixed with fresh mint from the potager.  She always had a 2nd teapot too, filled solely with a mix of her many types of mint, with just finished boiling water poured over.  Discussing the merits of the 2nd teapot was a delight, everytime.
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My corner will have mostly vintage wicker.  An excuse has arrived to allow, yet another, dropleaf gateleg antique table into my stable.  The hunt has begun.
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More Pins from Howard Slatkin on my Edwardian pin board created for my new house.  Howard has a focus with his interior design, too many decorators do not have.  People.  Howard Slatkin focuses his interiors and gardens for people to have conversations, laughter, share stories, gossip, create lives well lived, beyond material goods.  His gardens are fascinating, they put a tete-a-tete above all, always.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Pics Howard Slatkin.  Closing on the new house soon, choosing interior colors next week.  Movers are hired but many trips with antique ironstone/china, lamps, art, a few chairs for 'scope of the imagination' to be had, 3 dropleaf tables to site front-middle-back of the house, will be toted in my little van, alone.  Put together a box for the kitchen, enough to get me thru this 'camping' phase of 3 weeks before movers arrive.  My favorite vintage ivory linen tea towels, 3 types of tea, oversized Spode 'gardeners' tea cup, and oversized Spode mug, coffee, you get the idea, enough for a tete-a-tete right away in that dining room corner.
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Of course I'm bringing 3 wicker waste baskets, a bucket with brush/comet, garbage bags, paper towels, cleaning rags, broom/dust pan, a little radio to listen to classical music on NPR, things for the charwoman.  Me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dots Connected: Agriculture, Water, Government, Gut Biome & Banking

Vintage ironstone, below, what do you see in the scene?  Decades, I saw, 'boring'.


Now, I see prayers of thanks, honoring the gift of Nature from Providence, its methods of provision, and more than simple survival, spiritual.  We are included in the cycle, as surely as the daffodil in spring.
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Spring's platter, honoring flowers of the guild, attracting widest variety of pollinators to the fruit trees, increasing yields by 80%.  Survival of man, pollinators, livestock, communities, nations.
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Commercial agriculture & livestock steps outside the circle of stewardship.  Water is poisoned, soil is killed, communities die, a nation's congress is bought.  ( Is 'sold' more correct?  Thank you to my dear readers sending missives elucidating where I am wildly wrong.  Why be a little bit wrong?)
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Fascinating science arriving about our gut bacteria, its role in our health.  From The Daily Mail, May 11, 2015, "

Everything you think you know about diets is WRONG: Counting calories is a total waste of time, it’s bacteria in your gut that make you fat and finally, cheese, alcohol and chocolate can all help"


"Professor Spector believes it’s down to the bacteria in our gut. He has found that the type and variety of our gut bugs have an astonishing influence on many aspects of our health.
‘Microbes are not only essential to how we digest food,’ he says. 
‘They also control the calories we absorb and provide vital enzymes and vitamins, as well as keeping our immune system healthy.’, full article.
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Following the money, a group of small farmers gathered almost a decade ago, brainstorming ways to keep money from leaving their county, discovering as time passed the idea had to grow from county to state to region.  This is hilarious, you already know where this is going, I'm sure of it.  
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The Atlantic,

Planning for Rural America's Economic Future

In Pottawattamie County, the agricultural sector is proving that innovative regional strategies can start anywhere.
"It has worked to train the next generation of farmers and to help existing farms with small-business coaching. Now, the county even collaborates with nearby Omaha, Nebraska, to help attract and keep corporations in the region instead of engaging in an economic border war across state lines, a development that too often plagues regional economic development.".
Continuing, "Part of the strategy to keep money in-state was to shift the type of farming that southwest Iowans engaged in from large industrialized farms to smaller operations that grew food that local people could eat. From this initial series of meetings was born the Southwest Iowa Food and Farm Initiative. The group has grown to a roster of more than 50 farmers, O'Brien says, with a smattering of local food-policy councils."  Full article.  
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From the 1960's Wendell Berry has written about the decimation of family farms, their way of life supporting more than a family, entire towns, conglomerated into states, and for most of USA's history, an entire country, agricultural.  More about USA's agricultural founders & its influence upon our form of government, read, Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf.
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Back to the platter, 
Until post WWII people, world wide, knew Nature, its workings literally & metaphorically,  as survival to health of the body, spirit, and financial security.  
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Losing the connection, less than a century ago, science is proving Nature of more importance to our good health than our good actions with diet & anti-bacterial soap, working sedentary office lives, not in tandem with the seasons of the soil.
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Further, trying to financially stabilize & grow a dying rural USA, improves health for people, agriculture, livestock, water, soil.  A banking system as beneficial as local farming must be chosen.  
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Ellen Brown, takes banking the way I take agriculture, for the people, organic, honest, public banks.  She's a money farmer.  Without good banking matching good agriculture/livestock, the system is weak, money flowing away from communities.
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Ellen Brown, "Connecting the Dots – 05.06.15
At what point are you willing to challenge your own notions of what’s really going on? Can you even imagine that the mavens of the Money Power would threaten human survival to serve themselves for even bigger personal profits? Ellen’s guest, researcher Dane Wigington, has a trove of data to suggest that they would. And they do so in the form of geoengineering, a covert tool allegedly being used to control natural systems for private profit. We also hear commentary from Matt Stannard about the economics of the Baltimore uprising and from Marc Armstrong about America’s only publicly-owned depository bank, the Bank of North Dakota, which just issued its latest annual report — it’s another record-setting winner!
Listen here."
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California is currently turning water into a government resource/commodity, soon, your state will too.  A relief to discover there is new science, & engineering, about water.
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Ellen Brown, 

California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

"Tapping Underground Seas
Another untapped resource is California’s own “primary” water — water newly produced by chemical processes within the earth that has never been part of the surface hydrological cycle. Created when conditions are right to allow oxygen to combine with hydrogen, this water is continually being pushed up under great pressure from deep within the earth and finds its way toward the surface where there are fissures or faults. This water can be located everywhere on the planet. It is the water flowing in wells in oases in the desert, where there is neither rainfall nor mountain run-off to feed them.
study reported in Scientific American in March 2014 documented the presence of vast quantities of water locked far beneath the earth’s surface, generated not by surface rainfall but from pressures deep within. The study confirmed “that there is a very, very large amount of water that’s trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth… approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s oceans.”
In December 2014, BBC News reported the results of a study presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which researchers estimate there is more water locked deep in the earth’s crust than in all its rivers, swamps and lakes together. Japanese researchers reported in Science in March 2002 that the earth’s lower mantle may store about five times more water than its surface oceans."  Full article here
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Back to the platter.
  
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A lot of writing in this post, more eloquently drawn, above, in my vintage ironstone platter.  Yet, I did not go into the realm of Providence, sure, all my words inadequate, the platter says it all.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Don't know what a guild is for fruit trees?  More, here.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Conservatory in the Gloaming





My Conservatory, below.  Rescued materials for over a decade, stored in my garage.
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New materials, gravel flooring, stone steps, electrical, carpentry, a tin roof.
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With few resources, extreme determination, I have a Conservatory.
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In the gloaming, the Conservatory is more than alive, it is dryads dancing.  How was I to know?
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Gloaming approaches, below.


Shooting from my French doors at the breakfast room terrace, below, last nite.  Last moments of chiaroscuro gloaming.
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The ache of this desire.  Ephemeral.
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There is more Dark Matter in the universe than what we know of our universe.  Have known this bit of science, on faith, since childhood.  My dad said so.  Georgia Tech engineer, Air Force test pilot, I was born at Wright Pat, NASA rocket scientist, astronaut trainer, space capsule designer, then the ease of Space Shuttle payload avionics, and fun of payload robotic arm, overnite stints in MER, Mission Control became 'everyday' systems watch while the Mission Evaluation Room has active engineering for any system failures, until his death in his late 70's.   Missile guidance systems were his Air Force Reserve 2 week active duty work while we had the white sand beach of the Officers Club, built ca. 1930, between Fort Walton & Destin.
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I don't believe in Dark Matter, I know it exists.
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In the gloaming, is the closest I get to physically experiencing it.  As if Providence gives us a pin prick in its cloak.
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What does this have to do with my Conservatory?  In the gloaming, is the best time for my Conservatory.  People prattle on about 'spring' in a garden, glories of fall foliage, yesyesyesyes, they are beyond words, and I have that in my garden.  Rarer than those glories, are a Conservatory in the Gloaming.


During the gloaming, my century old tongue/groove walls, below, glow reddish.





In the gloaming, and past the gloaming, my conservatory, above, takes me anywhere I want to go.


Beloved brought me a bouquet of Cotton, above, roots still attached.


During daylight, my conservatory, above.



My Conservatory in Better Homes & Gardens magazine, above.  Built this with Susanne Hudson for our garden display at the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, Douglasville, GA.
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Cannot encourage you, enough, to build your own Conservatory.  Mostly for the Gloaming.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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Have been in many national magazines, cable TV, PBS, CBS, NBC, lecture stages across the country,  and know, none of those venues can give you what I am trying to pass along in a little blog post.  Curious?  Hopefully enough to finally build your own Conservatory.  



Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden Sanctuary: Tabernacle

I planted Chinese Snowball, Viburnum macrocephalum, for the blooms.  Below, in my garden yesterday.
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Instead, discovered Chinese snowball is a top member of the Ministry of Stewardship.


A small garden, Chinese Snowball was pruned into a tree.  Who knew a bare multi-trunked tree with canopy on top is prime location for song birds to rest from predators, bring their lunch, and a place for my painter to sit & smoke cigarettes on hot Southern summer days, some times my choice of office for making calls?


This, above/below, is why to have a garden.  Reminds me of doing math homework in high school.  Every other problem had the answer in the back of the book, letting you know you've done a multi-stepped task right.    One of my chief delights, and accomplishments, on this Earth, is what has been done in my garden with Chinese Snowball.  And I didn't do it, Providence did.
 

Subsidiary focal points, above/below, graced.


Selfish, adoring my first Chinese snowball, I planted another, below.  Shot this one while standing in the street.

At her feet, the potager, below.  Is there one word encompassing the few moments a tree has as many blossoms on her arms as at her feet?  Is this my tabernacle, given by Providence?   Ruth always said something provocative in spirit when she shared at meetings for friends/families of alcoholics.  And, invariable at every meeting for years, she spilled her cup of coffee.  Elderly, of little breath, it was a delight every time those nearest rushed in to help.  Total feminine power, but barely enough strength/air to walk.  
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Ruth's funeral was standing room only at her little Southern Baptist church in a field, 1950's long low rectangular, red brick construction.  Seated near the front, with a meadow view, tears, and the preacher droning.  Alone in grief, until he said something riveting.  Ruth's body was a tabernacle.  Now, that was a curious thing, and I had zero idea what he meant.  I looked it up.  Not my job to tell you what it meant, it's for you to look up and know it from your spirit.  (Blessedly have my inherited unabridged Webster's 10" thick, don't you?)
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  How did Nature become so dissected from the bible?  These moments of petals, throughout the year, with various shrubs/trees/groundcovers, are all tabernacle moments.  A Life force beyond my skills/knowledge/efforts.  Humbling.  In this beauty, death, regeneration, Providence skips merrily, the next day always another tabernacle.  


Leaving the street, and stepping into my garden, below.


Look closely, below, at that window.  It is my office window.  When the Chinese snowball is well finished 'tabernacling' the tree beside it, Crape Myrtle will begin bloom.


My lot is 8500sf, a lot less than a quarter acre.  Do you sense this?  Neither do I.  In the public realm, below, of my garden, do you see that many houses nearby  Neither do I, they are there, and this is reality, as is the tabernacle.  I built it.  My intention?  No clue.  Providence found me.


After much thought, years, I figured out why my garden lives so big, it's the sky, above, I own it.


My garden frames the sky, and in return Providence gave it entirely to me.  A gift you can take for yourself.  It's Tasha Tudor's favorite line of poetry, "...Take joy"  
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Took these pics without my glasses.
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Shooting my office window, I began to tear, but quickly remembered a friend's wisdom, "Make no major decisions after dusk and before dawn."  Moving, leaving my garden is rending my heart.  During the day I'm so excited about my new garden, at nite the chattering monkeys in my head.  Tearing up shooting the pic, no energy for another crying jag, I realized it was moments after dusk, and I would ignore the urge, did, and laughed.