Monday, March 23, 2009

POVERTY CYCLE

Touring the old gardens of Charleston, SC over 2 decades ago I realized why they were fabulously incredible. They had endured the POVERTY CYCLE. More than endure. The POVERTY CYCLE is the largest element of their success. Monet's famous landscape was due to the POVERTY CYCLE. Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West & Harold Nicolson's garden, again, the POVERTY CYCLE. Using gravel instead of stone? The POVERTY CYCLE. Beauty & function with the sound of 'crunch'.
Old stone terraces with pretty perennials between the cracks? The POVERTY CYCLE. During WWI the estate gardens of Europe lacked labor. No one to repoint the mortar of once pristine stone terraces. We've not gone back. The POVERTY CYCLE led to a prettier, easier, cheaper beauty.

Field gathering furniture & focal points for the landscape the French, centuries ago, painted them all a single color, to unify. Again, the POVERTY CYCLE.


Above, free stones, free chair, plants on sale. The POVERTY CYCLE proving, thru difficulty, you can landscape beautifully.

Wanting a gate & settling for an old fence section wired to galvanized nails. The gate doesn't move. It's a faux gate. The POVERTY CYCLE.
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The best landscape design ideas have come from the POVERTY CYCLE.
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A combination of : intellect, intuitiveness, creativity, art, heart, eccentricity, boldness, integrity and the realization, It is a privilege to garden during our short time on this planet.
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Too often landscapes on make-over TV shows, and big landscapes at large flower shows lack POVERTY CYCLE elements. And that is why TV garden shows and large flower shows are losing numbers.
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Those landscapes dazzle while they condescend & patronize.
How? The creators see an opportunity to do marketing not create a relevant landscape for their audience.
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Yes, with some of my landscape design projects, not many, I've had to 'down' sell clients to stone in dirt, vs. mortar, or gravel instead of stone, injecting the richness of the POVERTY CYCLE.
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XO Tara

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TARA TURF

TARA TURF IS UNIQUE TO EACH REGION.
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TARA TURF, in GA, is a mix of grass-moss-clover-mondo-ajuga-dandelion--mazus-and what the wind blows in. Add crocus, dwarf daffodil, thyme if desired.
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TARA TURF is mowed at 1-2-3 heights, below. Beneficial to wildlife, organic, sustainable, fragrant, low maintenance, eco and only uses rainwater.>

TARA TURF, mixed heights, above, in England.

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Studying landscapes in Europe I noticed, NO LAWNS. TARA TURF is used commercially and residentially.
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New neighborhoods lack smell and mixed insects. Did you know there are more good bugs than bad bugs?
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Old neighborhoods smell like my childhood. Clover, grass, bugs, dirt, all the good things.
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Most new neighborhoods have deed restrictions outlawing TARA TURF.

TARA TURF in England, above.

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The outlaw label, against TARA TURF, should be amusing but the stakes are too high.
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The cost of mow-blow-go is too high. Lawn mowers are not regulated. One hour of lawn mowing is equal to 11 hours of driving a car.
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Fertilizer, insecticide & fungicide kill machorizal fungi. TARA TURF in Italy, above.

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And drain into groundwater. Atrazine in our drinking water was on the front page of NY Times 8-23-09. TARA TURF uses no chemicals.
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Yes, I design lawns. Preferring TARA TURF but using what deed restrictions require.
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Paul Tukey, Safelawns, is a resource for organic lawns.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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I took the top pic at Sissinghurst, England several years ago. Sissinghurst uses TARA TURF!

WOODLAND WATTLE: FORMAL & INFORMAL

Used by tribes in Africa I observed what my late mentor & friend, Mary Kistner did with her woodland leaves-branches-rocks-etc.
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CREATE A WATTLE: PULL WOODLAND DEBRIS INTO A SERPENTINE LINE. 3.5' AT THE BASE & TAPERING TOWARD THE TOP, NO MORE THAN 4' TALL. Wattles prevent leaves, in a woodland setting, from blowing back onto paths and into desirable bushes.
They don't photograph well. Clients & students cringe at my wattle words & pictures.

Every client & student visiting my wattles has gone home, excited, & created their own wattles.
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No more hauling the stuff off, or worse, paying to have it hauled off.
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Instead you're creating a butterfly habitat.
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You're composting without effort.
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My wattles are over a decade old. What I've never seen in my wattle: rats, snakes, coons.
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I've designed wattles into landscapes for over 15 years.
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For more drama, you knew it was coming, break a wattle open for a pathway. Break it open about 3.5'-4' wide. Place rocks from your property at each end of the wattle opening.
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Mary Kistner died at age 83 about 5 years ago. She grew up on an apple orchard in upstate New York.
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Formal Wattle: Use one type of debris.
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Informal Wattle: Uses multiple types of debris.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


IS THIS PIECE SO WONDERFUL IT WILL BE FOUGHT OVER AT MY ESTATE SALE?

No matter what you are bringing home for your landscape: tables, chairs, pots, rocks, bricks, birdhouses, birdfeeders, birdbaths, plinths, fencing, pruners, potting table and etc..
Ask yourself, IS THIS SO WONDERFUL IT WILL BE FOUGHT OVER AT MY ESTATE SALE? It's cheaper to ask the question.
Don't buy something because you're tired, it's late, it's cheap and merely OK.
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You'll get rid of it later...............I promise. And what a waste.
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Wait for the right thing. And the 'right things' are mostly found junking and at garage sales. Of course there are exceptions. Life is short. Open your checkbook. I've never regretted a dime spent in my landscape.

I am a very good estate sale. You would really like my metal window boxes and......
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


CUTE KILLS IN A LANDSCAPE

Cute kills in a landscape. Use wit instead.
In your landscape these monkeys may be cute, in this landscape they are witty.
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The line is relative: cute vs. witty. Get it wrong and your landscape will look, hmm, not good.
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What else? The monkeys reduce global warming.
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Yes, these monkeys are helping to reduce global warming. How?
No car trips to buy potting soil, fertilizer, annuals, and etc. at least twice a year for potted color.
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A landscape NEEDING annuals for color is a failed landscape.
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Other choices: flowering shrubs, focal points, stones in patterns.

THE WELL PLACED CHAIR

Place a chair in your landscape for no other reason than aesthetics. Imagine each of these pictures without the chair.
Function follows form with the WELL PLACED CHAIR.
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You'll find yourself sitting in the chair for lunch. Taking pretty pictures. More.

Not any chair will do. Find your WELL PLACED CHAIR at a thrift store, garage sale, junk market. Paint it a color from your interior artwork.
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Buy it from anywhere but a ubiquity. Now there's a word you don't want me uttering in your landscape. UBIQUITOUS.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


THE QUEEN'S POT

Pots in your landscape must be so wonderful they can remain empty. In addition to being fabulous, empty pots are ECO. They need no planting, watering, trips to the nursery for ingredients, time, money. If you want a low maintenance landscape you want the QUEEN'S POT.
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How I discovered this invention, http://taradillard.blogspot.com/2009/03/queens-pot.html
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara