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Monday, 20 November 2017 14:26

Thinking Like Nicky Haslam & Bunny Mellon

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Garden writing. In the macro. During the 80's House & Garden, and Horticulture magazine, were electric. Editors knew who to hire for their garden articles, which gardens were acceptable, for both photography and words. More importantly th
ey knew how to edit, aka, curate. Blessed was the era.
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I see clothing, food, health, interior design writing/photography and still find good hiring and curating. Getting their message, mission, conveyed.
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All the clothing/lifestyle ideas, below, point toward action, see/do. An informed attitude, curated. See it, get it, do it. No where do I see, below, details about how to wash the clothes, dry the clothes, perhaps iron, buff the shoes, apply the make-up, etc.
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You've taken my point. With garden writing, I take you for having intelligence, wit, and nuance.


Pic, above, here.
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A John Fowler pelmet
Pic, above, here.
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Pic, above, is a garden writing pic. Yet, again, produced outside the garden writing venue, interior design. Many thanks to interior design writing/photography honoring the garden, as greatly as they do.
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Garden design begins inside your home, from the views looking out. No surprise the owner of this home, above, is also a famous gardener, Nicky Haslam, who is, in addition, a well known interior designer, bon vivant, singer, writer...
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Would be good to see a collage, similar to the top pic, next to the pic, above. More, and have it be a normal part of the processes of garden writing. Me? Yes, I want to be that garden writer, but for the filthy lucre, my plate is full, garden designing, contracting, speaking, writing. No worries, working on this idea, finally beyond the macro, into the micro.
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As I write about garden-writing and how it comes up short, so, too, Nicky Haslam, “Decoration has become a faintly pejorative word... There is almost no acknowledgment of the design world and its contribution to the economy by our government but there are endless accolades for fashion.”
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Several years ago, Georgia was in a dire drought, and the governor turned off the water for all outdoor garden use, all. Harm to the horticulture industry was extreme. Two leaders, from agriculture and horticulture, put together their facts/figures about their respective industries, with their combined value to the Georgia economy, in sales & jobs. They made an appointment with the governor, 48 hours later Georgia's water was turned back on, with restrictions, but water flowed.
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Perhaps you merely thought I was writing about the state of garden writing, isn't-that-quaint type of foolishness. Money is on the table. And, being lost.
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Big money, at least the governor thought so.
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Garden & Be Well, XOT
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Finally arrayed my interiors with evergreen topiaries. Delivered to the front porch last week. A box full of thriving plants & a box of books delivered to the doorstep are one of life's delights. Plant stands, antique ironstone saucers, trays, baskets, terra cotta pots, ironstone cache pots, sourced for years, waiting. Beyond the garden design conceit, for centuries, having plants on the windowsill, top pic, and elsewhere inside, Bunny Mellon, perfected interior topiary to its own art, almost the raison d'etre of her interior design. Remember, see it/get it/do it, from above ? Seeing Bunny's interiors, I knew to trust having evergreen topiaries.
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Pic, above, Fred Conrad, here.
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Adore the off hand, seemingly lower than subsidiary focal point, topiary, above, with Bunny.
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Meeting with a client yesterday, wildly fabulous appointment (we flagged her new drive/parking court/front walk), I mentioned to her what happened, bringing the topiaries into my interiors. No words for their impact, excepting one, spiritual. My client immediately said, "Of course they are, that's why flowers are brought to someone in the hospital." Reminded me of a friend's home, perhaps the best interior decorator I know, yet she's never done it professionally. Her interiors so incredible, the very air is designed more fabulous. Again, no good words for describing her work. And, she always has a live plant as part of her interior design.
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"I don’t really come by to pray,” Mellon once told the rector of an Episcopalian church in the Norman medieval style that she financed and helped design. “I come in to talk with God because he’s a dear, dear friend of mine." From, NYTimes Bunny Mellon obituary, here.
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Also, from her obituary, "...shockingly extravagant and studiously understated: Her aesthetic motto was “nothing should be noticed.” Recently a client texted me that quote. It had impacted her too. I had first read it in the obituary.
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With a long time client last week, delving into a new life layer with house/garden, we sat together vision questing. Almost the full tapestry of 'life' woven throughout. I had mentioned Bunny Mellon xyz. Whatever. Leaving the appointment, standing in her back hallway toward the door, she hands me a photo torn from a magazine years ago, something else she wants for her garden. It was a photo of Bunny Mellon's arbor allee of crabapple trees.
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Putting topiaries in my home did not provide the expected results. Instead, far greater has been gained than imagined.

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