Gardening with Tara Dillard

Continuing with the gardening theme and what my brain is focused on these days I wanted to introduce you to
 Tara Dillard

 I met her recently and she is witty, talks super fast  very funny and I thought at that moment we could be great chums.  I had seen her across the blog land waves so it was fun to meet in person.

I picked up one of her books (she has several) and have devoured it.  As I have said before I am not a gardner but I do like pretty and color so I am learning!

She says a garden takes patience (not one of my virtues) and that striving for beauty is part of the design.  I loved that she said that an important part of garden design is simplicity.

While enjoying others' gardens I did not take in that there is a foundation for the garden just as in the home.  Grass is like flooring, trees are like walls, etc.

From Tara's book Beautiful by Design

I love all of these tips because I can see myself loving what is in bloom only to find out that it dies and doesn't come back!

I  mentioned in the last post that Mr. MD and I are raising an area for a flower garden and laying a stone patio.  Tara has some great visual layouts in her book which really help me.

Focal points are very important and Tara likes plinths (new word for me - a base or platform upon which a column, pedestal, statue, monument or structure rests wiki) and pots. She encourages us to make our own plinths with whatever we have on hand. Hmmm, I would need a trip to the stone quarry!
She loves a 'Queen's pot' "the most beautiful pot you can find to be a focal point in an area of your garden". (Beautiful by Design, page 18).

another idea to ponder

A home's interior and exterior should compliment one another. 

Outdoor dining tables are a focal point and they should look nice when looking out the window of your home. 
One thing I am working on now as well, is moving the grills (gas, charcoal and smoker...oy) out of view from the back windows of the home.  They are going off of the deck and off to the side where they cannot be seen from any window on the backside. 

Now to find just the right colors that are an extension from the inside to the outside.

I drool over hydrangeas, I have two big bushes but unfortunately they were planted (before we moved in) where no one can see them.  In my new garden there will be some planted where I can enjoy them daily.

Tara illustrated this so well

and here it is 'for real'. It looks like a manicured it!

Bird houses as focal points.  I can see the squirrelies having a field day here!

Something aged so beautifully with God's beauty surrounding and growing up through.

These will be my next books!

Be sure and visit Tara's blog and keep up with her and get her great tips!  I love her tagline:
Garden and Be Well!

Do you want your house to be a lovely home?
Contact MD here!

All pictures and information learned and shared are from 
Tara Dillard's Beautiful by Design


  1. Thank YOU Renae.

    A joy to see the pics you chose. And your take aways. That's what it's all about!!

    The hand-drawings from my book were done by Shannon Pable.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. Oh I love tara and her thoughts and images! About your hydrangeas...remember a garden is not much different then a room. You can often move plants (even big established ones) just like you would move furniture...put those Hydes where you CAN see them!

  3. Hi Renae; Thank you for posting about Tara. I know I'd enjoy her blog and her books too. I really love to garden, even if I don't have that sacred 'green thumb'. I often kill as much as I plant (surprised I raised 4 kids) but I sure find it good for the soul. If I'm ever feeling sad, a good dig in the ground solves that problem. You own re-vamp of your yard sounds like it'll be a fabulous. It's amazing what transformation great landscaping can make upon a home. Keep us posted how it all goes. Have a great Thursday my dear friend, xo

  4. I adore a beautiful garden. Like you said "it takes patience" and I'm like you, I don't have much!
    Mine is a work in progress but it's coming along. Loved all your images!

  5. Thanks Renae for sharing. I love Tara's tried and true suggestions on building on foundation and then having patience. I know your garden will be just beautiful and provide a wonderful place for planting, plowing and praying too. Hey if you're already on your knees, why not!
    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
    xo Lisa

  6. Just recently discovered Tara's blog and now yours!! Looks like you've turned to the best garden advice giver in blogland for will be wonderful! I didn't realize she had books, looking forward to reading them...we live on a post-construction site and it's a disaster, it will be nice to get my head in the garden again.
    Your ideas so far sound with all!
    xo Jessica

  7. Renae, This is an awesome post. I've followed Tara for some time and always love her insights. I'm excited for you and can't wait to see your finished project. We're on the same path right now. Enjoy your Sunday. Mona

  8. These images are so inspiring!!! If I won the lottery the first thing I would do is hire someone like Tara to create a beautiful garden in our backyard.

  9. Tara is amazing!!!! and so pretty too.

  10. tara is something else.
    and this post is great.

  11. How is your garden now????

    May 1, 2013 !!

    Let me know.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T


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