Tara Taught Me This

It snowed last night all through the night and I awoke to this:

I painted the fence this past summer. It is Benjamin Moore “Victorian Purple.” I also painted our house doors this color–and our wheelbarrow and a small outdoor table.

The chest you see here I found on our street. A neighbor had put it out for the garbage men to pick up. Wait a second I thought to myself. That chest would make a great focal point in our yard.
I grew peas in the bottom draw this summer!

And this is what the amazing Tara Dillard taught me. I don’t remember her exact words as she taught me this years ago; she was one of my very first internet friends–ten or eleven years ago!

What I do recall is Tara talking about putting things out in your landscape to which your eye would carry you–a focal point; it is all very poetic in my mind.

This is what the fence looked like this past summer before I painted it Victorian Purple:
Self Portrait with Nadine.
Isn’t it beautiful? All thanks to Tara! It makes me smile.

Meanwhile, back to this morning; we had a few beautiful visitors to our backyard landscape:
Do you have something in your yard that make you smile?
I would love to hear from you!

If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography–photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

22 thoughts on “Tara Taught Me This

  1. Best sentence I’ve read in a long time? “That chest…I grew peas in the bottom drawer this summer.”Makes me smile. Next, I want a picture that captures your home/doors AND the fence. Loving your color choice. Nadine too.Snow on its way. If power goes out think of me bundled in the conservatory with a roaring fire. With cat at my side.Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


  2. I like the Cosmos looking over your shoulder.One Bell System project I worked on for several years was titled Computer Operating System for Mainframe Operations Support, aka COSMOS. I always took it that the acronym referred to the Universe. Then I planted some seeds and a jungle grew off green stalks and airy fronds, reaching 12 feet high and putting out pink and white and purple blossoms, simple and pleasing. Then I knew the real reference for the acronym was the flowers. I love them, my wife grows them for me and they make me smile. http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1280&bih=810&q=cosmos+flower&gbv=2&aq=1&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=cosmos&gs_rfai=


  3. 🙂 How fun is that? Love the victorian purple. Love the chest. Love the peas in the bottom drawer!We have a pair of brilliant blue lawn chairs that I love–I want to find them cushions in the brightest electric pink and green. 🙂


  4. Heidi, I do have a photo of the peas growing in the draw! I have to look for jpg.Tara, I will. Stay warm.Steve, Great story! I love the Cosmos–both in our yard and out there :)GB, Photos of chairs?FB, Isn’t the color great!!!Pamela, Love Tara!


  5. I absolutely love the fence and as Tara commented, would love to see a picture of the other items. Purple just happens to be my favorite color:).But beyond that, I like the concept of placing things in your landscape with your eye would carry you. Thank you for your comment today, and thank you for sharing this.


  6. Love it! I always enjoy reading/looking at your posts.I’ve always wanted to find a piece of furniture and then grow stuff in the drawers; although I’m very good with growing things. 🙂 I guess right now, since our pool takes up most of our yard, it is our focal point. But would like to change that someday. Maybe painting the fence behind it a fun color??? Color improves most things.Fabulous photos and a beautiful yard.Lisa Vitalehttp://lisawifemom.wordpress.com/


  7. Lovely pictures, as always, Bruce.This morning we had a really solid frost for the first time this season (a bit different than your blanket of snow). I didn’t photograph anything before it melted, but the morning light glinted off each blade of grass. I may brave the nippy air and take a few pictures tomorrow.


  8. We have a bird feeder than hangs in our back yard and every year a family of cardinals comes to feed there. we have watched the babies grown into adults and then come back with their babies. We also get woodpeckers and bluebirds but the sound I love the most is the mockingbirdJulie Labes the…Fierce over 50 feels much younger, point and click junkie, loves to travel, does not use a jogging stroller, and before you ask, this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman


  9. Love, love the purple fence. Would love to have seen the doors, wheelbarrel and table along with it. Although my yard is a work in progress, I found five lovely garden stakes that add a touch of whimsey.Rachel Lavernhttp://www.rachellavern.comPersonal Transformation, Enlightenment and Development


  10. beautiful photos as usual!I love how you changed your focus with the purple fence and chest.I have been doing a little bit of the same in our yard — adding ivy which I love and a wrought iron bench as focus.Rachel


  11. It’s hard to feel inspired by our yard in Utah – everything is so dry and brown here, when it’s not covered by snow! I did LOVE my yard in Australia so much. We had over 70 trees of varying types and such amazing birds. Those pictures are beautiful – I love the red bird particularly.Louise EdingtonFacing Fears For Freedomhttp://louiseedington.com


  12. I love unusual fences…our house faces the ocean so when it came time to put in a fence in the backyard we decided that instead of cutting it in a straight line, we would make it undulate like the ocean. I love looking at it with the ocean behind it…we love it so much that when we painted the back wall of our home we copied the wave on our wall as well. Your pictures inspire me…thanks for sharing.Darcie Newtonhttp://www.mywealthspa.com


  13. Oh my goodness, Bruce, I so love your photos and your posts! the photos make me feel warm and happy, even the one with the snow…the purple fence and dresser just melt the cold. Right now the one thing in our back yard I love to look at is a birdbath filled with shiny glass stones in various shades of blue that shimmer like water in the sun. I look forward to seeing more of your pictures!


  14. Hi Bruce,That painted fence! So striking! Now I’m inclined to go find something outside to paint. Actually the climate here in the San Francisco Bay Area is a gardener’s dream, so I’ve heard, and what makes me smile is discovering something new each time I walk around the yard.Several years ago I studied “pruning” with a master gardener, so I’m always going outside to keep everything there up-to-date. A few shrubs have become “focal points”, like you described, and now a little can of paint will help me create another “eye-catcher” or two. Thanks!


  15. Hi Bruce, I’ve twice had my reply deleted and can’t find a way to post to you. Really sorry. I loved your post and the photos. They’re so beautiful and inspiring. What beautiful visitors to your garden! Fiona Stolzehttp://fionastolze.wordpress.com


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