Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The New Southern Accents

As mentioned in The Devoted Classicist February 21, 2011, post, there will be special editons of Southern Accents magazine although there are no longer regular monthly issues.  The current issue on newsstands is "The Best of Southern Gardens".
The garden of a John Tackett Design project in Highland Park, Dallas was featured on the cover and in an article in one of the last monthly issues of the magazine.  But I had nothing to do with the garden and essentially anything associated with my work was omitted in the photographs.  Only the service entrance to the Guesthouse/Poolhouse can barely be seen on the cover.  But recently word came that the new edition of the magazine would again feature the project in an article titled "A Classical Italian Garden in Dallas".

View of rear garden to southeast.  Design by Paul Fields.
So I was hopeful at this second chance at publication, but it was not to be.  Although, again, no evidence of my work is shown, the garden is presented here to be a reference in more posts in the future.  There had been a previous scheme for the landscaping that had been realized by another garden designer, so my work on the project had long been finished by the time the owners brought in Paul Fields of Lambert Landscape Company whose efforts are shown here.

The plan of the rear garden designed by Paul Fields.
The Devoted Classicist is a big proponent of Garden Rooms, delineated areas of planting that can be considered on their own in terms of design.  But 3-dimensionality has to be considered, with heights as important as the footprint.  And the relationship of the house to the landscape must be considered;  what one sees from the interior and what happens as one enters or exists the house should be very important aspects of the garden design.  In this situation, the garden was treeless with the rear of the house facing south with an alley beyond and a side street immediately bordering the eastern boundary.  The long, humid summers in Dallas are brutal, so that was surely the incentive for providing shade for the walkways.  But the central allee of crepe myrtles with a tall central parterre-like bed of boxwood and pots of soon-to-be-trees of vitex divides the expanse of lawn into two parts, unnecessarily, in addition to slicing the rear facade of the house in half.

The homeowner with her granddaughters on the west lawn.
Containers set into beds are a traditional way to easily add seasonal color.  A view of the corner of the limestone clad house at the Family Room is almost seen on the right in the photo above.

The fountain designed by Rick Robertson.

A raised curb around the pool helps prevent accidental spills and fall-ins.  It prevents sitting on the edge, however.  Submerged platforms allow a place for a cool soak, however, aided by shade from a screen of magnolias
The Potager, or Kitchen Garden, by Paul Fields.
The corner of the garden that is the fartherest from the kitchen is designated as a potager.  No vegetables are evident in this shot, but there are some sprigs of thyme growing up between the flagstones.  It is attractive, none-the-less, and I am sure a welcome contrast to the expanse of paving of the pool terrace.

Several other private gardens are also presented, along with some well-known examples such as Hidecote Manor, Wave Hill, Dumbarton Oaks, and Great Dixter, to provide garden design inspiration.  In addition, there are segments that highlight various elements such as containers, statuary & garden ornaments, walkways & paths, pools & fountains, and outdoor rooms.  My friend Peter Cummin, the extremely talented landscape architect based in Stonington, Connecticut, is responsible for the deisgn pictured below in Tulsa.

A Tulsa garden by Peter Cummin.


  1. I am so excited...going to call our quickly disappearing bookstores (lol) quick to see if they got it...seriously where are they all going? I was just getting over Borders closing and now I am hearing that a number of Barnes are closing their doors too....sad, as I am a purist when it comes to reading and perfer my magazines and books the old fashioned way, with pages and binding. No nooks or kindles or online mags for me (though I know many love them) Thanks for letting us know..looks to be a keeper! Cannot wait to get my copy!

  2. I am so sorry to hear you did not get the credit you so richly deserve.
    The garden is stunning. As a lone gardener, I aspire to that design but time and lack of experience will tell!

  3. Thanks, Andie, but it is ok since I did not design the garden. And there's still a chance that photos of the house will be featured another time.

  4. Thanks for these. Makes me think: And Atlanta landscape architect was talking to me about magazine-ready landscape photography. He said there was a brief window in spring. It wasn't so much the blooms as it was the quality of the greens. He said summer and fall greens just aren't as good in photographs. Anyway, that got me thinking.

  5. I'm so glad Southern Accents has found a way to resurface and look forward to seeing your work featured soon. In the meantime, these are lovely gardens.

  6. Looks like a lovely issue. Hopefully your work will be featured in the future. So glad they are organizing these special publications. Southern Accents is certainly a magazine that is sorely missed by many.

  7. You are speaking my language! I am currently consumed with plans for my flower, and brand-new vegetable, garden - up to my shins in mushroom compost and happy as a clam! Spring is wonderful!!

  8. the last garden
    in tulsa
    knocks my socks off

  9. I didn't know about the plans for ongoing special editions. So excited to hear this! Michele


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