Bloom Day – Entwined Gardens

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Bloom Day!  Camera in hand, an opportunity to ponder… Above a double Kerria a share from my friend Deb.

A sweet little girl statue that once resided in ‘Big’s Garden in Chatham, Virginia – a gift from Big’s daughter Jane. Continue reading

Inspired Plants with Benefits

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This morning my friend Helen Yoest, and fellow J C Raulston Volunteer  appeared on My Carolina Today.

Click  Here to see Helen’s  charming interview.

Plants with Benefits will inspire you to create…  Avacado on Toast with a drizzle of Virgin Olive Oil for breakfast—I am fanning myself at the imagery—Thank goodness Helen gave out fans at a recent talk—I keep it with my Copy!

Then  for a sinful treat with historical Benefits back to 7,000 BC -  Chili and Chocolate oozing the ancients and thoughts of Johnny Depp too.   It’s all in  Plants with Benefits!

Somehow knowing you’re taking a bite out of history  makes HOT decadence guilty free!  Thanks Helen.

Jayme's Quick Chocolate Chili Brownies

Jayme’s Quick Chocolate Chili Brownies

Jayme’s Quick Chile-Chocolate Brownies

· 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
· ¼ Vegetable oil
· ¼ Water
· 1 egg, at room temperature
· 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
· 1 box Ghirardelli Triple Fudge Brownie Mix
· 1 1/4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup chopped and toasted pecans* (optional)
For the glaze:
· 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
· 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
· 1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur
· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
· 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 8x8x2-inch baking pan.

*Heat frying/sauté pan to medium.
Add Pecans, stirring occasionally for approximately 4-5 minutes or until they release their roasted aroma. Chop when cool. Well worth doing, unless you prefer nut free.

In a medium bowl, whisk together; Vegetable oil, Water, add the egg. Stir in the vanilla.
Add fudge pouch (enclosed with mix)

In a separate bowl – whisk brownie mix, ancho chile powder, and salt;
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring well until fully combined.

Stir in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center is set and the brownies begin to pull back from the sides of the pan.

Cool brownies for 1 hour in the pan.

To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, butter, liqueur, vanilla, and chile powder; blend until smooth. Place the glaze in a pastry bag (or zip-top bag with a snipped corner), and drizzle back and forth over the brownies.
Cut them into 20 bars.

Makes 20 brownies

WE love them with a little caramel/vanilla ice cream on the side!

Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

The Happy Wanderer—Entwined Life

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I was ready for a change… a new relationship, a fulfilling work environment, a total change of perspective…  

Finishing up a stressful weekend job in Phoenix, I flipped through a “Do Not Remove” hardbound book, tucked in the bedside table of the upscale resort.

Realizing Sedona was just a short 2 ¼ hour car ride away, I changed flights and took 2 days off from my week day gig, and headed north through the most amazing Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) lined desert highway.

 Talk about instant change of scenery! I am The Happy Wanderer!

 

 Immediately the stress of dealing with unreasonable, rude clients dissolved as the unexpected startling positions of the delightful Saguaros waved me onward—smearing a nonstop smile crossed my face.

Saguaro mixed media collage by Patrick Coffaro

Saguaro mixed media collage by Patrick Coffaro

Ahhh… Sedona. The soothing southwest—Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock Falls, vortexes, Indian Jewelry—fresh dry air!

What a difference a mere 24 hours makes…

I felt free—light as an eagle’s feather—headed through town—out to the mystical afternoon light playing off the canyons and falls. 

Shopped for Indian designer jewelry a bear fetish for my sister’s birthday… a talisman of sunrays for self.

Shopped for Indian designer jewelry a bear fetish for my sister’s birthday… a talisman of sunrays for self.

Found a café for a leisurely nosh for the soul—alfresco—in the dry air breezes—setting sun set spewing pure visual bliss—crisp white wine to toast the winds of change and me!

The next morning, hunted for a free spirited coffee kiosk for a cup ‘o joe, cream & sugar to go and a whiff of Patchouli.   The perfect place to inquire about the closest vortex.  This was the mid 90’s – no smart phones, or internet and vortex hunting might get a raised eyebrow. 

“Just up the road, around the canyon, off to the right,” the tie-dyed head banded waiter said, as he handed me my hot courage, winking as I left an ample tip.  I was offheaded to the Airport Vortex for a short hike.

Overlooking beautiful Sedonasagebrush permeating the breezethe sounds of heavy equipment of major construction in the distance, a huge dust cloud as the earth gripped in steel teeth, and moved into a heap.  Then BEEEP, BEEEP,BEEEP, as the mammoth equipment backed it’s load and began the gnawing into the earth againBEEEP, BEEEP,BEEEP—for the future tourists seeking the environment and solstice for the soul—broke the peace of mind I had imagined. 

Well, I was here, in the NOW and the clock was ticking to get back to Phoenix to catch my afternoon flight. 

I offered up myselfopened to change in the airnever dreaming what the winds of change would blow into my life over the next three days…  turning desert into oasis… and fortune for the Happy Wanderer…   stay tuned.

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

 

 

Star Magnolia

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Strolling thru the JC Raulston Arboretum last Monday… I was drawn in by the warmth (70 plus degrees) — fragrance permeating the air.

As a gardener I find myself looking down more often than up, but my eyes scanned the Carolina Blue Sky in search of the source of the wafting vapor of scent.

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Magnolia stellata or Star Magnolia. A small tree 10-15 ft tall and 10-12 ft wide – a lovely addition to a small landscape or winter border – hardy zones 4-8.

But today it was all eyes skyward!

DSC01820The swelling buds of Magnolia stellata “Waterfall” — resembling fuzzy pussy toes – so delightful!

The softest blued pinks of the delicate unfurled petals — charming.

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The thick buds of ‘Scented Silver’  were starting to burst forward– it’s sweet scent luring me closer.

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By Wednesday all the buds had opened.

Yet with cold winds blowing in, I knew I was lucky to have captured the show… as they say “Here to day, gone tomorrow.”

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

Gratitude

entwinedlife:

A beautiful story, whether planting your own garden of dreams or rebuilding an Entwined Life… I am grateful to Deb Hunt halfway around the planet . This came across my screen at the right time, at the right place.

With trowel in hand, tapping down gingerly plant roots or seeds in soil, I let these words pass my lips,

“Grow well and Prosper!”

Then my thoughts flash to Captain Kirk (a “Trekkie”I am not) and I feel a soulful grin as the vibrations are sent, intention in motion.

“Grow well and Prosper!” Deb Hunt

Jayme B – on the cusp of spring in Piedmont of North Carolina

Originally posted on Strawberries in the Desert:

I’m an optimist. If one plant dies, I know another will grow. There was a time when I lost sight of that optimism. There was no sign of a strawberry growing anywhere, never mind in the middle of my desert. A series of events conspired to make me miserable, and I did my utmost to add to that misery by staying in a job I hated.

I was working for the Telco giant, BT, trapped in a job that paid well but sapped all hope of being a writer. I liked the people, hated the job.

Put a plant in the wrong spot in your garden and it will wither; transplant it to the right spot and it will flourish. I was like a tomato plant, struggling in the gloomy shade behind a shed. Had I been a climbing hydrangea I’d have loved it. But I wasn’t.

The ‘gardener’ who…

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