The Happy Wanderer—Entwined Life

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

 

 

Wrinkles of Time and Hope

This time of year, while searching for signs of life in the garden, my thoughts have are moved to Hope…

My friend Julie—visionary-artist-poet—could not have said it better… so enjoy Julie’s words and art on this Winter’s morning…

Wrinkles of Time

I want to write of Hope..

of plants opening and flowering,

even in the deep chill of winter.

I want to touch the wrinkles of time,

turning creases of old age,

into crinkles of laughter.

I want the hate and fighting on huge and small scales

to stop.

I want Peace to be the world’s pastime,

everyone sharing in it..at all hours of the

day and night.

one communion

one community..

one Home…

a dwelling place safe for all

a door open to each of us..

to live in  the goodness

of all that is made

and given over to us to share.

an everlasting longing for

dignity and grace…through the

wrinkles of time.

…….julie.a.miller

December 1, 2011 at 12:10pm

Visit Julie’s Feather Stone Studios by clicking HERE

Thanks Julie—you always inspire me to live an EntwinedLife.

Grateful to have you in my life!

Jayme B.

Helen’s Haven – a wildlife habitat in the heart of Raleigh

Playground to garden guru – Helen Yoest, husband David Philbrook and their charming brood, The Yoest /Philbrook Family are surrounded by Helen’s Haven – a wildlife habitat in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina.

You are invited to  visit and meet the newest additions to the family – Pepper and the Chicks. Saturday September 21!

Pepper

Pepper on patrol!

Helen inspires an adoring public with wit, wisdom & whimsy…

Just an uncanny sense of solid Horticulture mixed with thoughtful solutions and non stop delight.  Frankly if she doesn’t empower you to Garden with Confidence… Perhaps you should try Mahjong!

Let’s meet Helen:

Helen

David is my husband of 25 years, but he doesn’t do anything in the garden. But I thought I should mention him since he does let me get away with gardening.

 How long have you been gardening at this location?

 16 years.

What was the first thing you planted in or changed at Helen’s Haven?

Hmmm, I had to think about that! 

I put in a privacy hedge of Leyland Cypress. Yup, sure did. They are doing SO well, but not a day goes by that I wonder why I wasn’t more creative at the time and put in multi-species hedge instead. The privacy is wonderful, though.

Do you collect plants and if so what?

Dear oh dear, I have to admit to an addiction? No wait, I see you are only asking about a collection. Elephant ears, any native wildlife plant, weeping trees, rock garden plants, and any BIG, BOLD, LUSTFUL plant.

How much time do you spend working in your garden?

Every Sunday. It may be for an hour or 6 hours, but that is the only day I have. It is my most anticipated day of the week. If something should get in the way of that, I will pick up another day to cover my lost time. I couldn’t go a week with out getting my hands dirty. But I visit daily.

Any favorite Garden tools?

My knees.

What is your mulch preference?

Composted leaf mulch from the City of Raleigh

Anything new added to your garden art collection?

I have a couple of new pieces of garden art. You will have to come see them for yourself.

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 What is your first memory in a garden?

 Planting tomatoes with my dad.

 What is it that got you started gardening?

 I wanted to be with my dad and be like my dad.

 Who is your Horticultural Hero? Or Garden mentor?

My horticultural hero are the staffers at the JC Raulston Arboretum. I’ve even dedicated ” Plants with Benefits” – to them, specifically naming Mark Weathington, Tim Alderton, and Chris Glenn. Then there is John Buettner. Thew, I’m one lucky gardener!

Where do you go for inspiration?

Everywhere. I’ve never visited a garden I didn’t like. I get to see lots of them as a Field Editor for BHG and my other garden writing travels. I get ideas from every garden I see. I was just in Anthropologie and took away a gardening idea.  Once your eyes are open to something new, ideas just jump out at you.

 Do you have a favorite Garden you’ve visited?

Oooo, this is a tough one. Public garden I’d say Chanticleer. Private garden I’d say the one I just scouted.

 Do you have a favorite Garden Book?  Website – Blog – Magazine?

 My favorite garden book is Gardening with Confidence ® of course lol.

 And my second favorite book  is naturally my next book due out the first of the year,

But seriously, Fallscaping  – Extending your Garden Season into Autumn- is an all out fave. I guess it’s because I’m such a big fall garden love.

My fave magazines are Country Gardens and Gardens Illustrated.

How much time do you spend just enjoying your garden? And what type of things…

About an hour a day. Usually take a walk through to feed the chickens, throw the ball to my dog, Pepper, and hang with the kids.

If money were no object what would you add or do differently?

I would feel less guilt. lol  Dang if my kids don’t eat a lot of beans and rice….

Do you have garden wisdom’ to share? 

Nope. Just get out and experiment. If I have to convince you to garden, then your heart isn’t in it. You’ll know when the time is right.

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Describe where you most often sit in your garden or looking out at your garden.

The back porch. I invite everyone to just come and sit. It’s very relaxing. The mixed border is before you, giving you an opportunity to watch the wildlife.

See you at Helen’s Haven!

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Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

Lasting Impressions

This is a Cool Plant!   Scilla peruviana.

After Visiting Amelia Lane’s Garden – Under the Loblolly Pines – one always leaves with a Lasting Impression! … And a list of Cool Plants!
This Saturday, in Raleigh – you can take home a Lasting Impression and Cool Plants!

DSC08244 Continue reading

A Sanctuary of Artful Agriculture

The Garden of artist Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood in Raleigh, North Carolina is a romantic sanctuary of artful agriculture and passionate sustainability.

Jayme B:  How long have you been gardening at this location?

Frances has been gardening here for 28 years

What is your first memory in a garden?

Frances: a vegetable garden in Illinois when she was 4 years old

John: irises planted in one of the beds along the drive at my parent’s house – originally planted by my great grandmother.Norwood Hyd

What is it that got you started gardening?

Frances: it was an offshoot of her first job –working in a greenhouse growing holiday plants – she was a biology major

John: my parents had large vegetable and flower gardens.  It was just something you did.  I grew my first row of tomatoes when I was 10 and sold them to a neighborhood store

Do you have a favorite Garden Book?

Frances: Crockett’s Victory Garden

Where do you go for inspiration?

Frances: favorite garden magazine now is The English Garden – she reads many garden magazines and books

Do you collect plants and if so what?

We try lots of new plants, but its not really collecting

Anything new added to your garden?

We recently bought the lot next to us (1.5 acres) and are expanding the flower beds and adding a second vegetable garden.  Blueberries, figs, and raspberries are planned.

 Describe where you most often sit in your garden or looking out at your garden.

We don’t sit in the garden very often.  We mostly enjoy it as we work in it.  We do often stroll around the garden in the evening to look.  John’s office overlooks the front garden and pond – a nice view during the day.Norwood1

 Any favorite Garden tools?

Frances – a hand hoe (hack a hoe)

John – long handled hoe

 What is your mulch preference?

Old leaf mold

 How much time do you spend working in your garden?

We each spend 18 to 20 hours a week working in the garden

 How much time do you spend just enjoying your garden? And what type of things…

We really enjoy it as we work in it.  It is also fun to show it off each year at the Larkspur party (June 1 & 2 2013).

 If money were no object what would you add or do differently?

Frances would add a rill.  (small stream)

John would buy a bobcat loader and a tiller

Do you have garden wisdom’ to share? 

Frances: Money cannot buy good soil – you have to build it.  A sharp edge to the beds and lots of mulch will do wonders.

John: Plantings don’t always work out the way you expect.  Things are always in flux.  Plants will do what they want to do.  The best groupings are often serendipitous.  Just keep trying and don’t be afraid to move things around and try something new. Norwood2

 

Hemlocks stand sentry over our sanctuary. Drifts of self-seeding heirloom annuals, poppies, larkspur, salvia, and nigella highlight the winding, herbaceous borders of peonies, foxgloves, and roses with sweet pea intertwined. Peaceful, soft pastels, and swaths of varying foliage textures unify the main garden. Hidden around one corner is an intensive vegetable garden. Plantings of ferns, asarums, hellebores, and pulmonarias are tucked under dappled shade…  Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood.

When Entwined Gardens were featured on the 2010 Garden Conservancy Tour,  Frances’ sculptures saved the day!

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife GCPosterSr

Jayme B

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Tours – A private peek into Personal Paradise

Entwined Garden South view

It’s too darn HOT.

Two years ago, at this time, we were toiling through the southern summer to ready Entwined Gardens  for the September Raleigh Area Garden Conservancy ‘Open Days’ Tour  2010.

I think of the garden as a work in progress, so that year when folks asked, ”Are you ready for the ‘Open Days Tour’”,  my comment was, “Is anyone ever ready?”

Entwined Garden South view

Looking South @ Entwined Garden

There is no amount of primping, editing or fluffing to get ready.   There are the endless lists of projects one is motivated to have “ready for The Tour” – which is a wonderful motivator to bring the garden to a new level.  Inviting unknown visitors from a national tour  to a private peek into your personal paradise can be quite unnerving.

I had always planned in my mind that the last few weeks would be the time to make clever additions so that anywhere the eye travels would be perfection… “A fluffy, spiky & roundy” for pleasing balance, a nice piece of artwork for the eye to land, and great for photography.

Alas, a month before the tour, the domino effect of the economic crisis crashed down on the computer industry .  All around divisions of many – up to now successful companies jockeying for IPO’s – were suddenly wiped out, including one my husband worked for.  The dream of garden perfection… disappeared into a new reality as we tightened our belts for the long haul of uncertain economic times.

Enshalla – breathe, let it go, offer it up to a higher power… breathe again.

Ours was a fortunate reality…  I was lucky – to have so many wonderful friends lend a hand to help in a summer of intense heat & drought.

Mitzi's Banana

Mitzi’s Banana adds color and punctuation!heat  & drought.   !

Then it seemed like Miracles began happening…  My friend Mitzi who is an incredible plants woman would call & say, “ I just stopped by Campbell Road Nursery and they are giving plants away. The have huge tropicals – Bananas and Elephant ears are marked down to a Dollar each!”   The next morning the Garden of Eden arrived in the back of a Prius! We walked around and added appropriate interest & it worked!  I was grateful and wrote notes to the nurseries whose end of year sales had helped – the norm for them end of the year, but to me it was a lifesaver.    This was after all a fundraiser for the national Garden Conservancy and the JC Raulston Arboretum – and if folks were going to drive 45 minutes or more to visit, I did not want to disappoint!

Throughout the week leading up to the weekend tour, friends – The Border Babes – arrived to lend a hand, and deliver all kinds of enhancements and moral support and hugs… it was unbelievable.

Two days before the tour, another friend who was new to gardening, asked if she could come & learn.    I said “Sure!”   Diana saw some of the “art” I had collected from Home Goods as placeholders for the Dream Art.  Aware of my now fading dream, Diana said, “I have some things that might work.  I’ll be back in about an Hour…” She came back, another Prius – loaded with the most beautiful statues, from Artist Frances Alverino .

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I was hoping to acquire an Alverino  as a gift for my Husband’s Sept. Birthday and to celebrate the Tour.   Diana had 6 of these sculptures for me to borrow.     Talk about letting go and the higher power provides!!!     Our garden was beyond what I dreamed for the Days of the Tour!

It is a delight that this year I can stay perched inside enjoying the gardens with the miracle of central air.   From the House, one cannot see any weeding to be done… not that there isn’t any mind you… just pure enjoyment of colors and textures.

Bear Hugs sweater

Sweet sweeter for a baby using Bear Hugs.

So will take advantage of the joys of cental air  and KNIT!

Yes, all a part of  our Entwined Life!

Found a delightful soft baby sweater, elegant soft and couldn’t resist it at one of the local yarn shops.  It comes with enough for an infant kimono sweater, includes instructions and 2 cute bear buttons.  How easy! I had enough yarn left to make a little hat too!

The Yarn is by Plymouth – Bear Hugs.

Buttons

Cute as a Button!

So I will relax with my yarn and my thoughts of my wonderful friends and their bear hugs of generosity and how being grateful does make a difference.

My thoughts are also with the generous hosts who are this year prepping their landscape art for this years’ tour… what a gift to be inspired by these great gardens large or small… each grateful for the friends that lend a hand, give a hug, each Gardener’s own vision of Paradise created.

Maynard Garden Pagoda

Maynard Garden Pagoda
This richly layered garden paradise’s pagoda beckons visitors to sit and contemplate the view at the Maynard Garden Open Days Tour 2012

Come join us in Raleigh September 15 & 16!

Garden Conservancy ‘Open Days’ Tour

Joy!

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative