There are places I remember…

There are places I remember…

DSC00057One of them was a charming gem of a garden… located in an urban neighborhood, cleverly designed as a private escape with a stucco wall, softened by vines, providing a warm hug of privacy..

Gentle breezes, blowing table cloths – transporting me to a country hideaway.

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Secret nooks captured  views…

Bevelled opening in wall to frame the view.

The memory is so visceral.

Fall 2008 – My friend Beth and I sat in the Harmon driveway, greeting guests for the Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour – taking tickets, answering questions and simply enjoying the discoveries in this magical setting.  By the day’s end, I sat in every place provided for lingering – to capture a better understanding of the effortless design,  to breathe it all in – beauty and peace – to capture a memory.

Judy Harmon, ASLA (RIP) – a landscape architect,  had lovingly designed and planted this garden.  For Judy, it was her and husband Frank’s private space – integrating interiors with exterior living.   The swaths of plants on a tiny lot – sensitively complementing and enhancing the lines of husband Frank Harmon’s  (an amazing architect, teacher and green advocate) contemporary design for their modern home.

The Modern dwelling, provided an integrated backdrop – contemporary softened by visual living movement – of light and color and water.  Punctuated along paths by simple visual shapes for contemplation.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs were shocking at one time, yet with time, revered for his  ideas, scale and functionality.

Over time, his designs are now historic pillars of architecture.

New subdivisions of faux period bungalows today flourish and beckon to a safer time – before cul-de-sac s, and soccer moms, when kids walked to school and played in the streets… times when Moms’ spent more time in their homes that in their SUV’s waiting in lines for school or Chick fil-A orders!

I love contemporary design as well historic design.    There is is place in time for each.

With open minds,  a respect for the new and the old to live together – to balance each other.

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Every fall as Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks‘ – golden rod – bloom, catching and swaying in the breeze… I think of that glorious day in Judy’s Garden.   Old fashion golden rod  bred for a shorter explosive stature, cleverly punctuated – with the yellow of other flowers and furniture and  repetition of Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge’  – grouped in clusters of fives giving structure and a modern edge.  Greens contrasting the strong Red of the contemporary dwelling… with exciting complementary scheme and the yellow marrying it all together in soft drifts of movement and color.

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It is brilliant, old and new,  yet fresh and fluid as the pressed linens in the breeze.

While asking Frank if it was OK to feature his charming watercolor painting of Elizabeth Lawrence border, (stop back tomorrow), I spoke of my sweet friend Judy, his wife and partner and her garden.

Frank wrote, ” The Garden looks as fresh and vibrant today as it did in 2008.”

He was touched and knew Judy would be smiling her sweet impish smile of approval… to be remembered and to once again be sharing her garden.

 

So grateful to be sharing this place I remember…

Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

A piece of cake and a slice of pie.

Entwined Garden it is a Cake—a sheet cake—large and cut into sections.   The house designed by my engineer husband Phil is on an east west axis back to front and north to south. On the Solstices we have light streaming in across the floors… it is always a celebration!

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Facing West

The gardens evolved as therapy for my soul in the long years of construction—I needed color against the red clay and sense of purpose—fluid swaths to soften the edges—frosting on the cake.

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It is there I always know where I am and what direction I am facing. Continue reading

Music for a Moment… Music for Life

Music for a Moment—Violin with Heartstrings

There is a piece of music that tugs at my heartstrings, every time I hear it on Pandora. I know not what it is, but the violin is so melancholy and heartfelt that I must say it is my favorite.

To hear that music makes me pause, it speaks to my soul. Perhaps, I will pay attention and find out what it is next time. Yet, I rather think the randomness of hearing it without hitting a play button—makes it ever so much more meaningful—bittersweet and otherworldly.

It is the one piece of music that is not a “soundtrack to my life.”

I love it for the pureness of the sound and passion in the playing.  I am grateful for the randomness!

 

Music for the Past—”Viva La Vida” Cold Play

The driving upbeat sound “I used to rule the world…” turn it up!

Way UP!

I love to play this in the morning—Play it loud—Get up and dance around! It motivates me to clear the decks and start a new project. I feel like my younger self again—in a time where I made a difference every day.   It was fun solving problems being empowered.

That was then, this is now.

For me it was the overthrow of a company—I had no part in it. Shaking hands with the orchestrator of the ruse for the first time—made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There was no stopping what had been set in motion. He wiped out a company and with it, hundreds of jobs.

A man’s life work—a body of work—sucked down the drain and those of us with it.

Yes, there are fond memories and all the good we did for a town, yes, we were creating jobs… but those jobs for the greedy meant nothing—only their gain and a hefty Swiss bank account or two.

I also think of that photo of Saddam Hussein in his undershirt unshaven hiding … what we do to other people… He was a pawn of our government.  We set him up.  We took him out.

But today I choose to dance for myself.

That was then, this is NOW!

Live the life!

 

Music for Life

Tapestry                                                                       “Tapestry“ by Carole King

A song from my past—a music for my life— from early beginnings a fascination of textiles of things Entwined—music for life.

A life of ups and downs but always creating new lines of pattern, moving forward, creatively living, sometimes the edges are a little frayed but they can be fixed or just appreciated with time. Color excites me.  Color soothes me. Fabric evokes such rich memories of family—sitting at my grandmother’s feet learning to stitch, rhythms of up and down, up and down—sometimes having to pull out and begin again—creating patterns, creating texture, creating things.

Lessons learned of up and down and redoing until you get it right, at least satisfied.

Up and down—a grandmother’s smile—a touch, a skill for a life of lessons—living, learning, creating, sharing—an Entwined Life.   Always staying busy, up and down.

What Music gets your juices flowing?

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View

The plane circled, making its ascent—my face fused to the glass. The patchwork of colors changed from bright greens and yellows and browns to muted versions of this spectrum—then a tapestry an ombré of browns.

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Approaching Marrakesh the landscape turned into a rich oasis of greens.  In my head swirled the lyrics of Crosby Stills and Nash’s song Marrakesh Express watching the view unfold.

Then just as quickly the beautiful peaks of the High Atlas Mountains were under us;  if the window opened I’m sure I could reach them with outstretched finger tip—snow capped and crusted from extreme winds.

The mountains morphed into crusty plateaus as we approached the barren craters.

Beginning our descent I thought, “Are we landing on the moon?”

Circling again we dropped toward the lunarlike surface.  Squinting now I could make out small ribbons of roads as they revealed themselves—puffs of dust following a vehicle as it bounced and fell over the unpaved  rocky stretches— connecting villages’ rising organically out of the earth. The craters revealed themselves as spaces between the buildings made from local mud and straw.

As the wheels bounced heavily on the tarmac, my face un-suctioned from my window with a faint sucking sound I hoped no one else had heard—leaving a red patch, another bounce and my nose hit the plastic bit on the pull down shade, I was home for the next few months—a world of beige intrigue—Ouarzazate (pronounced: Waa-zaa-zate)—at the edge of the Sahara.  I was ready for an adventure. That bump would not me my last.

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Leading an EntwindeLife on the edge of the Sahara.

 

 

Allure of Allium—Pleasure of Purple

On this wordless Wednesday enjoy the Allure of Allium—Pleasure of Purple.

As seen yesterday at Sarah B. Duke Gardens…

Durham, North Carolina…—

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Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

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