There are places I remember…
Gentle breezes, blowing table cloths – transporting me to a country hideaway.
Secret nooks captured views…
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.
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.
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
It has been a little tumultuous with Hurricane Arthur blowing up the coast – but today is bright and sunny.
We are grateful for Food, Friends and Fireworks… Come Fourth! Continue reading
This one-acre gem—of a passionate collector’s garden—was begun 22 years ago.
Beth & Juan are the ultimate volunteers… artists and entertainers… I am honored to have them as my friends!
They invite you to visit their Wake Forest Garden.
Tucked away below a rocky ridge, a stream slowly bends and flows carving a craggy plateau. Wildlife abounds—sounds of water on rocks, frogs chirping and birds twittering—a wildlife habitat—welcome to Peace and Harmony—Welcome to The Yoga Garden.
I am blessed with fun, creative friends – yes, I am grateful for such an Entwined Life!
So as I sit working on several stories at once – on this “iced in” day from the east coast, I saw a fun post from my dear friend of 35 years, come across my screen from the west coast.
I’m taking a Bite out of Season 2… and so enjoyed this delightful virtual tour of the NBC Universal Tour high-jinks from my guest author and friend – Martha De Laurentiis exposing the lighter side of Hannibal:
This week’s blog is from Martha De Laurentiis,
one of Hannibal’s Executive Producers.
My production shingle, the De Laurentiis Company, is located perfectly in the middle of the NBC Universal lot, in the Alfred Hitchcock Bungalow on James Stewart Drive. From these offices, Hitchcock planned some of film’s greatest thrillers, including Psycho and The Birds, as well as his television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which filmed on the lot 1955 1965.
Executive producer Bryan Fuller and the Hannibal writers room joined us in these hallowed halls as the show started ramping up two years ago, and out of respect, Bryan brought in his art quality collection of framed Hitchcock posters.
Of all the Hollywood studios and television lots, only the NBC Universal lot is open to the public, via a tram-based tour that starts from the theme park. The Universal Tour Tram memorializes the master of suspense by playing the Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme music as it passes, and we often hear tour guides talking about the bungalow and its history as we’re going to or coming from our cars.
Thinking that tourists might also appreciate the fact that a groundbreaking new suspenseful television series was being hatched in the same offices that housed Hitchcock, I set out to discover how we might get Hannibal included on the Universal Studios Tour.
I paid a visit to my good friend, Ron Meyer, who’s now Vice Chairman of NBC Universal. As a boy hoping to get into the entertainment business, Ron worked as a Universal tour guide for then studio head Lew Wasserman. Ron’s eyes lit up with a simple solution – “Easy, invite the tour guides down to the bungalow for a beer!”
The Director of the Studio Tour department, Mike Sington, put the kibosh on the beer – too many ironclad rules and regulations around studio liability – but he was completely on board with the idea of hosting the guides in the bungalow. On the tours, the guides describe the projects currently shooting on the lot, but apparently no one had thought to bring them into their offices or sets before. The Universal tour guides tend to be major classic film buffs, and once inside, their enthusiasm was contagious. None of Hitchcock’s original furniture or effects remain, but I invited them into his office, opened Dino’s award case and passed around some Oscars for selfies.
Mike agreed to host a short video clip on the trams as they passed by the bungalow as well as a blurb about the show. We chose the “Ring Ring” clip, which teases the show’s tone. To the accompaniment of the Goldberg Variations (synonymous to all things HANNIBAL), the camera pans over FBI trainee Miriam Lass’s severed arm holding a ringing Blackberry (rewatch episode 106 Entree if you don’t remember!), as Jack Crawford and Will Graham enter frame with a WTF expression. Cut. It’s the perfect length for the approach to the bungalow, giving the guides enough time for a short shout-out for the show.
Mike mentioned that props often help the guides keep things interesting. When I asked for a sense of the parameters, he said, “The gorier the better.”
My neighbors next door are the production arm of the game company Hasbro, behind films like Transformers and Battleship. In front of their bungalow, a giant Mr. Potato Head stands with his arms splayed, holding up the Hasbro sign. Tourists snap snap snap their cameras all day long grabbing pics of Mr. Potato Head. I had an outré idea… and I was excited when my friends at Hasbro liked it.
With the help of my friend Mike Filonczuk, we made a duplicate of Mr. Potato Head’s arm to scale and mounted it on a prop box. Then, we took a can of epoxy red paint and went to town, making it look like it had been brutally severed and was still dripping fresh blood. Echoing the iconic Miriam Lass image, we placed a Blackberry in the hand, as if in his last moments, Mr. Potato Head had been desperately calling out for help (#HelpMrPotatoHead). Then, suggesting a killer had been making mayhem on the lot, we displayed it in front of our bungalow, under the new Hannibal banner.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of tourists have gone by. It was an especially big hit during the entire month of October when Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates Halloween Nights, staying open late into the wee hours. Also for October, we decorated the bungalow with a backlit life-size transparency of the Hannibal Wendigo out of the corner office. To simulate mysterious doings going on inside, we projected a short clip of the Wendigo emerging from the river, from upcoming episode 202. The guides loved this because we were the only interactive bungalow on the tour – at least besides what they stage on the backlot!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet again with the guides and give them insight into Season 2 and the progress of the writers’ room. We screened the first two episodes we’d just finished for them so they have the inside scoop on the series and can drop hints about it on their tours.
After almost a year, we’ve updated the teaser and supplied a new shout-out script. It’s a bit of a relief inside the bungalow to no longer hear the “ring ring” every five minutes, but we do miss the audio cue that the trams are approaching. I am incredibly grateful for my friendship with Mike Sington and his wonderful and supportive guides’ role in sharing the excitement we all have for Hannibal. Now that the guides know me, they’ll often say hello when I’m out. On the loudspeaker, in front of the entire tram of tourists. It makes the lot seem friendlier and serves as a humbling reminder of all the love we’ve had from the fans.
The new season began last Friday at 10/9c. Thirteen new spellbinding episodes are coming your way! We hope the master would think we’re making good use of his bungalow.
Enjoy the season as we’ve all enjoyed bringing them to you!
P.S. I saw a certain famous woodpecker outside the NBCUniversal offices. You’re next, Woody!
Watch Out Woody, and don’t forget to take a bite out of the new season of Hannibal on NBC!
Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife
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
I want Peace to be the world’s pastime,
everyone sharing in it..at all hours of the
day and night.
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.
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!
Growing up in the mid-west, fennel in any form, never came across my plate.
Although all meals had a Ménage à Trois—of sorts— meat, vegetable and potato—never did anything touch on the plate except perhaps a little runaway gravy.
Having been under the weather for the last twelve days, I couldn’t wait to get back to the kitchen and garden.
I have had an odd craving for my favorite caramelized fennel and onion recipe—bizarre of all the tastes and smells one could desire, as I have been way too congested to taste, let alone smell the coffee brewing or Daphne just outside my door.
When the body craves certain things, one should LISTEN… This doesn’t count when talking about artificial taste manipulation of Doritos or chips, but rather when the body/mind is actually craving tastes of REAL FOOD.
So let’s deconstruct the Valentine Fennel Galette recipe in terms of health:
Fennel– cooked—has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. Fennel Foeniculum vulgare—can also work It is also recommended to calm a lot of coughing. This must be why I must be craving it with all the coughing I’ve been experiencing with this winter grunge—Check!
Onion–Allium cepa has expectorant, diuretic, anti-bacterial properties —Check!
Thyme –Thymus vulgaris provides anti-microbial cleansing, works as an expectorant, as well as strengthening the Immune system—the smell cheers the heart and lifts the spirit—Check—I am ready for the Grunge to be gone!
Lemon—anti-microbial, citrus x lemon—Check!
Tarragon– Artemisia dracunculus calms the nervous system—love tarragon!—Check!
Pernod—is a pricey liqueur with star anise Illicium verum – Did you know that star anise is the main ingredient in Tamaflu! In Chinese medicine star anise is a warming herb that moves cold stagnation—who knew—thanks Wikipedia!—Check!—Check!
So now the cravings are making perfect sense!
In the meantime, I have just poured through my friend Helen Yoest’s new book:
This book discusses cravings of another sort! OH MY! What a great book to give yourself for Valentine’s Day! A whole new dimension to round out gardening and culinary pursuits!
Plants with Benefits… is easy to read, with beautiful photography. You do not have to have a Horticultural degree to reap it’s benefits… Helen will have you blushing; I guarantee you will never look at some of your basic ingredients the same way again!
Yes, there are recipes— many by the wonderful Carolyn Binder of Cowlick Cottage Farm, in case you are brave enough to put these ingredients to work!
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It is thought provoking: Do I dare go to the produce department? Will I have to be restrained from fondling? No wonder they provide brown paper bags in grocery stores—Hmmm!
I have never thought of Fennel as Helen writes as, “Straight from the Kama Sutra.” If you don’t know what I mean google Kama Sutra! Just how do they do that? But I will never look at a Fennel the same again!
It’s all naughty but nice fun. When feeling a little better I might try using Absinthe to plant the “Seeds of Desire”— instead of healing Penod!
So here we go—a great dish adjusted for Valentine’s day!
Plants with Benefits will get you playing and loving in the kitchen again!
Thanks for the inspiration Helen! This one’s for you!
Here’s the Dish:
Caramelized Fennel Galette
…This can be made a day ahead and baked before serving
- 1 ¼ c all purpose flour
- 2 t tarragon
- ½ t Kosher salt
- 8 T unsalted butter, cold
- 3oz Gruyere, grated
- ¼ c sour cream
- 2 t lemon juice
- ¼ c ice water
- 1 egg yolk, for egg wash
- 2 ½ T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large fennel bulb, core and tops removed, thinly sliced* (Reserve some of the fennel fronds)
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced*
- 1t fresh thyme leaves removed from the stem
- 1t brandy
- 2t dry sherry
- 2t dry white wine
- 1t Pernod (substitute Ricard, Herbsaint, Anisette or Absinthe!)
- salt and cracked pepper, to taste
*Note: A Mandolin works wonders! I bought an OXO hand held – at $19.00 an inexpensive one—it works Great!… I resisted purchasing one for years… now I use it all the time!
1. In a food processor—add the flour, tarragon and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 3-4 times to combine. Add the cubed butter and grated cheese to the bowl and pulse until the size of the butter resembles small peas. This can also be accomplished by hand using a pastry cutter.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse several times until the dough starts to hold together when pinched between your fingers.
3. Lightly sprinkle flour on the counter and dump out the dough. Using a bench scraper, push the dough into a 12- by 4-inch rectangle. Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from yourself. Once you have pushed out all of the dough, repeat the process. After the second round of pushing out, use the bench scraper to form a 4-inch thick round. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
1. In a large sauté pan (12-inches) melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the fennel, stir to coat with the melted butter and sauté for 10 minutes.
2. Add the onions and thyme and sautè for 25 minutes, until the onions and fennel are very tender and caramelized.
3. Pour in the brandy, sherry and wine and deglaze the pan by scraping the brown bits off the bottom.
4. When the fennel and onions are fully cooked, add the Pernod (or liquer of choice) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Baking – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the dough on a piece of floured parchment paper until it is about 12-inches in diameter. (if making heart shaped roll out a rectangle… eyeball the shape remembering that about 2 ½ inches will be folded in).
Put the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
Take the dough out from the refrigerator.
Mound the fennel-onion mixture in the middle of the dough, leaving a 2-1/2-inch border. Break off some of the fennel fronds and sprinkle over the top of the filling. Fold up the outer 2-inches of the dough over the filling, leaving 1/2-inch inside the fold free of filling. Brush the dough with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.
Bake for 50 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown and the middle of the filling is hot to the touch and lightly browned.
Cool the tart on a rack for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the parchment and let the tart continue to cool on the rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife!
The fall is upon us… the excitement of the NC State Fair, leaves blowing and swirling, critters foraging… colors now yellow instead of the pervasive green. Hits of pinks, reds and oranges – emerge across the horizon.
Over the last few days with temperatures dipping to 38 degree F., we are hunkering down for winter at Entwined Gardens.
The careful lists of selecting which tropicals to dig up, re-pot and drag into shelter for the winter, have been checked off the ‘To-Do” list.
The Korean Mums by the white garden gate – lovely with their peach tinged petals are open for diners – the last of the visible pollinators. I notice that these two insects have the same striped markings – the one on the upper right is quite a bit smaller, wings perpendicular rather than angling, as they feast on nectar.
Walking the paths, I reflect on each plant as a quest or gift from a friend. The Dendranthema – a division from Gail Ingram – from the back of her pickup truck after a Master Gardener meeting in 2000, a feeding frenzy of outstretched arms… hoping to feel the plant material fall into their fingers… What Joy!
Hence my Motto:
“It’s always a great day when you bring home a plant!”
Entwined Gardens has been the recipient of many such plant shares and trades from amazing horticultural giants and mentors – I’ll refrain from much of the name dropping.
I’ve dug, dragged, dumpster dived (from the JC Raulston Arboretum ‘plants only’ dumpster), put on waders bogged and slogged on a quest. Shopped till I’ve dropped, then traveled hours with a with a coveted Acer palmatum ‘Okukuji nishiki’ – a lovely variagated Japanese Maple specimen – stuck between my knees on a road trip from Athens, Georgia to sweet home North Carolina! Thanks goodness my friend Jean was driving!
Over the years, friend Mitzi has shown us how to pack in the plants on these expeditions. And in the horticultural Mecca of the Triangle, it is not uncommon to see all types of specimens in all shapes and sizes of vehicles being driven on highways and byways!
Nearby I reflect on a stand of Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ which will stay in the ground. Although only known to be hardy zones 8-10, it over wintered well in my Zone 7B garden last year.
To date, in all my shameless, plant obsessive (OK, addicted) escapades – my 5’2″ frame was no match for the these elephants!
I laugh every time I think of this Elephant Ear… a share from friend and divine garden writer Helen Yoest.
I arrived at Helen’s Haven with some thick gauge heavy-duty giant lawn bags. Gratefully, Helen had already heave-hoed them out of the ground for sharing. How sweet was that!
Elephant Ears like their large mammal name sakes, must hold a heck of a lot of water which is the only logic I could give to their weight. I struggled to lug their root balls into the bags. I strained to budge them around the side of the house and down the garden path without trampling one of Helen’s borders. I tried dragging, then pushing them in the heavy gauge plastic. I think a stubborn Pachyderm would have been easier to coax than this Colocasia gigantea!
Laboriously breathing, I finally made it to the intersection of walkway and driveway… I wondered if I could roll them down without damaging the magnificent leaves and roots, but decided against this option. I walked around the house and couldn’t locate any thing with wheels.
Dazed, my short arms straining, I took a breath pondering, “If only I had a real elephant… an elephant could easily use its proboscis or trunk to transport these down the drive – easy peasy… and most likely for a couple of bags of peanuts. This would really give the neighbors something to talk about!”
Reality check… when did Helen’s driveway get so long and steep? Even going downhill it seemed like an abyss!
My desire for these plants once again snapped me back – pushing me forward like a goat in quicksand… I was one with them, I was not letting go – and then it hit me like a ton of elephants, if I do get to the street, how will I ever hoist them up to the bed of the pick up? I wanted to weep.
I felt like I was in an Abbott & Costello escapade, but I sure wished Abbott (my Hubby) was there as I struggled comically down the driveway. I would take a few steps, teetering with the weight over head, stop and walk around this stubborn as a mule plant predicament – barely budging a few inches.
I thought for sure Helen would find me in heap at the end of the drive, trampled by an elephant stampede.
The neighbors would complain… about some horticultural circus act gone very wrong, peering out behind a jungle of designer draperies, but afraid to come outside of their climate controlled environs.
What seemed like hours later, I climbed into the truck bed, positioned myself on bended knees and prayed for strength… I wish I had thought to bring some rigging and a winch for the aerial act that ensued!
Focus. Rest. Sip some water. Bend the knees. Pray to the Almighty Horticulture God and by some miracle… it was in the truck for the transport home. I have no earthly idea how these were hoisted or levitated from above or below or what kind of other worldly pact might have been made.
That night and the next morning, I ached everywhere… but the prize was mine!
There is nothing like a shared plant from a friend’s garden. This gargantuan punctuation in the garden unlike any other. In my mind I hear the sounds of loud (click listen and hit back button to return) Elephant trumpets which then elicits a break into an enormous ‘laugh out loud’ every time it comes into view. OK sometimes I preform the elephant walk… a joy of living in the woods!
So once again I will leave it in the ground, keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a star attraction, after the spring migration of warmth summons it forth.
A last peek behind its big top ears finds a surprise – tree frog hunkering down against the incoming frigid air.
converts glycogen into glucose – acting like anti freeze – during cold months?
Listen to the (click listen and hit back button to return) song of the tree frog.
A second, smaller clump of ‘Thai Giant’, also dragged from Helen’s Haven, spent the winter inside the barn last winter. It emerged at a reasonable time last spring. I planted it out, but it stopped growing at a mere 7 1/2 inches! Although planted just feet from its giant friend, perhaps planted in an area where the light is being shaded, but definitely a freakish curiosity.
I am delighted none the less.
Thanks, Helen for your amazing gift a giant plant, a story to tell, Elephant Trumpets in my ear and being a friend with Horticultural Benefits.
Helen’s new tome is available for preorder: Plants With Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & Veggies in Your Garden
Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife