Removal of the lightning strike tree

The large pine which was stuck by lightning last Fall has finally been removed. It was dropped in sections and, unfortunately, they also removed the 10-year old camellia which was in front of it!

The huge southern magnolia wasn’t damaged but it does look a little lopsided!

The good news? It’s a blank slate and it’s spring planting season!!!

A day in the garden, leveling the soil, repositioning the brick boarder, and planting a few plants will keep me busy.

Meanwhile, most of the spring blooming plants and trees are just about finished!

An American Elm which I planted 10 years ago is blooming. This is Valley Fordge and is Dutch elm disease resistant!

And Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf’

Japanese painted fern

Lilac Lil Kim





Filed under General Gardening

Azaleas have begun to blooom in Raleigh!

Azaleas have begun to blooom I Raleigh!

And it’s only February 28th!

The golden blooms of Kiera:


The warm weather also encourages me to grill. Pork chops grilled after marinating for a few days in a balsamic reduction are perfect!

And rare blooms of pachysandra!

But the warm weather does encourage us to explore Downtown Raleigh’s venues! Saturday we stopped off at Ruby Deluxe!​

And also had a drink or two at The Mecca

Enjoyed a full moon over the PNC Tower.



Filed under General Gardening

Repost from a vegan cooking site: Aquafaba: A Magical Egg Substitute (Gluten Free & Egg Free Brownies That Taste Like the Real Deal)

Life in the Van

A few months ago I stumbled upon a recipe using aquafaba as an egg replacement.  I was intrigued as to what aquafaba actually was.  With a little investigation I discovered that aquafaba refers to the water found in a can of garbanzo beans.

My intrigue quickly turned to nausea.

I tucked the idea of using aquafaba far away…until this week.

We deal with multiple food allergies in our home.  I’ve considered it an adventure of sorts in trying to recreate traditional recipes into gluten free, egg free versions.  I’ve mastered making gluten free cookies without eggs.  I’ve successfully made cupcakes and birthday cakes as well.  Muffins are a breeze.

But then there are brownies.  Thick, fudgy, chocolatey brownies.  They have been my nemesis.  Try as I may, I have been unable to work my magic.  Every single attempt has wound up in the trash…an inedible mess…a disaster each and every…

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Filed under General Gardening