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Denver Brownies

These are sooooo good. I think these may rank as one of my favorite of Maida's numerous brownie recipes (my favorites are the Palm Beach Brownies and the Santa Fe Brownies ). Maida Heatter says she got the recipe at a television station in Denver and was told that Julia Child had raved about them. I can see why.  3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/3 cup honey 2 tbsp. water or coffee 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, in pieces at room temperature 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) walnuts or pecans, cut into medium-sized pieces 2 tbsp. bourbon, brandy, or rum Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter the foil and set aside. (Note: It is helpful to cut the foil large enough so that it drapes over the sides of the pan. This will make it easier to remove from the pan). Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place the honey, water or coffee, butter and choco

Spring lovelies

Rhododendron 'PJM' and Acer 'Sango Kaku'
I find myself a bit impatient for spring to arrive. Wait a minute - spring has arrived but you would not be able to tell it by the terrible weather we have been having. Cold, wet, windy, blah. I started back to work at the nursery last week and almost froze to death. Warmer and drier conditions are predicted later in the week. I think this is Spring Break for the school kids so I know they will be excited. I myself am ready for leaves on the trees.

Roses are on my mind. We just purchased a moon arch and I was hoping to get it up but the weather prevented that. We did get it together without any major problems. It lies waiting at the moment...

I already have a rose planted for the arch - 'Phyllis Bide' - a new one for me. I purchased six new roses yesterday and got all of them planted today except for one. I picked up several David Austin roses as well as a Romantica rose.

You can tell that spring has arrived when you look around the garden. Plants are budding out and there are a few blooms.

The first camellia I planted (a gift from our realtor) - 'Mathotiana'

Camellia 'Nuccio Bella Rosa' and Hellebore 'Gold Collection Merlin'

Magnolia "Dr. Merrill'

Lilac Daphne (Daphne genkwa, Hackenberry Group)

Barberry and California Lilac (Ceanothus thysiforus 'Black Diamond')

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You have so much blooming in your garden despite the cold wet weather Phillip. Seeing these blooms makes my eyes happy. The Camillia and the Hellebore is such a good combo. All of those fluffy blooms make me happy. I think barberry is such a pretty shrub but they have become invasive here. Sigh...

  2. It looks pretty springy Phillip. I was watching your weather move inland and thought it must be cold and wet up there. Those storms keep missing us. They go north. We did finally get some rain, but it came up from southern Texas. Which David Austin roses did you buy? I actually bought some this year too. I haven't seen Rose Rosette for a couple of years. I hope it's blown through. Happy Spring.~~Dee

    1. I got 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' which I have wanted ever since seeing it. Also 'Lady Emma Hamilton'.

  3. I'm glad it's not just me that's FREEZING this week ! I did manage to get out late yesterday for garden duty .
    Looks it's warmer for the next few days at least . Happy Spring !

  4. Yes, it's been way too cold for me too. I keep trying to go out and do a little something in the garden, but the wind just blows me back in the house. It's supposed to be a little warmer and drier today, so I'm going to try again. Can't wait to see your moon arch!

  5. They are all lovely, but that lilac daphne is new to me. It's pretty spectacular.

  6. Sorry to hear about the wet weather. I can sympathize. We had 11 inches of rain in February! (I think one of our wettest Februaries on record.) And a good helping of rain again last night.

    Still, it's making for a very Green spring, which is pretty for sure. And the reservoirs are full, I imagine!

    My favorite photo here is the last one with all the colors and textures layered on top of one another and the focus artistically chosen. Good shot!

  7. When I think of the PNW, I think of the gorgeous rhododendrons I saw on a few spring visits several years ago--so beautiful! You have some lovely blooms--how I envy that gorgeous camellia. Spring is still in the wings here--we had over 4 inches of snow on Easter!

    1. Rhododendrons are one of the plants that I plan to add more of. There are so many selections, it is hard to make a decision. I love camellias and they are spectacular here. So many blooms!

  8. Wow the lilac daphne is gorgeous!

    I wondered if you were going to plant roses in your new garden, since you had so many in AL! My understanding is there is a lot less problems with rose diseases out west and you can grow more varieties than in the southeast.


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