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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

Shrubs and Hedges by Eva Monheim - A Book Review


Shrubs and Hedges: Discover, Grow and Care for the World's Most Popular Plants
by Eva Monheim
Cool Springs Press
Publication Date: March 3, 2020

In the introduction, the author reminisces about growing up near Philadelphia and the memories of hedgerows. There was the neighbor's magnificent hedge of privet that completely surrounded their farmhouse, a relatives distant farm whose fields were divided by mixed shrubs and her own families hedges of honeysuckle and roses. These hedges not only provided an attractive facade and means of providing privacy but also acted as a powerful magnet for wildlife, ablaze with singing birds and buzzing insects.

Sadly, as time and development encroached, the hedges were razed to make way for houses and more houses. The passage saddened me as I see it happening on a daily basis all around me. It seems that every time I venture out, I see another field being leveled to make way for a cluttered mass of houses with barely enough space around them to plant anything. 

We have to have hope, however, and the author hopes to inspire a new generation of gardeners, plant lovers and horticultural scientists. The book presents general information on a variety of topics including the history and purpose of shrubs and the complicated system of plant names. There were some interesting tidbits here, especially about common names. For example, I had never heard that Serviceberry (which is sometimes called a host of other names - "Saskatoon" here in the Pacific northwest) may have gotten its name from the fact that it blooms in the spring when the ground has thawed enough to bury a dead body after a cold winter.  I also learned the the 'PJM' rhododendron is named after Peter John Mezitt, a nurseryman who introduced it.

After some rather detailed information about the various shrub shapes and forms and leaf characteristics, specific shrubs are highlighted. The shrubs chosen are ones that provide a multitude of uses and offer multiple seasons of interest. Arranged by season of interest, "Spring" features profiles of spirea, deutzia, kerria, lilac and viburnum. Under the "Summer" section, you will find hydrangea, native roses and the Seven Sons Tree (Heptacodium miconioides). The Fall season showcases more viburnums, beautybeerry, Edgeworthia, hollies and the witch hazels. 

The latter chapters go into designing with shrubs and pruning and caring for them. There is also information on how to create an allees, espalier, topiary and hedges. Attracting wildlife and selecting plants for wet areas are covered in separate chapters. 


The book has an attractive layout with nice photos and detailed charts that pinpoint particular cultivars of specific plants. Overall, a very nice book for people who are just beginning to venture into the plant world and need help with landscaping their property.



Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Comments

  1. Sounds like a good one. I would like a hedge in my tiny garden. ha... You never know it might happen.

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