Heartsease Spiced Rum & Raisin Brownies

By request from a few of my lovely Facebook Friends ~ here is my Brownie Recipe. 


1 cup dark chocolate bits
250g dark couverture chocolate, roughly chopped
250g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
3 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup of roughly chopped raisins
1 tablespoon of spiced rum or other liqueur or juice
Heartsease (Viola tricolour) flowers to decorate and add a little Language of Flowers of Magick

Melt couverture chocolate and butter together in a saucepan, stirring gently until completely smooth and combined.
Remove and let cool.
Combine sugar, eggs and rum (or substitute) and whisk well by hand.
Add the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
Fold in flour, raisins and chocolate bits. Mix well.

Pour into a lined brownie pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C for 30-35 minutes.

Cool and slice to serve and sprinkle with Heartsease flowers to ensure a warm and comforted heart
and you could give a beautiful batch to someone to let the know you are thinking of them.

bunches of blessings,
Cheralyn xx

Mbs 2016 2

❁ Flower of the Day ~ Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

(Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtium new webcards photo 2

Will Assist You In ~
Remaining optimistic, obtaining a victory, in being successful in a hard or long drawn out issue of conflict and most importantly will offer you ways to increase your personal vitality.

The Language of Flowers Oracle ~
Success is indicated as it a boost in resources. You are being warned to watch over your personal energy because although there is almost an abundance of it, you could waste it or let others zap too much from you.

Gardening Notes ~
Oh so easy to grow and can actually take over if you are not careful. they will self~seed everywhere! Most types are edible and make a very yummy peppery addition especially in summer salads when they are at their peek.

My photo here shows Nasturtium growing wild along the shore of the Lake near my home last night. I would not advise eating any found like this as councils do spray with pesticides.

They don't like frost or very cold areas but will tolerant shade exceptionally well. Best results are in well draining sunny positions.

Botanical History & Traditions ~
Originating in Peru, the Incas referred to Nasturtium as 'Golden Nuggets' due to their role in an almost Indiana Jones style legend of stolen gold, mountain chases, a vengeful God and a good man protecting what was right. Along the way Nature stepped in and disguised hidden gold as bright yellow Nasturtiums so it wouldn't be taken by Spanish Conquistadors and so it was eventually returned to the Incas.

The name 'nasturtium' translates from Latin as 'twisted nose' referring to it's rather strong and perhaps not so nice scent.

Now this is one tradition I personally practice ~ plant three red nasturtiums (some traditions call for black) to ensure protection unwanted visitors do not set foot in your home. I once lived in an apartment without a garden and had three small hanging baskets of bright red nasturtiums at my doorway, perfect!

May Nature bless you always and may you in turn always be a Blessing to Nature,
bunches of love,
Cheralyn ❁ xx

Mbs 2016 2

❁ This Magickal Gardening Week ~ broccoli, snapping dragons & the celery forest

It's a busy week with my work as I complete illustrations for my fourth Flower deck which will be released early next year and I'm sure being lost each day in the dreamy tones of spring in these delicate watercolours is no coincidence. I have found I work best when what I am creating aligns with the turning seasons, with what is occurring in my garden and environment. The energy, messages and wisdom I am then sharing through my writing and art is pure and clear.

Flora beautiful card

Today in the garden ~ 

Cheralyn garden

artwork I'm creating for my fourth flower oracle deck ~ 


A few Flowers in my garden this week ~ 

I planted these out last year and it is a joy to see their return. Chattering to each other in a quiet corner of my back garden, they seem to hold court while watching over their soon to arrive flower friends, daisy, jasmine and cornflower. 
The Language of Flowers: truth~telling, grace, secrets, "I long for you" 

Snapdragons 2

A tiny Snapdragon visitor ~ 


Oh it is time for cleansing away the sleepiness of winter, of letting go of the dream~state and awakening and so Bottlebrush is making a most welcome appearance not only in my garden but naturally everywhere! 
The Language of Flowers: balance, cleansing, clarity "I understand"

Bottlebrush photo 2

Nothing speaks to me of childhood summers really like these. They grew in abundance in the rockeries of my grandparents home. 
Perfectly strong, yet somehow a little unreal with their bright petals springing forth from leaves which to my eye, never really looked somehow matched to these flowers. 
The Language of Flowers: survival, tenacity, forgiveness "I forgive and let go" 

Some interesting Pigface Flower Facts: 

Calendula officinalis
So blessed with the love of this plant. She is growing so well nestled next to my Wormwood with brilliant orange faces greeting each dawn. 
The Language of Flowers: contentment, cleansing, healing "I am grateful" 

Calendula 44

And so the Veggie Garden
It is time to harvest the last of Winter and so prepare for Summer. Memories of rosy red tomatoes and crisp green lettuce are enticing me to being the preparation of the soil, to rest some areas, to work others so all will be ready. The chill is leaving our mornings and nights and the earth is opening, warming and ready to welcome the plants of the coming seasons. 

Harvest this week: 

We have been enjoying celery for weeks and weeks but we are heading into a very abundant time and I'm loving adding it to juices and just about everything from frittatas to asian dishes.


The time is over for nibbling as we delight in the very last of this year's crop. One of my all time favourite vegetables, I'm personally just about living on it and the taste is amazing. Steamed with a tiny bit of lemon juice ~ YUM! 


Well I'm constantly harvesting herbs, its the best way to ensure they grow but right now I have a really bumper amount of thyme, rosemary, wormwood, vervain, calendula, parsley, rocket and society garlic. 
Garlic 2

may Nature always bless you but more importantly, 
may you always be a blessing to Nature 
bunches of love, 

Cheralyn Darcey is a passionate gardener and botanical history author and artist who loves sharing her three plus decades wealth of flowers and plant wisdom, stories and knowledge through her publications, presentations and workshops.

This weekend I will be presenting a workshop at Sydney's wonderful Festival of Dreams at 3:30pm Saturday.
I'll be sharing all things Flowers, Plants and Gardening and how you can find personal healing, guidance and a little magick with Nature ~ 

Festival of dreams square workshop

❁ Flower of the Day ~ Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

New cards lavender

Will Assist You In ~

The cleansing of negativity and the easing of physical and earthly burdens. Giving you the opportunity and ability to find, understand and express your inner wisdom. Offers protection on all levels.

The Language of Flowers Oracle ~
All is well and you should be able to see improvement soon. A time of relaxation, blessed solitude and purification. Emotional equilibrium and spiritually sensitivity which is of great personal benefit will be available. Admiration, trust and healing are all indicated. Be mindful of protecting yourself and not becoming gullible, especially falling for the same issue again by not learning from the past.

Gardening Notes:
Flowering most of the year, Lavender originates from the Mediterranean and as such prefers a full sun, alkaline soil and do not over water or over feed. Avoid shade or partial shade was you run the risk of rangy growth. Ensure you dead head regularly to encourage new blooms.

may you be blessed with flower wisdom always!
Cheralyn ❁

image: card from Flower Reading Cards Oracle Deck (Facebook Page)
artwork: 'Lavender, Ratapignata Pyramid, France'
linocut and gouache on paper
Cheralyn Darcey

Jasmine Flower Spell

I'm giving some of my old flower spell postcards a bit of new life with artworks, sketches and photos from my garden.
With this spell you can also give it a little boost by holding the bottle up to the sun before sipping.
Ensure that any botanical ingredients you use are correctly identified. Information for educational purposes only.
Feel free to keep and to share.

Jasmine spell 2

Bunches of blessings,
Cheralyn xx

❁ FLOWER OF THE DAY ~ Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia × blakeana)

Hong Kong Orchid Tree
(Bauhinia × blakeana)

Flower Affirmation ~ "Harmony grows in an accepting heart" 

Hong kong orchid tree new photo webcards

Will Assist You ~
In finding the middle and fair ground in a situation. Orchid Tree will also help you understand the steps needed to transition from one place to another with greater ease. Those working with change will also find support with this magnificent wise plant.

The Language of Flowers Oracle ~
Change is inevitable and you are being guided to remain fair and keep your emotions in check at the moment. The outcome you are seeking needs to be fair to all, if not, things may in fact not go in your favour. What is it that you are truly seeking?
The challenge presented is always injustice, unfairness and imbalances the Orchid Tree is indicated in any oracle reading or message. This doesn't just apply to to external forces on you. Butterfly Tree asks you to look at yourself and your actions, thoughts and plans more carefully and be true in seeking pure harmony for all.

Gardening Notes ~
This image is one I took on my phone on one of my evening walks of Bauhinia × blakeana and it is one of
There is a house near my Lake which is not only home to two small Orchid Trees but this stunning beauty on the footpath. This is what I adore so much about gardening legacies, the continuance of the love of those gardeners before us.
Apart from the breath~takingly pretty flowers, I have always been fascinated with their bilobed leaves. In Australia they flower from February to November (late summer through to late spring), with the peak flowering time in September to October (early to mid spring).
This particular Hong Kong Orchid Tree is easily at the top end of the possibly height these trees attain ( about 9 ~ 10 metres ) and as you can see, is covered in orchid~like flowers.
As a tropical plant, they will do very in warmer climates and are fairly tolerant of hot and exposed conditions. (This tree is certainly in such a spot). Not really suitable for cooler areas and need protection from frost. They are ok in drier soils but do need very good watering in hotter months.

Botanical History Notes ~
Bauhinia × blakeana was discovered by a French Catholic Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions around 1880, on the coast near Pok Fu Lam.
Stephen Troyte Dunn made the first scientific description and assigned it to the genus Bauhinia in 1908. He named the tree in honour of Sir Henry and Lady Blake in his paper featuring his description referring to Sir Henry Blake, British Governor of Hong Kong, from 1898 to 1903.
Bauhinia × blakeana was adopted as the floral emblem of Hong Kong in 1965 and has appeared on Hong Kong's coat of arms, flag and coins since 1997.

bunches of blessings,
❁ Cheralyn xx

PS, as always feel free to share posts and images 

Bauhinia variegate, Lake Munmorah
photograph, September 2016, Cheralyn Darcey

Cheralyn Darcey is a passionate gardener and botanical history author and artist who loves sharing her three plus decades wealth of flowers and plant wisdom, stories and knowledge through her publications, presentations and workshops.

FLOWER OF THE DAY ❁ Frangipani (Plumeria alba)

Flower Affirmation ~ "I am happy and free"

Frangipani new photo webcards

Will Assist You ~
by helping boost your confidence and showing you where you may find greater freedoms and harmony. Releasing you from what holds you. If you are looking at taking a break or a holiday, Frangipani helps you to really enjoy yourself and to recharge.
Language of Nature, Flowers and Plants Oracle ~
The true feelings of yourself or another are in focus at the moment so be sure that you take notice. If you are looking for the answer to something, it is yes or positive in it's outcome.
Opportunities for holidays, rest, as well as renewal and even beginnings is surfacing for you.
Be very careful not to take anything at face value right now and step carefully because you will be fully held accountable for your actions at this time.
Gardening Note ~
So easy to grow in most warmer climates. They do not like the cold and prefer a war sunny spot for best growth. I've always grown mine from the cuttings and found that although you can just stick them in the ground, for the best and strongest growth, dry them out in a cool dry place for 6 weeks and then plant on top of a fish in sandy soil or you could just use Seasol :)
Flower Lore ~
Oh there are so many wondrous histories connected with Frangipani. Two of my favourites which I practice myself ~
you must wake them up each morning as some Asian Monks do by gentle knocking on them.
Another, from South America, is to always plant them at the front of cemeteries or your home so that evil spirits are confused by their scent and pass by.

May Nature Bless you always,
Cheralyn Darcey xx

card ~ Flower Reading Cards, Rockpool Publishing, author and artist Cheralyn Darcey
artwork ~ 'Plumeria alba, Ceremonial Ball Courts, Capuana, Puerto Rico. Block print and gouache on paper, Cheralyn Darcey 2014

❁ In Casa Darcey Garden this Week ~ Rainbows, Artichokes, Sweet Verburnum

My days are filled with weeding at the moment. It's amazing how a few weeks of looking over a section can let those little goblins creep in isn't it!? My Sweet Viburnum hedge (Viburnuma Odoratissimum) was hiding a tiny forest of them. With all that early nursing I had to do to establish it, I did provide a very fertile ground which proved irresistible to weeds and stray grass. For those who missed the Facebook posts about it, I had a lot of early winter wind damage to my veggie garden from the southerly storms and winds so I have planted this hedge as a break. It's fast growing, will be high and very thick so it's perfect for the job oh and it has lovely pretty scented flowers too! I know you can tame it to be very formal but I'm keen to let it grow as it pleases with only minor trimming. It will also create a little private section which I'm going to create a table setting of some sort in. 
Vegges we are enjoying at the table right now are Bok Choy, Lettuce, Celery, Spinach, Baby Carrots and French Beans. 

Cheralyn garden 2
my artichoke! so much plant! 
meanings ~ flexibility, calm amidst turmoil, great to assist you in staying on longer paths and with long range goals. 

A rainbow was a blessing to see over my Veggie Garden. 
The new picket fence and gate, we had loads of fun building,
has provided a safe haven for my
Vegetables and Herbs which are planted for culinary, medicinal and magickal uses. 
To capture the sunlight, I've not wasted the fence line
by adding planters of additional herbs.
Pandorea will not only attract bees but eventually form a tunnel to the garden
with the addition on two more arches. 


Back 1
Things are greening up in what was that mess of a back garden.
Planted 8 months ago and in bloom on the right there ~ 

Jasmine (Jasminum)  ~ success, social gathering, healing, abundance
and Pandorea (Pandorea jasminoides) shelter, sharing, small successes 


A faerie circle in my strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) 
( clarity, grounding, the future)


Kangaroo paw pinks
Rescued a couple of left over Pink Kangaroo Paws from a supermarket display
Pink Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos flavidus) are wonderful for healing friendships, saying you are sorry and for bringing groups together to explore healing.


Calendula (calendula officinalis) 
a flower which assists with the relief of things which irritate you. Supports intuitive development and helps those looking for the return of happier times 


image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/98739f1160a9458db215cec49fb033ee/2016-09-06/a3b5028de9b94e03ac92a438c58ff899.png
broccoli, brussel sprouts, rosemary

My Sweet Viburnum Hedge (Viburnum odoratissimum) 
assists us to set clear boundaries so that we may feel free to express and connect with more subtle and gentle energies.
Very good to connect with when you are feeling overwhelmed. 

hope you are enjoying the garden & nature somehow this week too! 
bunches of blessings,
Cheralyn ❁


FLOWER OF THE DAY ❁Billy Buttons (Pycnosorus globosus)

❁Flower Affirmation ~ I seek peace and understanding. 

Billy buttons new webcards                                                                                                                         permission granted to share this post/image

❁ Will Assist You In ~ 
Time of negotiation. It will clear the air and settle emotions so that progress can be made. Supports those involved with any sort of problem solving. Let's new thinking and education be assimilated more easily.

❁ The Language of Flowers Oracle ~ 
Stop fighting whatever it is that you are at the moment. Billy Buttons often shows up to say "STOP! This can not go on. Make peace and progress" The flower also can indicate that you are in denial about something or perhaps you may be making a very 'big deal' out of a challenge and exaggerating it's worth or difficulty. You actually do know you can do it and how that will look! This flower also indicates the end of a difficult situation is near.

❁ Gardening Notes ~ 
Billy Buttons, a perennial, are also known as Drumsticks in some parts of Australian, a native to this country, they are drumstick shaped flower heads which grow to a height of about 40cm which love locations which are rather swamp~like so prefer a moist yet well drained soil structure in a sunny location.

bunches of blessings,
❁  Cheralyn xx

card from Australian Wildflower Reading Cards
artwork ~  'Billy Buttons', block print and gouache on paper, 2012, Cheralyn Darcey


FLOWER OF THE DAY ~ ❁ Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

❁ Flower Affirmation ~ 
My strength and courage is growing. 

Thyme webcards

This image is from my Veggie Garden this morning and perhaps the message I know this special herb brings may connect with some of you too.
*please feel free to download, keep and to share online if you wish 


❁  Will Assist By ~ 
Helping you to relax, increasing your psychic abilities, protecting you from nightmares and ridding areas of negative energies. 

❁  The Language of Flowers Oracle ~
You may be tested some way soon but you do have the courage and the strength to overcome. Do not let fanciful dramatic fantasy overtake what is actually going on. There is an indication of a change in such for the better and you may even find yourself to occur of another's desires. 

❁  Flower Lore ~ 
The Ancient Greeks had a fondest of Thyme as a herb of purification and they thought it particularly useful in walking away the sorrows or ill health and fortune one might have and their soldiers used it in their bathing to enhance their courage. The Ancient Roman soldiers believed it gave them the physical energy they required for battle and would bath in it for this purpose. In Medieval times it was a popular motif for Knights as it was believed both courage and strength are assured through it's symbolism. 
Thyme will assist you to see Faeries, in fact, this herb is strongly connected with the Fae and I have found many mentions of such through cultural references and literature. It would see that the Faeries adore Thyme and use it to decorate their gatherings.
Collecting Thyme on Midsummer Day, then creating a mist from it to dose trees at the Solstice will ensure the very best growth. ~ There are many variations of this recipe but most include thyme as a base with the addition of rosewater and marigold and other flowers and herbs to produce a charm or eyewash to enable one to see Faeries. Here is one I have shared for a few years now  ~ 

Flora faeries copy

❁  Gardening Notes ~
Thyme is a slow growing plant to grow from from seed and is best propagated from cuttings and by dividing roots. Best grown in a greenhouse or indoors. Transplant young plants into  final positions, in full sun with well-drained soil. Don't overdo harvest in the first year and always water sparingly once established. Thyme has the most flavour in Summer and be sure to mulch well around the plant to protect the roots in winter, particularly if frosty. 

bunches of blessings,
Cheralyn  ❁ xx 

*always remember the energy of a flower is held throughout the entire plant. It does not need to be in flower for your to benefit from connection with it. This information does not replace medical care or advice and you must seek out the professional advice in regards to therapeutic usage and proper plant identification.