“The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet….The greatest of […]
“Cheerfulness,” 14 X 18, acrylic on canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer “Daring enthusiasm And abiding cheerfulness Can accomplish everything on earth Without fail.” ~Sri Chinmoy Farmguy and I love England, especially the Cotswolds, and one of our favorite places to spend an afternoon is Kiftsgate Court Gardens. It’s located very near Hidcote Manor Garden and is situated above the village of Mickleton in the county of Gloucestershire, in the far north of the county close to the border with both Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The gardens, famed for its roses, are the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Started by Heather Muir in the 1920s, continued by Diany Binny from 1950, and now looked after by Anne Chambers and her husband. Kiftsgate Court is currently the home of the Chambers family. My latest painting, “Cheerfulness,” was inspired by a photograph I took during one of our visits at this lovely garden. *As always, lots of gratitude to my friend and art teacher, Janet Wimmer for her input and guidance. 🙂 Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Green Hill Farm October 2018 “You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Volunteer sunflower in the garden Green Hill Farm “When we come upon beautiful things….they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.” ~Elaine Scarry We have had a lot of rain this summer. I’m talkin’ forty days, forty nights kinda rain. It’s rained so much that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an ark in the garden. I mean, we’ve got grass growing where it doesn’t usually grow—in the driveway, in the mulch of the flower beds, in the chickens’ aviary. Plus, the grass in the sheep pasture is more lush and green than it was in the spring. The sheep are constantly wet; I even think their wool is starting to felt. It’s been a bit dreary, too. And, after a while, all that gray can really get to a girl. This time of year is usually my favorite. The heat and humidity have broken, and the sky is the most vibrant color of blue. The lilies and roses are still blooming, and the garden is a lovely place. But, not this year. Yesterday, I looked out the window, and the grayness covered the backyard and fields like a blanket. My garden, which is usually fairly neat and weed-free, resembled something more along the lines of a jungle. However; as I glanced across the overgrown expanse, something bright and cheerful caught my eye. It […]
I really love it when ALL my ducks are in a row. 🙂 Ducks taking a stroll at Painswick Rococo Garden The Cotswolds, England Have a wonderful weekend!
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” ~May Sarton Photographs taken by Tonya R. Hengerer at Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Gloucestershire, England–the Cotswolds
When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind. I guess this is partially because I grew up in the rural South. But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation, especially the Big Dipper. And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden, sliced, and enjoyed between two slices of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper—the classic tomato sandwich. My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting Grandma Dooley. As a child, I lived nearby to both sets of grandparents, visiting with them often. Every summer, I would spend a week with Grandma. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also taught Bible School. While at Grandma’s, I attended Bible School with my cousin, Kim. I still remember the experience so clearly: riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and running around the church cemetery with the other children—after having the customary refreshments of Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid. But, I’ve gone off on a tangent. 😉 Anyway, it was during one […]
“A flower doesn’t lose its beauty because weeds mocked it.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo Thanks to all the rain we had earlier this summer, our garden has been an explosion of color—especially the lilies! It’s also been an explosion of weeds. As with everything, we take the good with the bad. However, one bad thing Farmguy and I like to avoid […]
“La Vie en Rose” performed by Catherine Carraway Quartet “La Vie en Rose” is a song that expresses the bliss of being in love. It brims with pure emotion and beautiful sentiment. To me, it’s one of the loveliest songs ever written. “La Vie en Rose” or the English translation, Life Through Rosy Pink Glasses, was released as a single in 1947 by French singer, Édith Piaf and is one of her most famous and beloved songs. Édith Piaf, also known as “The Little Sparrow,” became an icon of France during World War II. She was a symbol of French passion and tenacity. Piaf’s signature song was about finding love after a trying time, and many people saw it as an anthem of hope as it was released shortly after the end of World War II. Here’s the thing: “La Vie en Rose” isn’t just a song about romance; it’s an anthem of love for life, especially when everything around you is considered a source of joy. Life through rosy pink glasses isn’t about being foolishly optimistic. Instead, it’s about a state of being, where we stop…and, are truly grateful for the many blessings and small miracles that occur in our everyday lives. Have a wonderful week!
From the restoration of our 1790s home, 1775 cottage where my dad was born, and 200 hundred-year-old barn to the many hours of landscaping and gardening as well as nurturing and caring for our beloved sheep, chickens, dogs, and cats….and deciding to share all of this through my blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl—it’s been a journey. Thank you so much for […]