A few weeks ago, I decided to coax cuttings of a flowering cherry tree into an early performance in order to speed up spring. Persuading plants to flower out of season is known as forcing. You can either trim branches from your yard or buy them from a florist. There are a number of flowering trees and shrubs that you can choose for your trimmings. I have a flowering cherry tree in my front yard. So, that’s what I used. However, flowering dogwood, redbud, flowering dogwood, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, or forsythia work well, too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 1. Prune on a mild, late-winter day. Branches are more pliable when temperatures are above freezing. Most spring bloomers form flower buds on the previous season’s growth. 2. Look for crowded branches that are no more than 1/2 inch in diameter, with numerous round, plump flower buds. Thinning is okay. 3. Place branches in fairly hot tap water, and recut at an angle. Next, place in a bucket of water with floral preservative. Store in a cool, dimly lit area like a porch or garage to ease the transition indoors. 4. When buds begin to swell, bring branches indoors. Set arrangements in a bright area away from direct sunlight and heating vents. Change water daily. 5. Celebrate spring early! After all, you just fooled Mother Nature.
Farmgirl and Buttermilk Green Hill Farm Summer 2019 PC: Alison Creasy Photography “I do not understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, and does not leave us where it found us.” ~Anne Lamott, author Enjoy your week!
Green Hill Farm April 2019 “And do not change. Do not divert your love from visible things. But go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary; animals and things…, and keep the balance true. ~Rainer Maria Rilke “Let nothing disturb you, / Nothing frighten you—/ All things pass, / But God never changes.” ~Sainte Thérèse […]
Rainbow Over Roanoke, Virginia January 2019 “Have a sincere desire to serve God and mankind, and stop doubting, stop thinking negatively. Simply start living by faith, pray earnestly and humbly, and get into the habit of looking expectantly for the best. ~Norman Vincent Peale It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago we were celebrating St. […]
Green Hill Farm I often listen to Pandora’s symphonic music station while I’m in my makeshift art studio. It’s relaxing and helps my right brain to engage while I’m working on a painting. Recently, I heard the beautiful “Flower Duet” from Lakmé—a three-act opera composed by Léo Delibes between 1881 and 1882 and based on a novel by Pierre Loti. You’ve probably heard this lovely, ethereal music—either at the opera, or perhaps, you’ll recognize it as the boarding music of British Air. Anyway, I thought it accompanied this peaceful scene from Green Hill Farm perfectly. I hope you enjoy the music and the view! Happy Tuesday!
Green Hill Farm November 2018 “Where there is the greatest love, there are always miracles.” ~Willa Cather “Let nothing disturb you,/ Nothing frighten you–/ All things pass,/ But God never changes.” ~Sainte Thérèse D’Avila “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven […]
Quiet, cold, and crystal clear. This is the Green Hill Farm I woke up to on Sunday morning–the first snowfall of the season. And, there’s nothing like the serene beauty of the country when it’s blanketed with snow. All of the hustle and bustle and noise just seem to stop. I breathed in the peaceful views while realizing that the busyness of the day was only about to begin. The farm looked shimmering and magical, but it also looked shivery and cold. But, anyone who farms knows that’s no excuse. Especially, when sheep, chickens, cats, and dogs are all waiting on you to take care of them. So, after applying layers of clothing and looking something akin to the little brother from the film, A Christmas Story, Farmguy and I headed outdoors to embrace what we love. The sense of meaningfulness and purpose that caring for our animals and farm gives us. Since we’re enjoying such a wintry scene this week, I thought a hot toddy recipe may be in order. Fittingly, this cocktail is called a Warm Woolly Sheep. Farmguy and I discovered it while on vacation in Edinburgh, Scotland a number of years ago. It’s best enjoyed by a fire on a cold day. I hope you enjoy the snowy farm pictures as well as this wonderful drink. 🙂 Warm Woolly Sheep (Hot Toddy) This cocktail is not too sweet, thanks to the blend of scotch and […]
“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!
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!
“Lightning Over Atlanta” Many thanks to my friend and photographer, Rhonda Gardner. After an hour and 300 photos, she captured this amazing shot! “The feeling was wild and sort of unpredictable, like a good summer storm.” ~Ashley Herring Blake Happy Tuesday!