Friday Farm Favorites: Cheerfulness

“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!    

Read More →

Tuesday Tunes: Jerusalem

The Cotswolds   Unofficially, the beautiful hymn,  “Jerusalem” is often seen as a national hymn by many English people.  “Jerusalem” was originally written as a poem by William Blake in 1804.  The lyrics, written by Hubert Parry, were added to music in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English hymn was well received and needed.   “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.”     After visiting a number of wonderful art galleries in the Cotswolds as well as spending the last week in England’s “green and pleasant land,” I was inspired by this country’s many breathtaking landscapes to pass an afternoon painting.  Here’s the result. 🙂 “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″ acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley Hengerer   Enjoy your day!

Read More →

Through the Garden Gate

  “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

Read More →

The Weekly Bleat: A Cotswold Farm

A while ago, Farmguy and I visited Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park located in Guiting Power—Cheltenham, England.  The farm was opened in 1971 by Adam’s father, Joe to help protect some of our rare breeds of farm animal.  As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot […]

Read More →

Tuesday Tunes: Celebrate!

Basilica di San Lorenzo Chapel of the Princes Florence, Italy     “You can turn this world around And bring back all of those happy days Put your troubles down It’s time to celebrate Let love shine And we will find A way to come together And make things better.” ~Madonna   *A very special thank you to our good […]

Read More →

Something Refreshing

I’m not much of a mixed drink connoisseur.  I usually find that I enjoy wine more:  sparkling, white Burgundy, and Bordeaux styles. However, a few years ago, while visiting with friends in Yorkshire, England, I discovered a cocktail that I enjoyed so much that I asked the bartender for the recipe. It’s called a Hendrick’s Collins.  This cocktail is delicious and refreshing—perfect for a summer afternoon in the garden. Hendrick’s Collins *Slightly modified Ingredients: One 12 ounce Collins glass One shot of Hendrick’s Gin (distilled Scottish gin infused with rose & cucumber) 3/4 shot of St. Germain elderflower liqueur Dash of lemon 3 Cucumber slices Ice cubes Soda Water Cucumber and lemon wedge to garnish *Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Presse *Special Note:  This is a sparkling beverage that’s handmade in the U.K. and mixes well with gin.  I originally had it in England; however, I have purchased it at The Fresh Market grocery store in my area.  It can also be ordered online at amazon.com.  My preference is to use half soda water and half Belvoir Elderflower Presse in this cocktail. Preparation: Fill the Collins glasses with ice.  Full size ice cubes will melt more slowly and dilute the drink more slowly. Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, and cucumber slices into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.  Cover and shake for several seconds.  Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda water (and Elderflower sparkling beverage […]

Read More →

So Many Reasons to Love London

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” ~Samuel  Johnson   I first visited London when I was 21 years-old.  I was on a study abroad program while an undergraduate at Hollins College (now Hollins University)—a four-year, private women’s college in Roanoke, Virginia.  To this day, I believe that my time living and studying abroad had […]

Read More →