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.
Clover and The Crew “This land pulses with life. It breathes in me; it breathes around me; it breathes in spite of me. When I walk on this land, I am walking on the heartbeat of the past and the future. And that’s only one of the reasons I am a farmer.” ~Brenda Sutton Rose
Sex is good but not as good as fresh, sweet corn. ~Garrison Keillor Fresh, sweet corn is one of those treats you look forward to in the summertime, especially if you’re a gardener. There’s nothing quite like it! And, at the risk of sounding like “fifty shades of farmgirl,” I just had to include Garrison Keillor’s quote emphasizing how spectacularly good it really is. 😉 In honor of fresh, sweet corn, I’m sharing one of my favorite corn recipes—corn spoon pudding. I love it, because it’s super easy and amazingly delicious! It’s from a wonderful cookbook titled, Potluck at Midnight Farm-–celebrating food, family, and friends on Martha’s Vineyard, by Tamara Weiss. Corn spoon pudding is a recipe that was contributed to the cookbook by actress, Mary Steenburgen. Steenburgen writes, “this is a recipe that I grew up with in Arkansas and have made for many kinds of people. Also, it’s so wildly popular that folks take one bite and instantly want the recipe.” Well, I have to agree with her. I always keep extra copies of this recipe on hand to share, because it’s a guaranteed smash hit. It’s the best cornbread you’ll ever eat! Corn Spoon Pudding Serves 12 *Use organic, non-GMO ingredients when possible Ingredients: 1 (8 1/2-ounce) box corn muffin mix 7 1/2-ounces of freshly cooked whole kernel corn or canned corn 7 1/2-ounces of creamed corn or canned creamed corn 1 cup sour cream (use sour […]
“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!
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
“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 […]
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 […]