Tag Archives: garden

DIY seed packets

4 Sep

Seed saving is a late summer ritual that seems to mark the beginning of autumn. When the flowers are on their way to drying, wrap them in a paper bag, cut the stem and tie them with a string, hanging them upside down in a warm, dry place. Then you can create your own seed packets to sow next year. They’re fun and easy to make and they’re a thoughtful gift too!

Poppies are among our favourite flowers, and the process to collect the seeds is even more simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide!

1. Wait until the poppy head is completely dry and slightly open at the top. Shake it over your hand until the seeds come out.

2. Place the seeds on an old newspaper page and  allow them to dry properly.

3. Create a little envelope with old newspaper pages and place the dry seeds inside. This will go inside your seed packet.

4. Create a simple packet like the one you can see above. Fold it, glue it and decorate it! Don’t forget to add the date and the “provenance”! 

Magical Midsummer herbs

6 Jun

It’s the longest day of the year and it’s been celebrated all over the world for thousands of years. Midsummer (on the 21st of June) is the celebration of summer solstice, and for many years it was believed that picking midsummer plants on the night of the 20th would increase their healing powers. It was a night of bonfires too, as the fire was supposed to protect against the evil spirits that could wander freely on the solstice. Some of our favourite plants and herbs are typical midsummer herbs. They can be picked for several purposes: essential oils, perfume, cooking… and of course herbal teas! This is a list of our favourite midsummer plants and some tips to use them well. If you fancy celebrating midsummer in the traditional way, pick these gorgeous herbs once the sun is set. (Dancing around the bonfire optional!)

1) Lavender:

Beautifully coloured and with a soothing scent, lavender is a herb to treasure! Try popping some flowers in a glass of champagne. They’re also great in many sweet or savoury recipes.

Pick the flower heads when they’re looking their best. Picking them at night is ideal, as heat weakens their scent. Keep them on their stalks, tie them up in little bunches and hang them upside down in a dark, dry and well ventilated spot, for about two weeks. Then you can use the dry flowers to put in small cotton bags to perfume your wardrobe, or place a little lavender sachet under your pillow to help you unwind. We also love these bunches that we spotted on Pinterest!

2) Lemon Verbena:

We love the fresh, heady aroma of this versatile cupboard essential. Great for aiding digestion and easing stomach ache, it makes a fabulous tea and an amazing herbal lemonade. If you have a lemon verbena plant, pick the younger, tender leaves early in the morning, before it’s too hot. Add some dry leaves to your boiled rice for a lemony taste. You can also preserve it with sugar and use it in desserts.

3) Chamomile:

With a sweet, earthy taste and many health properties (though not recommended during pregnancy), chamomile tea is a pantry essential. To make your own, pick only whole flowers, no stems or leaves. Wash them, shaking any excess water, and let them dry. You can also bake them in the oven for a few hours at a very low heat. Store your chamomile in a tin and infuse it to enjoy its soothing properties. It works well with lemonbalm or with a hint of lavender (like our own Calming Chamomile). Great for calming your skin when applied externally: simply dip a cotton pad in cold chamomile tea.

4) Elderflower: 

These sweet scented flowers have diuretic properties, and have been used to treat colds and sinus infections. Pick the flowers on a sunny day and use them to make desserts, cordial or tea (2-4 flowers infused for around 10 minutes)

Re-cycle your tea leaves

12 Apr

Tea in the garden

Up until about a month ago Vicky wouldn’t ever considering drinking anything other than breakfast tea in the morning! Anything else….just didn’t feel ‘right’! This month we challenged her to shake up her usual tea routine. She could keep her morning cuppa, but she had to try something new. She switched to Guricha, the easiest tastiest green tea to get started on.

Now, she’s hooked!  She loves it not only  because she says she feels ‘switched’ on mentally, helping her focus at work on all things Lahloo……but it also leaves her feeling physically relaxed and calm – the  perfect combination! It tastes refreshingly good, it’s jam packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin goodness too and she can re-cycle her leaves to keep her going until lunch time! Yes, you can tea-cycle. By re-infusing the tea leaves again and again you get all the flavour as well as exploring the different infusions.

As if that wasn’t enough…..she’s also found a way to remember to feed her garden! According to the Cultural China website, once you’ve used your green tea leaves (up to 5 times with Guricha) to drink all the tea you can, sprinkle the leaves around your garden plants as a natural additive to soil!  Due to their high nitrogen content they are a natural remedy for keeping your garden in tip-top health.

In the garden

So now, every time she makes a cuppa she remembers to feed the plants!

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