Jardin

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Jardin (Garden in Spanish). I love my jardin. I love escaping into it, getting to know the existing residents, introducing new ones. I wonder what path this love affair will take me down?

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Lavender Lemonade

Inspired by a yummy gift from a girlfriend, homemade lemon cordial, and a garden bursting with one of my favourite plants…. I tried my hand at LAVENDER LEMONADE.

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I picked about 20 flower heads…. as many as you see in the basket… I did this first thing in the morning (when their essential oils are their most potent). After a quick rinse (I have an organic garden so no worries about drinking any chemicals) I put them in a bowl with 6 cups of boiling water, essentially making lavender tea, and let them sit over night.

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In the morning I strained the tea and added the juice of nine lemons, another 6 cups of water and then 3 tablespoons of honey (you can add as much or as little as you’d like depending on your sweet tooth). After a vigorous stir all the honey dissolved and guess what…. THAT’S IT!  Lavender Lemonade!!! YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!

No it doesn’t taste like some kind of perfume or potpourri experiment gone wrong…. it’s REALLY lovely and refreshing. Probably more suited to summer than to the 0 degree temps we’ve been waking up to this week, but hey, make Lemonade while the Lavender flowers!

With the quantities I used I was able to make three bottles worth. Next batch I’ll be making a whole lot more. What I really need to do is sacrifice one bottle to see how long you can keep it before it goes off….. but there is no way I’m going to be able to hold back from drinking it. In fact I had friends over today and we polished off one bottle, and I’m off for a weekend away with some girlfriends…. so, doubt it will last till sat really!

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How to give, without giving the earth.

I love giving gifts, but it is easy to get caught up in the commercial world of spending without thinking. Not only do I think it important that I think about what the person might actually want, but also what impact that gift will have on the environment.
I try, I don’t always succeed, sometimes lured by something gorgeous or something easily accessible…. but I’m getting stronger because I know there are so many wonderful GREEN options out there.

Here are some gifts I wrapped up this week for two special people in my life. For one gift  I purchased a $1 frame from a secondhand shop and created my own bit of art on recycled paper…  a 100% recycled notebook … an eco cloth bag.  I usually make my own cards, but have a stash of recycled / eco friendly bought cards if I run out of time and a birthday is looming. I then get to the really exciting bit, wrapping. I love making gifts look beautiful, and through using recycled paper, natural hemp and cotton twines and scrap paper etc, I hope I show my recipient that I care about them, but I also care that their gift will be kind to the planet too.

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As for kids toys / gifts, there are SO many educational, beautiful, earth friendly and child friendly products out there.

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DIY herb tags

A little craftiness of the “three R” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) variety.

This project is a cheap/free way of beautifying your veggie patch or herb pots, and also saves some plastic from the recycling bin!

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Chop up some plastic containers into flat sections  – whatever size /shape takes your fancy.

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Give one side of the flat section two coats of blackboard paint (wear gloves… it’s is REALLY hard to get off your hands!!!)

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Once paint is dry you can glue (use a wood glue or the like) sticks (I used old ice-block sticks) to the back.

Now you can write / draw on your mini signs…. you can use normal chalk, or a chalkboard pen if you’re wanting it to be a bit more permanent.

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You’ll see these little gems pop up in a project I’m working on at the moment – post to come soon. You could also use these as name tags for dinner parties (perhaps without the sticks), for labeling gifts…. LOTS of possibilities.