Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Arikara Sunflower - Heirloom Seeds & Seed Heads - 12 feet Tall : )

Laura and her 12 foot tall Arikara sunflowers. I almost fell off my chair when she sent me this picture, truly!.
Arikara Sunflower Seeds - (Helianthus annus) Luckily, they all just fit in this mason jar.
Arikara dried flower head - Seeds have been removed. I love the texture.
I save the seeds every year of course, and as for the seed heads, I'm currently making wreaths with them.
A lovely lady who purchased some of these from me this past spring was kind enough to send me a picture of her harvest. They grew 12 feet tall for her. I'm so pleased! She (Laura), gave me permission to share a picture she took of them, here on my blog. Thanks Laura! You have one hell of a green thumb! : )
Thanks for visiting! Happy Heirloom gardening!
(Because, really, Monsanto's poisonous crap will never grow as well as an heirloom will.)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Create a Bath Spa from your own Garden!

I think most gardeners are somewhat crafty people in the sense that we're the type to make silk purses out of sow's ears! (In a manner of speaking, that is...)
What I'm getting at is that if you grow herbs in your garden and if you like to dry and store them, why not make your own herbal tea bath bags?

I've been doing it for years, and thought maybe it would be something interesting to share here with my fellow gardeners.

My Grandma always used Epsom salts, speaking highly of their virtues. Being a bath person myself, I started adding Epsom salt, sea salt, and various dried herbs in muslin bags, tying the bag to the tap as the bath water runs through it.

Relax all your cares away in a hot bath with all the essential ingredients contained in these bags.  It's especially nice after a long day in the garden. 

Dried lavender flowers release essential oil and fragrance into the bath. The sea salts dissolves and works to relax tired and sore muscles. Milk powder dissolves to condition skin. 

The best thing is that rejuvenated feeling after a good soak. There is no mess of dried flowers to clean up - just pick the tea bag up to discard. I put mine in the composter.

You can buy empty tea bags, fill them with herbs and iron them shut! I love the fact that you can choose your own natural ingredients. Nothing harmful to the body or the environment.
Lavender, mint, sage, basil, chamomile, or anything that strikes your fancy, can be added, then ironed shut and tossed  in the bath! It's that easy.
Here's a recipe I've used for many years. Hope you enjoy it too!
You'll need...
~1 muslin bag (or) empty heat sealed tea bag.
~ Some dried herbs: lavender, rosemary, rose hips, chamomile, rose petals, dried orange or lemon peels
~ 1/2 cup Epsom Salts
~ Blender
~ 1 tablespoon of Dried milk powder
 ~1/4 cup Dead Sea Salts
~ Essential oil of your choice (Just a couple of drops)
~ Olive Oil or Safflower oil (Just a couple drops)
~Mix the dried flowers/herbs in the blender which helps to release their essential oils.
~Add a few drops of essential oil with a half cup of Epsom salts.
 ~Mix well and fill your muslin cotton sachet or tea bag and seal it.
~Hang the muslin bag from the spigot on your tub, or just float the bath tea bag in the tub for a few minutes before you get in. It's that easy! Enjoy!

 If you'd like to try some, but don't have the ingredients or the time, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop where I have Bath Tea Spa bags available, and many other great gifts from the garden. 

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Gaillardia - Drought Tolerant and Hardy Native Plants

Gaillardia aristata - Goblin
The very showy, (yet, underrated), Gaillardia aristata, or Blanket Flower, is a Native perennial wild flower from North America.
It's pretty much the only plant that's still green in my garden at the moment, considering I live in USDA zone 3, and we've had a couple killing frosts already.
This bright and colourful plant is just perfect for sunny locations in front of the border.
It’s really drought tolerant, and since it appeals to most pollinators, it makes the perfect addition to a butterfly or wildlife garden.
Gaillardia does prefer full sun, however, I’ve discovered it will indeed tolerate a bit of dappled shade.
Since I live in a rural area, here in Ontario, I’ve come to the conclusion that any plant or flower that the deer don’t decimate get points, so this one does for sure! Thankfully, Gaillardia is definitely not on the Deer’s menu! Perhaps it's the leaf texture, but whatever the reason, I'm grateful!
The daisy-like flowers bloom from Spring and right through into the Autumn, which is a real plus in any perennial bed. They also make a lovely addition to floral arrangements since the flowers hold up well in water. I love the cheery blooms that come in shades of red, yellow and orange. They really brighten up my kitchen, however, I don’t cut many, since I like to collect the seedheads for drying and to save the seeds.
Saving the seeds from Gaillardia is very easy to do. I simply collect them once the flower has finished and has dried on the plant. I save them in a paper bag until I’m sure they’re completely dry, then store them away somewhere safe ‘til next planting season begins again next year.
And, if you're interested in growing the lovely Gaillardia in your garden, please feel free to visit Wall Flower Studio. I have many seed packets available for purchase.
I ship across North America, and beyond. Contact me and I'll send you and invoice through PayPal. Thank you
Happy Gardening!