Browsing Tag

gardening

13 In DIY/ garden/ home

6 ways to use lilacs from your garden

6 ways to use lilacs from your garden

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I was invited to join some friends today for all the gardening ideas so get ready for all the pretty things and to be inspired! I am sharing 6 ways to use lilacs from your garden so scroll down to see them all.

6 ways to use lilacs from your garden

Growing up, my grandmother had a huge lilac tree in her yard. I used to love to stand under it and smell the fragrant blooms and clip some to bring home. To this day, every time I see or smell lilacs, I think of my grandmother. I’ve always had a lilac bush at our home and this year the boy’s got me 2 new bushes for Mother’s Day.

But did you know that besides clipping them to put in vases, there are other ways to use lilacs? Unfortunately lilacs only thrive for a few short weeks but there are other uses to make them last.

From edible confections, to using in your beauty or skin care regimen, here are 6 other ways to use lilacs from your garden.

1.) Lilac Lemonade

Lilacs add a nice floral touch to lemonade for a pretty and refreshing sip. Click here for my lilac lemonade recipe. It’s become quite the favorite over the past few years. And I think adding a splash of crisp rose goes well too!

glass pitcher with lilacs and lemonade on table

2.) Freeze them into ice cubes

Not only does this make your ice cubes or water look pretty, but it adds that light floral aroma too! It just elevates your traditional water a little bit and makes you feel a little more fancy which I am all for.

You can also use these lilac ice cubes to roll on your face to help reduce any puffiness, redness, and brighten your skin. (I’ll link my flower ice molds here, aren’t they so pretty?)

white vase of lilacs on rattan tray with glass of water and rose ice cube mold

3.) Lilac ice cream

Lilacs can be used in so many desserts from scones to cupcakes and ice cream. Have you ever made your own ice cream? It’s really simple to do, you can see some of my easy no churn ice cream recipes here. This lilac ice cream from Havoc in the Kitchen looks phenomenal and is on my summer bucket list to make this year. Click here for the recipe.

photo credit – Havoc in the Kitchen

4.) Make a Simmer Pot

If you haven’t hopped on the simmer pot train yet, what are you waiting for? (I say that with love of course). There’s so many lovely combinations you can do to fill your home with different seasonal aromas. And it looks really pretty on the stove too.  I’m sharing my lilac simmer pot here.

You can use any pot but I love this glass one from Amazon.

Spring lilac simmer pot with lilacs and lemons

5.) In the bath

Add a few lilac blossoms to your bath water and the steam will almost act like a simmer pot and diffuse throughout.

Or you could also dry some blossoms and mix with epsom salt to make a refreshing bath soak.

6.) For your complexion

Lilacs are a natural astringent making them great for your skin. Infuse some lilacs in a bottle of witch hazel, allowing to infuse for about 2 days and then spritz on your face or use a cotton ball.  It helps treat acne, fine lines and wrinkles.

Lilacs are also really good for soothing sunburns and scratches. Combine the petals in a carrier oil like jojoba oil or even coconut oil to make a lotion or salve.

 

And how about one more for the road?

If you love coffee, then you must try this iced lilac latte!

How to make an iced lilac latte - glass of iced coffee with cold foam and lilac cream on top

Let me know if you try any of these ideas or if you have any other favorite ways to use lilacs.

 

lilac bush decorative farmhouse cream embossed pitcher vase round woven rattan serving tray

glass simmer pot for with fruits and herbs amber spray bottles for essential oils rose ice cube molds

 

 

 

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lilac lemonade, lilac simmer pot, fresh cut lilacs in white pitcher

 

And check out some of these other fantastic gardening ideas from my friends below

The best home and gardening ideas

3 In garden/ home

How to Celebrate Earth Day

How to Celebrate Earth Day

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Earth Day is approaching and it’s always a time when I like to do a few fun activities with the kids and teach them about ways to be more sustainable and protect our environment. I’m sharing a few ways below on how to celebrate Earth Day if you’re looking for ideas so read on.

Here are some of my favorite ways to Celebrate Earth Day

1.) Plant a garden – It doesn’t have to be anything huge, you can plant a few seeds in egg cartons if you want. Or if you are looking to start a garden, check out my post with some of my tips. It’s a great way to teach the kids sustainability and they love helping out.

tips for starting a garden

2.) Make Earth Day Seed Bombs – These are sooo easy to make and are super cute too! Make your own little seed bombs to plant and watch them grow beautiful wildflowers. Click here to see how to make them!

How to celebrate Earth Day earth day seed bombs

 

3.) Eat more plants – Incorporating more of a plant based diet into your lifestyle is not only better for your health but it’s good for the environment too as it uses less resources and ultimately leads to less greenhouse gas emissions. There are tons of resources available to educate yourself and I’m absolutely not saying to go completely vegan, everything in moderation! But even if everyone just made an attempt to try to eat more plant-based once or twice a week, say “Meatless Mondays”, it would make an impact!

Sharing some resources below

You can also click here to read this post I wrote with Plant Based Meal Ideas!

How to celebrate Earth Day more plants on your plate book   

  How to Celebrate Earth Day

4.) Pick up trash – go for a walk around the neighborhood or on a hike and pick up any trash that you see while enjoying some fresh air.

5.) Start recycling – if you don’t already, start recycling in your home.  Think of ways that you can also re-use things and get creative. Check out this DIY mud kitchen we made from an old dresser we found on the side of the road! The kids have loved playing with it and we gave it new life.

 

Here are some books I found for kids for Earth Day! Click the photos below.

How to celebrate Earth Day I am Earth Book

How to Celebrate Earth Day books for kids

How to Celebrate Earth Day

How to Celebrate Earth Day

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5 ways to celebrate earth day

5 ways to celebrate Earth Day

7 In garden/ home

How to start a garden for beginners

nesting - how to start a garden
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When we moved into our house I dreamed of having luscious garden beds and growing my own fruits, vegetables and beautiful cut flowers but had no idea where to start. Does this sound familiar? Are you wondering how to start a garden? The really cool thing about gardening is that it doesn’t need to be complicated and you’re always learning and experimenting as you go.

Scroll down to read my tips on how to start a garden for beginners and be on your way to one of the most rewarding hobbies this spring.

How to start a garden for beginners.

1.) Determine your zone.

The first thing you need to know before you can plant your garden is what zone you live in. This will help you know when to to start seeds, what plants will do well, when to transplant into the ground, etc. Where I am in Upstate New York, we are Zone 5B. The climate is very different here than you would find out in California. So while someone in Calfornia may be able to start growing various melons in January for example, our climate won’t allow that here.

To find your zone click here.

2.) Determine what you want to plant in your garden

This is my favorite part. I love to go through the seed catalogs and circle the different plant varieties that I want to plant. I usually will do alot of the vegetables that we enjoy like lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas and zucchini. The kids love to go out to the garden and just eat right as they pick.

For cut flowers I love to do zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, and sunflowers. I find that those are really easy flowers to start with.

And then I usually will pick a few new things to try. This year we’re going to try growing some pumpkins, flowers.

3.) Start seeds

If you’re starting from seeds, I have found this to be a really helpful resource. You basically plug in your zip code and it tells you when to start your seeds indoors, outdoors, our set your plants starts out.

Now you may be asking what’s the difference between starting seeds indoors or outdoors?

If you live in a zone with a shorter growing season (such as Upstate New York), it is helpful to get a jump start on starting some seeds indoors. Using seed starting trays are really helpful.  Be sure to keep next to a sunny window indoors and keep the soil moist. This year I’m also going to try a small greenhouse.

Greenhouse

Seed starting trays

 

How to start a garden for beginners

4.) Prepping the beds and soil

Clear any of the leaves, branches and brush that accumulated over the winter. If you plan to get into composting, save these for your compost.

Having your soil tested is probably one of the easiest things to do and it will tell you what nutrients it may be lacking. To check your soil:

  • With a clean shovel, dig a hole about 6 inches deep, cutting that section of soil out of the ground.
  • Place the soil into a clean bucket or clean container.
  • Bring to your local garden center and they can test it for you.

Prior to planting, make the sure the soil isn’t too wet. Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze into a ball. Open your hand and touch the ball of dirt. If it crumbles, the soil is perfect conditions to work. If it’s breaks into large clumps, it’s still too wet and you will need to a wait a few days for it to dry out. To work the soil, rake and turn over, breaking up any big clumps and removing rocks. Rake until the dirt is soft and level.

 

5.) Now you’re ready to plant

Most seeds you can direct sow right into the ground. Be sure to pay attention to the back of your seed packet as it will give you direction on when to plant, how deep, how far apart, etc.

If you are transplanting your plants that you started indoors, I like to harden them off first.  All this means is bring them outside for a few hours daily before planting them into the ground. This just helps them withstand the weather and develop stronger stems.

6.) Harvesting

This is the absolute best part about gardening and the most rewarding. Whether you are cutting your own flowers or harvesting fruits and vegetables, this is the part you’ve been waiting for. This is also the part where the kids love to help out! I like to use a basket like this one to collect all of our veggies. They also have these garden aprons too!

I love to experiment and make different recipes with our fresh vegetables. We typically get an abundance of zucchini. Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes below:

Fudgy chocolate zucchini brownies

Zucchini corn chowder

tips for starting your garden for beginners

A few helpful tips to remember when starting your garden:

  • When it comes to watering, there is such a thing as over-watering. I know I am guilty of that too and I like to think it’s because we just love our plants so much. But I have found that every few days is best depending on how rainy of a season it is.
  • Get the kids involved. My boys have loved being out in the garden, seeing how we can grow our own food and of course eating it!
  • Be patient – some years will be better than others. But that’s the cool thing about gardening, you will learn something new every year!
  • Here are some tools that I find helpful to have on hand – click here.

tips for starting a garden

 

garden apron summer sun visor garden tools for how to start a garden seed starter trays with grow light

how to start a garden seed organizer how to start a garden garden journal

Here are some other related blog posts you may enjoy

How to dry your hydrangeas

DIY mud kitchen

Lilac lemonade

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tips for starting a garden for beginners

 

 

9 In decor/ home

How to dry hydrangeas

how to dry your hydrangeas

If there was a flower that exuded summer and coastal aesthetic its hydrangeas. I picture beautiful coastal homes with lush hydrangeas in vibrant blues and pinks and purples. Did you know that you can dry out your hydrangeas to use them in your decor all year long? Scroll down to see how to dry hydrangeas.

And if you’re loving the coastal vibe, click here to check out the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic that’s trending.

How to dry hydrangeas

Our hydrangeas exploded this year! I have strawberry vanilla hydrangeas and limelight and the colors were just gorgeous!

How to dry your hydrangeasHow to dry your hydrangeas

Late August-October is the perfect time to harvest them to dry out so you can enjoy them all year long. You’ll notice that the hydrangeas start to dry out a little on their own and become almost papery and a little crunchy in texture. You’ll also notice the color beginning to deepen and they start to look a little vintage. This is the best time to cut them.

How to dry your hydrangeas

Now you absolutely can just cut them and bring them in and allow to dry on their own or hand them upside down. But this is my favorite method below. I find that it yields a nicer color.

 

How to dry your hydrangreas

1.) Cut your stems so they are about 12 inches long.

2.) Remove all of the leaves from the stems.

3.) Place them in a vase of about 1-2 inches of water.

4.) Place the vase out of direct sunlight and allow the water to evaporate (about 1-2 weeks). This will naturally dry out your hydrangeas.

How to dry your hydrangeas

You can arrange your dried hydrangeas in vases, baskets or even make a dried hydrangea wreath. The muted tones are beautiful all year long!

 

My door basket below is sold out but here is a similar one I’ve linked below.

Click here for door basket

How to dry your hydrangeas

If you like decorating with door baskets, click here to see this one I made for spring/Easter.

Dried hydrangeas also look gorgeous in a wreath. I like to use this wire wreath frame, click here.

 

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decorative sea grass lidded basket decorative rope basket laundry basket cottage core decor farmhouse vase cottage core glass vase

 

 

For more home and gardening posts check out

How to create a thoughtful housewarming gift

How To Start a Garden for Beginners

How to style your bookcases

 

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How to dry your hydrangeas

how to dry your hydrangeas

 

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