Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, June 29, 2009

Amber Resin

There are so many essential oils available, that I will never be able to sample them all. Some I use for their medicinal quality, others simply for their fragrance. I tend to lean toward the sweet smelling floral ones; such as jasmine, neroli,or ylang-ylang. Vanilla is another scent I love. Others such as patchouli are a little too "earthy" for me. I use lavender a lot in my bath salts, linen sprays, monster spray and dream pillows because of it's calming and sedative properties. But I admit, it's fragrance is a little too medicinal for me, and I often pair it with vanilla, tangerine, or sweet orange. In my dream pillows I mix it with other "sleep herbs" such as roses, chamomile, and hops. (Gardenchick)

I was at the local "green" market the other day looking for some dried St. John's Wort. The essential oils are nearby and I can't resist taking a few "sniffs" of the samples. I kept smelling the most wonderful scent and finally located it. It was amber. A small rock size piece of this resin could be smelled through the package. The only description I can use to describe this is "exotic" It is a little expensive. This small rock size piece was $3.99, but I snatched one up, knowing I would figure out what to do with it later.

Amber is not an essential oil however. According to EdenBotanicals (Marge at Naturesgift says they are THE place to purchase your amber and I always listen to Marge!), the term amber "generally refers to either Baltic amber or to fragrant amber resin." The baltic amber is fossalized tree resin and used primarily in jewelry. The fragrant amber, is a semi-solid mass of tree resins mixed with essential oils, bees wax, and fragrant plant powers. Each amber resin maker uses his or her own, unique secret formula for making their resin.. Eden Botanical's is known as Amber Essence.
I decided the easiest way to start out using this scent was as a body powder. You can create your own body powder by taking 1 cup arrowroot or cornstarch and placing it in an airtight container with about a pea size piece of the amber. Close the container and allow it to sit for about a week.
Body powders are great for this summer weather. After a hard day in the garden, they will make your skin feel silky smooth, and help to keep you cool and dry.
You can either place your finished powder in a shaker container to buy online, or why not "repurpose" a pretty salt and pepper container? Maybe you can find a salt and pepper shaker at a local thrift or antique mall for a unique gift for family and friends. I often see the old body powder containers at flea markets and antique shops for a reasonable price, and you could pair this with a "powder puff" from your local dollar store or Walmart.
You don't have to limit yourself to amber. Ground rose petals and a few drops of rose absolute essential oil would also make a fragrant and attractive body powder.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 22, 2009

Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway-Winner

Ta Dah! And the winner of the gift card giveaway is:

Here's how I Picked the winner. It was very scientific. All the names were placed in a bowl. You received more than one entry if you tweeted,facebooked, or blogged, so a couple of peoples names were in the pot (bowl) 3-4 times. I then reached in and Wa-Lah! Out it came.

I will contact the sponsor, and give her the address, and she will mail the gift card.

Congratulations, hope you send me a picture of your project.


Bookmark and Share

Summer Solstice

It's Official! The summer solstice occurred yesterday marking the first day of Summer. Like most of you, I didn't need a calender to tell me that. Did I miss spring? Sweltering temperatures in the 90's with a heat index in the 100's has lingered here for the last week or so. We were out in the garden early yesterday morning to weed and water, and by 9:00 a.m. the heat was oppressive.

Sol +stice is derived from a combination of Latin words which mean "sun" and "to stand still". In the Summer Solstice, the sun reaches it's highest peak in the sky, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the year. The Summer Solstice
has been celebrated by civilizations for years, both Pagan and Christian.

Herbs and flowers played an important part in these rituals, believed to have magical powers.

The herb, St. Johns Wort (hypericum perforatum)) was thought to ward off evil spirits , and is often known by the name of chase-devil. The name St. Johns Wort came about after the Catholic Church established the Feast of St. John as an alternative to the pagan midsummer celebration.

Today, St. John's Wort is widely used to treat mild depression. The bright yellow flowers are often used in tinctures, tablets, capsules, and teas. A perinneal herb, hypericum perforatum can be grown in both sun and light shade. A wild growing weed in many areas, it will spread easily, and should be planted where it can be contained.
*The St. John's Picture is from

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day

Dad, I miss you, but felt you in the garden with me this morning.
Jesse H. Johnson
September 27, 1926- August 15, 2008

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Herbal Tub Teas

I gathered up my courage, and early this morning went out to gather the lavender off of my plants. Who knew bees got up so early? I hadn't even heard my little rooster attempt his weak crows this morning. Anyway, not to be deterred, I dove in and started clipping back the stalks. The bees could have easily moved on to other plants, but no, we both were determined to get the lavender. I won without incident. I read if you showed no fear, the bees would not sting you. They must have fell for my ruse, because we both were working as fast as we could with only a few warning buzzes to move me back. After the lavender dries (I am placing it in a brown paper in the back of my hot, closed up car for a few days), I will to make some fresh lavender buds. I have a mixture left over that I use for the tub teas I sell and it still smells wonderful. I will add a little lavender essential oil to freshen it up.

What you need:

Mix the ingredients. I usually use equal parts oatmeal, powder, dried herbs and a few drops essential oil.

Place in the heat sealable tea bag and iron the top shut or in a muslin bag.

Place the bag under the running water, or make a tea from it and pour into your running bath.

I have some great tub teas on my website. Just go here to purchase

Want to learn more? Check out Tina Sam's blogpost at

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lavender is Blooming

I love lavender, and planted this one plant last year next to our patio. I put the old garden gate behind it, and the sign hanging off the back says "Lavender". A little hemp beehive and old yellow metal chair complete the scene. I am going to cut this lavender this morning, and it should have been much earlier. Lavender should be cut right before the buds open. The honey bees have been dining on the lavender and someone is going to have some great lavender honey.

There are so many ways to use lavender. Cooking, in healing salves, tub teas, sachets, and many different ways. I cut mine and place in a brown paper bag, and place that in the back of my car, or on the dashboard in the sun. It is so humid here, I have trouble getting herbs to dry by placing them outside in a shaded place.

Here is a recipe from the blog

Lavender Lip Balm

This lip balm would be great for sunburned or chapped lips since lavender is known for it's healing properties
½ cup cosmetic oil (apricot kernal, sweet almond, or grapeseed oil) ¼ cup fresh lavender flowers lavender essential oil 1-2 tsp pure beeswax, grated

In a clean lidded jar, steep the lavender flowers in the oil for a week. Strain into a small saucepan, add 5-6 drops of essential oil, and place over low heat. When warm, begin adding the beeswax. When you've melted in the first teaspoon of wax, removed from the heat and test for hardness by placing a little on a saucer and putting in the refrigerator. After a couple of minutes, check to see if the gloss has congealed. If it isn't hard enough, add a little more wax and reheat. If it's too hard, add a few drops of oil and reheat. When done, pour into a small lidded jar and let it cool.

This is one of the blogs of Susan Wittig Albert, the best selling author of the China Bayles mystery series.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In My Garden

What a difference 5 weeks make. We planted the garden less than 5 weeks ago, and you can see how the rain we have had has really helped the garden grow. I think we have watered only twice. Once at planting, and a couple of days ago. We have corn, green beans, okra, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers. There are small tomatoes and peppers already.

Bookmark and Share

chick update

Aren't my babies getting to be big? They are now in their own HUGE pen. I tried the first few nights to corral them into their house, but found that they liked roosting in the trees, and it was getting a little embarrassing knowing they continually outsmarted me. This pen is on the side of the hill on our property and is shaded by huge trees. I still need to get a couple more hens for the two roosters.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 1, 2009

PrairieFlowerFarm Blog

I am always finding these wonderful blogs, and then can't remember how I got to them. There are so many creative, and talented women on the web, and I could spend all day reading blogs.

The latest I found caught my eye because of the colors (I love red), and her slide show of pictures. Funny how so many people have the same taste. And then, right before my very eyes, was a chicken tea towel to embroider. Do you know how long it has been since I have embroidered anything. Let's just say way too long. I couldn't resist the the chick tea towel pattern FREE! I received and downloaded the pattern in less than two minutes, and can't wait to get started. Please visit Linda's blog and pick yours up! She is also having a giveaway for the tea towel.

Bookmark and Share

Home Depot 100.00 Gift Card Giveaway

The rain has finally stopped here in North Georgia, and I know you all have projects you are anxious to get started on for the house and garden. My husband and son finished putting the roof on our new deck, and before it was even finished I was telling my husband how I wanted a garden shed/building to house my business Gardenchick. There is a wonderful two story one at Home Depot that has my name written all over it!

I was contacted by Home Depot and offered a $100.00 gift card for the readers of my blog! What a great giveaway to get your home and garden ready for summer, and what Dad would not love a Home Depot gift card for Father's Day.

Here's how it works. Go over to Home Depot's Garden Club site and look through the popular gardening DIY projects. Then submit on the comment section of this post, the “DIY gardening project” you would like to tackle or what you would buy if you win the $100 gift card on my blog. BE SURE AND LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN!

Also, tell me if you tweet about it, blog about it, or put it on your facebook page, and you will get extra entries increasing your chance of winning!

The contest runs from June 1 through June 21st Fathers Day.

The Home Depot Gardening Club can also answer any of your gardening questions within 24 hours and has great coupons, tips, and DIY advice on gardening, lawn care, landscaping and outdoor living projects. ENTER NOW!

Enter here:

Good luck, and happy gardening

Bookmark and Share

blog powered by Blogger
skinned by RedLime