Saturday, December 24, 2011

The First Big Snow Fall of the Season

The first fall of snow is not only an event but it is a magical event. You got to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?  J.B.Priestley

You might also like to visit my cooking blog at An Herbal Bedfellow.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Herbs and your Beauty Products

Each winter as it gets more difficult to write about gardening, I turn to my favorite backup -- herbs. In the past I have done different series about herbal  folklore and medicinal uses; two years ago I wrote about all the different Christmas uses for herbs and spices and their meanings.( see my cloud in the sidebar for any of theses informative articles).
This year, or should I say next, since I will begin this series in 2012, I have decided to focus on beauty and the many natural homemade recipes I have collected. The biggest concerns for most of us at this time of year is dry skin. We're looking for anything from face creams to body lotions to help us through the dry air days, especially in areas like mine when the furnace is running full force!.  Hair loss in women is another fear, especially with the trend towards fuller and thicker hair, so all natural shampoos and cream rinses can help a lot in that area. And then there is the problem of soaps, antibacterial or not? Fragrance or not?
If you are like me, you are more and more aware of the chemicals used in products. Here is an article I found about the Ten Most Dangerous Chemicals in our Beauty Products. Number one listed is Isopropyl Alcohol. I'm not a chemist or close to it, I'm just a gardener, and it has not been easy trying to convert to all-natural products.  I have to admit to a slip now and then. But as I go through the winter offering you some ways to make your own products, maybe together we can change the way we've been doing things and the products we have been buying. You'll feel safer not only for yourself but also for your family. And you'll be saving money, too! So please come back after the New Year has begun and follow along. It should be interesting, and I'm sure your face, hair, and body will thank you. See you next year in 2012 -- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

You might also like to visit my cooking blog at An Herbal Bedfellow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orange Star and Indoor Gardening

On Mother's Day 2011, my daughter gave me an Orange Star (Guzmania Lingulata) similar to the one pictured above. Why am I talking about Mother's Day in December? Because I am indoor gardening, or forcing, with this plant in the middle of the Christmas rush!
A week ago I noticed, sitting on the bottom on my dark closet floor, was a pot that I had placed there after the Star Flower started to die off. I had clipped back all of the dead leaves and blooms, and sent it off to hibernate; then I completely forgot about it. While digging around for a pair of boots (no snow yet but it's bound to come any day), I noticed a tiny bit of green popping through the soil of my Orange Star pot. I knew it was struggling for light, so I promptly brought it out and gave it a good watering; then I set it in a bright window but away from direct sunlight. Sun through glass can burn your plant's tender leaves.

This is where it's at as of today's date.  Now if I can remember to water it regularly, throughout the holidays, I should have Orange Star blossoms soon.  I'll keep you updated as to when this momentous occasion occurs.

You might also like to visit my cooking blog at An Herbal Bedfellow.