Friday, May 28, 2010

Mary & Inspiring Tea Gardens

As I sit down to write this we are preparing to leave to Gramma's place for 4 days . It is raining but it is so beautiful there even in the rain . Rain always reminds me of my Grandmother's place . The cottage would become dark inside . Often she'd make her hermit cookies and even light the woodstove . The smells like creeping charlie , sounds like rain dropping from the eves into the rain barrel or my fav birhc leaves in the wind that is one of my fav sounds because I can hear the leaves flutting sound while lying in bed the birch trre right out my window .
 Anyway garden , yes I've been working on my little fairy garden / sacred heart garden &  
Mary garden . I have decided to rename my herbal flower garden to a tea garden ☺ My image of a tea garden is one of flowers herbs , butterflies & bees . My Grandmother also loved her gardens . She had a lovely garden under a grand birch in her yard it had her blue iris and daffodils . In the center of the fountation of the her old log home which burned she built a fish pond & garden which still houses her special lily .
 I love the imagination , vision & the right to believe all is possible especially when it comes to a garden ☺My idea for a tea garden was really boosted when I went off with my gal pals Mary & Summer to Sage Garden Herbs !  When I walked in my two fav herbs were filling the air with their lovely presence Lavender & Rosemary . Do You know they offer a Lavender Wintering Service ! Wow !
  I am so inspired being me when I visit places like this I urge You to visit those places that are local near You , the small local family herbs farms etc. I am also inspired by beautiful people who help others in learning more about herbal knowledge just by giving & giving such as Susan Wittig Albert , 
 Susun Weed  and those who help us long after they have left this world like my grandmother such as Tasha Tudor  &  my fav all time wisewoman & herbalist Juliette Levy . 
 So I looked up a tea graden online & basically a tea garden is an inspirational garden a pleasure garden one to sit , walk through and enjoy the delights .    I am trying to inspire ds22 to begin his own Japanese tea garden because he has that Asian flare ☺ I watched a show about inspiring gardens on vision tv about a remarkable Canadian fellow who was inspired by Japanese tea gardens in his own healing going on to bring these to others . He is now a well known tea garden designer and helps inspire programs to help elderly with Alzheimer's and other people in need of healing with these gardens .
    So I am planning on taking the Summer months off , popping in for the odd giveaway now and then but really wish to enjoy the summer months with dh & children & of course my plants need me too ☺ as I need them . below are just a few of our springtime beginning pictures and I shall post more come late summer as she grows with summer rains & sunny days . Enjoy

This is a pic of my front step which gets quite a bit of shade because of our gorgeous Elms along the streetside .I planted a fern in our old mailbox inspired by friend Mary ☺

This was my sacred heart garden with Gramma's blue iris but over the last 3 yrs the clay in the soil has taken over as well as the quack grass and it is just so hard on the plants . So my sil Summer donated a huge shipment of manure soil for us . I have been placing it on all the flower beds and potted plants .

We have lilies in many colours . and day lilies as well . Columbine , wild mint , Veronica too .

You can see the soil is just so cracked and rock hard . I'm surprised Columbine has done this well . I like to plant parsley , sweetgrass , lovage ,sage  flowers like poppies ,chamomile , malo & zinnea .

Many potted plants like Oleander , lavender & rosemary . Basil is also a fav . Try using old china , tea pots , even old washtubs as inspiring eye opening exhibits for your garden

It just looks so much better after adding that soil and now that it is raining the garden is so lush & shiny .

You can see Comfrey doing so well now along the back fence .

This is our little fairy home cottage . I stripped the old cupboard doors down and Mary's twin girls helped me glue on the new pics . I will collect moss while out at Mum's place to cover the floor . I shall also plant purple & white opium poppies around it along with a few malo too ☺

As mentioned before we are blessed as city people to have such a big garden at home . Many people have to rent garden space & drive in order to have access to garden so yes we feel blessed . I have dedicated each of the boys a section of garden this yr . and am happy to already seeing such positive results . They have always helped with the gardening but this time the idea was a bit different . They are totally in charge . That goes from selection of seeds & plants to also the layout & design . We are also studying different gardening techniques such as native American & botany in our Homeschool which you can see our summer reading selections and a few ideas on our Homeschool Blog

Here Wise Owl begins his planting

 Adventure Boy choose one of his favourite plants Dusty Miller

Dad has been a big help in the gardening skills dept. ☺

Yes, even Sharon the magic cat loves the garden , lol I catch her sleeping inside the fairy houses all the time too on hot summer days ☺
This was my general Mary garden which You can see has now evolved into a very specific Mary Guadalupe garden ☺

My dear friend Mary gave me this for my birthday in January and I knew right away where I was going to place it it is so beautiful I just had to share .

I am looking for a vine which likes shade to climb up the stick I've placed on the right there . ideas ?

This was another birthday gift from dh

Ok I guess I am special because this statue was also a gift from my friend Sarah ☺
see the little MX fish at her feet well , yes, a gift from Mary again as well ☺ I planted portulaca at her feet hoping to get some good vibrant colour into the garden .

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mothering Month of May Giveaway

Mothering Giveaway ! Easy to enter just leave a comment or email me  . Feel free to enter for yourself as well as any friends or family members you think would enjoy this gift pack . Entries start now May 17th and end on  Fri May 28th .
Thanks a bunch !

Yep , I'm having another giveaway celebrating the May the Month of Mothering !  I was so excited about this giveaway because I get to share a most wonderful book with someone ☺
 I found

This most beautiful book at the secondhand a month ago and knew right away It had to be in a Mothering giveaway . It is in absolute perfect condition except for a inscription in the front cover as it was a gift to someone . I am in love with this book Mother's Nature    I did try and find it on google reader but did not have any luck but amazon has the samples and reviews are all a big thumbs up !

Next is once again another copy of The Compleat Mother  it is a winter issue but I found 3 extra copies in my keepsake trunk  so I'm happy to share .

I can't resit sharing my tea can with you . My dd gave this to me it was her deceased father's tea canister and exactly like my Grandmothers . I love it !
So next up is

Very yummy blend of Ceylon , Lavender & Rose tea for your enjoyment hopefully being able to drink while reading the book ☺

This is one of my fav blends and very calming
exactly 30g
Next is a wonderful sage stick or what I call Kateri incense ☺ us it as decoration or as your daily smudge

After that we have a 16oz bag of our bath salts for that relaxing tub . The Winners choice out of 3 scents we have lavender / rose , orange cedar , & lemon chamomile .  

Next is our own wild mint clay facial mask which we have many wonderful compliments on .
 Feel free to enter for Yourself and also any friends You may know who would like this gift pack .

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Violet or two

Yes , anyone who knows me also knows how much I love eating flowers ☺ yes I do ! One of the first flowers we get up here are the wild violets after the good old hardy crocus of course .
 I went off on my mothers day weekend just myself with our 3 dogs  picking wild violets . I was just going to dry them as I always do but then remembered seeing the candied version online before .
One yr I made my mother a lemon cake for mothers day and decorated it with fresh violets . Well I then learned people crystallize flowers for exactly this purpose ! So I looked up the basic recipe and most seem to be the same all use egg white wash and then a fine sugar of some type .
 It was extremely easy but slow . Also I did discover one should have a bowl of water nearby for your sticky fingers ☺
 I so looking forward to trying other flowers like lilac , pansy & rose !  I think most of all I get excited because of course all these flowers mean spring / summer are really here ! lol after 2 weeks of rain and up here we do wonder if snow may still be in the forecast . Well yes the little violet is most promising . I hope you enjoy the pics below and she is so very beautiful .

believe it or not this is a lot of wild violets and took several hrs of locating & picking

Prepare an egg white wash & fine sugar & a paint brush . I used parhment paper but wax paper would work best

Be sure and have a bowl of warm water handy to rinse your fingers as they will get sticky , a tea towl too

I only got half the batch done yesterday .It is a fun & easy craft but a time taker

and so worth the time , yes they are yummy !

Friday, May 14, 2010

We have a Winner !

Yes , we have a winner for our first month of Mothering Give away ! Her name is Jen & although we have not met she is friend of our eldest dd Natasha so I'm sure she is a sweet young lady . She is expecting Natasha told me so Congrats to You Jen ! Not only on the giveaway but more importantly on becoming a Mum which you actually are already by growing and caring for this beautiful babe in utero . Below are the pics of our Adventure boy selecting a name from the flower pot . He loves these draws ☺
Please stay tuned come Monday for our next giveaway & have a great weekend .

We first began with this lovely pot
Wrote down the entry names
We then add the names to the pot
Shake it all up
Select one name
and the winner is ?
Jen ! Congrats to You !

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laughing Duck Farm Giveaway

Yes , Melodie over at Laughing Duck Farm  is having a wonderful giveaway of a fabulous grill as celebration of her 200th post ! Please stop in and enter but mostly you will be thankful you did because her blog is full of the most cute  beautiful animal friends . You will not be able to stay away after one visit I promise you that ! So hop on over , enter & enjoy !

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May ~ A Month of Mothering Giveaway

Entries begin today May 1st & draw to be on Friday May 14th Yes , we are having some lovely motherly giveaways for the month of May ! I hope you will partake & send on the invitation to all your mum friends . We are starting of the month in preparation for that new baby and spoiling that new mum to be ;-)
All that is need from you is to either send us off an e-mail or post in the comment box at the end of this post . As mentioned in some of my earlier posts this is a fav book of mine both in the prenatal faze as well as in child/ infant care . The author Susun Weed is one of my favs and I have all her books . This book I wore out 3 copies and my last I have to keep together with a rubber band that is how well used it is !This is a very special treat ! A copy of the Compleat Mother ! issue winter/spring 1991 .Hard to believe 1991 is getting ole ! This was in the later yrs of the home based mag . Put out by Catherine Young a forerunner in the breastfeeding advocacy & homebirth world .
Next is that wonderful pregnancy mix of red raspberry , red clover & nettle . This is a must in strengthening the uterus , keeping baby healthy & proving much needed vitK . My fav way to prepare this tea is to steep 20min at a minimum & let cool .I like to drink with a pinch of honey or my fav with organic cranberry juice ;-) This is not featured in the main pic above because I did not want to get chamomile seeds all over the other items ;-) This is dried chamomile stalks & flowers used to make up a wonderful soothing bath tea . Just bring a pot of water to boil , turn off , add chamomile then steep up to 20min . strain and add to your tub . Comes wrapped in brown paper .
Yes Coconut oil ! You know I absolutely love promoting the use of coconut oil for pregnant bellies and infant massage ! I never suffered from one stretch mark ! Yes I have birthed 6 children ! So that is saying something . Of course not gaining to much excess weight also helped but I attribute my skin being so pliable to applying oil regularly weather having bathed or not my belly got its daily rub ;-)
As you can see from the pic this brand new homemade receiving blanket is exactly one meter large ! We do not like those piddly mini rags the stores sell as receiving blankets . As in aboriginal & Lebanese custom babies are always wrapped firmly . I remember my great auntie Pansy coming over and being horrified my new baby Natasha was all thrown about loosely in her blanket . She grabbed her and wrapped her so tight ! I always go off in my second last month or so and buy a few meters of flannel and sew up a few big 1 meter receiving blankets .
I couldn't resist buying this happy pattern , hope you like it too !

Lastly , again I am a sucker for cotton ! I found these cute mini baby under type shirts at the dollar store while searching for dog chews lol . I couldn't resit buying just one for the giveaway .