Lavender has several uses and benefits, especially pertaining to health and beauty. When using a particular oil, like extra virgin olive or sunflower oil, it can be easily incorporated into cooking. Or, if creating your own at home spa treatment, grapeseed or jojoba oil work brilliantly. No matter how you use lavender oil, it is very easy and lasts for a long time.
Servings: 1 jar
You will need:
A large jar (for the infusion)
Cut and dried Lavender
Olive oil or mineral oils (depending on the use)
Cheesecloth or muslin (for straining)
A bottle or glass container (for storage)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Infusion time: 1-3 weeks
Harvest and dry – Once you have harvested your lavender allow it to dry completely before starting the infusion process.
Divide lavender – Fill jar with dry lavender until it is at least three-quarters full.
Choose your oil – Add enough oil so that the lavender is completely submerged and can move around freely.
Leave it – Secure the lid and leave the jar on a windowsill in direct sunlight. Depending on the strength desired leave the oil for up to 3 weeks, occasionally giving it a light shake.
Strain – Use the cheesecloth or muslin to strain the lavender flowers and store the infused oil in a glass container.
Use – Once you’re happy with your oil feel free to use immediately!
What other oils can I use?
For skincare: Grapeseed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argon Oil. Each of these oils has their own benefits and ways they will react to your skin. Always do research and a patch test before using.
For cooking: Avocado Oil and Safflower Oil.
What else is Lavender Oil used for?
Lavender Oil is often used in aromatherapy. It can also be used to treat anxiety, allergies, insomnia, and menstrual cramps.
Do it yourself projects are on the rise this year. With many of us spending a lot more time around the home, sales within household goods stores were 9.9% higher in August 2020 than February 2020, mainly due to a rise in the desire for home improvement items, according to The Office for National Statistics. So, with lockdowns still present all over the UK, why not bring the DIY trend into the garden with these autumnal DIY gardening crafts.
Pick up a pre-made birdhouse from the craft shop or build your own. Then, paint it your favourite colour at home and hang it out in the garden. Avoid hanging your birdhouse in a spot that receives strong sunlight, rain and wind.
Tip 💡 For decorating, why not try painting your birdhouse in polka dots, stripes, or flowers!
Pallet Compost Bin
Composting is a cheap and easy to way to create your own nutrient rich compost to add to your garden plants in the springtime. Using leftover wooden pallets are perfect for those of you who are new to composting. To make a pallet compost bin you’ll need four pallets of matching size. Join together four pallets to create the back and sides, then stand them up and screw them into place. Now, you have your completed pallet bin!
Almost anything can be turned into a fun, unique planter. Tin cans and buckets can be painted and upcycled into fun small garden planters for patios. Whereas larger items such as tyres, chest of drawers and wheelbarrows can be given a new lease of life as a planter to create a feature in the garden.
A great one for the kids, these festive autumn front door wreaths will give your home serious autumnal curb appeal. All you need is a wire circular frame, some moss to form the base, and a bunch of your favourite flower and foliage. Simply bundle your foliage, cover the frame, and attach using floral wire all the way around the wreath.
Pruning is an essential job that is often overlooked, but with a little planning and preparation in advance then we can easily maintain the long term health and vibrancy of the garden. For larger trees it can sometimes be safer and easier to consult a professional, but most pruning is a simple do it yourself job.
Why do I need to prune?
Promotes healthy development – By removing the old, dying or weak branches from the trees/shrubs this will allow the structure to become stronger and flowering thus to become more prolific and less prone to disease.
Maintain the ornamental appearance – Removing damaged or wayward shoots will stop the branches from becoming entangled and messy.
Controls height and shape – If you are looking to keep certain plants, such as climbers or vigorous growing shrubs from becoming unmanageable, then regular and hard pruning will be a must.
Promotes flowering and fruiting – Proving can improve air circulation, should result in more flowers or a much better and larger crop year on year for fruit.
How to Prune
As a starting point cut back and remove all dead and diseased wood. Always work with the natural habit and structure of the tree or shrub, to encourage continued natural growth. This can be followed up with removing any crossing or rubbing branches at the centre of the plant. By removing these branches which can act as a barrier to further growth, you will in fact improve circulation around the shrubs/tree, helping to reduce the likelihood of plant disease.
When removing stems, we suggest cutting at a little above healthy buds, cutting back around 0.5cm above. Never cut back and leave short stubs. Make all cuts perpendicular to the branch and close to the branch collar to facilitate rapid healing.
For fruit trees, its important to encourage healthy growth and a bumper crop of fruit. It’s critical to prune before the buds appear from mid-late spring. Make sure that any rubbing or branches that cross each other are trimmed back completely. Identify damaged or weakened branches and remove these also. Create a simple open structure where the side shoots can develop and become stronger.