Looking for a way to perk yourself up in the morning before you even get that first cup of coffee? Wake up with herbs! Here is an uber-moisturizing, exfoliating sugar scrub recipe that will wake up your skin and your mind with its invigorating rosemary and sweet spearmint scent. Make up a batch of this refreshing scrub to bring a boost to your morning shower routine, or give it away to someone who could use a little lift.
Sugar scrubs are a gentle way to smooth out your skin while adding moisture. They are easy to make with ingredients you have around the house (white or brown sugar and oil). You can use olive oil or coconut oil in this recipe as well, but sweet almond oil is a nice smelling oil good for all skin types, so it is what I usually choose. It is a very moisturizing oil because it is easily absorbed by skin and it makes a nice carrier for essential oils.
Rosemary essential oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties good for acne-prone skin. The aroma of rosemary is also purported to increase focus and memory, so it is a great way to wake up your mind and get it ready for the day ahead. Spearmint is gentler than peppermint but still has topical pain-relieving properties, and the fragrance is refreshing and invigorating. Together, the scent combination is uplifting and stimulating for both skin and mind.
For a different (but still invigorating) scent, try my as well.
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup
- 2 drops
- 2 drops of
- 1/4 tsp for coloring (optional)
1. In a bowl or large 1 L measuring cup mix all ingredients together.
2. Spoon mixture into small jam jars and smooth out top.
3. Optional: download and print these to dress them up!
Don?t forget to check out my other energizing scrub made with ginger and lemongrass!
Growing espalier fruit trees in the home garden is a wonderful way to grow edibles in small spaces and in decorative ways. Training and pruning fruit trees to grow along walls or fences keeps the fruit at an easily accessible height, and turns an otherwise standard tree into a garden showpiece. Espaliers can be fruit trees or ornamental, evergreen or deciduous. This article will cover how to create and maintain an espaliered fruit tree using pruning.
Before you read on, learn the basics of pruning in these two articles:
Espalier is an art that originated in Europe. The skill of espalier involves patience and artistry you can see through as these plants are painstakingly trained along fences and walls. Touring around Europe, you will see elaborate and beautiful designs that have grown over hundreds of years.
In the home garden this can be a fun project that grows over time with your family and evolves as the years go by.
There are many different shapes of an espalier: cordon (branches straight out to the sides), fan (branches fanning up and to the side), candelabra (like a cordon but the branches turn at a right angle to form the shape of a candelabra), lattice (multiple trees with crossing branches), and ?Y? shapes.
The simplest shape to start with is the cordon. Often fruit trees can be purchased grafted into this shape like the espalier that I have .
My espalier has five different varieties of apple grafted onto a dwarf apple stock. Grafting is the process of attaching a branch to the tree so that they grow together as one. Since it?s the trunk of the tree that supports the rootstock, it determines the overall height of the tree. Then the branches of five different apples trees are grafted on to produce varied fruiting branches. I have even seen ?fruit salad? trees with grafted branches of apple, pear, plum, peach, and cherry; although I can?t report on how well this works myself.
I have worked with a few espaliers in small urban spaces: grafted five-fruit varieties of apple and pear in my home gardens, and heirloom apples at the community gardens. In my home garden, I have the space for only one tree, so I chose a tree with different varieties of apples that flower and fruit at varying times throughout the season. Usually the varieties are selected to support each other so that cross-pollination can occur, but sometimes grafting is simply for the novelty of having multiple fruit varieties on one tree.
In practice, these grafted trees often start out with multiple varieties but then morph into one or two of the strongest varieties over time. Even so, with the proper conditions and care, an espalier fruit tree can thrive and be productive in a small space.
How to Plant an Espalier
The optimal time to plant any fruit trees is in the winter or early spring when they?re dormant. Dig the tree into the soil as soon as the soil is workable for the year. Create a large hole that is twice as wide, but just as deep as your root ball. Add well-rotted compost to the hole. Position the tree so that the base of the trunk, at the root flare (just where it begins to widen), is at the soil line. Plant any deeper and the roots will grow upwards, plant too high and roots will be exposed. Fill in the hole with soil and water well for the first year until established.
Don?t forget to pick the right place for your tree. Most fruit trees love sun, so a nice sunny spot will give you the best fruit. Follow the care instructions on your tree for best results.
How to Prune & Train an Espalier
First, determine the pattern you want and look for a young tree that has that basic shape. Remove any branches that don?t fit the pattern or that suffer from one of the 4 D?s (read all about that in ).
Now build a structure to support the shape, or attach the branches to an existing fence. Use a soft, covered wire or ribbon that can be retied when the branches grow. Be sure not to choke the branches with too-tight ties.
Here are some helpful supplies for training an espalier:
Monthly pruning will keep an espalier neat and productive. The key is to regularly do a little pruning to maintain the shape, and allow all of the tree?s energy to go into the remaining branches (read all about plant energy in ).
Remove any branches that are starting to get long, and leave plenty of buds where the cuts are. This will ensure that leaves, flowers, and fruit grow close to the branches.
Continue to prune throughout the growing season and enjoy your gorgeous new espalier as it grows and fruits over the years.
For more grass trimmer_2468 information on pruning, check out these posts:
This lavender oatmeal soap is soothing and calming for your skin. And any recipe that uses my rates especially high in my books! Lavender is my favorite ingredient, especially when it comes to natural beauty recipes, a slight addiction which can be seen in a simple search for crafts. But along with being one of my favorite scents, dried lavender buds make this soap as beautiful to look at as it feels when you lather up.
To make this soap as a gift for holiday gift-giving or for someone special, make it in cupcake molds and then wrap it in a cupcake wrapper. Who wouldn?t want to get a lavender oatmeal soap cupcake as a ? I can imagine even the burliest person out there would want to suds up with these!
Making these lavender oatmeal soap cupcakes can work with both cold process recipes and with melt and pour. If you choose to make cold process soap, please follow the recipes and the instructions in this article on . Cold-process soap is my go-to skincare bar, but it does take a long time and a lot of equipment to make.
Today, I?ll demonstrate a speedier soap-making project using melt and pour soap. Melt and pour soap kits are very easy to work with and simply require you to cut up the block into cubes, melt it, add your scents, and pour it into molds.
- 1 kg / 2 lbs
- 1 tsp
- 1-2 tbsp
The melt and pour soap base should come as a block and have a list of the ingredients. You can choose from a number of different formulations such as glycerin soap, milk soap, and fat- and/or butter-based soaps. I chose a natural soap base that had shea butter and oatmeal in it. If you would like to add oatmeal separately, then grind a few teaspoons of organic oats and add it to the melted mixture when you add the lavender buds.
Use a sharp knife to cut your soap base into 1-inch cubes or smaller. Put the cubes in a heatproof container like a Pyrex measuring cup and put that in the microwave.
Melt the soap base on medium-high in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the microwave occasionally and check the soap base. It should be melting but not steaming. Take the soap base out of the microwave before it?s completely melted and use a metal spoon to stir it until it has no lumps.
Add one teaspoon of lavender essential oil and 1-2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds.
Stir the ingredients well and pour the soap into silicone cupcake molds. I chose a cupcake mold that was quite tall but I only filled each cupcake section halfway so that the soap was a nice manageable size when finished.
Add a few extra lavender buds on the top of the soap if you think it needs it and allow the soap to dry undisturbed for at least an hour. When the soap is hard you can unmold it and use it right away or wrap it up for gifts.
A simple parchment paper cupcake liner makes a great wrapper for these lavender oatmeal soap cupcakes. I like the natural look of parchment paper but you can use any cupcake liner that you think would add to the presentation. Use a bit of garden twine to tie it up and if you have a stem of lavender add that as well.
For more beautiful recipes inspired by the garden, pick up a copy of my . It comes as an instant download that is filled with 5 chapters of over 40 natural beauty recipes for the whole family. Read more about the Natural Beauty Recipe Book .
Even more soap recipes: