I was recently invited by the fashion brand Hope to talk about gardening on their Instagram account. The talk was broadcasted live, and I also happened to talk very fast, so below you’ll find a recap!
Top three no fuss balcony plants on a shoe string budget
- Mint – for calming tees and scented body care
- Basil – for cooking
- Geranium – for its beauty, as well as for scented body care
To start a new plant, simply take a cutting, pick the leaves of the bottom half, stick it in soil, water and cover with glass cloche or clear plastic bag with air holes in it. Keep on a sunny window sill or your balcony.
Infused herb oils
To make infused oil: use a high quality, ecological oil and allow the herb to infuse for a few days to a couple of weeks (longer for body care, shorter for food). Use olive oil for basil, to be drizzled over sallads, and jojoba or almond oil for mint and geranium. To make a luxurious skincare product or a so called bath melt, mix your infused herb oil with solid oils such as shea butter and cocoa butter. Melt the butters on a low flame, mix with the herb oil and fill on ice tray. Leave to set in a cool place and use by gently rubbing the oil bar all over your body. Also great for massages, or as a bath oil – simply drop the bar into a hot bath and watch it melt.
Want to try something more exotic? Sweetgrass is a lovely scented grass that is harvest early in the year and then braided and dried. Make an infused sweet grass vodka, by allowing a few strands of grass to seep in vodka for a couple of days (tasting every now and then until the taste is right). Make a cocktail that tastes like apple pie by mixing 5 cl vodka with 10 cl cloudy apple juice. Add 2 cl milk, shake and strain over ice for a cocktail that tastes like apple pie with whipped cream.
To make av very simple natural incense, harvest resin from non-poisonous trees such as pine, juniper or fir. Make an incense burner with tinfoil and steel wire – it will look like your freebasing plants. Place the resin, along with any other scented, non-poisonous plants that you like, in the tin foil. Light a tea candle and place it under the tinfoil – make sure everything is secured and that the candle or incense holder won’t tip over. It will make your house smell like a walk in the woods!
For anyone interested in medicinal or scented plants, and how to use them, Lesley Bremness’s ”World of Herbs” is fantastic. There is a BBC TV series by the same name too, which I highly recommend if you can find it. ”Create your own Perfumes – Using Essential Oils” is great for beginners interested in essential oils and the effects of plant scents.