How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Looking for some additional ways to use our lavender flowers, I came across several pictures of lavender lemonade!  Lavender makes such a pretty drink!  So, I did some research on how to make the lavender syrup.  The lavender color of the syrup is enhanced with the addition of a few blueberries.

The simple syrup is so easy to make.  This recipe uses fresh lavender buds but dried lavender buds could be used, too.  (You can purchase these from Amazon by clicking on the link.  We will receive a small portion of any sale at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website.)  You would probably want to substitute 1 teaspoon of the dried lavender.  This recipe makes lemonade with just a hint of lavender.  You can add more but there is a fine line between a lovely subtle hint of lavender and a taste reminiscent of a fine milled soap!How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

With the addition of the lavender and the blueberries, it makes this drink extra special.  Anyone can do this.  Just imagine this lovely lavender lemonade at a tea party or for a bridal shower.

 

 

Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Pour 1 cup fresh lemon juice into a pitcher.

Mix in 1/2 cup lavender syrup.*

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Add 2 cups of club soda and stir well.

Pour into glasses filled with ice.

                                                                Garnish with lemon slices, lavender sprigs, or lavender ice cubes.**

 

If you want to increase the quantity, the proportions are – 4 parts soda, 2 parts lemon juice, and 1 part lavender syrup.   Adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more of the syrup.

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

*How To Make Lavender Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 Tblsp. fresh lavender buds

2 Tblsp. Fresh blueberries (for color)

 Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com Mash the blueberries with a spoon.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1o minutes.

Switch the heat off and allow to cool.

 

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour the syrup, lavender, and blueberries into a sieve over a bowl.  Gently press the berries and lavender to release any remaining liquid.  Discard the berry skins and lavender captured in the sieve.How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com   Little pieces from the lavender buds will still remain.

To filter out the small pieces, pour the syrup into a glass container fitted with a coffee filter.

 (I cut the filter top down to fit the size of a small funnel.)How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

After the lavender syrup had been filtered, a little bit of gel food coloring was mixed into it creating a deep lavender color.  This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

 

You can also use this lavender syrup to make a beautiful Lavender Martini.  A recipe for that cocktail can be found here ►from Vianney at Sweet Life.

Lavender Ice Cubes

For these ice cubes, you will need an ice cube stick tray, distilled water, and fresh lavender stems with flowers.  (We are an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small percentage of any sale at no cost to you if purchased from this link.  Thanks for supporting this site!)

The lavender flower buds and stems were simply placed in the ice cube stick tray and distilled water***(see below) was poured over them filling the openings half full.  Then, they were placed in the freezer and allowed to freeze.  More water was poured over the frozen flower and cube sticks, filling the cavities.

Be forewarned, these silicone trays are very pliable, which means on your way to the freezer, you may spill half of the water!  Place a tray or something solid underneath the silicone tray to save yourself a cleanup!

***Well, I knew that distilled water makes clear ice cubes.  Water from the faucet usually makes cloudier ice cubes.  After checking the lavender ice cubes I made, a little more research was done and the “all knowing” says to boil the distilled water, too!  Seems I remember using distilled water for ice cubes before and not having to do that…  Anyway, if you want your cubes really crystal clear, boil the distilled water first!  I will be doing that next time.

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade easy, beautiful, and delicious!

 

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

How To Make Sparkling Lavender Lemonade on MyhumbleHomeandGarden.com

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How To Make A Lavender Wand

How To Make A Lavender Wand

  Lovely Lavender

The lavender is blooming right now and I thought it would be nice to share how to make a lavender wand.  

 

How To Make Lavender Wands on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

The Victorian Age was such an era of opulence and I have always had a fascination for this period in our history.  They made everyday items so beautiful.  In one of the books that I read long ago, there were instructions on how to make a lavender wand.  I had never even heard of such a thing but decided to make one with the lavender in our garden.

These lavender wands were also referred to as lavender batons or bottles.  You can understand why when you look at the shapes.

The picture below shows the first lavender wand I made.  Believe it or not, this wand is over thirty years old!  Surprisingly, if you pinch the wand, a lovely lavender scent is still released!

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

  How To Make A Lavender Wand

 

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Supplies Needed:

Lavender stems

1/4 ” or 1/8″ Satin ribbon

Scissors

                                                                        Large blunt needle

   Cut an uneven number of stems. Seventeen stems were used for the smaller wand above. Thirty-four were used for the one shown in the featured picture at the top and the following directions, seventeen were encased in another ‘cage’ of seventeen.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    The first thing to do is to remove all of the leaves from the stems of the lavender.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    Gather seventeen of the stems together just below the flower heads and tie securely with a ribbon.  Cut the ribbon tails off close to the knot.  Secure the bottom of the stems with a rubber band.  (This will make it easier to discern which stems to be used when the remaining seventeen stems are added.  It is the voice of experience speaking here!)

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Place the remaining seventeen flower stems and position evenly around the flower bundle.  Tie another ribbon securely around the base of the flower heads, knot, and trim.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 Carefully bend and fold the loose stems down over the flower heads encasing them.  Try to position them evenly around the flower heads.  (I found that placing my thumb or finger right where the stem would bend and bending the stem gently over it helped bend it without breaking it.)

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Secure those seventeen stems with another ribbon, tied, knotted, and trimmed.  This will form a cage containing the flower heads.

Now, remove the rubber band at the base of the reserved seventeen stems and bend them over top of the stems forming the cage.  These will be the stems used to weave ribbon over and under.

Cut a length of ribbon about 54″ long.  Leave a tail about 12″ long and begin to weave the ribbon over and under the loose stems.  Weave the ribbon somewhat tight and flat against the stems.  The weave should not be loose since the flowers and stems will dry and shrink a little.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 

When the first row of ribbon has been woven all the way around the top and the second row begins, the ribbon should be woven the opposite, (either over or under), of the first weave.  If the ribbon is under the stem on the first row, the ribbon should now be over the stem on the second row.  Otherwise, it will not hold together.  That is why you use an uneven number of stems.  Check the picture above.  Continue weaving the ribbon over and under taking care to keep the stems straight.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Continue weaving until the flower heads are completely encased in the woven stems.  Thread a large blunt needle with the 12″ satin ribbon tail left at the top of the wand and thread underneath the woven ribbons down to the base next to the end of the ribbon at the base.

How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Wrap and secure with a knot.  Continue wrapping the ribbon around the stems an additional inch and tie into a pretty bow.How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    These can be used to scent drawers or nestle among your linens.  Hang in a clothes closet to repel moths.  Isn’t this gorgeous?  I love the plumper shape of this wand.

Now, you know how to make a lavender wand – another reason to grow lavender!

Linking with Friday Feature Linky Party on “Oh My Heartsie Girl”.How To Make A Lavender Wand on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

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Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration

May 4, 2017

  Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration are in my thoughts at this time of year.  I can’t believe the first few days of May are here and the flowers in the garden are blooming!  Yes, you will probably see roses blooming this early at the local nurseries, but in the garden?  This is the first time I can remember having roses this early!
Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   These pastel irises are blooming now, too!  You can see the deeper purple irises behind them.  I love the combination of the pale periwinkle blue iris alongside the deeper purple irises.

 

   This past weekend, Dave and I ventured out to one of the local nurseries, Kinman Farms in Burlington, Ky.,  for some garden inspiration.  When we first walked into the greenhouse, I immediately noticed this lime green colored plant.  I had never seen it before.

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   ‘Limelight’ Helichrysum Petiolare, have you ever seen or grown these before?  They were so striking potted with these ‘Amore Queen of Hearts’ petunias.  Look at those petunias!  They do look like little hearts all around the petal edge, don’t they?Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The Helichrysum, also known as “Licorice Plant” is a low grower, only 6 – 8 inches tall, and spreads to about 12 – inches. This is actually a tender perennial evergreen shrub, but it is usually treated as an annual.   The tag indicated they like full sun.  A little investigating concluded that these plants also benefits from being cut back a few times over the summer, which encourages new growth.

Amore Queen of Hearts Petunia, and Deep Purple Calibrachoa on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com


Nemesia, is perfect for planting in hanging pots, in containers, and even planting as a low border.  Aren’t these adorable?  They look like tiny Snapdragons.  Nemesia grows 6 – 10 inches high and spread 8 – 12 inches wide.  They bloom spring through fall.

Nemesia, mini-snapdragon shaped flowers on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   In stark contrast, these purple petunias looked so pretty nestled among the ‘Cascadias Indian Summer Petunia’ at the nursery.  The Cascadia Indian Summer Petunia opens a bright yellow or orange and matures to a Salmon pink color.  You can see the variety of color on these in the picture below.  The velvety blossoms are lightly ruffled.  This is a mounding, trailing petunia and it is self-cleaning!  Don’t you love that?

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The contrast of the deep purple with these Cascadias Indian Summer Petunia was beautiful, but the idea of adding the Deep Purple Calibrachoa seemed like a good choice.  I liked the idea of having the miniature flowers in contrast to the larger petunias and bought a few of those.

 

   This gorgeous “Starsister Yellow Stripes” dahlia looked like it needed to be photographed!   What better way to photograph it than as it’s growing in my garden all summer long?  So, this little beauty came home with us, too.  This one is supposed to grow 12 -24 inches tall and about 15 inches wide.  This little plant looks healthy and has lots of buds on it.Yellow Striped Dahlia - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Three little Ranunculus made their way onto our cart, too.  The three are just so beautiful in bright yellow, red orange, and pink.  These have multiple layers of crepe paper thin petals.  I couldn’t resist!  These need part shade so I’m thinking they will be planted in some pots, too.
    Having had no experience with these flowers, I am going to have to do a little research.  It seems the Ranunculus like cooler weather and doesn’t like wet soil.  So, pots would probably be the best home for these.

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration - Ranunculus on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   These beautiful pink and white verbena caught my eye.  I love the little blue Lobelia flowers with the pink petunias, too.  Not exactly sure where these will end up, but I love this combination.

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Back to our flowering plants right now, the Azalea have been blooming and are almost done.  They made a beautiful show this year though.    

Azalea - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The rhododendron has just begun to bloom.  It is loaded with buds this year.  It looks like such a tropical flower doesn’t it?  

   These bushes are striking from the street at a distance, especially when they are loaded with blossoms.  But, seriously, look how beautiful they are up close!

 

Rhododendron - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   It has been a very busy past few weeks with family and other commitments but the time for gardening is right now.  These little beauties need to be planted and we will definitely be needing another trip to the local nursery.  I love this time of year!

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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The Garden And Its Welcome Visitors

The Garden And Its Welcome Visitors

October 24, 2016

       The Garden And Its Welcome Visitors is ever changing.  This female Cooper’s hawk has discovered the bird feeder, too.  While she may have discovered it earlier unbeknownst to me, I caught sight of her and captured this shot of her in the trees out back this past week.  Notice how her tail is fanned!   As you can imagine, the ever wary little birds at the feeder scattered and disappeared quickly.

   Apparently, these medium-sized hawks are a common sight at bird feeders.  Last year, I got a shot of a baby hawk in the trees.  The hawks are a common sight flying over the woods.  There is an abundance of squirrels, chipmunks, and smaller birds here in our own backyard.  It is really not surprising they are here.

   Unfortunately, I was distracted for a few minutes by other matters and by the time I got back, the hawk was gone.  This picture reminds us of what a gorgeous bird the hawk is.

    Speaking of gorgeous, the roses are still blooming in the garden!  This little bumblebee is a welcome visitor.  If you want bumblebees in your garden, plant’Monarda’, also known as ‘bee balm’.  The bumblebees are thick on those plants when they are blooming throughout the summer.  And they love the Liatris, too!  Little birds eat the seeds from these two plants, too.

 

  The roses in the garden will continue to bloom until we have a hard frost.  I love the red roses, but this climbing rose is so unusual.  You can see why the name is “Jacob’s Coat”!

 

  The petunias in the pots flanking the front door have been replaced with “Ashley Dark Orange”  chrysanthemums.  The rusty color reflects the autumn colors in the decor throughout the house now, too.  

   The tree leaves have been changing color and some have already fallen.  Yes, Fall is here.

 

   The thought was that I would just use a bird house and pry the front off, cut the bamboo, and fill the house with it.   I searched for a bird house. 

   In the ‘unfinished wood’ section at Hobby Lobby, this little house caught my eye!  They had a ladybug house!

   I had a coupon!  Lol!  So, for six bucks, this little ladybug house came home with me.  There is bamboo in the top section.  Pine cones in the bottom section.  Not sure what is supposed to be in the middle section.  Does anyone know? Please, comment below if you do!

   Haven’t decided for sure how to paint this little house, but I’m thinking it might need a tin roof.  That will be a project for this winter and it will be ready for spring next year.  Yes, I am already thinking of next spring, my favorite time of year!   

Yes, The Garden And Its Welcome Visitors is ever changing.

 

 

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Butterflies. Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?

Butterflies.  Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?

August 23, 2016

Butterflies

 “Butterflies are not insects,’ Captain John Sterling said soberly. ‘They are self-propelled flowers.”  ―  Robert A. Heinlein

   Have you Seen The Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?  Also referred to as butterflies, they have found the butterfly bush and the butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa in the backyard.  This ‘Pearl Crescent’ is a small brush-footed butterfly.  This is the female.  She looks so perfect on the yellow blossoms.

   

   Another butterfly, the ‘American Lady’ (Vanessa virginiensis) caught my eye!  I love the design on the underside of their wings!  Doesn’t it remind you of ‘Steampunk’?

    Beautifully colored, the American Lady has two large eye spots on her hind wings on the underside.  The Painted Lady butterfly looks similar, but does not have the two eye spots!  They fly close to the ground and it was difficult to capture pictures of this one because they fly so quickly. 

   Although these are common, I had never really noticed how beautiful they really are until this one caught my eye!  It’s amazing how a picture brings out, even more, details, which the naked eye totally misses!  Of course, they don’t sit still long enough to really see detail either!

   This gorgeous butterfly is a (Great Spangled Fritillary – Speyeria Cybele).  Although it is orange and black, his body almost looked to be a rich camel color in the sun.  This butterfly is a medium size.

 

  I believe this one is the Tawny Emperor Butterfly, another small brush-footed butterfly.  This majestic little fellow was sitting on the deck and the sun shone on him creating this perfect shadow.  Although he has a muted coloring on his underside, what a lovely pattern there is!

   Hoping to find a butterfly egg, I went to check the backside of the leaves of the butterfly weed.  The little butterfly weed I planted last year is a full three feet wide now.  There are a lot of leaves and I simply gave up looking for the butterfly eggs.

   Instead, my attention was focused on these yellow things.  As you can see, the yellow things, the oleander aphids, are back.  Obviously, I am not going to spray this plant with chemicals!  I want more Monarch butterflies!  

   So, yesterday I used a spray bottle with a strong stream of warm water and attempted to spray these off of the plant.  I ended up smashing some of them with my fingers, too.

    The thing that is interesting is that they can’t fly or crawl to another plant.  If they are knocked off the plant, they can’t climb back on it.  I wonder how they get on the plant in the beginning!

    I doubt that I removed all of them, however, most of them were removed.  In the information I read, a few on the plant is not a problem, but an infestation can be harmful to the plant. 

   The aphids are all female and don’t lay eggs.  They clone themselves!  How strange is that?  If you magnify these,  you can see they have skinny black legs, which are visible in the picture.

     When I took a picture last year, I thought these were eggs.  (I was hoping they were butterfly eggs!)  Blown up on the laptop, I saw legs. That began my search which revealed these were not something I wanted.

    Looking back on that post, it also reminded me that I wanted to make a Ladybug house!  The lady bugs eat these little pests.  I totally forgot about making the house.  It is now on my list of things to do before I forget again!

    Have you really Seen The Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden this year?

 

 

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