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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Backyard Bird Feeder – Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder

Backyard Bird Feeder – Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder

    Remember the little backyard bird feeder – DIY teacup bird feeder which I made a couple of years ago?   So many birds have stopped to eat the black oiler sunflower seeds and I have captured many in pictures.  Last week, a big fat pesky squirrel jumping from the magnolia tree to the teacup feeder knocked it off the pole.  In the garden, just like life, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade

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   The teacup was not broken.  So, I placed it on the deck railing and actually got to enjoy seeing more of the birds!  Right off the kitchen, the teacup on the deck rail is more visible than when it was right beside the patio.  This shot was taken from the kitchen window.  The pair of cardinals is a little bit more wary than the finches.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - purple finch and female cardinal  on MyHumblehomeandGarden.com

 

   A  pair of purple finches has been using the cup of sunflower seeds to feed their babies.  They have three.  They don’t seem to be too bothered when we are quietly sitting around the table on the deck.  A sudden movement will send them away with a start but it doesn’t take long before they are back.

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   The Blue Jays are the first I have seen here in quite awhile.  I love seeing these beautiful birds.  After making some corn hole bags for the boys game, there was some corn left over.  We put some in the teacup feeder and the Blue Jays showed up shortly.  Do you think it was the corn that drew them?  We have never seen them on the feeder with just the sunflower seeds.


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   A mourning dove has also been visiting.

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   These tufted titmouse birds have also been seen on the feeder.  I love their big round black eyes!  They are really flighty and it has been difficult to get a good picture of any of them.  One little fellow keeps hanging on the window screen trying to get into the house.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - tufted titmouse on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The grandkids have enjoyed seeing them, too.  Sitting on the deck and watching the birds, Sophia drew a picture of one of the purple finches.  

    The directions for the DIY teacup bird feeder are easy to follow.  I’ll be making another one!  If you don’t want to attach it to a pole, though, maybe you should consider gluing a cup to a saucer and just placing it on your deck rail!   The backyard bird feeder has been an enjoyable and learning experience, too, for the whole family.

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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!
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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.

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   ‘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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How To Make Your Own Adorable Ladybug House!

How To Make Your Own Adorable Ladybug House!

March 31, 2017

   ‘How To Make Your Own Adorable Ladybug House!’  We clearly needed (yucky aphids!) and we finally did find a “Ladybug House”, I am happy to share the end result!  There are all kinds of ways to personalize and make these from so many different things.

   On a shopping trip to the local craft store, I found this little house!  I had been looking for a bird house that was built so that I could pry the front off of the house and use the remainder for a ladybug house.  

   Well, in the end, it wasn’t necessary but you can clearly see how you could easily make your own ladybug house by doing just that!  You would have to find a birdhouse constructed so you could remove the face of it, or if you are handy, make your own.

   If your home is more modern, you might even choose a more graphic or geometric item to use for your Ladybug house.  A circular metal ring with bamboo sticks cut to fit and glued inside of it would accomplish the same thing.   Just adding a bunch of bamboo pieces in a myriad of items would create a cozy home for the little bugs.  They just need pieces of bamboo or pine cones to make inviting homes.

    A homeowner with a beach or cottage home might consider an entirely different look for their garden.  Our home is really neither of those, it’s a bit more traditional. Although I can appreciate each of those styles, ultimately I chose to decorate this little ladybug house so it blends into nature.

    At first, I considered painting this one with vibrant colors.  Loving the works of Mary Engelbreit and MacKenzie-Childs, the thought of painting black and white geometric patterns with brightly painted flowers came to mind.   However, after considering where it was going to be placed, I decided something a little more understated would be more pleasing to my eye.

     So, wanting to leave this outside and ensuring it would last for a few years, the first step was painting it with an outdoor primer.  That meant removing the screen from the front and removing the pine cones.   The little hook was also removed from the door.

    In our collection of spray paint, there was no spray primer for wood but there was a can of automobile primer.  I googled whether or not that would work for my project.  Score!  No need to run to the store.  

Since the bamboo was glued in place, it was just masked off with paper and tape. A few light coats of paint and the whole thing was primed in a light gray color.

After that dried,  I began to add the pea gravel to the front of the house using a waterproof wood glue, Titebond III. 

 I tried to keep the pebbles relatively straight along the edges and took into consideration that the door needed to open and close.

 Yes, the door should open, so it was opened and shut, over and over, as the pebbles were glued in place, making sure none of the pebbles were in the way.

   Did you know that you can actually make little patches of pebbles that can then be glued onto your project?  Applying the wood glue to a sheet of plastic wrap and arranging the pebbles on top of it, you can create a little ’tile’ of pebbles.

You can make these little tiles and allow them to dry for a few minutes.   Then the plastic wrap can be gently pulled away.  

Apply a little glue to the house and lay the ’tile’ on it.  This was really handy when applying the pebbles up under the eaves.  It would have been much more tedious!

    Using the tiles along the edges, made it easier, too.  Using a straight edge, the pebbles were pushed gently into a straight line and allowed to dry a little.  Then the tile was glued neatly along the edge of the little house.  Isn’t this looking great?

   After gluing pebbles to both sides and around three sides of the door, I painted any area that I thought might not be covered with pebbles or pine cone petals. (Remember, the screen needed to be stapled back.  Later, more pebbles would be glued around that area.) I was really liking the dove gray color of the primer and I decided to duplicate that color with some blue chalk paint mixed with a little black.

   The chalk paint was allowed to dry and then a couple of coats of outdoor polyurethane were painted on those areas.  (A little poly on the staples should keep them from rusting, too.)

   After the polyurethane was dried, the pine cones were placed back in the house and the metal screen was stapled back in place.  Then, tiny pebbles were glued all around the screen.  At this point, I’m thinking I will leave rocks off of the door. What do you think?  I like that little pop of gray…

    Then, pine cone petals were glued along the front edge of the roof and allowed to dry.  It was necessary for this to be done with the house back laying flat on the table.  The petals were gently sliding down in the glue when it was upright.

    Starting at the bottom edge, the pine cone petals were glued to the roof.  Isn’t this adorable?

    Although this is a ‘ladybug house’, it would be easy to decorate a birdhouse or a fairy house using this same technique.  Has this inspired you?  

   Amazon has a lot of ladybug houses at different price points.  Some are featured below.   (This link is an affiliate link. This means that we earn a small percentage of any sales generated from these links. This helps to support this website​.)

 

  Did you know that you can actually order ladybugs?  My plan is to order some ladybugs from here shortly.  The reviews were very good.  They also tell how to release them for best results.  (This link is an affiliate link. This means that we earn a small percentage of any sales generated from these links. This helps to support this website​.)

  In the answered questions for this seller,  it addressed whether these were the Asian beetles.  (That was also something I wanted to know!)  There are other sellers you can investigate and choose, too.

   Their answer was that these ladybugs are not the Asian beetle.  They are a common North American species, Hippodamia convergens.  The Asian beetles actually kill our native beneficial insects, including the ladybug.

   In order to keep them around your garden,  you will need to make sure there are a water source and food for them, aka nasty bugs like aphids that attack your flowers.  Obviously, you won’t want to spray for bugs when the bees or ladybugs are present.   To encourage them to stay, they suggest releasing them at night, when it’s cooler, and making sure there are water drops on the grass or plants.  If they are released during the heat of the day, chances are they will fly away to one of your neighbors!

    Hope this inspires you to create or decorate your own little house!  Now, you know ‘How To Make Your Own Adorable Ladybug House!’

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Five Backyard Ideas for Your Spring Garden

Five Backyard Ideas for Your Spring Garden

Five Backyard Ideas for Your Spring Garden

February 3, 2017

Five Backyard Ideas for Your Spring Garden on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com    
   Spring is just around the corner. Soon, the weather will be a bit warmer, and we’ll get that renewed feeling we’ve so desperately craved for after months of nothing but the coldness of winter. Part of this so-called rebirth also entails having the inspiration to clean up, become invigorated, and, finally, get organized. Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done at home – spring-cleaning to be exact.

   Ronique Wilson of Freshome even teaches us ways on how to be more efficient when doing this. However, we still need to put extra focus on one particular part of our home: the garden. With that in mind, here’s a rundown on how to get our outdoor living spaces ready for the spring season.

Make an Inventory

   Way before going online to shop, visiting stores, or hitting the inspiration boards, we should first make an inventory of what we have in-house. Take note of the tools and/or furniture that needs replacing or repairing.  Note that stores – land-based and digital – often promote pre-season sales, which is why it’s better to purchase weeks before the actual start of spring.

Construct a Fire Pit

   Creating an outdoor fire pit is easy, especially if we have tons of extra materials hanging around the garden. This is ideal for entertaining friends and/or hanging out with family. In addition to providing a place to gather around, it gives your backyard a viable conversation piece.

Consider Adding More Shade

   Obviously, the attraction of being outside during the warmer months is the sunshine. With this, having shades – such as a gazebo – becomes almost a necessity. According to Screwfix, a gazebo creates “a striking focal point to your garden.” What’s more, you have a lot of stylish options when it comes to shades. You can either go for a pergola for the dining or sitting area, or you can buy a Sun Sail for a more modern look, or even opt for a simple umbrella under a treetop.

Add More Lights

   Since a contemporary lighting plan is expensive and requires professionals to install them, you should consider a plethora of practical alternatives out there. You can wrap string lights around trees for an enchanted forest effect, or place them inside a hanging lantern for a strong burst of rustic illumination. Your creative options are limitless, whether in terms of the light you use or where you put them in the backyard.
 

Five Backyard Ideas for Your Spring Garden on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.comn
5 Backyard Ideas For Your Garden

Incorporate a Bit of Zen

   To cap everything off, it’s recommended to incorporate a little Zen to your garden. You can do this by adding wind chimes or water features. Based on early weather forecasts on Farmer’s Almanac, it’ll be generally cloudy in most parts of the United States come spring, so these features will come in handy. Furthermore, if you want to go grander, you can incorporate a combination of plants and garden sculptures to invite butterflies and hummingbirds.

   Hope these “5 Backyard Ideas For Your Spring Garden” inspire you!

 

 

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