Garden Home Projects Make

How To Force Paperwhite Narcissus

You can grow paperwhite Narcissus right inside your home and have beautiful white blooms that will perfume your room and brighten any cold dreary day!

How To Force Paperwhite Narcissus

Flowers brighten any dreary day at my house but during the winter months I find that I need them around more than ever! They’re just so

Garden Home Projects Make

Epsom Salt Bath

Slip into an epsom salt bath and enjoy all of the glorious medicinal benefits that magnesium sulfate has to offer.

Epsom Salt Bath

Taking a long luxurious bath has always been a favorite stress reliever of mine. I love the process of gathering up and lighting my favorite candles, selecting which of my beloved magazines to read and listening to the sound of the bathwater as it slowly fills the tub. With that first toe touch of almost-too-hot-water I quickly slip into full submersion, instantly surrounding my tried, heavy body into a beautiful buoyancy. There is just nothing like it in the world. Nothing.

Epsom Salt Bath

But did you know that by pouring two cups of epsom salt into your bath water, you could revitalize achy, sore muscles and help your body detox!

Epsom Salt Bath

These beautiful little magnesium sulfate crystals have healing properties for minor sprains and bruises too. However…I’ve got to say that I’m no doctor, make sure that you always go to the doctor when you’ve hurt yourself and then take a nice bath. I don’t want anyone overlooking a serious injury. With that said, my family and I have enjoyed the benefits of these wonderful epsom salt baths for years!

Epsom Salt Bath

On occasion I like to jazz my epsom salt bath up with a few drops of essential oils. Lavender oil is a favorite for relaxation.

Epsom Salt Bath

Here are a few tips to remember about your epsom salt bath ::

  • make sure that you use 2 cups of epsom salts
  • pour the epsom salts under the warm running water as it is filling the tub
  • make sure that the water is warm not cool. The warmer the better to dissolve the crystals and open your pores to absorb the magnesium sulfate
  • make sure that you soak for at least 20 minutes. You need 20 minutes for the benefits of the epsom salts
  • you can use leftover epsom salt bathwater to fertilize your houseplants and/or outside plants (and even shrubs or your yard!)
  • add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath for added soothing properties (or any other essential oil you like)
  • You can find epsom salts at your local grocery or drugstore usually in the first aid section

Go soak in an epsom salt bath and treat yourself to a glorious half an hour (or more) of uninterrupted relaxing bliss that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I’ve got to go draw a bath.

Wishing you a sublime soak!


Garden Inspire

Forcing Forsythia in My Foyer

Did you know that you can force forsythia inside your home and enjoy glorious blooms indoors while it’s still cold outdoors!

Although it’s been a very mid winter this year, nothing thrills my soul more than the first sweet whispers of Spring. The warm breezy days that entice the few flowers that are brave enough to push their way through the stark thawing ground. The barren trees that stand naked one day and then magically begin the next dressed in buds that will become intoxicating flowers after a few more weeks of delicious sunshine…

I want it all and I want it now.

So you know what I do this time of year when I’m itching for Spring?

I force forsythia in my foyer.

You should try it. It’s brilliantly simple and splendidly soul satisfying.

First you’ll need to find a forsythia bush. Make sure that you can actually see some buds that have already formed on the branches. Forsythia is some of the first budding-blooming-bushes of Spring, exactly when will vary depending on where you live.

Then, pull on some rubber boots and tromp through the soggy ground with some cutting shears and cut  a few branches that you find to be breathtakingly beautiful.

Before you place the beautiful branches into a sturdy vase (that won’t topple over once it’s full of branches), you’ll need to gently tap, tap, tap the woody ends with a hammer.

This will allow the branches to more easily drink up the water. Remember to use warm water. This will also make it easier for the forsythia to drink.

*Note, no forsythia branches were harmed during this photo shoot.*

Next you’ll want to find a warm sunny spot for your forsythia to bask in the golden sunshine. This will encourage the branches to believe that it is indeed time to bloom.

My warm sunny spot happens to be my foyer.

And as you can tell, this charming chap is thrilled to pieces to share his favorite spot with a vase full of forsythia.

This is Oliver. And Oliver loves nothing more than the warm golden sunshine that spills into the foyer as he lounges upon the buffet table.

Sharing it with the forsythia. Not so much.


“Maybe if I ignore the forsythia it will go away.”

Or maybe Oliver will just go away.

Anyway. Back to my forcing of forsythia.

After about a week or so, you’ll begin to see some sweet green peeking out from within the buds.

Then, before you know it, all of the branches will soon be covered in the gorgeous green.

A day or so later, some lovely yellow will appear.

And then the unfurling of the first forsythia flower…

And before you know it…

You’ll have a foyer full.

And that my friends is how you can get a fabulous fan of forsythia in your foyer with or without a finicky feline who is far from farklempt over the fact that he has to share his favorite spot.

Happy almost Spring!


Garden Make

The Perfect Paperwhite Hostess Gift

Have you ever planted a Paperwhite bulb?

And then watched it grow from an ugly little orb into a brilliant white blossom?

It’s quite an amazing experience.

The sweet scent of these darling little star-like blossoms is intoxicating to say the least.

They lift my spirits and make me smile just when I seem to find myself smack dab in the middle of the winter blues.

It’s quite a treat to have something inside that’s alive…actually growing and blooming while everything else outside is hibernating beneath the snow and ice.

It reminds me that I’m alive and that I need to grow and bloom as well. Sometimes, mid-January I just want to wrap myself in a big warm blanket and stay there until I can hear the sweet chirping of the birds outside my window. Do you ever feel like that?

Well, then I’ve got a great medicine for you…

plant a Paperwhite bulb!

It’s not only medicinal, but it’s inexpensive, fun and really couldn’t be any easier to do. And what a perfect gift to give that hostess who has so graciously invited you into her home. She’ll be sure to be smitten after receiving this sweet sentiment!

This is all you’ll need- some soil, a small container and of course a Paperwhite bulb.

I like to reuse jars that I already have on hand.

This jar happens to be a jelly jar. Isn’t it dear?

Just fill the jar about 3/4 full with soil and place the bulb on top pointed side up. Make sure to have room to sprinkle some more soil around the edges but allow for about 1/4 of the bulb to be exposed. Keep the soil moist but not wet and leave the container in a cool place away from direct sunlight for about two weeks until the roots have grown. Once the bulb is well rooted and the shoots begin to grow move the container into a bright room- next to a sunny window is best. The bulb will usually flower about 3 weeks after planting.

I enjoy planting more than just one and thought that a grouping of 3 on a silver platter would make a stunning specimen! Especially after I embellished my jam & jelly jars with matching ribbons.

I mean who wouldn’t just smile as you walked past this darling little trio?

Don’t you agree that one of these precious plantings would be just perfect as a gift? And even more perfect as a hostess gift?

I like to make my hostess gifts personal by tying on sweet little cardboard letters that coincide with the hostess’ name.

You can find these letters in any craft store or you could make your own.

Instant personalization. And as easy as pie (or a Paperwhite in this case).

As the stems grow make sure that you occasionally give them a turn to keep the stems from leaning too much towards the light. It may be necessary to support the stems with a small bamboo stick to help them from toppling over.

And then my friend, stick back and enjoy the show.

You won’t be disappointed.

Paperwhites are the best way I know to bring a little spring inside my home…

and in my heart…

or someone else’s.

Happy planting!