June 08, 2014

I like teaching kids about plants and flowers: they soak it right up. And I had the pleasure of caring for a close friend of mine's five-year-old daughter for a day. So we went outside to cut flowers and herbs for a facial steam. First we cut hollyhock flowers and leaves. A member of the malva family, hollyhock leaves are soft. From the Doctrine of Signatures {plants give visual/physical cues about what its healing benefits are}, we know this generally means it's good for softening the skin! Hollyhock flowers and leaves are so gentle - it would make a nice floral bath for a baby. Sunshine, sun hats & hollyhocks Cutting hollyhocks from the garden Cutting lemon geranium leaves Then we cut a few lemon geranium leaves, for the beautiful aromatherapy that comes from the essential oils oozing from the leaves, along with some fresh rosemary. Geranium is known for balancing the oils in the skin (reducing if too oily and increasing if too dry), and rosemary is tonifying and tightening - not to mention stimulating and good for clarity of mind and memory. Fresh rosemary, hollyhock flowers/leaves + lemon geranium leaves We gathered up our garden treasures in baskets and brought them inside for inspection. We boiled water on the stove, split the herbs into two bowls with some of the flowers, and poured the hot water over them. We put towels over our head for a gentle facial steam (which lasts about two seconds with a five-year-old), though I made sure she kept her face at a nice distance from the steam. Turbo facial steam I suggested making foot soaks, but she was more interested in pressing the hollyhocks. So she took some of the flowers and gently pressed them in a notebook. How wonderful to put them on top of a cake in the future! Or include them in a love note. Pressing flowers Pressing the flowers Pressing hollyhock flowers in notebooks After lunch we gathered some fresh night-blooming jasmine - still clinging to the plant after having bloomed all night with its intoxicating aroma. And after surveying the different kinds of basil we have, the little one opted for the purple flowers on the Thai basil. Night-Blooming Jasmine, fresh from the night before Flowers everywhere! We emptied an ice cube tray and filled it with fresh purified water. Then we placed our treasures into the little cells: hollyhock petals, jasmine flowers and the purple Thai basil flowers. I don't usually use ice or have cold drinks, but when it's anywhere between 108 or 115 degrees outside, it's nice to sit outside and melt along with the ice in the drink. When the jasmine melts, a subtle flavor of jasmine + notes of banana infuse the drink. Ice cube tray with fresh jasmine blossoms, hollyhock petals + Thai basil flowers You can make your own flower power ice cubes! Just double-check that whatever flowers you're using - are edible. What kind of garden treasures do you have? Floral ice cubes with pomegranate juice Coconut juice with flower power ice cubes Visual storyboard of the day's activities - I believe there's some playing with the dogs too!  ; )