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Sunday, January 30, 2011

January/February Gardening Ideas

This is the time of year we long for Spring. We have endured cold and drab climates and there is very little green outside our windows. Many of us outdoorsy nature types have a touch of cabin fever and long to dig our hands in the earth and grow beautiful flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

So what can we do? On a day that allows, head outdoors and take the time to plan for Spring. Discover opportunities in your landscape that will allow for future planting and identify what it will take to spruce things up. Many beds are filled with fallen leaves and twigs. Take time to clean them up and add compost to prepare the beds for Spring.

In Texas, you can trim out dead branches and clean up roses and tidy up other evergreens. This is also a time to monitor beds for undesired weeds and pull up the ones you do not find interest in. I have my hands full pulling up elm tree seedlings. They are sprinkled all through my beds and if I don't get them now, I'll have a harder time later on. When pulling up clover, leave some behind to decompose and add nitrates to the soil. This is best done prior to allowing the plant to go to seed...otherwise it is not worth it since the seeds would perpetuate the problem.

Valentine's Day is my cue to head outdoors and trim back my rose bushes by 1/3 and to tie back and tame my climbing roses. What I do now will dictate how the roses will perform in Spring. It's a great time to really get in there and work with the roses and pull dead canes since the chances of running into spiders and wasps are slim to none.

Start seedlings indoors in sunny windowsills. Start with sweet peas, lettuce, and green beans. Try growing carrots from seeds and using the carrot tops as "micro greens" for zesting up salads and sandwiches. Trust me...whatever you do...you won't regret it come Spring. So, get out there! Get creative and get growing on laying the foundation to your Spring gardening adventures. Whether you grow seeds, clean up beds, or trim roses - you'll get a sense of satisfaction and feel so glad you did!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Enhance Your Skin’s Beauty with Rose Hydrosol

Rose hydrosol is made by distilling luscious rose petals and drawing out the powerful elements of the petals into a steamed distilled floral water.

The hydrosol can be applied directly on the skin and used as a toner to refine and reduce the size of pores. It serves as a humectant by drawing moisture to the skin. By religiously applying rose hydrosol, one soon experiences a transformation; skin looks smoother, more toned, more hydrated & illuminated over time.

Rose hydrosol can also be made into a facial mist and applied at anytime to perk up tired skin. I make a wonderful rose hydrosol skin elixir and mist it just after cleansing my face each morning. My skin craves this mist and radiates all day expressing gratitude when I use it. I’ve used the mist for two months straight and my skin has smaller pores, a healthier glow, and fewer blemishes as a result. I couldn’t be more excited to discuss the benefits of rose hydrosol since I’m a tried and true case study.

Prior to the rose hydrosol skin elixir I made in the herbal kitchen, my skin was overly oily and blemished. I was breaking out around my chin, cheeks and jaw line. My complexion was in trouble. I had read about the benefits of rose hydrosol on the skin and decided to make my facial mist. I’ve been elated ever since. The smell is light and fragrant – you could go beyond skin care and mist liberally on sheets, upholstery, and use as a general room enhancer.

My skin drinks in the moisture and it helps keep dry skin hydrated and oily skin under control. Rose hydrosol serves as a mild antiseptic (making it a wonderful toner) and has a wonderful ability to control and balance sebum production (making it great for both oily and dry skin types).

I’ve also come to rely on rose hydrosol as one of my weapons of choice in fighting fine lines and wrinkles. I’m not kidding…I’m impressed by the reduction in fine lines and the overall reduction of wrinkles. I simply love it. Some rely on rose hydrosol as an anti-inflammatory. I can see why. The blemished skin I once had has healed and my skin has tightened and smoothed as a result.

I think it is very fair to say, when it comes to reducing the fine lines and wrinkles, bouts of acne, mixed complexions, and size of pores….rose hydrosol is the way to go. Use it as a toner, use it as a facial mist…just use it! You won’t regret it.