Garlic Mint Garden Pest Spray

**This is a review of the recipe created by Jami over at An Oregon Cottage  that I am using as a regular part of my garden routine now!**

As you saw in my earlier post this week, I have been slightly obsessed with my garden this spring and summer. I simply love the magic of making things grow. We planted a patch of sunflower seeds on earth day together and just this week they are finally starting to blossom, I am so excited to see how they look this fall!

Early on this spring I was having a little trouble though, every morning I would find big holes in my sunflowers. Something was having a pretty hearty midnight snack on my flowers every night and I was worried they wouldn’t make it! I knew it was time to find a solution to try and rescue my sunflowers from this snack-attack!

Because we try our best to pursue a green, toxin and waste-free lifestyle – I was not interested in using any kind of pesticide in my garden. I spent days researching if there was an all-natural way of deterring the pests without causing any harm, and after a few different attempts I finally found something that works wonders!

When I stumbled upon this recipe of Jami’s I was so relieved! I had tried so many recipes and watched my plants disappear more and more each morning until I finally found this beauty!

before using any spray

This spray is made of 4 ingredients (+ water) and is very effective! So far this summer I have only had to spray it on my plants twice. The spray doesn’t smell great and is spicy so any little critters who take a nibble will not be interested in eating anymore.. although the smell alone should be enough to send them packing! I still have lots of bees zipping around the plants even though they have been sprayed so it won’t harm them either!

3 weeks after first application

The recipe is stinky while making it but a bottle of this will last a really long time! Make sure you aren’t expecting company the next day after making it because the smell is pretty potent – I moved my essential oil diffuser to the kitchen to help get things smelling nice again! Here is the original recipe that I followed.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • fresh mint
  • dry cayenne pepper
  • biodegradable soap (I used Dr. Bronners)
  • water

For complete instructions head over to the original recipe by clicking here!

When using the spray, make sure to put it on after 4pm or on an overcast day so it doesn’t burn the plant. Spray all of the plant, even the base and undersides of leaves when you apply it! After spraying the first time, I waited about 3 and a half weeks between applications.

flowers blooming after 5 weeks of first application

What do you think? What kinds of organic gardening tips do you have? I’m learning as I go, but this will definitely be a recipe I keep on hand for years to come!

love & light,

Lena

Flower boxes make this feel like home…

When we first moved into our house last August I was in love with the homemade flower boxes hanging under a few of the windows on the east side of the house. But sadly after the year passed they were beginning to rot out and no longer had that beautiful raw wood look. They were untreated so the elements broke them down very quickly.

Because I loved the flower so much though I knew I wanted to replace them so I bought some small cedar boxes and painted them a happy yellow to brighten up our house. I love the way they turned out! Such a simple little thing made this house feel so much more like our own!

We have a LOT left to learn about home owning but we are having fun figuring it out along the way! We planted sunflowers on earth day and a few of those are just starting to bloom and we are working on filling in our milkweed patch with wildflowers for the butterflies… Gardening and yard care are our official “stress relievers” of the summer. What a lovely way to enjoy the outdoorsand the first summer of home owning!

What about you? What are your favorite summertime stress relief activities to focus on? Do you love working in the garden as well or are there other things you enjoy this time of year? I hope everyone is getting the time they need to recharging at home and away!

love & light

Lena

Bee’s Knees Honey Cocktail

I think honey is one of my favorite things on Earth, at least the organic, local, raw kind of honey. Growing up, I never liked that store bought, mass produced, clover honey but when I had my first taste of raw locally sourced honey, my fate was sealed. If it was acceptable for me to have a spoonful of honey for dessert every night, I probably would. But I can’t – so instead I’ll enjoy this lovely honey cocktail instead.

I discovered this cocktail while Will and I were testing out different signature cocktails for our August wedding. As soon as I read about the Bee’s Knees, I knew it was the cocktail for me! Not only because it has honey in it but because of the name too! Growing up my Dad would always call me Queen Bee, or Bee for short. Now at home Will calls me Bee too, so it is an ongoing theme in my life. My love for honey was merely coincidental…

This cocktail became popular during Prohibition – the honey and lemon were used to mask the not-so-lovely smell of bathtub gin. If it earned its name by being “the best” or the bee’s knees when it was made with bathtub gin, that gives you an idea of how amazing it tastes with a quality gin!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz. homemade honey syrup
  • 2 oz. gin

Directions:

  1.  Make your homemade honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water and heating it on medium low over the stovetop until completely combined – do NOT bring it to a boil. (Note: One cocktail calls for 1 ounce of syrup, I usually combine a half cup honey and half cup water and store it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 5 days – but it is usually gone before I get to day 5…)
  2. In a cocktail shaker combined fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, gin, and ice.
  3. Shake vigorously and strain into glass. We use a coupe glass or martini glass.

Optional: Garnish with lemon twist!

So there you have it, my favorite refreshing summertime cocktail!

When we talk about maintaining life-balance one important thing is to make room for equal parts work and play. When it comes to play, Will and I have fun making artisan cocktails at home on the weekends and in the summer. Sometimes having a little something special at home, like this, is fun way give yourself a treat at the end of the day!

(*Also, here is a bonus picture of little Amelia, always loving the camera..)

What do you think? What are your favorite summertime cocktails to make at home?

love & light,
Lena