Welcome to our workshop, nicknamed "the craft barn".
This is where we prepare our flowers and herbs, straight from our gardens. During the summer this area is a profusion of colour and scent.
Overlooking our gardens we take inspiration from our natural surroundings. A truly useful area that also doubles as our alfresco dining and cooking area, where we entertain and welcome visitors.
We now display some of our rustic herbal gifts and products in this area too and welcome arranged groups to visit and see how we work.
How to make a lavender wand.
Lavender wands can be tricky but practice makes perfect and for a natural look you can just tie off the wand with coloured raffia or ribbon, rather than weaving through.
How to make clay tags.
Clay is a versatile and interesting material to use for a whole range of individual ideas. I make my own clay tags to add to the packaging of our products. Here is a link that shows you how they are made.
How to dry your flowers and herbs.
The best way that I have found to dry flowers and herbs is in bundles or bunches. I don't put too many together as this stops the circulation of air and can cause moulds. I use elastic bands to secure the stalks together whilst they dry. These need to be fairly tight as when the drying process happens the stalks shrink and can fall out. Hang the bunches in an area that is cool and dark, not in full sun. If you wish to use the herbs in the kitchen you need to protect from insects and dust - this can easily be achieved by putting a paper bag over the bunches whilst they dry.
I also use drying racks inside which consist of a frame covered in a mesh, on which to place the flowers and herbs. These frames then stack on top of each other leaving room for air circulation. Be sure to store your dried produce when they are thoroughly dry and in airtight containers.
In this way we have flowers and petals that keep their colour and scent and the herbs retain more of their natural oils.
How to make roses from maple leaves.
Using beauty to create beauty I found this link on Stumbleupon which shows step by step how to make these lovely maple leaf roses.
A great idea and good to do with the little ones as an autumn craft. They also make stunning autumn decorations.