Small Pleasures from the Garden

In late May Dan and I had just returned from a road trip visiting siblings across Iowa and Wisconsin. These two states boast some of the most lush, organized and pristine countrysides I recollect ever seeing.  The farms and fields in both Wisconsin and Iowa are impeccable or so it appears to occupants of speeding vehicles. This vehicular observer watched the undulating green, the orderly rows of crops, farm implements, houses and barns with great amazement.  Kansas lands rarely boast as great an order or green due to our frequent winds, blast furnace summers and “dip down past zero” winters.  I think it is the extremes that spell the difference here.  However, since we have returned to Kansas and the June calendar says Summer, the strong winds have been sporadic and leisurely rain showers have caught us unawares; making the days more temperate- giving the illusion of a soft warm summer, rather than the ultimate possibility of burning wind and sun soon to settle in…

My own little herb garden has been a fortunate recipient of this fair weather and I have enjoyed harvesting herbs to dry or use already.  The cilantro has lasted far longer into the warmth than I thought it would, small catnip plants have sprung up all along the garden border- much to the delight of my kitties (and probably the roaming ferals and neighborhood cats).  We have had fresh oregano, chives, tarragon and thyme for recipes and the lavender blooms have been exceptional.

lavender plant

So I cut the lush purple blooms, small leaves and stems to dry.  The lavender fragrance, so fresh, clean and lovely, inspired me to make soap this last weekend.  A way to savor the scent many months from now when snow and harsh cold winds have driven the perennial underground for rest.  Though you won’t find me out in my backyard stirring lye in a cauldron, you might find me utilizing a microwave to melt some basic soap blocks and flavoring them with the scented herbs and creating coarse scrubs with oatmeal, ground almond seeds or sea salt.  Small pleasures from my garden to be shared and enjoyed throughout the year!  I love summer on Green Heron Pond!

garden lavender


Lavender Rose Scrub Soap

Ingredients: Block of soap starter of your choice, soap colorant (if you wish) and small molds (all can be purchased from a craft store)

Pesticide free lavender blooms & leaves, pesticide free rose petals and organic dry oatmeal

Directions:  Follow directions for melting the soap starter on soap package (I use an old pie plate or measuring cup for this process)

While soap starter is melting use a mortar and pestle to grind lavender blooms, rose petals and oatmeal  into a fine scrub consistency

When soap starter is melted add a soap colorant if you wish, add the ground lavender, rose and oatmeal mixture and stir until well mixed.

Pour into soap molds, let set for an hour and then remove from molds and store

I do not use essential oils due to many people being sensitive to them (especially children and pregnant women) but instead utilize the herbs themselves…this creates a subtle fragrance and a nice scrubby exfoliant or clean up soap.  Use or share to help summer linger!



2 thoughts on “Small Pleasures from the Garden

    1. Thanks Peggy! Let me know how your soaps turn out if you make them. My husband loves it for scrubbing his hands after working in the garage or garden…I usually pick shea butter soap starter blocks…but want to try goats milk and glycerin too!


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