Somehow I ended up foraging for wild garlic yesterday morning with my daughter dressed in pyjamas and wellies – her, not me, at least. We picked the leaves in some lovely woods near us that are carpeted with the pungent smelling stuff and I seemed to have a garlicky whiff about me for the rest of the day. Today it’s lavender.
I feel guilty about admitting this, but I made some lavender face cleanser ON MY OWN. Normally it’s Ruby and me making smelly potions and it felt a little bit naughty indulging in some making all by myself.
It felt similar to last week when I made the cakes for the school cake sale by myself as I didn’t have time to make them with my daughter. It seemed like ages since I’d been sifting flour by myself, and a bit strange not to have my little helper. Quite decadent at the same time though, measuring and mixing with music playing, not trying to do another three things at the same time. It all seemed pretty relaxing until I was about to put my cakes in the oven. And I noticed the mess.
Evidently the flour sifting hadn’t been quite as careful as I’d imagined and my kitchen aid needed a bit of attention. Then there were the cupcakes themselves. They did taste good (I obviously had to test one) but they weren’t exactly Magnolia Bakery standard in the looks department. Having no 5 year old to explain away the chaos or the less than perfect results wasn’t ideal. I began to wonder if the messiness has always been due to me all along!
Similarly making lavender was very quick to fit in and easy on my own. I’d been using a lovely Spiezia cleanser (gorgeous organic skincare products made in Cornwall, using lots of herbs and flowers) that I’d had for a present. Sadly it’s all gone. When we made the lavender moisturiser I realised that I had all the ingredients to mix up my own cleanser. Quicker than going to the shops, and definitely cheaper.
It wasn’t as much fun as making potions with my helper though, who has been fervently picking primroses this week with her friends.
We do still have a few flowers left in the garden!
I did manage to create a fair bit of mess all on my own though.
What with lavender bath bombs, lavender moisturiser, lavender footbath and now cleanser, I realise I’ve become a bit lavender obsessed. I have lots of lavender seedlings in the coldframe too, with plans to plant more to edge the curved lawn we’ve just created.
I know, you have to use your imagination to see a fragrant lavender hedge edging lots of lush veggies. At the moment, as well as creating new beds, we have lots of work to do adding more organic matter so that we can actually grow a few edibles as the soil in that area is pretty poor. Luckily lavender thrives in rubbish soil, as long as it has sun. I planted some tiny plants in a terrible bit of stoney ground at the back of our house, and also either side of our front door, and it’s all flourishing. Great to have something that loves our limestone strewn earth. The lovely fields of farmed lavender near us at Cotswold Lavender at Snowshill are proof of the ease with which it grows around here.
So although I’ll soon be trying out this recipe with calendula, chamomile flowers and rose petals, I have a feeling lavender is going to be revisited regularly.
Lavender Gentle Cleanser
1/4 cup white clay, finely ground
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon dried lavender
4 drops lavender essential oil
I pounded the oatmeal (actually I used oats and ground them fine this time) and dried lavender in my pestle and mortar, then placed them in a resealable plastic freezer bag with the clay. Making sure you’ve sealed the bag well, give it all a good shake/mix. Then add the essential oils drop by drop, close the bag and shake again.
Place the ingredients into a storage container (I used pots I’d saved) or leave it in the plastic bag.
Very easy and it should keep in a cool, dry place (doesn’t need to be a fridge) for 6 months. The amount doesn’t make a huge amount though so it should be used well before then. It’s so simple to make, I assumed I’d make a more summery version fairly soon.
To use, place about 2 teaspoons of powdered cleanser into the palm of your hand and add 2 teaspoons of water. Mix into a spreadable paste, apply over face (avoiding eye area) and massage in circular motions for a minute then rinse. Should remove light make-up.
Funny that we just talked about wild garlic yesterday. I noticed Demuths Cookery School has posted about your Wild Garlic Pesto post on their Facebook site today.
I know, very kind of them! Was there any wild garlic in the woods you were in yesterday? I needed you to take pics of my potions! Just looking again at your lovely pics of the lavender bath bombs.
Isn’t it terrible when you realise that something you’ve been blaming on the children (the big mess, being late for everything…) is in fact down to you – I can sympathise there! Your local lavender fields look amazing – what a great place to live!
I know, if my daughter is messy, I can see where she gets it from! And I do feel very lucky to live around here. The lavender fields are gorgeous, wonderful to bike along the lanes in the middle of them in the summer when the lavender’s flowering and the smell is so lovely.
I haven’t been to Snowshill for a long time – the coach loads in the summer put me off a bit but it is so beautiful. You’ve reminded me to go again….maybe really early in the morning!
I know you get lots of coaches heading for the National Trust gardens in the middle of summer don’t you. But I’ve cycled through the lanes on the top by the lavender fields lots of times when it’s been so empty up there – and smelling lovely!
Your new garden plans look very exciting! Is this where you kept the pigs last year? You are lucky to be able to grow lavender, I keep trying, but it lasts 2 years then disappears in our heavy soil. I’ve just dug out a bed and put in loads of grit for one last try! If it works, I’ll be having a go at that cleanser recipe. I do miss driving past Snowshill Lavender in the summer.
Yes, it’s the area where the pigs were – we put grass seed down last Autumn when they’d gone on the semi-citcle bit of it and it’s grown well. Guy has been really busy putting the wood around the beds, it’s taking ages but I’ve planted one bed so far and it’s so great having proper edges in an area for a change – and lovely to know it’s a long term thing, that we’ll benefit as we work it and put more organic matter in.
Well this is amazing, I would never have thought of making my own cleanser but love love love the idea of this without chemicals and additives etc, you are clever. Will have to encourage my lavender hedge tomorrow!
Hi Anna, thanks lots – but I’m not very clever at making these things. Tend to choose the simple to make bits and pieces that are child proof and idiot proof! Very pleased my lavender seedlings appear to be growing, hopefully in future summers I’ll have even more lavender to harvest. Thinking lip balm next maybe.