We were very inspired by the wonderful willow tunnel that we saw at the Lavender Farm at the weekend. There is little point starting one in the garden until the Autumn, when the rain can help us to encourage it to grow. So we made a miniature version of the dome part. Perfect for a visiting fairy. It will hopefully leaf up as the summer progresses.
We chose a spot squeezed in among the blackcurrant bushes and the hollyhocks, with the sweetcorn as a backdrop. We’re hoping it will be an interesting spot for a fairy. I’m hoping the willow will be watered along with the sweetcorn.
I cut off whips from our willow, about 18″ long and pushed a couple of inches of the fatter ends into the soil, to make a circle. I tied the tops up with garden twine. I meant to weave some more horizontal whips into it to make it sturdy, but it held well as it was. Next the children watered the ground, until it was a puddle.
The children searched around the garden finding all important walls, benches, tables and carpets, to make a fairy feel quite at home. They found the acorn cups in the nature box and put lavender flowers into the cups. BL found daisies for plates. There is a raspberry leaf as a table cloth.
I hope the willow grows. BL is thrilled as she can see the willow den from her bedroom window. She told me that she is going to look out first thing tomorrow morning, to catch a glimpse of any fairies that visit. She’s promised to tell me if she does see any.
Also inspired by our farm visit, we made lavender lip balm. They are all thrilled to have a tube of lip balm of their own. It smells divine. We used lavender essential oil that I bought at the farm and the children decorated stickers to go on the tubes.
Our lavender lip balm recipe is straightforward. For four tubes and a little tub, we used:
10g (1 tbsp) Cocoa butter
5g (1 rounded tsp) Shea Butter
5g (1 rounded tsp) Beeswax
5mls (1 tsp) Almond Oil
few drops of lavender essential oil.
- Melt cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax in a bain marie (ingredients, to melt, are put in a bowl, which sits in a saucepan of water, heated on a medium ring – be careful not to let the water boil up and slop into the bowl)
- Once the butter and waxes are mostly liquid, add the almond oil.
- Take it off the hot ring and let it cool slightly, then add the lavender oil.
- Pour or spoon carefully into the tubes and pots
- Allow to cool, topping up if necessary, then leave in the fridge for at least one hour.
Please note: As ever, we had to be careful with the hot liquids and not to overdo the essential oil. If you do choose to follow this recipe, use the best ingredients, check they are suitable for cosmetic use and only add a two or three drops of essential oil if children, or mothers-to-be, are going to use the balm. Spot test the finished lip balm, before using it on lips.
I’m linking this up to The Magic Onion’s Friday Nature Table. Hop on over to see what other people are doing.