Posts Tagged ‘Rose geranium’

This past Sunday we focused our Sunday Photos post on “rivers.” South Texas has been getting some spotty showers. Don’t get me wrong, every drop helps, but I have nothing to contribute about rivers at this point. In the beginning, I had even titled this post “This has nothing to do with rivers.”

Oh, sure, I can show you what the neighborhood dry creek beds looked like on Memorial Day weekend this year. That was great! It is just frustrating to not get much rain at all. Heat, Hot, Humid. Yuck. That is summer here (for me at least) and come this time of year I am more than ready for it to me over over OVER. This is also the time of year I talk about giving up trying to start a garden in the spring. I know it will start to cool off at some point. Hopefully I will feel better when that happens and I will get excited about starting the fall garden (at my own pace!)

scented geranium ready for selling at the jubilee this weekend.

scented geranium ready to selling at the jubilee this weekend.

This week I have a lot going on. The local garden club, that I am a part of, participates in the annual jubilee in our town. We sell plants that each member donates, and I donate a lot of plants that I have nursed a long throughout the summer. This year I also have made up 2 of the planters that are for the raffle. The deer, possums, and racoons have been less than helpful over the past month and a half. I go out and find the majority of the pots nibbled down to nothing or plain old dug up. I’ll tell ya, it is hard to get a nice pot of succulents or greenery looking at its best in order to sell raffle tickets with those kinds of set-backs.

You know when you really want to cry but all you can do is laugh... that was me. Finally decided to bring the raffle planters inside each night. What a pain!

You know when you really want to cry but all you can do is laugh… that was me. Finally decided to bring the raffle planters inside each night. What a pain!

During all this, I took the plunge and bought a brand new laptop, complete with Windows 8. I was working my way through the Windows 8 part but the laptop started acting up. Looping on start-up, getting stuck. After days and days and hours each day talking to technical support the laptop just up and died. DIED! (this is #1 in this chain of technological events!)

You would think that would be enough. Nope. Then my cell phone died. Died! Dang it, that is #2 in this string of events.

My brother helped to calm me down and get me set up with a new phone. Oh, let’s make that a challenge too! I now am the proud new owner of an iPhone 4 (I don’t feel smart yet!) right in the middle of the week with so much going on. I am working through figuring out some stuff. Just working through why I couldn’t hear any calls on the phone or head set was downright frustrating… until I figured out I just needed to take off the plastic protect bit on the front of the phone. Oh, that is so much better. The fun part about the phone is that it has a Wisconsin area code, so I am just telling people that I moved to Wisconsin and got a new phone. Maybe I will get some peace and quiet for a while. haWhatI’d like to say it has just been one of those weeks, but in reality it has been 2+ of those weeks. To top it off, my brand new iPhone slid off the car seat and into my nice tall tumbler of water yesterday. YUP! Can you believe that? The next call was to my brother to ask if I had insurance on the phone (no, I don’t!) but it is still working. and Yes, I did put in a bag of rice.

After writing this all out I figured out a better title to this post, so I changed it. No tears have been shed, but things sure have been frustrating. I will tell you that it was nice and quiet around here for a few days without a computer or cell phone. Technology is sure nice when it works, just super frustrating when it doesn’t!

Somebody must be trying to tell me something…. I am a bit slow sometimes and I haven’t figured out what it is yet.

How has your week been turning out?

Sincerely, Emily

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Last February over at Sincerely, Emily I posted about the body powder that I have been making for a couple of years. This spring I tried something new.

Chiggers can be a problem around here and I have had more than enough chigger bites to last me a life-time. While I know this, the chiggers didn’t seem to get the memo. Those darn bites had me thinking and thinking about what I could do to prevent them.

To combat the mosquitoes I just grab a few leaves of lemon balm and rub them on my arms and legs. The other plant I have turned to is the rose scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Not only does it help with the mosquitoes, but it smells fantastic too! (you may remember my post about rose scented geranium back in April.)

That really got me thinking about those darn chigger bites.

As the leaves dry on my rose scented geranium, I tend to pull them off and set them inside to to continue to dry. When I snip off the ends to start a new plant, I take the leaves that I have pulled off and take them inside to dry. After doing this for a few years I had quite a nice pile of dried leaves.

I decided to grind the dry rose scented geranium leaves and add them to my body powder. I thought that since the fresh leaves did such a nice job on the mosquitoes, then maybe the dry ones mixed with the body powder might, just might, help keep the chiggers at bay.

I started using my new powder blend this spring and it has worked wonders for me. Before I head out to work outside in the morning or evening I powder myself up around my mid-section, paying close attention to the areas that my clothes bind (chiggers love those spots.) Even if I powdered up in the morning, I will still re-apply in the evening when I head back outside.

My Version of the basic powder:

  • 1 T Baking Soda
  • 3 T Cornstarch
  • 3 T Arrowroot powder

Add 1-2 T Ground Rose Scented Geranium

Play with the mixture until you find a blend that works for you (less cornstarch/arrowroot and more baking soda until it works for you)

I know I said it before, but this has worked wonders for me. I hope it might work for you too. Let me know if you try it.

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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My Gram always grew red geraniums in the summer. Each fall she would severely cut them back and they would sit through the winter on the high window ledge in the laundry room in our basement where it stayed cool. Those common geraniums have a district smell to them; sort of like a tomato plant has a district smells to them. I can’t describe it, but if you have smelled either one you know what I mean.

While I don’t have any of the common geraniums like Gram did, I always smile when I see one and think of her.

I also remember my mom would have scented geraniums from time to time and I always enjoyed the different types she had.  They were always so alluring, drawing me over to brush a leaf and inhale slowly and deeply, drinking in that soft, subtle scent.

Remembering those wonderful scents and memories I picked up two rose geraniums (also known as rose-scented geraniums a few years ago so I could enjoy their fragrance.

I love picking a few leaves and putting them on my pillow. They eventually end up on my nightstand throughout the night, but their scent still lingers. I will sometimes pick a few leaves and lightly crush them and rub them on my arms. It is one of nature’s natural perfumes (and also a natural insect repellent!!)

I originally bought the rose geraniums for their soft, subtle scent. Later, I came across some information where lemon balm was used to make a scented fabric softener. I immediately tried it, but didn’t care for the finished scent, so I thought if you can use lemon balm, why not try rose geranium…. I did and I loved how it turned out.

Fill (lightly pack) your quart canning jar (or any glass jar – not metal) with the leaves from your scented geranium and cover with white distilled vinegar (the inexpensive kind in the big jug.) Let it sit for a few weeks or longer. Strain and use as you would any fabric softener.  If you use a jar with a metal lid you should use a piece of wax paper between the metal lid and the jar opening or the vinegar will react with the metal on your lid. I tend to prepare my jars and forget about them until I run out and need to strain more, so they may actually sit for a few months. The last thing I want is to open my jar and find a rusty metallic smelling mess. That certainly isn’t a scent that I want to put on my clothes.

My two plants just wouldn’t keep up with the demand so I have started over 2-dozen others plants from my two originals. I will share some some of these new plants each month at the plant raffle at our local garden club meetings and the others I will keep and grow to pull leaves from.

Making fabric softener

When I run out of the rose geranium fabric softener I rely on plain white distilled vinegar with a few drops of essential oil. Rosemary is my current favorite. I do have jars of rosemary sitting in vinegar too for fabric softener. I just haven’t tried them yet. Since we only wash a load of clothes 1-2 times a week, it is hard to keep testing new scents.

What else can you do with rose geranium; make ice cream. Strawberry-rose geranium ice cream is lovely!

What a great plant, with so many purposes:

  • It is pretty – nice green leaves
  • It has a lovely scent
  • You can use it to make scented fabric softener
  • You can use it as a natural insect repellent
  • You can use it to flavor ice cream

Do you already grow a scented geranium?   How do you use yours?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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