Winter has truly began in Australia. As weather gets colder and sometimes dreary, don’t we all long for summer days? While we can’t make summer happen overnight, we can perhaps make our own sunshine by re-creating the scent of summer at home, naturally of course.
This Lemon & Lavender simmering potpourri recipe will transport you instantly to the balmy summer days of lemonade and sunshine.
So crank up the heater, get brewing and into the happy summer mood, right in the comforts of your home.
Lemon & Lavender Simmering Potpourri Recipe
One whole lemon, sliced
One cup of dried lavender (I used both the leaves and flowers saved from last year’s French lavender.) Place the lavender in cheesecloth if you wish.
One teaspoon of vanilla extract
One quart of water
(Optional: You may add two or three drops of lavender essential oil if you prefer a stronger fragrance.)
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the above ingredients, squeezing the lemons and adding both the rinds and the juice.
Allow to boil for a few minutes to release the scent, then reduce to a simmer.
In about 30 minutes, your whole house will smell wonderful! You can put it in the fridge and reuse it for several days. Be sure to keep an eye on the water level when the potpourri is simmering. Please note that this is a recipe for potpourri and is not intended as a beverage.
Creating your own table top fountains is a wonderful way to bring out your creativity and self-expression while simultaneously relieving stress and enhancing your interior décor and fengshui.
There are many unique benefits to having a fountain at home or work:
The gentle soothing sound of flowing water can help you relax and meditate in your bedroom after a hard day’s work;
Fountains humidify the indoor air, especially if your home or workplace is dry due to continual air-conditioning. This is extremely helpful in preventing your skin from drying out.
Fountains release negative ions, said to promote better moods and concentration. This is especially important in today’s electronic world as gadgets emit negative ions in our homes.
Building a water fountain can be as simple as putting some stones and a small pump into a container with water. It does not have to be expensive or fancy. And personal is what having a fountain of your own is all about. You might include special coins from a treasured trip abroad, shells from a beach-combing bonanza, a charm from your grandmother’s bracelet, a memento from your first love.
Whatever treasures you choose to stamp your tabletop fountain as your own, know that you can change it as easily as you change your mind or your mood. Yet it will remain immutably, unmistakably yours—and always just right.
To make your own tabletop fountain, you’ll need:
1 A waterproof container or bowl of proper depth.
Choose a container between 8-16 inches across in diameter and depth of at least 4-6 inches. The water has to cover the pump; otherwise, the pump will burn out. You can use ceramic bowls, glass, or wood boxes. The easiest and least expensive containers are plastic pots or ceramic bowls.
Look in your cupboard for a rarely used casserole, serving dish, punch bowl, or fruit bowl or even head to your nearest op-shop. A great way to up-cycle!
2. A small water pump and clear plastic tubing (1/2″ inner dimension or 5/8″ outer dimension).
Fish tank pumps are fine. The smallest ones work well for the typical size containers. Some shops supply suction cups with water pumps. Both the pump and tubing can be found at an aquarium, hardware, or garden supply store. To straighten the hose, boil it in water for a while.
3. Rocks; pebbles; slate; crystals; semi-precious stones; sea shells, anything that goes in water can be used.
Each item can have a special meaning, thus adding to the individuality of your fountain
If you select rocks from your garden make sure you clean them well. We suggest soaking them in Resparkle’s Dishwashing Liquid and give it a good scrub.
4. Plants add greenery to your fountain. A small clipping will do nicely. You could also use a small pot or glass bottle [baby food jar], fill it with water, put the plant inside and place it inside the fountain bowl.
Place the decorative slate or tile on the table. Place the bowl on the slate or tile.
Place the pump at the bottom of the bowl, taking care to see the cord is draped to the back of the container. Use suction cups to make the pump stick to the bottom of the container.
Add tap water to more than cover the intake value [2″ minimum]. Plug the pump into the electric outlet. (It is advisable to test out the pump in a bucket or sink before placing it in the container.) Unplug the pump to adjust the water flow, if needed.
Cut the tubing length to fit your container and design. Fit one end of the tubing to the pump spout. Place larger rocks to cover the pump and fill the bottom of the container.
Arrange the smaller rocks and tiles /slate by stacking them so as to create a diverse and irregular path for the water flow. You can reduce the water flow from a geyser to a gurgle by covering the open end of the tube with tumbled glass.
Plug in the pump, adjust the water volume and stones as needed to produce the sound that appeals most to your ears.
Place figurines, plant cuttings, ivy, moss, shells or tiles to hide the tubing and electric cord.
TIP: Place a candle in a candleholder beside the fountain, the light from the candle will glisten on the water and reflect its light onto the fountain arrangement.