I know people who have rose gardens…jealous
I know people who have vegetable gardens. me memememeeeeeee
I have seen cactus gardens, and I have seen herb gardens.
Ever consider planting a beauty garden?
What do I mean by that?
I was asked recently for help and ideas in creating a simple garden for a new homeowner.
My creative juices immediately kicked on. ohhhhhhh an empty palette. A brand new journey, the sweet spot!
In creating any new venture one should take a few moments to assess the needs, spacing, light, and skill level of the intended party.
yeah yeah, but my brain started bursting with possibilities of what could be.
I had just finished a conversation with my sweet friend and we had lots of fun discussing all the things about skin care and its rituals for self and skin and soul.
So now we are on the patio, sipping some very strong kombucha, I swear is an IPA, and discussing what the new homeowners think they envision for their new patio.
Noshing on good cheese and crispy baguettes dipped in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (oh heaven) and discussing what kind of plants they want, it hit me like a train.
YOU NEED A BEAUTY GARDEN
If you have followed me at all for any length of time, followed my IG account or know me personally you probably know where I am going with this.
If you are going to bother planting plants, and IF you are going to spend the time, money and energy caring for it, watering it, feeding it, weeding it, loving it and nurturing it…. WHY not make it a useful garden?
I am not a fan of growing grass. YES its lush and lovely. YES it’s a great backdrop of color. YES its cozy to lay on or play with your kids on; and IF that is your wish then GO FOR IT.
Also we live in arid and sunny So Cal, and lawns are a thing soon to be the past. Artificial turf is replacing bits of green for this and that and I’m all in. (a girl with no lawn is free to ride her motorcycle on Sunny Saturday’s)
My summer water bill always takes a big jump with just my garden alone, so add in a lawn and …dang. Plus it usually just serves as a spot for the dogs to pee on, dig up and chase after their favorite gopher buddy. gah.
No lawn at our house. Checked that off my list… off to the beach!
WHY NOT plant a garden instead, that provides ONE: something to smell, taste, touch, give to your romantic interest (sons, you are included here because Mamas always LOVE a flower wink wink).
A garden should feed to your family, provide shelter for native animals, host some bees, shelter the lizards and hummingbirds. It should be safe for lady bugs, spiders, dogs and kids. YOU TOO! It should provide a shaded, lazy, comfy place to sip your coffee or read a book. The flowers like to chat and hear the latest gossip, in case you didn’t notice.
That has always been my garden focus long before I became a crazed plant lady. I don’t want some shrub that is green and square all year long. na. zzzzzzz. sorry, that’s not me. Also don’t want a shrub shaped like a Q-Tip. ahem.
IT SHOULD DO SOMETHING INTERESTING. It should flower. If it flowers it should SMELL amazing. (that used to by my only criteria) OH the days when my needs for plants were only visual.
Yet, much like my entire life, it has evolved and expanded.
I like to say grow food, now lawns.
I have moved WAY beyond lawns.
I have moved way beyond tomatoes and basil (although…. I do have an overabundance of both truth be told)
My 3 rose bushes provide me AMPLE rose petals for hair teas and skin tonics, rose waters and lovely lush things for scrubs and serums and bath time. It doesn’t take many rose bushes, (however I’d like more), to re-fill your stock of petals and rose hips to last you for the season they don’t bloom…also not a long time in sunny so-cal.
My ONE hibiscus plant is complaining about stress from my pacing for the next blooms to open.
This plant has a very large list of expectations, from photos I love to take, to fresh petals for some skin savoring, natural alpha hydroxy acid filled goodness, IF I happen to let them fade then I am eagerly harvesting them just as they are ready to fall to the ground, washed, and set in their new home for drying with their friends, my hibiscus blossoms are the new star of the season. Be sure to say THANK YOU!
Dear Universe, hint hint, I would like a second one.
What about camellias? A cousin of green tea, the leaves of a Camellia Japonica shrub, or tree can provide a nice tea that is local and organically sourced IF you make sure you care for it organically and with love.
I have been obsessed this year with natural dyes for everything from food, to skin, hair and fabric. In that journey I didn’t get the magical pop I was hoping for from my Camellias, but I DID, quite by accident, produce an apricot flower petal only eye-shadow and a shimmer version eye-shadow /blush that is perfect for lighter skin tones (like mine)
mmmm I LOVE plant makup. I LOVE FLOWER POWER.
The good news is you don’t need acres of dirt to create a beautiful, beauty garden to not only provide curb appeal, make your yard lovely and a beautiful space to relax, but also YOUR skin home and body will love it too. However, ONE acre would be FAAAANTASTIC.
huh? OH yeah, back to the article. SORRY.
What about JASMINE, or GARDENIA….. ( I currently let my brand new gardenia get forgotten on a warm weekend and it went brown so its in Annie’s intensive care unit and we’ll see if I can love it back to health) sorry dude.
A fresh batch of jasmine water to make a facial mist, or toner with is DIVINE. NOT needing to purchase high quality, organic Jasmine Essential Oil (which is difficult to produce in quantity which leads to it being pricey) is awesome!
Impress your friends and loved ones with simple but luxurious gifts from your beauty garden.
These scents are very expensive if you go hunting for good quality (and please do not buy FRAGRANCE…please don’t) essential oils, but is just so easy to make your own.
Just get good at making tea or oil infusions, its EASY… I’ll teach you! (soon I promise) Be as complicated or a simple as you wish. Infuse some dried lavender in sweet almond oil and use it in your purse for a little calming moisturizer.
I have a little spray bottle with jasmine and vanilla (both I made myself thankyouverymuch) for a simple yet delicious car freshener. It happens to be sprayed on my face more than my car but we all feel lovely by the time I get to work or Costco, depending on where I am going. LOL
Can you just imagine the JOY, PRIDE and HAPPINESS a few plants could bring you and your household if your focus is a beauty garden?
So for a recap here are a few simple plants you can put in a small area (or even in pots if you don’t have a plantable area, like an apartment or condo, as long as you have a sunny area for a good chunk of the day your golden)
Lavender Agustofolia (would be best)
Rose – stay away from chemical treated big chain store sources and order one from a reputable garden source. Rosa Demascena is the bomb for medicinal and skin care. It’s an old rose so it won’t be the fancy Princess Diana or Disneyland (oh i love that one) hybrids but its still beautiful in any garden.
Hibiscus – Rosa Sinensis – part of the mallow family. Being high in Vitamin C and therefore anti-oxidents, Hibiscus is GREAT for skin care. Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties Hibiscus makes a great addition to your inflamed and irritated skin care products. Evens out skin tones, and can ease dermatitis, this flower packs a punch. I have written articles already stating how its considered the botanical botox!
Hibisus is also wonderful for hair! TRY SOME. I added hibiscus tea, purchased and my home harvested petals to my beloved rose hair tea.
Camellia Japonica – a cousin of green tea the leaves can be picked and dried for tea, and the petals are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, phytosqualene, and Omega -6’s. The phytosqualene component helps moisture penetrate deeply into the skin.
What is even more wonderful is that they are easy to grow, beautiful to look at and when organically grown, can be harvested for many uses.
Jasmine officianale – the dried flowers can be used for oil infusions and teas for tons of uses for skin, home and health. Jasmine tea has been a centuries old tradition good for everything from weight control, heart health, diabetes, boosts immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, can ease the discomfort of arthritis and much more!
Aloe Vera – not only for skin care but a great first aid plant to grow for burns, sun burns or skin irritations.
Of course you can always be old school and just pick the blossoms and put them on your desk or dinning table. That’s still okay too.
as long as you appreciate them and ENJOY them, its all good man!
Gosh I could keep going as it seems MUCH of the FLORAL plant world has Beauty written all over it in many more ways then just what we see and smell.
So if you are a seasoned gardener who just wants to try and add some aroma-therapy to your garden, to a first-time homeowner trying to put something easy to grow and lovely to look at and you happen to have me around poking at you to make a facial mist or infused body oil out of your new babies…..
Consider growing a BEAUTY GARDEN
don’t have a lot of room, keep it simple like this
and if you have that acre?
you can swim with the wild flowers and be whisked to a land of ..well….allergies.
either way I have a solution for that!
You will not be disappointed!!
just um don’t neglect your gardenias.