Friday, December 8th, 2017

AT HOME: FESTIVE FRAGRANCING

The smell of a crackling fire, a fresh Christmas tree, or gingerbread cookies baking in the oven… the sure signs and scents of Christmas! Because our sense of smell is a trigger point for emotional memories, fragrances play an undeniably central role in the holidays. That’s why the scents associated with Christmas can instantly transport us back to the feeling of being a kid waiting in anticipation for Christmas morning.  Tapping into the powerful sense of smell by playing with holiday scents is a surefire way to get into the festive spirit.

Here are a few ideas to get your home smelling great this season.

Seasonal Simmer  One of the simplest ways to infuse your home with an intoxicating aroma is on the stove top. Grab a saucepan and add a few cups of water along with your favourite holiday ingredients. We love cedar or pine branches, sprigs of rosemary, and classic holiday mulling spices. Head to the pantry and get creative! Simmer on a low heat or in an open crockpot throughout the day, adding water as needed, or start your simmer just before your holiday guests arrive.

Citrus Garland  A citrus garland made from thin slices of home-dried oranges and grapefruits is a perfect DIY for the holidays. After slicing, drying and hanging, a citrus garland creates a beautiful stained-glass effect when hung in a window — and leaves a delectably fresh scent in the air!

How to: First, thinly slice oranges or grapefruits and pat dry each segment with a towel. Add a few drops of your favourite holiday-inspired essential oils to each disk — try eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, frankincense or bergamot. Then, bake disks on a baking rack at 250 degrees for three or more hours, flipping occasionally. Allow the slices to dry in the open air for another day or more — you want the discs to be completely dry before stringing them up with your choice of twine or string.

 

Simple Scenting One of our favorite items this season is a simple yet intensely scented Cinnamon Wreath that can be hung from any door or wall in the home.  It adds instant warmth and aroma to your surroundings.  If you love the simplicity of this method, you’ll also enjoy using Frasier Fir Home Fragrance Mist to add a quick spritz of crisp, natural fir to the room.

Fragrant Candles  A tried and true way to bring warmth and aroma into your home is with scented candles. We love these hand-poured soy candles by Winnipeg candle maker Soy Harvest Candles. Some of our favourites include new holiday scents like Treetops, Sleigh Ride, and Grandma’s Cookies. It feels like Christmas already!

Have fun creating a warm and fragrantly festive home this holiday season!

Words + Photos by Sarah Carson @the.botanical

 

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Sugared Blossoms

Edible Flower

This week, fresh colorful pansies arrived at the greenhouse.  While we normally turn to pansies as the first flowers that we can plant outdoors in early spring, they are in fact an edible flower and serve as an elegant garnish.  With Easter coming up, these sugared blooms make a lovely accent for desserts and drinks well into spring. A sprinkling of sugar lends just a touch of sparkle to edible flowers– you can use dried violas, pansies, nasturtiums, or even rose petals. Atop baking, fresh fruit, or a favorite cocktail, these natural beauties make springtime sweets even more special.

What You’ll Need:
Edible dried flowers
1 egg white
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Superfine sugar
Parchment paper
Small, soft-bristle paintbrush
Clean tweezers

To dry the flowers, there are two methods.  You can hang them in a cool, dry place for 2-4 weeks, upside down and tied in a bundle.  Or, simply dry them in the microwave.  Arrange the flowers so they do not touch each other on a paper towel. Place the paper towel with the flowers in the microwave, and heat them on medium to high for one minute. If they are still not dry after this time, replace the used paper towel with a dry one and repeat the process. Once all the moisture has been taken out via the microwave, take them off the paper towel and leave them to cool off for at least ten minutes before proceeding.

To sugar the blossoms, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl– since the egg whites won’t be cooked, be sure to use fresh eggs from a trusted source. Gently hold a single flower with clean tweezers and brush all surfaces with the egg and lemon wash. Sprinkle with superfine sugar, then transfer to the baking sheet. Once all your flowers are sugared, let them sit at room temperature overnight.

Bon Appetit!

Hours of Inspiration

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Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
Email: info@shelmerdine.com