kitchen

household, kitchen

How to grow herbs in the kitchen

Have you ever bought herbs, plonked them in a pot on the window sill, watered them lovingly, only to have them die shortly after they arrive home? I absolutely understand.

If you have experienced this, then like me, you are probably not looking after them correctly. However, I have found a new way to keep your kitchen herbs happy and thriving, and producing delicious leaves.

You will need a plant pot that can be watered from the bottom, essentially a pot that stands in a tray. Herbs seem to be much happier if you put water into the dish at the bottom of the pot and let them draw up the water that they need. It is also a good idea to have them near a window so they can blow in the breeze. A little light wind will help strengthen their stems and make a healthier plant. A small water spray next to the plants for the odd leaf spray will be a good idea too. You can even use one of your empty Gyre and Gymble glass sprays. Just remove the electrostatic label so you will know it is a water spray. I like to mark mine "H20" with a whiteboard marker. 

Since learning this technique, I have had a basil, mint and parsley growing well for a couple of months. They also give me lots of fresh leaves for cooking. 

I know this is not a cleaning tip as such, but I was so delighted to learn about this I wanted to share it with everyone. Good luck and happy healthy herb growing!

Cleaning parquet flooring

Parquet flooring is created from multiple small bits of timber that are placed in a pattern to create the floor covering. It can be absolutely stunning when looked after well. It is full of old world charm and warmth and it only takes a little care to keep it looking great.

In between having the floor professionally cleaned and polished (which should happen every 5 years or so dependant on room traffic) there are a few things you can do to keep it looking perfect. 

To protect it from large scratches, add soft caps to all furniture legs so they will not mark the floor when moved. This is particularly important for chairs that can be slid back and forth, which may pick up dust and will then damage the floor. 

Recipe

  • Warm water 
  • Warm black tea 
  • Bucket 
  • Mop 
  • Brush 
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Essential oils, your choice or lavender and eucalyptus 

Use a soft brush or vacuum everyday to stop dust and general home flotsam and jetsam from building up and scratching or staining the floor. If in a kitchen, a regular mop will also work in your favour. 

Fill half the bucket with warm water and pour in a full pot of inexpensive black tea. This mix will only be suitable for solid wood floors. If laminated, you can fill the bucket with hot water, 1/4 cup of Castile soap and your favourite essential oil. If you are not sure, try eucalyptus and lavender. You can also add these oils to the tea bucket. 

Dip your mop in, but ensure that you squeeze as much water out as possible. You really want a warm, but only just damp mop to wipe the floor clean. If there is any water left on the floor dry this up with a clean (old) towel. 

If you follow this procedure, your floor will be happy, healthy, and ready for your family and furry friends to play on at any time.

Note: Your enemy when cleaning a timber floor will be too much liquid, so always keep your mop just damp, and dry the floor once cleaned and be sure to keep the area well ventilated.  

What is lemon essential oil and why use it to clean?

Lemon trees originated in Asia however they are now grown throughout the world from massive commercial orchards to small potted tress on terraces and in green houses.

The lemon is a small evergreen with slightly oval leaves and the flowers have a fragrant aroma. The fruit starts off green and as it ripens, slowly turns to a bright yellow. There are over 40 different types of lemon cultivated worldwide. All are very high in vitamins A, B, and C. Lemon have been used in traditional and folk remedies for many ailments over the years.

Lemon oil is extracted by a cold extraction process, and when fresh has a plain green colour that will gradually turn brown with age. It is best kept in a dark coloured bottled to preserve the oil for as long as possible. 

Lemon oil will blend well with the following oils:

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Juniper
  • Other citrus oils

Uses for lemon around the home are varied, however it is a must-have for your cleaning collection. Lemon not only smells wonderfully fresh, but has a remarkable ability to cut though grease and dirt. When added to your Gyre and Gymble mix, it will definitely boost its cleaning ability. 

Recipes

  • Room spray - water and 10 drops of lemon oil
  • Dish soap - 50/50 water and Castile soap plus lemon oil and add some fresh lemon peal as a great boost.
  • Drier sheets - One slightly damp face cloth add 5 drops of lemon oil and add to your clothes drier. 
  • Room diffuser - Fill a glass bottle with sweet almond oil and add lemon oil. To boost add other citrus oils like grapefruit and lime. 
  • Floor wash - Hot water in a bucket bit of Castile soap and add 5 drops of lemon oil. 

If you like the sent of lemons and the freshness they bring to a room, then you can add a few drops to all your Gyre and Gymble cleaning products. And remember, lemon scents go particularly well in bathrooms and kitchens.