Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings!  I realize it has been a while since I posted, but in my defense, I have a good reason.  A reason so exciting that it will take a couple of blog posts to catch you all up.  But as a teaser, I was hired a couple of weeks ago by the resort where we have a small home, to stage a one bedroom bungalow that is for sale.  This involved selecting all of the furniture, wall art, accessories, and about a dozen or more pillows.  My husband and I did the install this week, and I couldn’t have done it without him.  The before and after pictures are pretty dramatic and I can’t wait to share them with you later this week.  But first, today’s less exciting post:)

Today on Tumbleweed Tidings, I have the perfect gift for that gardener in your life. You know, the friend who can peruse seed catalogs for hours on end. The one who goes to the garden center weekly to see what’s new. The neighbor who always has pots and window boxes brimming with amazing displays, making their house the envy of the neighborhood. That one.

With spring finally here, it can mean only one thing. It’s time to get our hands dirty! The trees are blooming in southeastern Washington in a magnificent show of pinks and white. Because we have so many orchards, the display is fantastic. Spring also means it’s time to refresh our outdoor pots, flower beds and window boxes, bringing some much-needed color back to our yards and patios.

It is also time to start planting the vegetables and herbs that will be harvested this summer for fresh additions to our meals. Each year around this time I can’t wait to plant fresh basil, parsley and rosemary in my patio-side herb garden. The mint and rosemary usually live through the winter here (mint is actually a weed, I think!), but I love to refresh them all.

To celebrate this rite of passage for spring, I’ve put together a gardener’s gift basket for that special gardener in your life. It includes a recipe given to me by my aunt Harriet, herself an avid gardener, for gardener’s hand soap.  This soap works great for clean-up after those long afternoons spent planting and playing in the dirt, while leaving your hands soft and soothed.

As my oldest daughter Brooke pointed out, gardeners aren’t the only ones who get their hands dirty.  Her two youngest children are active boys, so she knows of what she speaks!  When we were at their home recently, we made batches of the gardener’s soap and added drops of various essential oils to the mix.  Then Brooke found some unscented dish soap that works nicely with the oils and isn’t overpowered by the Dawn soap smell.  So whether you use the recipe found at the end of this blog post as-is, or embellish it with essential oils, it is simply divine.  To prove how easy this 3-4 ingredient soap is, I have a picture of three of my grandchildren making it, and putting it into small IKEA spice jars.  If these little cuties can do it, you can too!

The best part of this gift is that all of the components came from the Dollar Tree. Shhh, that can be our little secret because it looks like so much more.  To make the gardener’s hand soap look even more gift worthy, I covered the jelly jar lid with some spring fabric and a ribbon.

First, I found these adorable galvanized metal tins. Did I mention they only cost a dollar?  I know.  After putting in some shredded filler, I added various gardening accoutrements such as gloves, seed packets, tools, and the gardener’s hand soap. Right now, our local Dollar Tree is full of springtime gardening accessories, so it is easy to customize depending on the person you are giving it to. You can, of course, also add other elements to the basket like tucking in some hand cream, a fancy garden themed dishtowel, or even a fresh blooming plant.

The possibilities are endless, and this gardening gift basket it would make a lovely gift for a spring birthday or Mother’s Day for that special gardener in your life. So, come on! It’s time to get your hands dirty. And after you do, you may want to make an extra jar of this hand soap… just for you.

Good Tidings,

Recipe for Gardener’s Hand Soap
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup liquid dish soap (I used Dawn)
Mix all ingredients (I used a hand mixer)
Put into glass or plastic jars with lids. This makes approximately 2 ½ cups.

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