Well what a busy time I have been having here at the country garden. We had an amazing Christmas season for all the right reasons! Sarah and I got busy early making wreaths from holly, silver pine, cones and plenty of berries from the garden. We have some very productive hollies in the garden in gold, silver and some covered in berries. I am always reluctant to deprive the birds by taking too many berries but this year the holly berries were so abundant that I was able to be generous in all the wreaths and swags that we made. As well as the front door decorations we made plenty of wreaths for indoors - some for advent candles and table decorations but I was very surprised by the number of cemetary sprays that I was asked to make.
Our other big project this winter has been to re-introduce our range of soaps. I have been making cold process soaps for many years developed from recipes written in my grandmothers notebooks. I use a lot of herbs and flowers from the garden and decided to trial these soaps at several Christmas fairs and what a success they were! I learned that pretty pale colours are the most popular - a buttery yellow honey soap and gently fragranced lavender soap were probably the biggest sellers. We also bagged up our lavender in a new range of sachets, dried oranges and cinnamon sticks for home decoration and made pretty hanging decorations from cones and berries.
As soon as Christmas was over it was back to completing the new range of garden inspired foods - fruit vinegars, finishing salts, flavoured sugars, herbal teas, syrups and cordials. We will use the same principles as we do for our cut flowers - seasonal products, low carbon and the minimum ingredients - no preservatives for us!
I will be putting all the new products onto the site over the next few days - a job I am not looking forward to - maybe some urgent weeding will take priority!