Several years ago, I spent a week at Rancho La Puerta in Baja California soaking in the sunshine. There I met a naturalist, Anita Boen, who offered these suggestions for bringing nature into your home.
1. Grow herbs in your kitchen window sill. Small, three-inch pots of popular herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives and marjoram grow easily within reach in your kitchen. Plus, they add a flavorful zing to your dishes.
2. Strategically place peppermint around the house. A small pot of peppermint freshens the air and provides a quick lift to an afternoon pot of tea.
3. Read up on the news from your local Master Gardner’s Association. (find them on Google). Essentially a volunteer group, this group will help you determined what grows best in your locale and what to expect for the upcoming season.
4. Open the windows on a breezy day and air out the curtains. During summer’s hot months, homes keep the cool air in and the hot air out. Late at night or in the early mornings, open the window and smell the fresh air.
5. Schedule a trip to the farmer’s market. Establish a relationship with a local grower for the freshest produce and great place to swap ideas for cooking.
6. Try a new variety of fruit or vegetable. Again, local growers can help identify a different variety and offer suggestions for cooking. Take note of the ones you want to add to your regular diet.
7. Infuse your home with good lavender. Lavender is one of a few essential oils safe enough to use directly on your skin. To make a home spritzer for your linens and pillows – add 20 drops of essential lavender oil and 1 teaspoon alcohol (rubbing is fine) to 8 oz. of purified water, shake the bottle and spray. The fragrance is know to promote wellness and calm.
8. Soak your feet in a peppermint foot bath. Take a handful of peppermint growing in your den and steep with 4 cups of hot water. Cool to tepid. Immerse tired feet and relax.
9. Plant a pot of basil on the patio. This summertime tradition cannot be beat. Ripe tomatoes and snippets of basil topped with olive oil and pinouts makes an irresistible summer salad. Slices of mozzarella cheese are a bonus.
10. Keep it simple. In all things, in all ways.