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Project Ideas from the Garden

Project Ideas from the Garden
Photo courtesy of Cool Springs Press

The new book from Tanya Anderson of Lovely Greens, A Woman's Garden: Grow Beautiful Plants and Make Useful Things (Cool Springs Press, 2021), is an introduction to planting gardens that will yield the ingredients to create items for your health, home and more.

Project Ideas from the Garden

Though Tanya offers her own ideas, she also introduces readers to female gardeners from around the world, who share their gardens, tips and project ideas. You’ll learn how to craft homemade skincare products; produce all-natural fabric dyes; mix up homemade cleaners and soaps; cook recipes that incorporate edible flowers, herbs and veggies; and build unique garden projects, such as an herb spiral and pallet wood strawberry planter.

Here’s a fun summer DIY project from the book—edible flower ice cubes.

Project Ideas from the Garden

FLORAL ICE CUBES

Flowers will float to the surface of the ice cubes if you don’t freeze them beforehand.

Simple, beautiful, and practical, edible flower ice cubes tick all the boxes. In essence, they are ordinary ice cubes with flowers frozen inside, which you can use to cool clear or light-colored drinks or to chill bottles of champagne. Imagine summer cocktails and parties—or, better yet, save them for winter drinks. There’s no better way to remember last year’s garden than with delicate flowers preserved as perfectly as they were on the day you picked them.

This is an easy recipe, but there are a couple of tricks to ensure the ice is crystal clear and the flowers are positioned where you want them. Also, make sure that the edible flowers you use are at their best and that their flavor is compatible with your drink. Cucumber-y borage blossoms and mild violas are ideal for lemonade or gin and tonic, but you might not feel the same about peppery nasturtiums, wild garlic, or mustard flowers.

INGREDIENTS
Distilled water (Though you can use filtered tap water or spring water, it’s better to use distilled water for the most transparent ice cubes.)
Edible flowers of your choice

EQUIPMENT
Ice cube tray (silicone is best)

1. Fill the ice cube cavities one-quarter of the way with water. Freeze.
2. Take the tray out of the freezer and place the flowers where you’d like. If you moisten the flowers, they will stick to the ice. Freeze again.
3. Fill the cavities to the top with water and freeze at least 12 hours or overnight.
4. Store your ice cubes in the freezer for up to a year. Some edible flowers will tint your drink as the ice cube melts. Amaranth colors it pink and hibiscus flowers infuse a deep red. You can even freeze butterfly pea flower tea with the flowers to wow your friends—it tints low-acidity drinks blue, but once you add a splash of citrus, it will change to purple or even neon pink.

Excerpted from A Woman’s Garden with permission of Cool Springs Press.

Find the book at a bookstore near you. For more information about Tanya, visit her website, or follow her on Instagram or YouTube.

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