plan a Summer Solstice party
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas for celebrating the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily.
No party is complete without cake, and this delicious Sunshine Cake has been the crowning glory of every Summer Solstice party I’ve ever thrown. Sharon Kebschull Barrett, one of my favorite herbal chefs, developed this recipe for her 1999 book Desserts from an Herb Garden (one of my bibles). Lemony, with a surprising hint of rosemary, this cake just tastes like summer—and the bright yellow color celebrates the sun.
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive 'punch' that packs a punch.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
I just got this great email from a good friend of Natural Home & Garden, Debbie Hindman.
Use these five excellent resources for help planning a productive, healthy, money-saving vegetable garden this spring.
Consider these garden planning tips for beginners before jumping in to gardening.
Herbal wedding party favors are great for weddings or any parties you’re hosting.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz shares her tips for having a green Fourth of July with healthy food and a fun, waste-free atmosphere.
Make a yule log—out of wood or chocolate—and welcome the sun’s return.
Cast your vote for which culinary garden you'd be most interested in learning how to grow.
It's not too late to start or expand your garden this summer! Plant sun-loving herbs, vegetables and flowers for a strong harvest and bright blooms.
Mark Bittman offers solutions for leading a healthier life, starting with what we eat.
The stirrings of spring may make you want to buy every plant or seed in sight, but a little planning can help you create a garden you'll truly enjoy.
If you're planning to plant a garden this spring, now is the perfect time to start choosing plants, ordering seeds and making plans.
Label your plants with this easy project. Using chalkboard paint you’ll never mix up which herbs are which.
Honeybees are the best of friends for blooming fruit trees flowers, and herbs, such as apricot, cherry, members of the daisy family, lavender, oregano and sage. We’ve known that bees
Hortech, Inc. announceds the introduction of its LiveWall planted wall system that transforms ordinary walls into vertical green landscapes.
Send plantable greeting cards to your loved ones. It's something they will enjoy well into gardening season.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
The four-lined plant bug is a regional pest that plagues plants belonging to the mint family and other of your herbal favorites.
Take the guesswork out of planting with the new ZIP-code tailored When to Plant app from Mother Earth News magazine.
Learn how to make this cool summer drink, which puts an untraditional twist on iced tea.
Beat the heat and try this summer-friendly Lemon Verbena Jelly recipe.
Fresh basil, cilantro and parsley give this cold, tangy tomato soup fresh summertime flavor. You can make enough soup to feed a crowd in minutes. Enjoy!
Protect plants, trees and shrubs during the winter season with these tips from the Professional Landcare Network.
In this third part of our guest blogger's purslane plant profile, she shares three delicious purslane-infused recipes, including a purslane pesto, a wild-greens salad and a summer soup.
It’s never too early to start thinking about planting your garden for the spring. I know I am already thinking about spring and warm weather. Spring officially starts Sunday, March 20th and it’s important to know when it is the right time to purchase your flowers and begin the planting process.
Guest blogger Jennifer Flaten discovers some easy plant identification tools to help her identify unknown plants in her Wisconsin garden.
Try these tips to green a birthday celebration.
Watch out for these three common technique mistakes in your garden this spring.
The plants in the Voynich Manuscript has puzzled researchers and historians for years.
Learn more about the peanut butter fruit that could be a part of your fruit garden.
My Mobilegro invention is much more than the next new innovative home gardening product to hit the market.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace gets help from a kindergartner in reviewing a new green children's book from Scholastic.
Organic gardening connects us with the earth and produces good-for-you food.
Host a holiday party without worrying about litter box odor — or harsh chemicals — with Swheat Scoop.
The world's largest garden yields an abundance of fruits and vegetables, some easily recognized, others, a new experience! A mystery herb appeared in our box of organic vegetables this week. What in the world is stevia?
This cooling French tarragon-infused drink can help you quickly beat the summer heat.
Reap the benefits of parsley with this Parsley potato salad, a delicious addition to any summer meal.
Looking for refreshing drinks to serve to your little one? Use herbs to make drinks the whole family will enjoy!
Get your friends together for a good time for little to no cost with these four swap party ideas.
Natural Home editorial intern Dani Hurst shows you how to throw a grand green graduation party.
Don’t toss out those old incandescent bulbs! Squeeze a little more life out of an old light bulb by turning it into a mini terrarium or tiny vase.
Learn about the new Garden Planner we used to design our own office community garden.
Planting herbs in pots is a great way to jump into gardening, and you'll be able to use your harvest every day.
Not often in this life do we get to experience perfection—and to know at the time that we are. Recently, I had an absolutely, unabashedly, undeniably perfect evening, complete with family, friends, fabulous food, good wine and an impeccable setting.
This honey-lavender ice cream recipe is a delicious cure to hot summer afternoons.
Plants originally considered harmful to the environment may actually restore the Earth's ecosystems and possess powerful healing properties. Learn more.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Monroe County is hosting the Master Gardener Plant Sale in May. Find out why you won't want to miss it.
This smooth dessert recipe is brightly sweet and refreshing, a perfect break from the heat of the day. Try it with fresh mint or lavender and a hint of cinnamon.
Plantiva’s botanical-based immune supplement ImmuneDx combines the power of ginseng, Stephania and other herbs to protect the immune system.
Recycle old kegs into beautiful, functional garden planters—guest blogger KyLynn Hull shows you how!
Bake a delicious chocolate cake next time you throw a party. The secret ingredient? Beets!
Matt ponders when the line of respect is crossed when critiquing friends' non-green habits.
Find itching relief in nature. Narrow-leaved plantain is a common garden weed and also, ironically, a gardener’s best friend.
Spring is the perfect time to wild craft gently soothing vulnerary herbs, such as plantain and violet leaf, to make healing oils and salves. Learn more about these wonderful springtime botanicals with useful recipes for infused oils and medicinal salves.
Treat your skin with plants from your backyard!
With its new clothing tags, Levi’s encourages consumers to donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill.
If you're starting seeds indoors, consider making your own biodegradable seed-starting pots out of newspaper, cardboard or eggshells.
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries—living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants—across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
Inspired by an upcoming article on winter garden design, Jessica shares a project that turns autumn and winter plants into an elegant holiday centerpiece.
The Lemon Verbena Lady is not a video game player, but she says designing your garden just got a lot more enjoyable with the Herb Garden Planner.
If you're looking for an indoor garden that keeps animals away and requires little space, the Woolly Pocket is right for you!
Instead of makeshift sheet and blanket plant covers that can harm plants,experts suggest some easy new alternatives to protect plants from frost.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Turn a boring wall into a vertical garden with The Woolly Wally Pocket. Made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, this hanging planter is the answer for anyone looking for a unique and eco-friendly planter for container gardening.
A new study may have found out why it's impossible to just eat one potato chip.
Practice food safety with summer grilling tips.
Try these small tips to cut out unhealthy foods without missing on the fun.
Start living simple with help from our January/February 2014 issue. From learning to crochet to making your own compost, we have the tools you need to live the good life.
Plan your next neighborhood potluck with these helpful tips.
Adding houseplants to your home’s décor is an easy, affordable way to enliven your home.
Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowers—they're safe around house pets, they come in a multitude of colors and shapes and ... they're edible?! Read more.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
There is a beauty in discovering the lost art of keying wild plants. Learn more about this practice.
Amy Mayfield introduces herself to the Herb Companion public.
Scientists in Russia have brought a narrow-leafed white campion to life from 30,000-year-old tissue.
Herbs will reseed all over the garden as volunteer plants if you let them.
Marci O'Brien writes about sharing her love of gardening with her daughter.
Check out these weekly tips for growing healthy, beautiful plants indoors.
Although the weather is still chilly, early spring planting has already begun in Texas.
Guest blogger and novice gardener Shelley Moore plants her vegetable seedlings.
Make faerie dust with the wee folks in your family to get them interested in herbs at a young age.
Soul singer John Legend has teamed up with environmental group Reverb to make his summer tour eco-friendly.
Get outside and enjoy nature this season with our ideas for fun summer activities.
Chlorine has been linked to skin and eye irritation, and now asthma. Take these steps to help prevent chlorine’s negative effects on the body.
Upcycling and recycling company Terracycle introduces three new garden accessories made from recycled materials.
Learn how to press flowers and construct a plant press to preserve your favorite herbs for study, display, or crafts.
Although not a serious problem, if left untreated, bacterial or viral pink eye can cause serious damage. Speed up recovery with these natural home remedies for pink eye!
Although most of us would love a lush landscape or garden, in reality, few of us have the time, space or other resources available to maintain one. Whether you’re short on space or short on time, these small space garden
If you’re looking for a unique container gardening experience, look no further than growbottles from Potting Shed Creations. These self-watering planters are made in the USA from reclaimed restaurant wine bottles, and they’re as sustainable as they are stylish.
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson creates a planter table to hold her everyday items and incorporates plants into the design.
The Lemon Verbena Lady gets you organized for fall clean up and ready for spring planting. There are lots of herbal seed and plant catalog choices as well.
Air plants are perfect low-maintenance option for the home or garden. Learn how to care for air plants with these growing, watering and lighting tips.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
Container water gardens are easy to design and maintain, making them a perfect low-cost accessory to your outdoor living spaces. Learn how to make a container water garden!
Save water, time and money on your landscape with beautiful drought-tolerant ornamental grasses.
TV personality and author Chris Kilham, founder of Medicine Hunter, says schisandra, cacao and San Pedro cactus could replace many common pharmaceuticals--without the onerous side effects.
Little gnatty flies smothering your prized houseplants? Learn what they are and how to eradicate them, once and for all.
There is nothing better for building community than gathering your friends and neighbors for a soup party. Here are five ideas to help you plan yours.
Happy New Year! This year I’m happily going to my friends’ house to ring it in. If you’re hosting the New Year’s Eve party this year, start 2010 out right by keeping it green.
Keep your home healthy and aromatic for the holidays!
Create a yummy summertime lip balm with your kids.
Choice Organic Tea has three new flavors that will wow your taste buds and help you beat the summertime heat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail.
Uncover even more information about the vitamin-rich weed purslane, including useful recommendations from renowned herbalists all over the world.
Native Kansas plants are being researched in this project, launched by environmental studies faculty members at the University of Kansas to promote traditional ecological knowledge.
I recently stumbled upon this great gardening tip. This project is an environmentally fun way to plant herbs.
This inconspicuous-seeming herb is well traveled and renounded for its medicinal properties throughout the majority of the world. Learn how it grows and what famed herbalists have said about it.
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
One reader asked us to help her diagnose some brown spots she noticed on her basil plant's leaves.
The wild tomatillo plant may provide the compounds needed to win the fight against cancer.
Here we go back in time to see beliefs and folk uses surrounding Stinging Nettle, how it is most commonly utilized by herb lovers today, along with flower essence information, my own personal favorite uses for this stinging European native, and references for further information.
A recipe for Charred Tomato Salsa–you can dip more than just chips in this flavorful summer dip.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley plans a green Fourth of July celebration.
Spice up classic picnic recipes with herbs from your own garden.
No need to go it alone. Local herb societies are like old friends, and recipes and techniques abound.
Heat illnesses are serious business, but they are also easily preventable. Read on to learn more.
Guest blogger, Kathy, loves summer because she gets to enjoy canning pickles, which is one of her favorite pastimes.
Air pollution abounds in our homes and businesses, but many air purification systems are not safe to use. Try cleaning your indoor air with plants.
Try these healthy, delicious party foods to serve at this year's Super Bowl festivities.
Infusing spirits with your favorite herbs and spices is a fun and easy way to stock your bar for holiday entertaining. They also make the loveliest gift for a cocktail enthusiast!
Green New Year's Eve Party
The weather outside may be frightful, but it’s a delightful time to curl up with a stack of gardening books and begin planning next season’s harvest.
Companion planting can help your favorite plants achieve their full potential.
Inclement weather can really keep you out of your garden. Here are some of the challenges Mother Nature presents us and a couple of tricks you can use to keep her at bay.
Could a poisonous plant used by ancient colonizers to hurt be used by modern dermatologists to help?
There's more to your zodiac sign than you may think. Embrace your sign with these zodiac-related herbs.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
We think that we know our herbs, and exactly what they do. However, there are also those herbs with a mysterious past. Here are five of the weirdest herbs we’ve found that might be hiding in a garden near you.
Today is not a day for selling books. It's a day for prayer and solidarity with the Japanese people.
Got tons of extra basil growing in your garden this summer? Try these three excellent ways to use the bounty.
Summer is heating up! Discover how you can cut costs, lower your energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint all while beating the hot summer sun.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren shares some natural treatments you can use to care for your sunburn this summer.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews the newest natural shampoo from luxurious beauty company Caudalie.
Use these beauty recipes to prevent the summer weather from getting to your skin and hair.
Try this wonderfully herby and spicy recipe for pickling all of your garden favorites!
For a healthy alternative, try these low-fat and herb-filled summer sausage recipes.
The Hawaiian summer sun is relentless and can leave you with achy sunburns. Fortunately aloe vera naturally soothes burns and leaves your skin feeling soft.
Fire up the grill with these four delicious herbs. Also see some great grilling recipes.
Guest blogger Cynthia Meredith has recently invested in a wide varieties of specialty basils, which include Holy basil, Mtule basil and much more. Check out her basil tips.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren shares a variety of organic beers and tips on how to green your beer drinking.
Keep your home cool without air conditioning! Try these five ways to lower your home’s temperature—and utiliy bills—naturally.
This recipe is great for summer picnics because it doesn't use mayonnaise.
Step into summer early with these three delicious summer recipes.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
Delve into the research behind another unusual herb from across the globe. Szechuan buttons are electric-packed flower buds that have numbing properties, giving them the aptly named moniker, the "toothache plant".
Did you know that plants have personalities? Discover the personality of the vervain plant and how it can help you.
A plastic knife will open those weighty bags of potting soil or top soil faster than most pricey garden gadgets.
Learn how one blogger discovers the benefits of a peeving plant from her childhood.
The Chinese lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi), also known as the winter cherry, enjoys a library of culinary and medicinal benefits. Here are the answers to some of the questions you have asked about growing this incredible species.
The chinese lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi) is mostly grown for decorative purposes, but it also has a history of medicinal treatments.
The borage plant (Borago officinalis) is a tall herb with hairy foliage, blue starshaped flowers and many useful properties. Whether you use it for healthy, tasty greens, a medicinal herb or a companion plant for your strawberries and tomatoes, you’ll be happy you planted borage.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Jessica found some great finds at an antique mall and estate auction.
Looking for a safe but effective way to deter deer from using your garden as their personal buffet? Sprinkle this plant tonic on their favorite garden munchies.
The poisonous plant called giant hogweed is popping up all over the United States. Find out what this means for your safety.
World Centric has unveiled a line of compostable toothbrushes and travel cases that are made from a plant-based resin called Ingeo.
Contributer Susan Belsinger shares her experience with severe eye irritation and a low-cost home herbal cure.
These three plants are extremely creepy. Read more about the bizarre devil's claw, doll's eye and Buddha's hand.
Guest blogger Eileen Troemel sets out to find easy-to-grow indoor plants that she can successfully keep alive with a black thumb.
An extract from the kudzu plant may help drinkers learn to indulge in moderation.
The burdock plant has long been that pesky plant that attaches velcro-like pickers to your clothing, but it also has an abundance of health benefits.
One herb lover gets a chance to write her very own blog for her favorite herb magazine, The Herb Companion.
Uncover what colorful, fragrant flowers make up the London 2012 victory bouquets during this summer's Olympic Games.
Guest blogger Gail Hermenau, garden manager for Planting Hope in Delaware, shares her stuffed squash blossoms recipe.
Guest blogger Lynn Schriner of Trolley Farms shares three light summer recipes for blender ice cream, a summer salad and gazpacho.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Try tasty herbal beverages recipes for strawberry-basil sparkling beverages and a thyme lemonade to make the most of your summer herb garden.
This pesto goes beyond traditional basil by adding several summer herbs lending complexity and delight to the summer palette.
Aloe vera isn’t the only herbal remedy for burn relief. Many herbs can help protect skin and soothe it after a burn. Here are our four favorites.
Try this blue condiment when topping your favorite hamburgers and french fries.
Prevent and relieve poison ivy, poison oak, bug bites and bee stings with these herbs.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren shares several lines of eco-friendly bathing suits that won’t break your bank.
Use herbs and essential oils for itchy bug bites.
Because The Herbal Husband is originally from Peru, we like to have tropical plants in our garden. The nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is one of our favorites. Try my three favorite nasturtium recipes.
This simple, chilled Spanish soup featuring fresh summer herbs--basil, cilantro and parsley--in a cool, tangy tomato base is sure to be a hit at your Fourth of July picnic.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren shares tips for greening your summer charcoal barbecue parties.
Guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews organic cotton and bamboo luxury blanket company Yumi & Laurie. Find out more details on Yumi & Laurie’s current 50 percent off sale!
Gazpacho is a perfect summertime treat. Cold and refreshing, this blackberry gazpacho recipe is a fruity variation of the traditional Spanish soup that makes for a stunning appetizer or side dish.
Riding the body of toxins is the key to maintaing a healthy complexion. These herbs work from the inside to rid your skin of pimples, wrinkles and rashes.
Celebrate the end of National Berry Month with this recipe for cod with bluberry-mango salsa. Sweet and spicy, this recipe is sure to become a summertime favorite!
Iced tea pops make fun treats for hot summer days, only they are healthy for the whole family, totally customizable, and packed with herbal goodness you won’t find in store freezers.
Summertime in Texas means heat, humidity, and a thriving herb garden. The time is right to harvest basil and parsley.
The Lemon Verbena Lady shares more about her experience at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a popular flower show in the United Kingdom. Here she discusses which of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens were her favorites.
Lemon Verbena Lady finally makes a holiday-inspired craft—dried herb wreaths—from one of her favorite Christmas books. It repurposes your old potpourri into charming mini wreaths for gift giving or decorating. Part two will show you how to make a mini spice wreath.
Lemon Verbena Lady finishes her other holiday-inspired craft, mini spice wreaths. This DIY project is a perfect way to use up those extra holiday spices you may have in your pantry. This project is quick, easy and will fill your house with the aroma of holiday classics.
One of my favorite spring herbs chives comes in several different varieties. The uses for making herbal vinegar and cooking with chives are explored in this post and lots of resources for mail ordering unusual herbs such as curly chives are given.
The Sacred Seeds Sanctuary in Costa Rica, provides an opportunity to help endangered plants adapt to and thrive in changing climate conditions.
Two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, our indoor air quality is worsening. Embrace these five healthful practices for cleaner air.
Lemon Verbena Lady is anxious to get planting new herbs in her herb garden. She explores the wonderful world of herb plant catalogs both in print and online in three installments because there is just so much herbal information to pass along!
Once you have this herb in your garden, you will never be without cutting leaf celery. It's a perfect container plant to grow close by the kitchen door.
These three easy and delicious herbal popsicle recipes will help you make good use of an overflowing summer herb garden.
Protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks and other insects with natural insect repellents.
Beat the heat with these mint-infused beverages.
As summer dwindles down to a close, you may be left standing in your garden or kitchen thinking "Now what?" Preserve herbs with our expert tips: dry, freeze, pickle and pack them to continue enjoying your favorite herbs well into the winter.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz finds eco-friendly, stylish sandals for the summer season.
The recent trend towards e-readers may cut back on environmental impact, but they also take away the tangible qualities of reading a book.
All too soon the winter months will be here, which is more reason to explore ways to preserve this vibrant and medicinal food to have on hand all year long.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to use more green products, check out Twist’s line of amazing sponges. Not only are they biodegradable, but they’re also free of dyes and made from all-natural, plant-based materials.
Peruse our articles about healthy living from the July/August 2013 issue. In this issue we teach you how to enjoy your bountiful garden harvest all year; give you product recommendations to create a healthier, simpler, more self-sufficient home; show you simple solutions for quick breakfasts; discuss the basics of simple and affordable DIY body-care products; and much more!
Moisturize and soothe your sunburned skin with Badger’s Bali Balm. This USDA-certified organic balm contains shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba oil to moisturize your sun-parched skin and lavender and blue tansy to soothe and heal any sunburns.
Beyond Coastal Mineral Sunscreen is loaded with vitamins, minerals and moisturizers.
As the paper garden catalog is slowly sinking in the west, the Lemon Verbena Lady is searching out herb seed catalogs and websites offering the best seed catalogs and herb seeds of every kind. This is the first installment of several catalog and website postings.