Aromatherapy: A Blend To Take On Holiday


I love a posh aromatherapy blend like Aromatherapy Associates, but my budget doesn’t often stretch.  However, if I have treated myself, then I hang onto the bottle as you see here and use it to make a blend to take on holiday.  This bottle takes 55 mils which is perfect for taking in your hand luggage.  I’m off on a cruise soon so it’s time to get creative!

I’ve made a blend which is deeply relaxing and the first thing I’ll do when I get to my cabin on Celebrity is step in the shower and zing the place up by putting a glug of oil on a flannel and taking it in with me.  It will make the whole cabin smell wonderful.

I’ll use it mostly as a body oil and make sure I give my feet some TLC with it at the end of the day as I plan to do a lot of walking.

The blend I’ve chosen is frankincense, lavender and bergamot and the carrier is sweet almond.  I’ve chosen the essential oils not just for the scent, but for their therapeutic properties as follows:

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) this works on an emotional as well as physical level which can help you move on when things have been tough. Just what I need right now. Its action is to relax you and slow down your mind. Physically it also helps to relieve coughs and sore throats and if you’ve ever been on a cruise you will know that the aircon can make your sinuses a bit dry after a few days, so using this in the shower and inhaling the vapour will help counteract any scratchiness.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is hypotensive, so lowers blood pressure to aid relaxation.  It’s also an insect repellent – very handy for a holiday in the Med. million eyez

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is an uplifting oil which has a comforting action.  It’s important not to use this essential oil on your skin when out in sunlight as it can cause sensitivity, but as I’ll be using it in the evening, this isn’t a problem.

If you would like to make this yourself, you need 50 mils of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed.  For a 50 mil bottle I use a 3% dilution which means 30 drops of essential oil. Up to you how you vary the blend, but I have used ten drops of each.  Don’t be tempted to add more as this is plenty strong enough.  Add the drops to the container with your carrier oil and give it a good shake – then you’re done.

PS I qualified as a clinical aromatherapist in 2005 and this little book that you see is my bible which I took notes in during the course and I’ve referred to ever since.












How To Make A Lavender Scrub

This DIY scrub is perfect for gardeners and walkers alike.  It is easy and cheap to make and acts as an exfoliant and softener for hands and feet.



One cup of oats

Ten drops of lavender essential oil

One tablespoon of melted coconut oil

A few sprigs of lavender



Strip the lavender from the stalks then combine all the ingredients.  Slather on your feet but beware: it makes a mess! The added bonus is that your kitchen will smell fantastic and you can leave any remaining potion on the worktop for a few days to enjoy the scent.


Snowshill Lavender

It’s that time of year again when I make my annual pilgrimage to a lavender farm – you just can’t keep me away!


Although the weather was rainy and cool this year at Snowshill we still had an enjoyable walk through the lavender fields.  They have so many varieties here, it’s like a sweetie shop.

Interestingly they plant wildflowers in the adjacent meadow to attract bees.


The views across the fields are amazing and the scent of lavender assaults your senses (in a good way!).


As you can see, the lavender harvesting had already started as the plants in the foreground have had a good shearing.  The distillery onsite was busy making essential oil.

As usual, I bought a lavender souvenir: some essential oil, soap and a recipe card for lavender shortbread which I intend to make this weekend.

If you get chance to go to a lavender farm, please go, you won’t be disappointed.

RHS Tatton 2015

Some garden inspiration from today’s visit to Tatton.


I was quite taken with this water feature – not too fussy.


Loved the dense planting in this one.

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Quite a few blue sheds – this looks good against the crocosmia Lucifer and white agapanthus.


This is a bit like my shed, so I bought some of these white agapanthus to set it off – I will have to find some old crates to stencil and pile up outside.

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This fuchsia looks so good spilling out of an old metal bin – definitely an idea I could use.


There were lots of grasses this year – I love the way the drumstick alliums are planted through here.

I’ve come away with lots of ideas, some fig compote and a few plants, including some lavenders, an echinacea, some agapanthus and an osteospermum – so guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow.   I was very tempted to buy a fig tree but thought better of it!

Anyone else been? What did you think?

The Garden In July

Everything’s looking very pretty this month, if a bit scruffy round the edges.   Lots of clematis and roses in bloom and I think the garden is at its most ‘cottage’ like at this time of year.

DSCF1990This climbing rose is doing well this time.


At the bottom of the garden, this hypericum is adding a splash of yellow.  Spot the weed growing through it – must deal with that!


The veggie pots have done reasonably well, but as we left the country at the hottest time of the year, leaving the pots almost unattended, apart from the odd visit form a friendly neighbour, the courgettes sadly perished.

DSCF1996Finally, this delicately scented lavender next to the front drive has been attracting bees for weeks now.


Cotswold Lavender and a Short Stay in Broadway

Last summer, I picked something from my wish list as a birthday treat.  I’ve always wanted to go to one of the English lavender farms and lie down amongst the rows of plants just taking in the aroma, so that’s exactly what I did!

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Cotswold Lavender is located in Snowshill, not far from Broadway. The entrance fee is only £2.50 per adult (£1.50 for a child) so it’s really good value.  You can wander through row after row of different lavender varieties and marvel at the colour and scent.  We also visited the distillery to see how the essential oil is extracted from the lavender plants ready for bottling, sale and distribution.

There’s a lovely little tea shop where you can enjoy scones with jam and cream while you decide which product to take home with you from the gift shop.  I’m an aromatherapist, so always pick up essential oils on my travels and this time was no exception!

We stayed overnight at The Crown & Trumpet, a traditional country pub in Broadway.  The food is good, the bed was comfy and it is reasonably priced.  As it was such a beautiful weekend, we sat outside the pub for a good part of the evening watching the world go by.



Broadway is a good place to base yourself for a visit to the Cotswolds and we go there quite often for a mooch around the different villages. Broadway itself has the lovely Lygon Arms (out of my price range, but lovely nonetheless) as well as several other cute looking places to stay.  There are plenty of shops for browsing, mostly touristy, but that’s OK with me.  Watch out for the stunning wisteria plants climbing up some of the buildings.

If you fancy a walk, you can hike from the village up to the Broadway tower and take in the magnificent views.  Make sure you have the right shoes as there are a few cowpats to negotiate!

No doubt we’ll be back this summer!