Lilacs were glorious this year

Our Lilacs were simply beautiful this year.  Different colors, different size trees and bushes, but all stunning.  Especially under our Sequim “Blue Whole” sky this spring.  And to get to walk around all of the raised beds and green house having Lilacs surrounding the east and west sides….

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The nicest thing about Lilacs is that they are not only lovely to look at but they are fantastically fragrant.  And to be working in the garden and veggies WHILE being surrounded in the sweetness, it just doesn’t get any better.

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The fun part has been seeing that our new chickens are enjoying the Lilacs too.  Between the Lilacs and the cows in the field, there’s a lot to explore if you’re a chicken at the Dungeness Barn House B&B.  Or a guest!

Skin and Hair Care products custom-made for Dungeness Barn House B&B

When we were creating our Skin and Hair Care products we wanted fragrances that represented what we use at the B&B on a daily basis.  There are three we use most and most often.

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Mint              Rosemary              Lemon Verbena

We grow them, we dry them, we cook with them, we use them to infuse drinking water and infuse bed sheets.  We use subtle fragrances in a huge variety of ways.   We like the different combinations of these three herbs and we also like all three of them together.

Besides the herbs in our Skin and Hair Care products we use Neroli.  Neroli is a fragrance that is made up of patchouli, rosemary and other herbs.  It adds a very subtle floral fragrance that enhances the herbal elements.

IMG_1461One aspect we love is that our local Skin and Hair Care product maker uses no preservatives and no wax; all organic.

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We began to also sell the Skin and Hair Care products that we use at our B&B as “TAKE AWAYS” so that you, our guests, can enjoy them not only while you stay wIMG_1684ith us, but also back at home, on the rest of your vacation, or to give as gifts to others.  Sharing is so much better than just trying to describe a great fragrance or sensation, isn’t it.

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We offer two different sizes of bath salts.

 

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And to top it all off, a smooth lotion

that is devine…. Enjoy!

 

 

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So just as an example, here are a few of the benefits of just one herb we use; mint. 

Skin is benefited by mint as an antiseptic, a soother, and as an anti-itch remedy for things like bug bites and irritations.  The cooling sensation of mint helps reduce irritations and therefore our desire to “scratch the itch”.  Mint’s anti-inflammitory  properties can bring down swelling.  BUT don’t ever use mint around the eyes and if you use mint in the form of pure essential oil it is best to dilute this with another mild form of oil like almond oil.

Mint has benefits for digestion and is also a palate cleanser. Mint soothes the stomach (mint tea), the aroma activates the salivary glands in our mouth and helps our digestive enzymes get busy.  So you can see why mint is a great herb to infuse in drinking water.

Mint also helps with fatigue and headache relief because it’s a natural stimulant and can help when feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, exhausted,…  Simply smelling mint can help charge your tired battery and boost brain function back to your normal level.   No, mint won’t make you a genius.  Sorry.   Maybe that’s why there are so many chewing gums in mint flavors?  Get us perked back up and running again.

Mint can also inhibit the release of histamines that can cause allergies, as well as clear some congestions (nose, throat, lungs, etc).

 

You can look forward to other fragrances in the near future and more information on the benefits of the complementary herbs we use in our lovely products!

Spotlight on some of our B&B’s art

 

 

When you visit Dungenss Barn House B&B there is so much to see and do in the area, but ….  There is a lot to see right at the B&B.  Clare and Su have so many interesting antique and repurposed pieces of furniture.  But what is a favorite with so many are the little treasures of art scattered around the Barn House.  Some have interesting stories, some are just too darling to NOT have, and still others probably have a story but it’s too long for this blog.  You can always ask us about what you see when you are staying with us.

Here’s a sampling.  Beginning with a new arrival to honor our most recent adventure of raising chickens / eggs.  This is our chicken mascot. 

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A lovely 3-demential art piece named Sea Goddess is located upstairs in the Great Room near the fireplace.  Clare is the artist and it is one of those pieces of art that you really must see up close to appreciate all of the detail involved.

One of the wonderful things about this B&B for many guests is the waterfront location. IMG_0889The sea is a calming, soothing place.  You can hear it rolling in and out; you can visit it via our beach access.  So it’s appropriate that there be several forms of art honoring the sea.  One is ceramic and sits upon the fireplace mantel in the Dungeness Suite.

Another form of art is the written word and on the very same mantel as the ceramic above you will find one of our favorite story books, “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

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And because it’s always good to be looking toward to ‘what’s next’, we had to hang this vintage, re-purposed “cow jumping over the moon” (altho it’s moon has long since been missing) that was a gift from a friend.  She knows that one, or both of us, has a dream of someday adding a miniature cow to our Two Crows Farm family.  The detail in this cow painting is amazing.  She is looking at you as you enter the kitchen where the amazing breakfasts are created.  She knows she’s headed in the right direction!

Lavender in your garden

Not all Lavender is created equal.  Meaning that not all Lavender can be used in foods and beverages.  For our B&B-shared recipes please be sure to use Culinary Lavender. There are a few different Lavenders that will work but my most successful foods and beverages have come from using Royal Velvet or Hidcote Blue.  I like Culinary Lavender so much that I always have at least one plant in my yard, from which I can harvest fresh buds for in-season cooking and baking THEN utilize the remaining Lavender buds to dry for off-season divine food creations.  Culinary Lavender has great flavor plus it holds it’s bright color.  

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Lavender doesn’t have to be in rows, on mounds, or just at lavender farms.  I love placing my Culinary Lavender IN my mixed flower beds, as boarders, and surround it (but not too closely) with annuals, perennials, and evergreen plants (Sarcococca).  In the photo above I’ve created a foundational carpet of bright green and yellow with Creeping Jenny.   Off to the sides of the Hidcot Blue Lavender I’ve installed a variety of different colored ornamental grasses; some spiked (Japanese Blood Grass on right) and some flowing and draping (on left).  I love pops of white and yellow (Fever Few, short and tall poppies) in beds where I have planted dark and rich colors like those of the Lavender plants and my other blue/purple plantings (dwarf iris, Walkers Low cat mint, Veronica, Blue Panda, Pansies, etc).  If well planned, those things surrounding your Culinary Lavender will be in their glory about a month before your Lavender.  Then those plants nearest your Lavender can be cut back to allow room for your lavender to expand in June and July.  Then after cutting your bounty of Culinary Lavender in July there will be room for some of the other plants to expand again and get closer to the neatly mounded Lavender plant that is finished until next year. 

Enjoy your yard and try some Culinary Lavender soon.  

If you prefer, purchase pre-packaged Culinary Lavender at any of the Lavender farms or stores in Sequim or online.