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How to Get a Poinsettia to Bloom

How to Get a Poinsettia to Bloom

I was able to get a poinsettia to bloom! Well, it’s not technically a flower…but it still looks a lot like Christmas here in my office.   Poinsettias are ‘ditch weeds’ in their native Mexico, wild native plants that thrive in ditches, along roadways and […]

Does Snow Hurt the Garden or Plants?

Does Snow Hurt the Garden or Plants?

Does snow hurt – or help – your garden and your plants? Snow Can Protect and Insulate Plants Snow acts as an insulating blanket over soil and plants. A layer of snow traps air around the roots and soil, forming an insulating barrier against cold […]

Recipe for All Natural Simmering Potpourri

Recipe for All Natural Simmering Potpourri

Do you love the smell of Christmas? Who doesn’t? This recipe for all natural simmering potpourri uses homemade ingredients and spices that are easy to find at the grocery store. Add a beautiful hand-crafted gift jar and you have the perfect inexpensive homemade Christmas gift or stocking stuffer!

Simmering Potpourri:  Holiday Simmer Fragrance

Simmering potpourri is easy to make. You can purchase all of the ingredients or make some of them yourself.

  • Dried lemon and orange peels: This recipe calls for dried lemon and orange peels. I save lemon, orange, clementine and tangerine peels. While the peels are fresh, I use a sharp paring knife and scrape off as much of the pith (white) material from inside the peel. Then, I cut the peels into small squares and place them on a paper towel spread out on a plate. Place the peels in a single layer and place the plate of peels in a dry, warm location for a few days. When they feel dry to the touch, add them to your herbal storage jars. Leave the top off to keep them dry. Conventionally grown fruit is fine to use for simmering potpourri. Use organic fruit if you plan to add the peels to tea mixes or use them in recipes. Dried lemon and orange peels are also available at some specialty grocery stores.
  • Cinnamon sticks: You will need approximately 6 to 8 cinnamon sticks. I buy mine at the grocery store. I can even find them at the dollar store on some lucky days!
  • Bay leaves: Grab them from the spice aisle at the grocery store.
  • Whole cloves: A can or bottle of whole cloves can also be found at the grocery store.
Some of the ingredients for the simmering potpourri mixture.

Make the Jar

First, you will need a clean, empty jar. You can use a mason (canning jar) or recycle a glass jar. The jars in this picture are from olives (the tall jar) and artichoke hearts (the small jar). Rinse empty jars with warm, soapy water. Soak them to get the labels off and use nail polish remover to remove any residual glue from the outside. Place the jars in the dishwasher (if you have a dishwasher) and run it through a regular cycle with your dishes.

I spray paint the jar lids using gold, green, or another festive Christmas color. Do this outside and put cardboard or newspaper on the ground to catch the excess spray. One coat covers most jar lids, although the artichoke heart jar lid was a dark blue and required two coats.

Next, you can paint the outside of the jar using acrylic paints. I left the small jar plain and painted dogwood blossoms on the tall jars. It’s up to you how you want to decorate them!

Fill the Jar

Now it’s time to fill the jar. Place layers of simmer potpourri ingredients in each jar:

  1. Broken cinnamon sticks – add 3 broken sticks (6 halves) or more for a larger jar.
  2. Lemon peel – add a layer
  3. Orange, tangerine or clementine peel – add a layer
  4. Cloves – add a layer
  5. Bay leaves – place 2-3 bay leaves on top.
  6. Place the lid on the jar. Tie with a decorative ribbon, piece of burlap or string.

I like to make tags to tie to the jars with the instructions on how to make the potpourri. You can download and print a tag, below. Print it onto regular printer paper and cut to size with scissors. Feel free to adjust the size as needed.


Happy gardening, keep growing!

Download the tag, below, and resize as needed to give with your gift. Try it at home first to make sure you have the proportions of the spices to your liking and of course, don’t use it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients (or the gift recipient is allergic).

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Make Storage Jars for Your Herbs

Make Storage Jars for Your Herbs

Finding good storage jars for my dried herbs and flowers wasn’t hard at first. I used old canning jars, handed down through my husband’s family, that were not suitable for food preservation. As I ran out of jars, I needed an inexpensive solution. This is […]

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

It’s easy to learn how to make elderberry syrup. Elderberry, the berries from the shrub Sambucus nigra, is a relatively safe and effective treatment for influenza. There’s research to support this assertion. It is also helpful when you have the common cold.  Here’s how to […]

The 2017 Gardener’s Gift Guide

The 2017 Gardener’s Gift Guide

Looking for the perfect gift for the gardener in your life? This Christmas, give them something they’ll love. Pick one item from this list of the 2017 recommended products from Home Garden Joy.

I’ve put together this list based on products that I personally know, love, and enjoy using here in our garden. Please note that I was NOT paid to endorse any of these products – these are my honest choices for you.

Also please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a little bit of payment if you buy a product after clicking on the link. It does not affect your price in any way.

Thank you, and enjoy the 2017 Gardener’s Christmas Gift Guide!


Christmas Gift Ideas for Gardeners


  1. CobraHead Weeding Tool

I love the CobraHead weeding tool! We actually fight over who gets to use it in the garden. It’s ideal for digging up deep-rooted weeds, cultivating around plants, and scraping up weed seedlings. It’s also lightweight yet very sturdy. A “must” for every garden and gardener.


2. Grow Five Organic Herbs from Seed

This adorable little herb gardening set enables any gardener to grow five herbs from seed inside the home. It contains all of the seeds, pots, and information you need to start your very own indoor herb garden. A great gift for Christmas, Mother or Father’s Days, or birthdays.



3. Stainless Steel Gardening Tool Set

This set of gardening tools is another “must” for me. I use the trowel and hand rake nearly every time I step out into the garden. The sturdy design is great for our heavy clay soil, and the hand grips are very comfortable. A great set for beginning gardeners or anyone who is looking for a quality tool set.


4.  Best Gardening Gloves – 3 Pack

I don’t know about you, but I go through gardening gloves as if they were made out of paper. I poke holes through the fingertips. These sturdy gardening gloves protect the hands, keeping them clean, dry and free from cuts and scratches. Great for weeding and general yard work.



5. Plan and Build a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden (book) by Jeanne Grunert

Okay, okay – so I had to get a plug in for my book somewhere. You knew I would! This is the beginner’s guide to planning, building, tending and maintaining your raised bed vegetable garden. It’s an inexpensive, short guide to a topic that I love and that my readers know I’m passionate about!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this gift guide. For more gift ideas, see our past Gardener’s Gift Guide. Happy gardening and keep growing!

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