diy mini moss garden using tea cups or vintage planter

Hi there, with the warm spring and summer months upon us, you can always count on a beautiful green carpet of moss to welcome the warmer seasons!

Moss facts: moss is important to the survival of many tiny creatures and many types of birds find it useful for their nests. One interesting fact about moss is that it contains a special chemical that keeps reindeer’s blood from freezing so they eat it on a regular basis. Moss has the ability to “desiccate” meaning they can dry out for a long period of time without dying.

moss garden

moss garden in a vintage planter

Making a moss garden is easy! Go outside in your yard and find some goodies to put in your little garden.

We used:
tea cups and vintage planters
seed starting soil
moss (we have a large area of moss in our yard found on the north side of our house, moss grows in damp places with little sun)
various nature items

moss garden diy

supplies for mini moss garden


mossman in a milkweed boat

Directions for the moss garden:

1. Put seed soil into the teacup, don’t fill it to the top, leave room for the moss.
2. Lightly mist the soil so it is wet, not drenched.
3. Add your layer of moss.
4. Mist the moss.
5. Have fun decorating your moss garden.
6. Put your moss garden in a windowsill where it receives a little bit of sunlight, they like shade so keep that in mind. Mist it a few times a week keeping the soil moist but not drenched. If it dries out, place the moss in bowl of water for an hour and it should spring back to shape.

moss garden

For more moss related activities visit: moss graffiti  or marimo moss ball terrarium.

That’s all, Lisa

Budding Herbalists’ Community

Hi there! Some herby friends and I have started a wonderful community of herbalists. Budding Herbalists is a place to learn, talk, question, and share information and wisdom about the beneficial qualities of herbs. Have a question, ask it, share something you have learned, an article you enjoyed, or a recipe you have tried. Beginner or learned herbalists, we are all budding herbalists.

budding herbalists

Head over to Budding Herbalists now to join a wonderful community of plant lovers!

“That’s all,”

Making a flower essence- crabapple blossom

Crabapple flower essence is for times you feel polluted for mental, physical, or spiritual reasons. If you feel the need to cleanse or purify, crabapple essence is the perfect flower remedy and so easy to make!

crabapple and dandelion harvest


You will need:
Fresh crabapple blossoms, enough to fill the surface the bowl
*spring or mineral water (about a cup to 2 cups)
*glass bowl
*3fl. oz. amber bottles
* 1 1/2 oz. brandy
*natural and unbleached filter paper
*mason jar

Cleanliness is vital to avoid contamination so all utensils used need to be sterilized. I lined my harvest basket with plantain leaves to transport or you could pick the flowers and put them into the water immediately, on site.

Properly ID flowers and pick when the flowers are first coming into bloom. Choose a cloudless, warm, and sunny day. The best time of day to harvest is after the flowers are dry from the morning dew, between 9:00am and noon.

As with any plant you use for herbal remedies, pick with respect, pick the flowers you are drawn to from every angle.


flower essence 1


*Pick the flowers and put them in the spring or mineral water as soon as possible.
*Float the flowers on top of the water until the whole surface is covered.
*Leave the bowl outside where it will receive direct sunlight for at least 3 hours, I like to keep the bowl close to the original plant I picked the flowers from.
*Bring the bowl inside and filter out the flowers, smell the water, you should smell a floral scent.


flower essence 2


*Fill a 3fl. oz. amber bottle half way with the brandy, then fill to the top with the floral essence. The brandy is a preservative and an “anchor” to hold the essence energy in the water,
*Label the essence and store it in a cool dark location. It should keep for years if utensils were sterlized.


crabapple essence


This is the Mother Essence (stock concentrate, undiluted) and can be taken under the tongue or diluted in water or tea. A very hot tea dilution will evaporate the alcohol if you are concerned about the alcohol.

Read more about and how to take crabapple flower essence and others here.

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

Persephone’s flower tonic- homemade astringent from your yard

Organic lawns are in full color with dandelions, violets, plantain leaves, and chickweed in the early spring. Did you know that these 4 wild edibles are perfect for a skin soothing astringent? Yes, a skin astringent made from the wild plants in your yard! If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at herbal body care, this recipe is an easy way to start!

persephone facial tonic 2

Violet leaves and blossoms are great for skin irritations and can help clear stubborn problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.”Plantain (see picture here) is an amazing herb for skin disorders as well, it also has drawing properties to draw toxins from the skin.


Chickweed is good for relieving itch and soothing dry, irritated skin, and rashes.


For the recipe you will need:

*a fresh handful of each: dandelion blooms, violet blooms and leaves, chickweed, and plantain (all organic)
*a pint mason jar
*1/4 c apple cider vinegar
*1/4 c rose water
*3 teaspoons witch hazel
*tea tree or lavender essential oil (optional)

**Note- if you want your astringent to be pink use a lot of purple violets!**

persephone facial tonic 1

Directions for the astringent:

-Place your earthly pickings in the mason jar.
-Set the kettle on and bring it to a whistle.

persephone facial tonic 3

-Pour the boiling water over the herbs until they are submerged, then cap the top.
-Let the herbs infuse for 2-4 hours.
-Filter out the herbs.
-To 1 cup of the facial tea add:
*1/4 cup vinegar (watch the tea turn pink at this step),
*1/4 cup rose water, 3 teaspoons witch hazel
*10 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil (optional).
-I keep a small portion of the astringent in a half pint glass jar on the bathroom sink and refrigerate the rest; after a week I am ready to replenish with the refrigerated portion. It keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and keeps for about a week on the bathroom sink.
-Keep a cotton cloth and rubber band around the top, the metal rings will rust due to the ACV.

persephone facial tonic 4

To use:
-Use a cotton ball or cloth, dip into the astringent and wash face and neck in the morning and evening.
-The astringent can also be used on other areas of the skin to help ease rash, bug bites, sunburn, cuts, etc.

peresphone facial tonic 6

In the picture above you will notice that the mason jar with violets is a knock out pink color, this is because the violet water mixed with an acid (ACV or lemon juice) turns pink! The more violets you add the pinker it will be.

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

spring scent simmer- citrus, geranium, and mint

While spring sometimes looks like winter outside, I like it to smell like spring inside. My favorite way to create a lovely and refreshing spring scent is using citrus, mint, and geranium.

lime geranium mint steam 2

Citrus Geranium Mint Simmer
dried grapefruit peel
dried spearmint
fresh lime
fresh scented geranium leaves

*Place the ingredients in a small Corningware or stainless steel pot.
*Add enough water to set the ingredients a-float.
*Set the stove burner on low.
*Let the plants do their magic by diffusing a refreshing scent into the air.
*Remember to keep checking the water level, it can evaporate fast, leaving burnt plant bits in the pan producing a not so very nice diffused smell!

lime geranium mint simmer 1

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

Marimo moss ball plush DIY

So, our Marimo moss ball obsession has crossed over to plush! These little guys are so easy to make and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, even if you’re a beginner.

moss ball 1

Supplies needed: The sleeve of an old wool sweater (or wool blend, at least 80% wool), safety eyes, green and pink floss, poly-fil, scissors

To make the Marimo: 1. Wash the wool sweater in a hot wash cycle, then throw it in the dryer. 2. Cut 4 inches of the cuff part of the sleeve.

DIY moss ball 1

3. Sew a running stitch around the top of the cuff, leaving about 3 inches of thread tail, go all the way around, meet at the beginning tail, knot beginning and end tail together and you will be left with a little tuft.

moss ball diy 2

4. Push the tuft inside and stitch the top closed.

moss ball diy 3

5. Add the safety eyes and make 3 hot pink stitches to make the mouth.

moss ball diy 5

This is how Marimo moss ball should be looking.

moss ball diy 4

6. Repeat the running stitch around the bottom of the moss ball, just like you did for the top.

moss ball diy 6

7. Stuff your moss ball with poly-fil or wool. 8. Pull beginning and end threads together and knot together to close. 9. Stitch closed. Done!

moss ball diy 7

moss ball diy 8

Care for you Marimo- place in a jar, with a friend (they do get lonely), name them, add tissue paper water around the bottom of the jar, and display. Take excellent care and talk to them daily, this will bring you good fortune and luck.

moss ball diy 9

If you want to grow live Marimo moss balls in a water terrarium, visit here.

 “That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.