The end of summer is a magical time in the garden. Our apples and pears are ready for harvesting; we can still find the odd yummy berry or plum and our herbs are ready for drying and storing to use over the coming winter months. My children often love making their own gifts to give to adults and this is a great time to help them make nature-inspired presents with dried herbs, flowers and seeds.

Drying herbs and flowers

The best time to collect plants for drying is in the morning. After cutting, use an elastic band to tie them together in small bunches, then hang upside down on a length of string (like a washing line) so they get lots of air, but not in direct sunlight. After about two to four weeks, they should be dry enough to take down. Store herbs in decorated glass jars (perfect for the kitchen and as gifts) and arrange flowers in small vases or glass milk bottles for a fragrant room.

Homemade seed packets

Create simple white envelopes or use ready-made envelopes and decorate. Children can paint or draw the flowers or plants that grow from the seeds. Include the name of the flowers and simple growing instructions. Collect your seeds, and place in the envelopes to create your unique homemade seed packs. Homemade seed packs are great to use in party bags, as gifts and for storing seeds for use next year.

Our little clay family

While we were collecting our lovely plants and seeds, we decided to use what we had left over for a little craft project. I also had some leftover white air drying clay and we decided to combine the two. We made little characters - everyone could get involved from my 8-year-old to my 2-year-old.
All you have to do is roll a body shape and place a stick through the middle. Then, roll a head and stick on to the body. Start inserting plants, leaves, twigs & seeds. Use your imagination to create interesting textures and colourful combinations. We made a little old man, a flower fairy and forest sprite.     






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