Making an icy suncatcher is both a cool and beautiful way to capture the colours in your summer garden. Pieces of colour are enclosed in a ring of ice and suspended there until the ice melts, drip by drip, in the warm sun.
Lavender, rose and nasturtium in an icy ring.
This is a beautiful nature project to involve young children in, to focus their senses on the plants in their surroundings. Here is how to make one with your young ones:
1. Go together, out into your garden, with a little basket and walk slowly as you gather small seeds, pods, twigs, leaves and petals. Feel, touch, smell and look at them closely before you put them in your basket.
2. Half-fill a ring cake tin with water.
3. Place the seeds, pods, twigs, leaves and petals you have gathered gently on the surface of the water.
4. Leave some of your gathered pieces floating on the surface and submerge others with a gentle press until they sink. (Some might stubbornly float!)
5. Carry the cake tin carefully to the freezer and freeze overnight.
6. Remove the cake tin from the freezer and run warm water over the base of it (supporting it underneath with your hands) until the icy ring slips from the tin. Carefully lay it on a towel after it has been released from the cake tin.
7. Tie a length of string through the centre of the icy ring so that you can hang it outside from a branch or a beam. Choose a place where sunlight will warm it and shine through it.
8. Admire it often as the ice melts and water drips slowly away.
My boy, smaller than he is now, used to love standing underneath these suncatchers, neck arched and mouth wide open, to catch the cool drips on the tip of his tongue. (Make sure you don't add any toxic plant material to the ring if your children love such fun!)
Enjoy your weekend. I hope it's filled with colour and light.