Sunday we spent the day doing a big Autumn clear-up in the garden. Lots of mowing, weeding, pruning and mulching, clearing out the car port, tidying up chicken houses and making Alice the Pig’s Winter straw bed. By the end of the day my body was feeling nice and tired, and I was craving some kind of deep relaxation. The best thing round here for that is a bush bath!
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a bush bath is a bath outside in nature, usually heated in some way by a fire. Ours is an old cast iron bath held in place by a few wooden stakes. You fill it up with the garden hose (and a few buckets of warm water from the house if you’re in a hurry), light the fire underneath, put a sheet of corrugated iron on top to keep the heat in, and wait for the water to get nice and toasty!
I always fill the bath with bunches of herbs from the garden to make it even more delicious and relaxing: lavender, geranium, rosemary, manuka and eucalyptus pods. I put the herbs in right at the beginning and leave them to steep. By the time you come to get in, the water smells amazing. I don’t even bother taking the herbs out when I get in, they just add to the experience.
The smell of wood smoke and herbs, the stars overhead, no sound apart from the wind whispering the leaves nearby, and the chirrup of a solitary cricket. And then, as if it wasn’t perfect enough, a shooting star streaking a bright line down the sky. Bliss.