Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lovely Lavender

If I could choose but one plant in my garden it would be lavender.
One whiff of it's subtle fragrance, and I'm whisked back to my childhood and memories of my grandma's favorite Yardley's English Lavender toiletries.
Legend tells us that lavender was brought to England by the Romans. It was a highly valued plant due to it's healing, soothing and insect repelling properties.
Lavender oil was also used for massage.

The Lady of the Manor used lavender for culinary and medicinal purposes, and kept a still -room for preparation for use by family and staff.
Victorian ladies enjoyed lavender, turning their faces towards the sweet scent and inhaling it to calm their fluttering hearts.

A member of the mint family, and cousin to rosemary, lavender can be used like rosemary in many dishes.
The flowers, can be dried and tied in bunches, laying them in linen closets, or tucking them in dried flower arrangements and scattering sprigs wherever you choose.
A gentle shake or a fond pet of the plant releases the fragrance from early spring to frost.

" here's your sweet lavender
sixteen sprigs a penny
that you'll find my ladies
will smell as sweet as any "

~ The Lavender Seller's Cry, London, England 1900


Sunny said...

What a glorious field of Lavender. Yardley's English Lavender was my Grandmother's favorite too. Just writing this...I can almost smell it.
Happy weekend.
Sunny :)

Natasha in Oz said...

Oh my goodness! Great minds think alike..have a look at my post for today!

Fabulous post!!!

Best wishes,

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I also love lavender and can't get enough of it! Along with growing it, I even have lavender "essential oil" and use it in a difuser ~~ Pure nirvana!!
PS: I hope you're having a good weekend, and getting all dried out!!

Carol said...

I planted some lavender along our fence line last year. Looks like it may flower this year. I don't think it will ever get as spectacular as the photograph of lavender fields but I am looking forward to the aroma :)

Barbara Anne said...

Oh. now I shall have to get lavender for our garden. How did I overlook it?

I remember Yardley's English Lavender, too.


DJan said...

I have several of those little lavender pillows everywhere, as well as lavender oil to help me sleep. I love it, too, but that first picture is amazing! I'd probably fall asleep just walking around in that field!

Marilyn said...

I must get a new flower bed started with room for LOTS of lavender plants. Then the battle will begin to keep the grasshoppers from chomping it all! But it is worth it! ♥♫

Patsy said...

Lavender is a must in the garden.

Richard Lawry said...

I love the smell of lavender, but have never seen anyone grow it. The photo of the lavender field is beautiful.

An Arkies Musings

George said...

The field of lavender is absolutely beautiful. We also enjoy the fragrance of lavender.

matron said...

Lavender is my favorite too.All my hand creams and talc are lavender,I also have a lavender pillow,really helps me sleep well.
I enjoyed reading your potted history of Lavender,but you forgot to mention one of the main reasons why it was used in the gardens.It was planted in abundance at the bottom of gardens,around the outside toilet !!
The perfume,said to disguise the offending odours coming from the dug out loo.Hence the name -lavetory.
My grandmother had an outside "lavie" and would say she was going to the lavie garden,when she needed to 'go'.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh how I love to smell lavender, Jo... It is one of my favorite smells. I've bought the lavender sachet before.... WONDERFUL.

Great post.

Stella Jones said...

Such a beautiful colour isn't it and a heavenly smell. I couldn't live without it. It evokes so many memories.
Lovely pictures, as always, Jo.
Blessings, Star

The Retired One said...

Wow! Loved that photo of rows and rows of spectacular purple!

Mage said...

Oh, you knock me over with those pictures.....and the quilts. As a part time, abstractionist quilter, I enjoy any quilt and own too many. Thank you.

The Norwegian said...

I am a long time lavender lover.
It's simply the best! Your post ALWAYS brings me joy.

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh how beautiful. One of my fav's.

Bonnie said...

Daughter and I years ago toured a lavender farm here in TX. I bought some, it didn't survive my green thumb. :-)

Vickie said...

I have a few lavender plants in my garden. I love it. I'd love to have a lavender farm! Your picture of it is gorgeous!