While lavender doesn’t have big, beautiful, ruffly petals it does have a plethora of other things that very few plants can offer. In addition to its beauty it provides protection from pests, a heavenly scent, many culinary and craft uses and its season is extraordinary since it can be dried to last for many, many months (I’ve used mine for longer than a year to great success). Not to mention it looks wonderful in a vase by itself or in a mixed bouquet. Can you tell I’m a huge fan?
This has been a really spectacular year for our lavender. I planted five rows of plugs three years ago, and this is the first year they have really, really been amazing. The first year, we lost a few plants due to an extremely wet spring. This year, even though we did have a wet spring, we’ve had a very dry start to summer which, of course, the lavender loves (the rest of my garden and field, not so much).
The lavender is positioned on the east side of the garden where it receives a full day of sun. The smell in the garden, especially on humid days, is divine! We’ve planted four types: Grosso, Folgate, Royal Velvet and Melissa. Melisa is said to be a great lavender for culinary use and it’s a lovely white/pink flower! Folgate is an almost periwinkle blue while Royal Velvet and Grosso are all more of a traditional purple. The bees love it!
We started harvesting the lavender last week. I was lucky that a friend offered to help and it wasn’t a horribly hot day! It turned out to be a super enjoyable morning amongst the lavender chatting about everything under the sun and gathering great bunches of stems.
After we harvested the lavender, we bundled up the stems to ready them for sale or drying. We’re letting the lavender dry, hanging upside down, in the hay loft of the barn where it’s dry and hot. They will be ready to de-bud for culinary or craft use in about two weeks. I love the fact that lavender can be used fresh or dried as that means that it’s season lasts for so much longer than just the summer.
I love cooking with lavender and so far this year have made cookies, lemon balm and lavender ice cream, lemonade and lattes with our lavender.
I also always have lavender sachets nestled in and amongst my sweaters, and undergarments where it does the double duty of keeping moths and other pests away and makes everything smell lovely as well. I particularly love this beautiful sachet that we have in the shop. The embroidery is so beautiful!
Lavender is worth growing whether you have one plant or hundreds! I hope you can find a place for it in your garden!