Along with making scented water with rose petals (not very successfully), I think that I have enjoyed making things from lavender all my life. When I was quite small, I used to pick lavender and put it in little muslin bags to give as gifts! I must admit to not being particularly successful with my own lavender plants – they always seem to go woody and frankly unsightly before I realise what’s happened.
My most recent attempts are a little better. I use the front path flower beds as my butterfly and bee garden and I fill these two beds either side of the path with buddleia, catmint, lavender, borage (for my summer Pimms!) and David Austin roses. At the top of the path there is a lovely laburnum tree planted the week we moved to Pinks Barn and the yellow blossom offers such a colour contrast with the lavender and the catmint. Standing under the laburnum when it is blossoming is a bit unnerving – the sound of the bees in the plants and in the tree is unbelievable.
I have discovered that the common name Lavender is believed to have its roots from the Latin ‘lavare,’ meaning to wash. It was discovered early that if clothing was washed and left to dry on lavender bushes, the scent would permeate the fabric. Once the clothes were donned, the wearer would develop a sense of well-being. I can certainly understand this…
Before we were limited to travel and visits due to the pandemic, Bill and I had a lovely visit to the Cotswold Lavender Farm here in Gloucestershire where I asked for growing advice, so I hope I am going to do a little better in future.
As you will see from the picture, the farm was a joy not least because I had no idea just how many varieties were grown commercially. Rows of whites and pale pink flowers mix with the traditional purples, and you will find the flamboyant French lavender too with tufty tops.
The farm is only open to the public through the summer months as this is very much a summer flowering plant but I was able to buy this very special dry lavender which I have used in some of my new Treasures.
In the summer of 2022, the fields of Cotswold Lavender will be open from 15th June – 7th August. They advise that July is the peak flowering time.