I’ve always loved lavender. When I was a child in Tasmania we used to buy quaint cardboard dolls with muslin aprons full of the dried English variety. My mother didn’t grow it as far as I remember, but the island state is home to the remarkable Bridestowe farm. It attracts tourists from around the world.
When my husband Rob and I moved to the cool climate Blue Mountains from Sydney, I designed an English lavender seat facing our little rose garden. It’s a heavenly place to sit.
I use pots of the Italian variety around the seat, which flower earlier here in Blackheath.
The nectar draws all manner of insects.
Bees are the most regular sippers.
LAVENDER TO THE RESCUE
The oil of the plant is said to relieve everything from anxiety to insomnia and headaches. Certainly it cured a ‘headache’ for me a while back. While staying in the French town of Lille, I was invited at short notice to a new friend’s house. I wanted to take along a little gift, but had nothing to wrap it in. Luckily there was some English lavender growing near our apartment. I used a sprig to add a bit of style to a white paper napkin.
Did you know you can make icecream from the flowers;
And it can even be put in jam.
I am reminded while writing this piece of how powerfully nostalgic fragrance is. Our sense of smell truly enhances life, especially as gardeners. Due to an illness which robbed me of this for many years it is something I never take for granted.
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