Lavender around miniature water feature.

I’ve always loved lavender. When I was a child  in Tasmania we used to buy quaint cardboard dolls with muslin aprons full of dried English lavender. 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.


Bridestowe Lavender Farm

The beauty of Bridestowe.

When my husband Rob and I  moved to the cool climate Blue Mountains  from Sydney, I designed a lavender seat facing our little rose garden. It’s a heavenly place to sit.

Pauline Conolly amid her lavender

I should have trimmed this hat with a sprig of lavender.

I have extended my lavender seat  season by using pots of the Italian variety, which flower earlier here  in Blackheath.


Italian Lavender

Italian lavender in pots flowers  alongside ‘hot lips’ salvia.

The nectar  draws all manner of insects.


Dragonfly on lavender

Lavender attracts so many visitors.


Harlequin bug on lavender

Enhanced by a Harlequin bug.

Bees are the most regular sippers.


Bee on lavender

Honey to come…..with a hint of lavender?

Australian native blue banded bee

The elusive native, blue banded  bee..



Lavender Oil

The good oil.


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 lavender growing near our apartment.  I used  a sprig to add a bit of style to a  white paper napkin.


Lavender gift tag.

Finishing touch.


Pauline conolly on her lavender seat


Did you know you can make icecream from the flowers;

Lavender icecream

Looks pretty!

….and biscuits?

Lavender Biscuits Recipe

I might try this.

And it can even be put in jam.

Gourmet jams

Apricot and lavender……

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.





  1. I could never have a garden without at least one lavender in it. I have several of course!
    It is the most beautiful and useful of herbs. Healing, uplifting, a useful antiseptic, aids sleep, relieves pain, kill germs, heal burns, helps keep annoying insects at bay… the list is endless. When we moved from Chelsea to Mitcham on the Surrey/South West London border when I was aged 11, our address was 1 Lavender Grove which was a cul-de-sac off Lavender Avenue. I loved our new address. Mitcham’s past was largely one of a giant nursery and market garden, a huge producer of Lavender and it’s associated products, together with acres of Watercress beds. A wonderful past which has sadly now disappeared as Mitcham became swallowed up by outer London.

    • Pauline

      Oh to live in Lavender Grove. What a wonderful place Mitcham must have been!

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