Many folks love lavender. Others wonder what is all the fuss? What makes lavender different from all the other fragrant and pretty flowers? There are many ways to enjoy lavender. In addition to displaying bunches of cut lavender stems, we find other uses for the stems, as well as the flower buds, lavender essential oil, and the flower water, or hydrosol of lavender.
With a bit of care, lavender plants do well in our region. You can choose a lavender variety to make a bold statement or a smaller plant to add an aromatic atmosphere to your landscape.
Over the years, people have developed a wide variety of uses for lavender. We use bunches of lavender on the stem, lavender flower buds, lavender sugar syrup, lavender essential oil and lavender hydrosol. Lavender dries easily. Bring in some fragrant bunches to display around the home. With a bit of ribbon you can transform a bunch of lavender stems into a lavender wand, traditionally placed in a drawer to scent the contents and deter insect pests. Keep a small bowl of flower buds on your desk to stir up and release the fragrance when you feel the need for a little stress break.
Culinary adventurers may want to try cooking with lavender, which pairs wonderfully with lemon and other citrus, chocolate, fish, poultry, and meats. Take a look at the bottle of Herbs de Provence in your cupboard. It probably contains lavender.
Lavender combines well with other fragrances and is often used in perfuming. When used judiciously, lavender can serve to meld the other aromas into a harmonious whole. When you start to really pay attention to lavender from different sources you will find distinctly different fragrances, some especially appealing to you. We grow five varieties of lavender and they each distinctly different.
Lavender has a special place in skin and body care. I keep some lavender oil in my first aid kit to apply to minor scrapes and burns. Many find that lavender oil soothes the pain and helps to prevent infection. I particularly like to use lavender oil on burns around the house or grill. I find that a burn anointed quickly with lavender oil is less painful and heals quickly and without scarring. A misting of lavender hydrosol on a sunburn brings soothing relief. For the same reasons, many use lavender oil and hydrosol in skin care, where they find it helps with healing and rejuvenating mistreated or aging skin, especially on the face.