Yes, I know this blog is devoted to Gustav and thrifting, but I have to share my excitement about my latest garden thrill–lavender.
I’ve had a life-long love affair with lavender. I’ve been in those fields in Provence, I’ve wandered through many English gardens with beautiful lavender hedges, I’ve even picked lavender in Sequim, Washington (lavender capital of the US). I can’t get enough soaps, colognes, oils, etc. with lavender in them.
But where I live it gets very very cold in the winter, not ideal for growing lavender (until recently when they’ve developed plants hardy enough for up here–alas, I don’t have any of those.) So I’ve struggled for 8 years to grow my own hedges along the front walkway, coddling them and coaxing them. And lo and behold–it worked.
This is the fourth great harvest I’ve had and by far the biggest. The plants actually look like the mature ones you see in those unforgettable foreign fields. My pride and joy is a Hidcote plant that is the purplest purple of all. It’s having an astounding yield this year. I have about four different varieties. I will HATE to leave these behind when we sell the house, but I will simply start all over again.
I just began harvesting this week, so I’m about half way through and I’ve got many bundles drying already in my basement.(this photo represents about 1/5 of the whole harvest.) What do I do with all this lavender? Well, I’ve sold some since it’s organic and can be used in soaps and even in cooking. But I’ve also created lavender masks and sachets for friends, and now I’m into bottling it. I got some neat little corked bottles at a thrift store, decoupaged antique perfume labels (many from The Graphics Fairy), added ribbons, and filled them up. So when someone wants a whiff of Provence, they can just uncork it. I’ve got some other cool ideas about what to do with this year’s harvest–so stay tuned!