To me, summertime means the heady fragrance of lavender. And I’m a firm believer that every garden should have a few lavender plants in it.
While it often gets relegated to the bathroom or washhouse, this wonderfully fragrant flower has many more uses than just soap.
Fortunately growing lavender is relatively easy. It prefers well-drained, sandy soil and lots of sun; but you can even grow it in containers indoors.
There are numerous varieties of lavender that produce tight, compact flower buds on long silvery-green stalks. English and French lavender are quite popular and are the most commonly used for scenting things and cooking.
Ideally, you’ll want to have several plants to ensure a decent harvest of this beautiful purple flower. And as you’ll see below, lavender is also helpful in the garden. And when it’s time to harvest, you can easily dry the lavender to store and use throughout the year.
Of course, knowing how to prune lavender for the best growth is always helpful too.
Here’s a few ways you can use lavender in your kitchen, garden, and around your home.
Lavender can help control pests both in your garden and indoors
Lavender is great for keeping mosquitos and fleas away while also attracting our friends the bees.
It’s also a great moth repellent. Lavender sachets are easy to make, smell wonderful, and keep your clothes safe from moths. Jus fill small fabric bags with dried lavender and touch a few in your dresser draws or hang in your wardrobe.
Lavender-Infused Massage Oil
This lavender-infused oil can be used for more than just sore muscles. It’s a popular choice for aromatherapy as it’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and the scent is calming. Add this lovely oil to your bath, rub it on an itchy scalp, use it on bug bites, or rub some on your temples to soothe tension headaches.
To make your own lavender-infused massage oil add 3-4 tablespoons of dried lavender buds to 250ml of a carrier oil such as apricot seed, jojoba, or grapeseed oil in a sterilized jar. Keep in a warm dark place for 4-6 weeks. Give the jar a shake occasionally. strain the oil into a clean, sterilized jar. Alternatively, add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil.
Lavender Bath Salts
The combination of Epsom salts and calming lavender will set you at ease. If you really want a fantastic night of sleep, mix up a batch of lavender bath salts.
Combine one cup of Epsom salts with ¼ cup of dried lavender buds. Mix well and store in an airtight container like a mason jar. For a restful night of sleep, dissolve a handful of the bath salts into a bath of warm water shortly before bed.
The magnesium in the Epsom salts and the soothing lavender will have you relaxed and ready for bed in no time.
Cooking with Lavender
When used in the appropriate amount, lavender makes a wonderful addition to many foods and drinks. In our next blog, we’ll look at some fun recipes to try.