Thursday, 25 August 2011


..... a time-honoured remedy.

A fragrant herb suitable for culinary and many other household uses.

My first encounters with lavender were whilst playing hide and seek in my Grandmother's garden. She lived in an old cottage built to one side of its plot. It was surrounded on three sides by its garden, but there was no access around the fourth side. There were many places to hide. It was an old cottage and had a building, then a coal store/garden shed/outside loo, which had once been a stable - with a hay loft above. It was possible to run right around this and, timed correctly, this removed the need to hide. If playing with only one 'seeker' it was possible to merely circulate, out of phase with him or her. However, that ploy became a little monotonous. Alternatives were a large clump of bamboo - a little hazardous since the leaves were razor sharp, a hedge cut into a large archway, a small shrubbery, a short hedge enclosing a vedge plot, the front porch - entwined with a quince tree, and lavender bushes. The lavender was particularly useful since it was planted on a 'dead-end' path behind the cottage. It was a 'point of no return' - one either hid successfully or was captured. There was no possibility of worming on my tummy to other cover, or of making a run for it undetected. The lavender bushes were very large and  hosted a large and busy community of bees and hoverflies. They filled the senses. Soft and tickly to the touch, fragrant, noisy with the buzz of insects, beautiful to look at - and, as I discovered in later years, very tasty. It was almost a 'companion planting' principle. I 'planted' myself in the lavender and protected by the insects, which my sister feared, I remained hidden - or at least if some part of me should become visible she pretended not to notice in order not to need to get too close!

Some years ago a friend of ours bought us a gift of a fabric bag filled with 'Herbes de Provence' and attractively tied with a ribbon. We stored it carefully and it lasted for some time making a characteristic addition to many soups and stews. When it was eventually finished we tried many times to replace it, but always found our new supply lacking in something. We eventually realised that the lavender was missing from our alternatives.

I have many aromatherapy oils. The ones which I most frequently replenish are tea tree and lavender. Of these we find the lavender to have the more varied use. In checking my reference books before writing this I find that it may be infused as a tea (I'm off to raid our very small, juvenile bush as soon as I click 'Publish'). Its many uses center aound its calming and antiseptic properties. Strange it is that a plant which, when growing, attracts so many insects, and yet in dried form is an effective insect repellant. Successfully warding off, amongst other wee beasties, clothes moths - an animal to which I show very little mercy!

This is my latest lavender bag to be listed on Folksy:

Millie changed her frock and this one was added to my shop at WowThankYou:


  1. I love lavender and your little mousie lavender bags are very sweet.

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