Lovely Lavender

A couple of days of dry weather, and it’s a chance to harvest some of my lavender, which has grown very tall this year. I’ve hung it to dry in the shade of the front porch and the scent wafts through the house every time the door opens. My main reason for growing lavender is for the bees that love it. But it also has other uses.

The word “lavender” comes from the Latin verb lavare which means “to wash”.  The Romans used lavender to scent their baths and we have been playing with its pungent perfume ever since.

Lavender seems to have the curious ability to both repel and attract…It has also been used as a disinfectant, to disguise the smells of privies, to ward off evil spirits and to keep plagues at bay. It is, at the same time, highly prized as a key ingredient in perfumes. It is said to help heal wounds and cure insomnia. It is used in massage and aromatherapy to relieve stress and cure skin complications. It is also said to repel lice and moths.

My gran used to make lavender moth-repeller bags, by stitching together two handkerchiefs and filling them with dried lavender. These would be placed between sheets and woollens in the linen cupboard, and under the bed. I fancy making other things with it, and would like to try my hand at homemade soap.

In the meantime, I hope the stash in the porch won’t overwhelm the postman (but will apply its power on unwanted bills…)

How about you? Do you love the scent of lavender, or does the smell repel?

If you love it, and are in Somerset, you might like to visit Somerset Lavender’s Open Evening tomorrow evening (Thursday 7th July), in aid of charity Dorothy House. Their stunning fields of lavender are full of different varieties… Entry is £7.50 & includes a distillery tour and refreshments. They are based at Faulkland, 15 minutes south of Bath. Kicks off at 7pm.

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