We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Lavender

Lavender has long been one of the favored essential oils for aromatherapy. As I've grown and tended lavender plants, the variety of lavender products that can be made expands fro me. Lavender gift ideas include lavender potpourri, lavender sachet, lavender bath salts, and lavender recipes.

I bought lavender sachets and stick perfume while on the Isle of Jersey (in the British Isles, part of the Channel Islands off the coast of France), yet another place lavender is grown in mass quantities. And every home I've owned since 1993 has been graced with lavender plants. And this house I'm in now is the most blessed of all, if the number of lavender plants is any indication of being blessed.

Lovely Lavender
south foundation lavender plants
Our Lavender Foundation


Planting a dozen lavender plants along the south foundation of our house wasn't enough, evidently. A lavender fence seemed like a good idea, so the following spring I planted some 75 feet with a variety of lavenders, brining my lavender collection to about five dozen. What an interesting decision.

Plants I choose for our "yard" ideally are xeric, requiring no additional water during the year, resistant to deer and rabbit, survive cold winters, and be durable in poor soils. Lavender ranks high on all of those points. Yabadabadoooo! But it's not enough of a deterrent to block rabbits or deer from coming into the yard to nibble on some of my plants. But it sure makes for a lovely foot-tall fence!

Lavender Plants
wall of lavender plants
The Lavender Wall


My lavender get harvested at least twice a summer, an increasingly large task since the plants get more prolific with age. The first harvest this year took five to six hours. This last one took a couple of hours. I'll probably get one more small harvest that will take just under an hour.

Drying Lavender
drying lavender buds
2010 Batch of Drying Lavender

Initially I used my dried lavender buds in sachets, potpourri, and bath salts as gifts for friends. I have also made and gifted lavender bundles; dried lavender rolled in ornamental paper and tied with an appropriate string. To help me spread the joy of my lovely lavender, a Ouray store carries local arts and crafts and offers my sachets and bundles for sale. I also give them to Second Chance, our animal shelter, for their annual silent auction fund raiser.

Let me share a partial list of what lavender is good for so you can appreciate lavender a bit more.

  • sachet
  • potpourri
  • wedding confetti
  • smudge stick
  • flower arrangements
  • bath salts
  • pillow stuffing
  • moth deterrent
  • baking
  • cooking
  • essential oil
  • room deodorizer
  • nerve calming
  • spirit lifting
  • lip balm
  • perfume/eau de toilet
  • antiseptic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • insect repellent
I have seen cautions about possible allergic reactions to lavender oil, though, so proceed with caution if you tend toward allergies.

The growing challenge for me is making the time to harvest, process, package and distribute my aromatherapy in a plant, much less to trim the plants in the spring so the year's growth is healthier. Back in the days I only tended a dozen plants it was easy to sit watching TV and plucking the buds for use. I ignored my lavender processing last year, so now I'm two years behind in my processing! I guess it's time to go watch more TV. My theory is that I'm saving energy if I do two things at once. You like it?

I see my lavender plant as an environmentally friendly option in my garden. I don't fertilize it or apply pesticides, it doesn't require additional water, and it gives me great delight, which I share with others. What else could you ask for from such a lovely plant?

Ironically, the flower bud used in my Sage Blossom Consulting logo closely resembles a lavender bud -- and it wasn't the model for the graphic, just a coincidence. Lavender suits me so well.

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