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How to Grow and Work with Lavender

Updated on May 8, 2012


Fragrance can call up memories that we may have forgotten; a glimpse of a time almost lost under the weight of all messages we consume each day.

Or they can keep alive and close to the surface an image or action of someone you held or hold most dear.

I have a number of memories that are triggered by scent, cinnamon recalls my paternal grandmother who loved to bake; outboard motors gasoline reminds me of fishing trips with my father.

Perhaps one of the strongest fragrances when it comes to my memory is lavender. I get a whiff and I can see my nanny, mom’s mom. She was very fond of lavender and always had a sachet or potpourris in her room.

My grandmother is not the only memory lavender brings, it also reminds me of visits to the Canadian National Exhibition when I was a youth, I went every summer in August to the Ex and when my grandmother was alive, I’d buy here a lavender sachet. Even in the years after her death, when we’d visit the Ex and pass a cart or booth selling lavender I thought about her.

Humanity’s love for lavender goes back many centuries, The Romans and North Africans were known to scent their public baths with it and use it as a disinfectant.

The name lavender comes from the Latin “to wash” and laundress is derived from “lavandre”.

Most lavender call the Mediterranean region home but their popularity has seen the plant spread around the world.

Of the numerous species, the most common are divided into two types, hard lavenders which includes English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and tender lavenders which includes the French or tender lavenders (Lavandula denata).

Lavenders are easy to grow and care for so make good garden plants. Hardy lavenders, or English lavenders, are native to the Mediterranean region and like long hours of sunlight but not excessive heat. They have grey foliage and the flowers are usually in a spike and lavender in colour.

The tender lavenders are native to Southern France and Spain; they require full sun and a soil that is richer than their hardy relatives.

Lavender has a number of uses and one that I have personally tried is the dream pillow which is alleged to having a calming effect.

The Dream Pillow:

½ cup dried lavender

½ cup dried hops

½ cups dried lemon balm

Mix all the ingredients together and place in small cotton bag. Put bag under your pillow at night.

making a wreath



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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for dropping by.

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Mine is just starting to bloom. I don't plant too many flowers, but I have lavendar and rosemary because the deer don't eat them. Maybe I'll try making some sachets this year. I know someone who has hops, but not sure if I can get lemon balm.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    I love love love lavender... I added another 10 plants this year beside my walk way. I cheated and bought 6" pots. They look sturdy enough that I might even get a few spears of flowers off them already this year. (here is hoping as I never seem to have enough) Did I mention that I just love Lavender?

    Great hub Bob

    kindest regards Zsuzsy

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  • Pam Pounds profile image

    Pam Pounds 8 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

    I love lavender. I have some in my yard and the fragrance is just out of this world. Now I have some ways to use them and keep them for a long time. Thank you!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Ellie Perry 8 years ago

    Thanks for teh recipe Bob! Great article.