lavender harvest

four baskets full sir

I've been waiting for a day over the last few weeks that has been warm enough to harvest the mass of lavender at the front door. Today was that day. I expertly made my way around the thousands of bees who were not too happy that I was taking away their bounty and now we are over-loaded with lavender for drying. I have hung up around a third of it in the garage and will now wait for a few weeks for it to dry into the aromatic loveliness that will be stuffed into all sorts of wee treats.

I was lucky enough to receive this magnificent book for my birthday and it details all the magic that lavender has to offer, including its antiseptic and sedative properties. Here are some of the ways that I use lavender and some recommended from the book:

- massage lavender essential oil into temples in a circular movement when suffering from eye strain or tension headaches, it relaxes you straight away.

- add a few drops of oil to a bowl of boiling water then cover your head with a towel and inhale to help colds and flu.

- dab the oil on 'neat' to grazes, burns, insect bites.

- dry for pot pourri just like nana used to. There is something so homely and french-provincial about having dried lavender hung around the house.

- dry and sew the broken up heads into fabric sachets for drawers and wardrobes to get rid of moths and make your clothes smell nice.

- put a sachet of dried lavender under your pillow to encourage a better nights sleep.

- add 10 drops of oil to 1 litre of warm water, 1 tsp of baking soda and a few drops of liquid soap for a green spray cleaner - Thanks Wendyl!

- and sometimes - I don't know if this is recommended - I put a dab of oil behind each ear to keep those nasty stress monsters away in the corporate showdowns.

Ideally you should have English Lavender in the garden if you are looking to get the oils and a really fragant dried end-product, but French (like mine above) will do just fine for drying etc.

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