The fragrant Lavender shrub is known for its medicinal uses, sleep and calming properties but did you know it can be used in culinary dishes too? One of my favourite bee and butterfly friendly plants is a delight and easy to grow. Discover more about this incredibly useful and aromatic plant, as well as where in the world you can enjoy it.
Lavender © MDHarding
Where To Enjoy The World's Lavender
History of Lavender
Lavender is believed to be from the Mediterranean, Middle East and India. Its history goes back some 2500 years. Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance and its multiple uses.
Lavender is really easy to grow, although in hot weather and if in a pot, don't let it dry out. You could try growing it from seed, cuttings, plugs (like I have below) or potted plants.
Over the years I have grown lavender from plugs and potted plants. I love to dry the flower heads to make small scented drawer cushions and use in biscuits. If looking to enjoy the flowers right away be sure to invest in potted plants.
This year I have planted a lavender Munsted hedge purchasing 20 fragrant plugs for only £15 + PP from Blooming Direct (UK). They arrived very quickly and in good condition.
They will take two to three years to flower but the cost is much lower and will be worth the wait.
Planting Garden Ready Lavender Plants ©MDHarding
Norfolk Lavender Milk Chocolate
There are a number of products created using Lavender. Did you know chocolate was one?
Norfolk Lavender dates back to 1932, distilling lavender oil to go into products such as Norfolk Lavender Milk Chocolate, tea, candles, bath and body lotions plus lots more!
The taste is very distinctive, not overpowering but you know that it is Lavender flavoured. This chocoholic loved it!
Norfolk Lavender Milk Chocolate ©MDHarding
Lavender By Tessa Evelegh
Tessa has created a wonderful book on lavender, full to the brim with amazing recipes, decorative and natural gifts. It's been well used in our home.
The lavender biscuit recipe is so easy and they are delicious! Here are some I made earlier (wink).
Lavender Heart Biscuits ©MDHarding
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is said to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used in an oil burner to fragrance a room or just one drop on a pillow will help you relax and drift off into the land of zzz's. You can read more in How to Beat Jet Lag and Get A Good Night's Sleep.
Lavender Blue Break
In beautiful La Drome, south of France, known as the premier part of France for bio-agriculture due to the warm climate and the rich soil you can enjoy the abundant fields of lavender. The lavender paths through the fields offer views over Mont Ventoux or the Albion Palin, with walks of up to about four kilometres, all signposted.
Here you can see both the hybrid, Lavindin, as well as the organic species lavender. The difference being Lavidin grows at all levels of altitude but lavender only above 600 metres.
The Appellation d'Origin Protogee (AOP) Essential oils of lavender from Haute-Provence’ was set up in 1981 to identify it as being of the highest quality.
A visit to the area could not go by without a visit to one of the lavender distilleries. There are several including the Bleudiois Lavender Distillery and the ‘Distillerie Bleu Provence’ which has been in situ since 1939.
For the Lavender fanatics, you might like to experience behind the scenes and enjoy a Lavender Blue Break. This offers the chance to create images of the scenery, work in the fields with a producer to appreciate the whole production process from harvesting to essential oils, a massage and relaxing treatments with oils and creams, as well as a lavender based dinner.
The Island of Lavender
The Croatian Island of Hvar a health resort since 1868 is also known as the island of lavender. Each year celebrating the aromatic plant with an annual lavender festival - taking place in the 14th-century village of Velo Grablje. It's one of the most iconic in Hvar's wellbeing calendar. The best time to visit is late June for the annual festival, to see the purple flowers in abundance and while the calming floral scent fills the air.
The newly launched 5-star boutique Maslina Resort Hotel is an ideal place to soak up the history of the island, relax and rejuvenate, as well as to enjoy the beautiful lavender. With the fields, only a stone throw away.
Lavender Fields ©NIKOLARADOVANI
I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to enjoy the world's lavender.
Until next time, stay safe.