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Lavender

This ever-popular herb is sure to draw attention in any garden. From silvery-green leaves to flowers in hues of purple, it dances in the wind alluring butterflies and people alike. Its fresh aroma is used in many craft, culinary (yes, culinary!) and aromatherapy applications alike. We offer many varieties of lavender at Fairview… from Mumstead to Grosso, we’ve got you covered! Not sure which variety will best suit your needs? Ask our greenhouse staff for help! Read on…

Growth Habit

Lavender features an upright, bushy growth habit and is usually as wide as it is tall. It’s gray-green leaves and carefree nature make it a favorite among many gardening enthusiasts. Once established, it is rather drought tolerant. Most varieties have woody stems that are graced with white, blue, light lavender to dark purple flowers in both the spring and fall. Some varieties feature evergreen foliage. Lavender loves the sun, so make sure it gets six to eight hours (at least) of sun. To yield the best results, plant during the spring or fall. When planting, use a time released fertilizer.

Popular Varieties
Mumstead: blue-purple flowers, 12” – 18”
Hidcote: dark purple flowers, 18” – 24”
Jean Davis: pink flowers, 18”
Grosso: dark violet flowers (highly fragrant), 30”
Provence: violet flowers 18” – 24”
Silver Edge: light lavender flowers (hardy/disease resistant), 18” – 24”
Alba: white flowers, 12” – 18”

Possible Uses
1. Bug deterrent: moths, snails and ants
2. Deer deterrent
3. Attracts bees and butterflies
4. Sachets, wreaths and potpourri
5. Oils
6. Cut flowers in vase

Just for Fun
1. Egyptians used for making perfume and was used in the mummification process.
2. WWI nurses used to bathe soldiers wounds with lavender as an antiseptic.
3. Mentioned in the Bible in the Song of Solomon.
4. Originates from the mint family.
5. Native to Mediterranean regions.

Recipes

It is important to note that when using lavender for crafting and baking projects (especially baking), always use organic lavender that hasn’t been treated with pesticides or fertilizers.

Frances’ Secret Lavender Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approx 3 dozen
– 1/2 cup real butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 2 Tbsp. dried Sweet Lavender flowers (3-4 Tbsp. fresh flowers)
– 1 large egg
– 2 Tbsp. milk
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 cup oatmeal
– 1 1/2 cups white flour
– 3/4 tsp. baking powder
– 1 generous cup good chocolate chips

Bowl 1: Blend butter, sugar & Lavender until smooth. Add egg, milk & vanilla in next.
Bowl 2: Blend oatmeal, flour, and baking powder together; add in your chocolate chips to this dry mix.

Blend both mixes together to form soft dough. (If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour.) Place by teaspoons onto baking tray. Set oven @ 350° F Bake 10 minutes for soft cookies, 15 mins for crisp ones. OPTIONAL: Add 3 or 4 pieces of crystallized ginger finely chopped OR zest of one orange. OR: 1 cup nuts, raisins, coconut OR dried sweetened cranberries. FOR A CHOCOLATE dough base: Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder in with flour & sugar and decrease the chocolate chip amount slightly.
Lavender Lemonade
Hidcote lavender turns lemonade rosy pink. Other varieties turn it a paler color. Avoid piney-smelling lavenders, such as spike. For that extra touch, garnish lemonade with fresh lavender sprigs. Makes: 6 cups

– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup (a generous handful) fresh or 1 tablespoon dried lavender blooms stripped from stems
– 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
– Ice cubes
– Lavender sprigs for garnish

Combine sugar with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours). Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups water. Stir well and watch lemonade change color. Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.

Lavender Shortbread
– 3 Tbsp. fresh organic Lavender flowers OR 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried organic Lavender flowers
– 1 cup butter
– 1/4 cup (scant) cornstarch
– 1/2 cup icing sugar
– 1 1/2 cups flour
– 1 Tbsp. Lavender “Tea”* (extra Lavender or substitute: see footnote)Set oven at 325° F. Use food processor to blend chilled butter (not room temperature) plus Lavender flowers, icing sugar & cornstarch. Add half the flour amount and Lavender tea*. Pulse gently until roughly cut into a “crumbly” texture. Blend in remainder of flour until it “balls” into a smooth dough. Roll in a wax paper log like frozen cookie dough. CHILL 30 MINUTES. Cut into 1/2 inch rings, bake on ungreased cookie sheet until just golden on the bottom. Aprox 20 minutes. Cool before handling. Makes aprox 30. Store in tight tin.

* Lavender Tea
Use 4 teaspoons of fresh Lavender or 1 Tbsp. dried. Place in a mug & pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over the Lavender. Use a saucer as a lid & steep 5 minutes. Stain & measure tea as a flavour booster, drink remainder as you wait for cookies! Can substitute 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice or 1 tsp. vanilla extract.

Note: Dough can be frozen. (This way you can make the dough rolls in fresh season & bake for Christmas!) Please ~ thaw before slicing so dough does not crack.

Lavender Bath Bomz
– 1 cup baking soda
– 1/3 cup citric acid
– 1/4 tsp borax
– witch hazel in a fine mist sprayer
– 6 drops lavender essential oil
– 1/2 tsp dried, powered lavender flowers
– spray tin of cooking oil eg. Pam
– small jello or individual soap making molds, even two piece plastic eater eggs will work or even used muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl, mix baking soda and borax plus powdered herbs or flowers, sift 2-3 times. Spritz with witch hazel ; mix well, spritz and stir until mix is consistency of wet sand and will retain it’s shape if squeezed in a clenched hand. Add citric acid and essential oil (usually available in health food stores). Mix well again. Spray or wipe mold lightly with cooking oil. Pack firmly with your mix. Let set five minutes then gently turn over and tap on top of paper towel surface. Let air dry 24 hours before wrapping or packaging, store moisture free.

Easy Lavender Body Powder
– 2/3 cup arrowroot powder
– 2/3 cup corn starch
– 6 tbsp. white clay*
– 3 tbsp. dried lavender

*Clay available at most health food stores

Grind whole Lavender flowers in a clean coffee grinder to desired fineness. Use a glass bowl, mix arrowroot powder, cornstarch and Lavender. Optional to add a few drops of essential oil to boost scent. Stir. Store in a glass sealed container. Nice as a gift in a shaker bottle with holes in the top.

All recipes courtesy of happyvalleylavender.com.

Have Fun!
Pegi Rodeman
Fairview Greenhouses and Garden Center