Monday, April 27, 2009

Lavender Fields Forever!

Attic Gal Rachelle says:

The other morning I was in the backyard with my little guy when I was overwhelmed by one of my very favorite scents ever - Lavender.  The several lavender bushes that I had purchased at Costco a few years back were in full bloom, and it smelled WONDERFUL!

I saw that the bees thought it smelled pretty yummy to, so I ran in and got my camera and the macro lens and took a few pictures.

Now here is the wide angle view of my backyard:

Not really.  I wish!

I think I love the scent of Lavender so much because just a whiff transports me back to Soriano nel Cimino, the tiny hilltop town near Tuscany where we stayed in Italy.  

We had a room in an old palace, and with masses of lavender in full bloom in the yard.  We sat in these lounge chairs and looked over the lavender to the rooftops below.  It was HEAVEN.  Absolutely perfect!

So then I got to thinking.  What can I do with all this lavender?

Is there something more I can do besides just putting it in a vase like this?

I'd LOVE to make a wreath like this, but I don't think I have quite enough.

Then I remembered about lavender wands.  I've always wanted one, so I got online and found out how to make one.  Here is a little tutorial:

Gather a bunch of laventer spikes, the longer the stems, the better.  Be sure it is an odd number.  I used 19.

Using a spool of ribbon so that you have enough, tie it tightly just at the base of the flowers, leaving a tail about two feet long.

Carefully bend each stalk up around the flowers to make a cage encompassing the buds.

Then, using the ribbon that is still attached to the spool, start to weave over and under each stock.  It is harder at first, but gets easier as you go.  

The 2 foot length of ribbon should be hanging loosely among the stocks.

Continue around and around the flowers, pulling tightly each time.  Over time the lavender will dry and shrink, and the ribbon will get loose, so keep it as tight as possible.

Once the flowers are completely enclosed, tie the two ends of ribbon tightly around the base of the wand, then tie a bow, or continue down the rest of the way with a ballerina slipper twist like this:

This was my first attempt.  Not nearly as pretty as those in the picture above my tutorial.  My weaving was very uneven, the stalks were close together on one side and spread apart on the other side, but I was able to do some adjusting when I was finished.

  I used a 3/8" ribbon, but it would have been much faster and used less ribbon if I had used a wider ribbon, maybe 5/8".  It was a pretty easy project, but did take a little time and patience.  I didn't mind because I sat outside on a beautiful day.  It was rather relaxing and the lavender just smelled so wonderful when working with it!  

 I wondered what else I could do with lavender.  I'd heard that you could cook with it, but I never had, so I went searching online again, and found a lot of wonderful recipes.  I tried two easy ones.
  I looked at and combined several recipes for my Lavender Lemonade.  Bring a gallon of water and 3 to  3 1/2 cups sugar to a boil.  Remove from heat and add 2 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice and 7 - 10 sprigs of fresh lavender.  Let cool, strain, and chill.  Garnish with a a stock or two of fresh lavender.

This lemonade is so, so good!  The lavender gives it a light, refreshing flavor, and cuts some of the tartness of the lemons.

I found this recipe for Lavender Shortbread on Food Network.  It too is super easy, tender, and delicious.  It is so aromatic, and the lavender gives it an interesting flavor.  What a pretty little treat for a tea party, or given as a gift in a pretty little tin.  The recipiant would open the tin, and just smell lavender!  Nice.

Isn't it pretty two with the dainty lavender buds and sprinkled  sugar.  Girl food for sure!

If you love lavender like I do, you might enjoy these fun websites with everything lavender:

I really wish I could upload the wonderful scent of lavender on the internet for you.  But try the lemonade and shortbread.  You'll be in for a treat!

Have you ever cooked with lavender?  What other projects have you done or wanted to do with lavender?


  1. This is such a beautiful post! I could just smell that lavender. The lemonade and the short bread were so tasty. I am so going to plant my own bush.

  2. I just love lavender. It smells so good! I have some lavender linen spray that I like to spray on my sheets at night and it helps me to relax. I love that lavender wand. I've never seen one of those before.