Monday, 31 August 2015

LOVELY LAVENDER


Recently we bought a large bunch of lavender for spare change from a farmer's roadside market stall. It was a lovely addition to our kitchen, especially as it's one of the preschooler's favourite flowers. She often sleeps with a sprig or two on her pillow for its fragrance. But over the weekend I noticed that the flowers were starting to droop and it seemed a shame and waste to throw it out.


I decided to hang it up to dry. But because I had bought some extra bunches for her birthday, we had quite a collection. I thought it might be a fun game for her to discover them when she comes home from preschool. And they look - and smell - lovely too.





Also, as I'm interested in growing some, I've done a little extra research on lavender. Here are 10 things I learnt:

1. Lavandula (common name lavender) belongs to the mint family and there are 39 known species of this flowering plant.

2. It is the leaves that normally contain the essential oils - which explains why I had to change the water daily.



3. The English word for lavender is thought be derived from the the Latin word lavare - meaning, "to wash". However, other explanations suggest the name comes from the Latin word livere - or, "blueish".

4. The most common form is English lavender - Lavandula anguvstifolia. The scent of lavender is thought to deter mosquitoes, flies and other small pests such as mice.

5. Lavandula stoechas has been declared a noxious weed in Victoria, Australia, as well as parts of Spain.

6. Lavender likes growing in full sun and prefers dry, well-drained soil. Also, the plant doesn't produce seeds - if you want to grow more, you need to separate the roots.





7. The essential oil from lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. And it is English lavender that is most commonly used in cosmetics, beauty and cleaning products due to its sweet fragrance.

8. Bees pollinate lavender and create honey from its nectar. 

9. Lavender essential oils were used in hospitals during WWI. Lavender honey has also been used on uninfected wounds.





10. Lavender can be used to help aid relaxation and sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety.

images the indigo crew

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