Lavender has long been known for its relaxing scent & has been used dating back to more than 2500 years ago. It was discovered in tombs of the ancient Pharaohs, the Kings of Egypt & still obtained it's original Lavender scent. In the Bible it is mentioned in the Song Of Solomon 4:8-16 as well as in the Gospel Of Luke (referred to as Spikenard). Egyptians, Phoenicians & people of Arabia used it as perfume. Cleopatra, it was rumored, used the scent to seduce her lovers. The Romans, with their infamous baths used it to scent, cleanse & deodorize & called it Lavare, the latin word for "to wash". They also used Lavender as perfume, insect repellent & flavoring. In the Middle Ages Lavender was grown by Monks in monasteries as part of their healing gardens or "infirmarian's garden" & experimented with the plant for anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, & healing properties. During the Medieval Times the Lavender cuttings were strewn across castle & church floors to ward of disease, deodorize & was a key ingredient in "The 4 Thieves Vinegar". In the 1600s it was believed that spikes of Lavender worn around the wrist would ward of the plague, which may have some truth to it as the plague was carried by fleas & Lavender can act as an insect repellant. Queen Elizabeth I required Lavender Jelly at her royal dining table. In the 1700s Shakers, a strict sect of the English Quakers grew Lavender in the United States & Canada. They produced Lavender products for their community & sold them to the "outside world". In the late 1900s modern day perfumes were created in Grasse, France. The area was known for it's production of leather gloves which created a bad odor. A leather tanner used Lavender, among other flowers, to scent the gloves. With the excess flower production, perfumeries were established & manufactured ointments & perfumes. Finally in WWI Lavender was used as an antiseptic & disinfectant for treating soldiers wounds & sterilising medical equipment. Todays Lavender has a wide range of uses, including raw & finished products & culinary delights.
Growing & Caring For Your Lavender Plants
There are a lot of different varieties of Lavender. In order to find out which variety grows best in your area you must check which Zone you are in & what you will be using your Lavender for. But in general Lavender is great in herb gardens & hedges. As a rule of thumb it is best to plant in well drained soil with full sun. It is best to avoid over-watering your Lavender plants as they do not like wet roots & become susceptible to rot & will eventually die. Planting time is best in spring & depending on the variety you pick it is good to plant at least 12" to 18" apart if not more. Follow the directions on the accompanying tab or ask your grower. Blooming occurs in early to mid summer, again, depending on the Lavender variety you choose. Pruning should occur in early to mid fall. Cut all plant material back 1" to 2" above the woody part. Lavender plants go dormant in winter. If cared for properly Lavender is a very forgiving plant. It is very unique & special & will bear flowers 10 years or more for you to enjoy.
Lavender Varieties That We Grow
Grosso (Lavandula X Intermedia)
Grosso is a great all-purpose Lavender plant. It is very hardy and grows to be very large as well. This plant is most commonly used for high-yielding oil as well as potpourri and sachets.
Seal (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Seal is a pretty Lavender plant with a tall shrub and very tall spikes. It grows well in warmer northern climates and is one of the first Lavender to bloom in spring. The blooms are a pretty, small opalescent color & work well with crafts like wreath making and Lavender wands.
Folgate (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Folgate is a great medium sized plant and grows well in northern climates. It features gorgeous periwinkle color buds and works well as a culinary Lavender and produces a nice smelling Lavender essential oil.
Royal Velvet (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Royal Velvet Lavender is a nice small to medium-sized plant with dark periwinkle color blue buds, great for bouquets and craft items as well as culinary use. It grows well in northern climates & is among the most popular choices of Lavender when it comes to purchasing a bundle or two.