Thank you to contributor V from Oregon for this scrumptious array of produce from a farm in Portland where she toils in the black dirt and reaps rewards. Red and yellow onions braided with violet flowers and raffia twine, drape the kitchen wall. Hot red chili peppers hang clothesline style. Meanwhile, yellow squash and orange gourds stand alone like regal sentinels. Honey, golden cherry and crimson red tomatoes crowd into recycled green baskets. Various colored potatoes (not pictured well but next to gourd) collect inside a stainless bowl. A feast of surprising color combinations, taste sensations, seasonal September delights and satisfaction for the sustainable gardener.
I grow and use lavender to reinforce and strengthen my divine connection to nature.
THINK ACTION: Purchase lavender at your local nursery center and plant indoors or out if the weather permits.
Meditate with lavender and notice the sublime restorative effects.
Try a lavender recipe, sip lavender tea or make a lavender herb blend this week.
Rub lavender oil on your temples (I place a few drops under my nostrils too) at bedtime tonight.
Make a home mist by adding twenty lavender drops to a two-ounce spray bottle filled with spring or filtered water.
Organic lavender is also edible. For culinary use, finely chop the blossoms.
Make your own Herbes de Provence. Blend chopped dried savory, thyme, lavender, rosemary, fennel and basil. Yet, another recipe calls for basil, oregano, lavender, sage, and fennel. Herbes de Provence is delicious added to homemade bread or combined with butter. I add garlic, shallots, sea salt and olive oil then toss with root vegetables and roast. Be inventive!
Lavender sugar, lavender lemonade, lavender lemon cookies, jam and lavender ice cream are a few ways to try lavender with sweets.
Pour hot water over lavender buds for tea, strain and add lemon and sweetener of choice, such as honey. Alongside its herbal cousin mint, lavender settles the stomach and aids digestion.
Lavender expands and enhances your cooking repertoire.
Lavender is easily cultivated in Mediterranean type environments. There are over forty-five varieties. Check with your garden center to plant lavender suited to your climate zone. French lavender species grow well indoors.
Many English, Spanish and French lavender types shine in the garden with their stunning silver and velvet foliage.
Cultivate a lavender shrub section in your flower bed with spring bulbs and summer roses to have non-stop blooms from April to fall. The barrel shaped blossoms tip and bend in an array of mauve tones.
A study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that lavender was a potent killer of bacterial molds. Meanwhile, researchers in Turkey tested lavender as a healing application for wounds and found that the recovery “progressed more rapidly” than with other controls.
As a natural antibacterial and antiviral treatment, lavender essential oil is recommended and prescribed for cuts, scratches, insect bites, burns and blemishes.
In Aromatherapy, the usage of lavender is legendary. Its therapeutic properties are well-documented going back hundreds of years. It is valued for its calming, uplifting and soothing fragrance.
Rub lavender oil on your temple to calm restlessness or ease a headache. I spray lavender on my pillowcases before bed to help with sleep. When packing clothes for the season, throw in lavender stems and flower bouquets to prevent moths and bugs. As a side benefit, it perfumes the stored box, trunk or closet.
Place dried blossoms in cheesecloth or a sachet and keep in your drawers. Make bath salts by adding fresh sprigs into a large mason jar of Epsom salts. From soaps to candles, lavender use is widespread.
May 13 – Lavender
“Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.” – Alice Walker
Scented sprigs of lavender blossoms remind me of amethyst crystal beads set upon the nape of an Englishwoman’s slender neck in the Victorian age. Lavender is an endearing, enduring gift from the heavens with its violet, fragrant spikes for they attract the pollinator bee and the transformational butterfly.
According to lore, a “lavender” was the name given to washerwomen many centuries ago in Holland. This stems from the Latin word lavare meaning “to wash.” Hence, peasants called the herb with a fresh, clean and menthol fragrance – lavender.
Lavender is one of the oldest aromas together with rose, frankincense and myrrh. Many lavender fields ago, women in labor clutched lavender stalks for courage and strength. In ancient Greece, Rome and Arabia, herbalists touted lavender as a disinfectant, antiseptic and a cure for skin infections. Science today acknowledges and verifies most of these claims.
What qualities of nature are you attracted to? Is it the happy faces of pansies or the scent of roses and jasmines that appeal to you? Is it a mass of tulips or a single hybrid lily?
What colors remind you of springtime?
Do you prefer to hike through high grassed meadows, flowered fields or shaded woods?
Do you have any spring rituals? What may they be?
If spring is your favorite season – why?
Birdwatching is a simple delight this time of year. Maybe you have even seen a nest in a tree. What are natural pleasures that make you smile in springtime?
I gardened today. I weeded, cleaned up leaves and twigs left behind by the winds. I watered the dry earth, revived the parched plants and ruminated. I reminisced. I recalled years of gardening tasks and moments – digging, pruning, blessing new transplants, shrieking at earthworms and tamping down living, lush, dirty soil with my bare hands. Sacred hours and quality time in our gardens, that is true bliss. Ultimately, be grateful for every breath you take, and every waking moment.
My experiences and my relationships are priceless.