Like many of my neighbors who were hit this past weekend with an extreme case of spring fever, I’ve been ramping up the planning of this year’s garden. Part of that is looking back at last year’s and deciding what was worth repeating, and what my d’oh moments were. For instance, it wasn’t until the squash started ripening that I realized I’d meant to plant zucchini, and that my husband doesn’t really like the yellow stuff. I also completely forgot to plant peppers, and missed the spring planting of lettuces entirely due to an unexpected out of town trip. (that said, the fall crop is miraculously still producing!)
I also didn’t plant enough herbs. Rather, I started most of those from seed, and didn’t do a very good job with the “hardening off” process. Only about half my herbs survived, and one that didn’t was lavender.
(flickr photo by MaiaC)
Lavender is sort of a miracle herb for me. Not only does it work wonderfully for infusing salts and liquors, but dried it is a nice additive to sachets and dryer balls, and the fresh sprigs are GREAT in a bathtub or hanging from the shower spigot.
This year, however, I definitely intend to plant enough to make myself some essential oils. Not only are they great additions to homemade cleaning and beauty products, but everyone should have a bottle in their first aid kit. Did you know that quickly applying lavender oil to all but the worst of burns will immediately stop the pain and virtually eliminate scarring? I’ve burnt myself fairly badly on multiple occasions, and in all but one case a little lavender oil made it like it never happened. It helps tremendously with mosquito and flea bites as well.
Lavender is also a great antiseptic to add to humidifier water in winter, or to use in laundry rinses and ironing sprays. Finally, dried or fresh, it really helps repel fleas and moths in the home.
Two notes on the placement of lavender in your garden: 1) keep it away from your dill. For some reason, they just don’t get along. 2) any aromatic herb you want to use for essential oils will benefit from some nearby yarrow, as it enhances the oil production.
I’ll revisit this topic later this year with some recipes and tutorials when I’ve got a good crop. Right now, it’s back to planning!