After last year’s wet summer, it’s been wonderful to soak up the sun over the last few weeks, and we’re not the only species enjoying the heat wave conditions…
The majestic lavender is at its peak at the moment, and can be seen in bloom in gardens throughout the UK –including ours! Originally hailing from the Mediterranean, the beautiful herb is no stranger to direct sunlight and thrives in warm, sunny conditions in well-drained soils. We can guarantee the latter here in the chalky Chilterns!
Thankfully, this year, we’ve had a bumper crop which means one thing – lavender bags! I’ve been able to fill my new range of pocket-sized, hand-knitted bags with lavender flowers – grown, cut and dried right here in my kitchen garden. It’s a great feeling knowing the bags are truly handmade and home-grown.
The lavender sprigs take 4-6 weeks to dry out. Dried lavender is incredibly versatile and has many uses – from fragrant wedding confetti to a unique cooking ingredient, giving that extra kick to cupcakes, shortbread and even ice cream.
One of the most popular uses of dried lavender, however, has to be as a filling in the humble lavender bag – and for good reason: Lavender is known for its calming properties – in fact, the ancient Greeks discovered dried and crushed lavender flowers release a relaxing fume when burned.
…Well, you don’t need to burn it to enjoy the benefits! Lavender is a powerful sleep-aid and what better way to enjoy its calming properties than tucking a bag of it under your pillowcase or hanging it by your bed?
Lavender bags also act as natural fresheners for clothes and linen and have the double benefit of keeping pesky moths at bay – they can’t stand the scent apparently – which is good news for those precious woollens!
Another great thing about bagging up dried lavender is that the scent lasts for an incredibly long time. Giving your bag a squeeze from time to time will refresh the fragrance and give you a lovely reminder of summer in the deep, dark depths of those winter months…
…For the moment though, enjoy the sun – the Labradors are certainly making the most of it!
Until next time,