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Lady Lavender


Published: 06/14/2012


Since Roman times lady lavender has been used to soothe the senses and heal the body. It’s known for its calming effects, as the gentle fragrance relieves stress and promotes sleep. Look for dried lavender and lavender oil at any local herbal shop.

In the bath: A lavender sachet added to a warm bath will make for a true spa experience. To make your own, take a
piece of thin cotton fabric (about 8 in. square) place a quarter cup of dried lavender flowers in the centre, gather up the corners and tie the bundle with a 12-in. length of ribbon or twine.

Tie the ends of the ribbon together in bow or knot, making a loop so you can hang the bag. Place this over the bathtub faucet so the water will run through the bag as the tub fills. You can use it several times before refilling it.

In the laundry:  A lavender sachet in the dryer leaves clothes and bedding smelling heavenly. Make your own using two
6-in. squares of cotton muslin and dried lavender flowers. Sew together three sides of the squares, fill with about one cup of lavender and sew the remaining side closed. When the fragrance wears off, refresh the sachet with a couple of drops of lavender oil.

In the kitchen:  Try a cool, refreshing pitcher of lavender lemonade this summer. You’ll need five cups of water, 1-1/2 cups of sugar, 2-1/4 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 12 stems of lavender. Boil half the water with the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the lavender. Cover and let cool. Add remaining water and lemon juice, strain the mixture to remove the lavender, and serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and lavender blossoms. Serves 8.

In the garden:  According to our own gardening editor, Richard Rix, lavender is very easy to grow. It does best in a sunny spot, prefers well-drained soil and is tolerant of drought conditions. Cut back old growth hard in spring to prepare for new growth, he advises.

English lavender is hardy for the Toronto area but French lavender may have to be treated as an annual. French lavender in
particular looks well in containers, due to its more natural-looking, spreading habit of growth.



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