Monday, 12 July 2010

Lavenders Blue, diddle, diddle, Lavenders Green...

Did you have to sing that silly song at school? I did and it always annoyed me because even as quite a young child, I just knew that lavender is neither blue nor green - it's, well, it's 'lavender'! Though I'd probably have described it as 'purple' as a child.

About five years ago, I bought five miniature lavender plants from an artist friend who had given up painting to help her son set up a garden centre. I had fond memories of the lavender bushes in the garden I grew up with but knew that my present garden was too small for lavender on that scale so the miniature ones seemed perfect for the job.

But there's nothing miniature about them now!

This one almost blocks the pathway round to the French Doors of the dining room where I mostly work! But I don't really mind because, even in Spring and Autumn, when there are no flowers on them, they give off a wonderful scent. Very relaxing if I happen to be working close to them, planting bulbs or sowing seeds - and the butterflies seem to adore them!

Now I could write about the wonderful properties of lavender, the many comforting and healing uses for its essential oil and how it got its name from the Latin word 'lavanda', meaning 'thing to be washed'. But you probably know all that and if you don't and are interested, Wikipedia will tell you all you need to know!

Just one thing I will mention though, that Wikipedia leaves out - a few drops of essential oil of lavender, even fewer of Ylang Ylang and fewer still of Vetivert, sprinkled in a warm bath will give off an aroma that has to be experienced to be appreciated! Sadly I lent my excellent book of aromatheray 'recipes' to an aromatherapist and never got it back but that mix I do remember, even though I haven't been able to remember the author's name to try to track down a replacement!

I think lavender is sometimes associated with old ladies, which is a pity. Perhaps it's because nobody except VERY old ladies puts lavender bags amongst their linen to keep the moths away these days or dabs their brow with lavender water. We've grown more sophisticated in our tastes though sometimes 'old' ideas are recycled and become all the rage! I was pleased to discover that lavender is making a come-back as wedding confetti, as an alternative to rice or those paper horseshoes and bells that just hang around on the pavements after weddings, looking untidy and a bit sad.

So I've created a few 'lavender' products for my Zazzle store - I think these stickers would add a special touch to the envelope of wedding invitations, or even a letter or card of condolence -

And, of course, I had to make a mug!

'Sweet Lavender' Mug mug
'Sweet Lavender' Mug by helikettle
Create mugs at

'Lavenders Blue, diddle diddle...'  - oh really!!!!


Country Mouse Studio said...

I agree, I always wondered too. I like your lavender mug.

Jean said...

I have heard that song but never had to sing it as a child. We had to sing songs like "Jimmy Crack Corn".:)
After 3 failed attempts I finally got a lavender plant to live. I adore it and hang a new bundle of flowers (after they dry) indoors every year. The smell is relaxing.
I like the mug and feel the sticker is a great idea!

Ulla Hennig said...

I love lavender, the color and the scent of it. I once spent summer holidays in the Provence in France, and the lavender fields are simply gorgeous!

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Thanks, Carole, I wondered whether that song was just sung in England? And Jean - I hand up bundles of lavender in my windows too. It apparently keeps the flies away. Ulla, that sounds fantastic! We have a lavender farm near here where you can pick your own but they're only open a few weeks of the year and I always seem to miss it. According to Wikipedia, the scent of English lavender is superior to the French but I can't really compare!