Stop and Smell the Lavender

By Leigh Burgess

A mainstay of any herbal garden, beautiful lavender is easy to grow and has many household uses.  Attractive to pollinators, lavender will add beauty to your yard in more ways than one. Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are all attracted to lavender and will be frequent visitors to well-maintained lavender patches.  Read on for more information about the benefits and uses of lavender, as well as care directions for lavender plants.

Benefits and Uses of Lavender
Lavender flowers are very beneficial with multiple household uses ranging from decorative to aromatic.  Dried and fresh lavender sprigs make beautiful, fragrant additions to floral arrangements.  Try combining fresh lavender with greenery and flowers shaded pink, purple and white for stunning visual appeal.  Pair dried flowers with rosemary, sage, or other garden fare for an herbaceously aromatic display.  When dried and used aromatically, lavender-filled sachets are known to curb anxiety and improve sleep.  Place sachets of dried blooms in the bedroom for a relaxing bedtime experience, or pour a cupful of dried flowers into a hot bath to release the soothing benefits of a lavender bath tea.

Growing Your Lavender 
Relatively easy to maintain, lavender is a great herb to add to your garden.  It is often perennial, but in humid climates it is grown as an annual.  Lavender is best planted outside as plants instead of seeds.  Choose healthy plants from your local garden center or pre-start seeds inside around 8-10 weeks before you plan to transplant outside.  Pick a full-sun location with well-drained soil and plant in early spring or summer (see package directions for zone-specific information).  Lavender can also be grown in a large container garden if you don’t have optimal yard conditions for the plant.  Only water when soil is very dry as lavender roots will rot if left in wet soil for too long.

Lavender is beautiful in the garden, lovely dried or fresh in bouquets, and attracts a bevy of beautiful pollinators to your garden.  It also has multiple herbal applications when dried.  This easy-to-grow powerhouse is a great addition to your herbal garden. 

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