A Garden in Provence

Miraculous Lavender

Isn’t lavender fabulous? From its distinct fragrance to the delightful color, it is world known. It is wonderful to be driving down a road in lavender country in Provence and have the car fill with that clean scent. They have lavender festivals in Provence and I went last year and plan to go again this year. There are an incredible number of products made from the herb. Here are two items I saw for sale at the festival-so cute.

Since we have a house in Provence we , of course, have to have lavender. Our first year here about fifty of the plants, along with santolina and rosemary, were planted on a hill to not only prevent erosion but just for the great look. Last year when we arrived the santolina was blooming like crazy with bright yellow flowers that the bees were enamoured of. This Spring when we arrived the rosemary was covered in purple flowers and not one yellow flower was to be seen. The lavender bloomed really well last year and I’m hoping it does so again a little later in the summer. I love the butterflies it attracts.
We have a few bare places in our yard so we decided to plant more lavender. We found it for sale at a nursery for 2.50 Euros a piece. We needed alot, like maybe 50 plants, so went instead to another place where they pulled each plant up out of soft soil and send it home with you bare roots and all. They were only .80 Euros each-quite a savings. You have to plant it immediately after cutting off all of the roots and trimming the plant. I couldn’t believe that the lavender would survive and even bloom eventually. I’m out there every day watering our 60 plants and looking for new growth. The guy at the nursery said that once they starting growing I should stop watering. Apparantly they do better without alot of watering. Our other plants were watered the first summer they were planted and once they were established we stopped watering. Quiet a hardy plant, along with the rosemary and santolina.
Last summer I tried to root some lavender, cutting off small stalks, dipping each into some plant hormone and planting. I think I may have watered too much and only ended up with one pitiful little plant but I did plant it last fall and it is still alive.
Lavender has medicinal uses besides just smelling and looking so great. It is used in baths to help with depression and well-being. I cut the flowers and put them in containers in the house. I don’t know if the frangrance keeps me from depression-not one of my problems, anyway-but that fragrance sure makes me happy and puts a smile on my face.