And the inhabitants of Story, from the Kings and Queens relaxing in their castles to the peasants toiling in the fields; from to the fey folk flitting about the forests to the trolls lurking under bridges and the giants in the hills, read the anthology, and enjoyed it. And they all lived…
…Happily Ever After.
One of my favorite flowers is Lavender.
The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.”
Lavender has been used to promote a sense of calm for centuries.
Lavender requires good drainage and prefers at least 6 hours of direct sun a day.
Try to plant from spring until early summer. The plants put in the ground in late summer seem to have a harder time surviving the first winter.
Pruning can be done either in spring or fall. Simply cut back anything un-shapely. Pruning is to maintain the shape an appearance of the plant. I like to cut back the growth not more than halfway if needed.
This cutting often causes another round of flower blooms and more lovely Lavender!
Start harvesting lavender when the flowers become vivid in color. Harvest early in the morning after the dew has dried. Harvested lavender has many uses; you can make fresh or dried arrangements or wreaths, or process it to use in soaps, candles, and cosmetics.
Lavender is a very special herbal tisane which has calming effects that helps relieve stress, fatigue, headache and insomnia. Drinking a cup of Lavender tea before going to bed is known to promote restful sleep. This tea blends well with mint leaves. Try it.
Queen Elisabeth I, who loved lavender, used it in tea to treat her frequent migraines and as a perfume.
Queen Victoria was a great enthusiast in the use of lavender. Fresh lavender was dried and put into muslin bags for wardrobes, used to wash walls and furniture and lavender bags were stuffed between sheets in linen presses. You can also use Lavender to cook with in “sweet” or “savory” meals.
Preheat oven to 350 deg. Grease two baking sheets. Cream the butter and the sugar together, then stir in the beaten egg and milk. Mix in flowers and the flour. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Bake about 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Makes about 30 cookies.
Lavender was often used during Tudor and Elizabethan times in the preparation of a wide variety of dishes and was a particular favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. The palace gardeners were required to have lavender flowers available at all times which were used to make Conserve of Lavender (a mixture of lavender flowers and sugar) and sweet lavender tisane, a drink made with lavender flowers, boiling water and honey.
RECIPE FOR LAVENDER LEMONADE.
5 cups water 1½ cups sugar 12 stems of fresh lavender 2¼ cups lemon juice
Boil 2 ½ cups of water with the sugar. Add the lavender stems and remove from heat. Place on the lid and let cool. When cool, add 2 ½ cups of water and the lemon juice. Strain out the lavender. Serve the lavender lemonade with crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms. Serves 8.