Archive for August, 2008

Lavender Ice Tea

August 15, 2008

Here’s my recipe for a lavender ice tea.  This year I tried a decaf green tea.

Boil enough water for 6 cups of tea.

Use 2 tea bags, or more if desired.

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags in a tea pot.  Add to the pot several fresh heads of lavender flowers.  I also had fresh orange mint in the garden, so put one stem with about 6 leaves into the pot.  It gives an ‘Earl Grey’ sort of flavor.  I do not use sugar, but you could add sugar, sweetener or honey at this point.

Let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain and cool.

Pour over ice and serve.

Lavender Festival at the Distillery District in Toronto.

The Vintage Gardener is hosting a lavender festival this week.  They have lots of dried lavender, beautiful lavender wreaths, soaps, oils, body lotions and lavender shortbread.  They also have 3 varieties for sale – L. a. “Munstead”, L.a. “Elegant Ice” and L. stoechas ‘Kew Red’.  There is the opportunity to make a lavender wreath, either a small one ($15), or medium one ($55).  I’ll be there signing books from 1:30 – 4:30 each day through Sunday.

I’ve met some really nice people, from Toronto, New York City and even Italy!

If you are looking for more info on lavender, please visit my site:

www.growing-lavender.com

Lavender in my garden

August 3, 2008

My lavender has been wonderful this year. I have a small city garden, but have about a dozen varieties that are winter hardy. Some of the younger plants like L. angustifolia Pink Perfume bloomed for the first time. However, even more exciting was my two week trip to Provence in France to see lavender fields there.

We took local tours out from Avingon. One tour visited lavender fields at the Senanque Abbey. Although the tour didn’t include seeing inside the abbey, the fields of L. angustifolia plants were in bloom, but I think they had some L. x intermedia’s fields in bud. It seems that France has had a lot of rain this year and the crop was a little behind – however from my point of view, perfect!

Another tour took us about an hour east of Avignon to Sault. It was a beautiful valley with fields of lavender.

Valley of lavender fields

Valley of lavender fields

In Avignon I picked up a book about making crafts with lavender and I was inspired to make some lavender wands when I got home with fresh lavender from my garden. I used L. x intermedia ‘Provence White’. This plant is 3 years old and just coming into its’ own with nice long stems, perfect for making wands.

 

News: I will be autographing books and answering your questions at the Lavender Festival, August 13 – 17 at the Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This event is being hosted by The Vintage Gardener. There will be workshops, showing you simple ways to make lavender wreaths and decorative ideas with lavender. Lavender plants and cookies and wonderful herbal seed starting kits. At this point I will be there from around noon until 3pm each day. Hope to see you there.

If you are looking for more information on how to grow lavender, please visit my site:

http://www.growing-lavender.com