Friday, 20 July 2007

Lovely Lavender


Torrential rain again today so it seems odd to be talking about the front garden and a very summery plant. Last year M dug up our front garden which was just weedy grass and a very ugly manhole cover. We covered it in pebbles and filled it with lavender bushes, rosemary, a peony, foxgloves and a potted rose to cover that manhole cover. Last year it looked a bit like toytown as everything was so small, but the lavender did well enjoying its sunny position.

This year, despite the wind and rain, the lavender has gone mad. It's now blooming and has swamped everything else. It is beautiful but makes running up and down the garden steps for the girls a little bit more hazardous as they're petrified of all the bees that it has attracted.

I love lavender, I remember walking our family dog with my mum when I was younger and stopping by a neighbour's lavender bush every evening and rubbing some against our hands and smelling it on the way home. It's good to have some of our own to smell whenever we come home as it lines the steps up to our door.
Last year I was able to make up loads of lavender sachets to put in the bathroom amongst the towels, in our drawers and under pillows for a good night's sleep. I'm looking forward to making some more this year (quite a few by the looks of things!), once the lavender is fully in bloom and starting to dry.

I also made some lavender sugar at Christmas as presents with some of the dried lavender buds. It's easy to use and perfect to add to shortbreads, cakes and icecreams. and you can use it instead of normal sugar when making meringues (very summery). It's floral sweetness is great with summer berries. Just make sure it's lavender from your garden and nothing bought that's had anything nasty added to it (I use the lavender from the back garden for cooking as it hasn't been near any car fumes).


Lavender Sugar
Add 3-4 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers to 8oz (200g) sugar. Seal in a jar and leave for two weeks. Whiz until fine in a liquidiser or processor. Easy!
If you use lavender sugar instead of normal sugar in shortbread biscuit recipes and use heart shape cutters it makes very pretty biscuits, that smell and taste lovely.

Back to my tea cosies. Have a good weekend.

33 comments:

Heidijayhawk said...

it is simply too hot here for lavender to grow like that. it is definitely my favorite!!!

Alison said...

I totally love lavender as well. what a great idea to make lavender sugar.
Alison x

buttercup & roses said...

I love lavender, in fact I think all the things you planted last year are in my top 10!

Ill have to have ago at that lavender sugar, sounds fab!

Jennifer.x

Mirre said...

I've been smelling someone else's lavender today... I really need my own!

Raindrops said...

Now you are just flaunting your lavender bushes to me LOL. I wonder if you did lavender sugar and then used the sugar in jam if that would be nice? The material you have done the heart in is lovely. Looks like a toile de jour. (think that is how you spell it) Tricia

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

How wonderful to have all that lavender growing in your yard! It must smell heavenly!

Miss Eagle said...

My grandmother always splashed around the Lavender Water. A marvellous practice.

Country Cottage Chic said...

I love lavender too - I will have to try your recipe for lavender sugar.
I've really enjoyed reading your blog & will be back for more!

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Some great ideas!!! I'm going to try and make lavender ice-cream!!Have a lovely (probably rainy!!!) weekend!!

sarah said...

mmmmm, your garden must smell lovely, i bought some to use in sachets but it didnt smell much. Must grow my own in future. Sarah x

Rowan said...

What a lovely summery post in spite of the awful weather - hope you haven't been washed away! The lavender sachets are so pretty - the scent of lavender is one of my favourites.

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! Lavender reminds me so much of my sweet grandmother who could grow anything in any climate, including lavender in the Arizona desert!

Tracy said...

LOVE all your lavender goodies here! I've not made lavender sugar in a long time--thanks for the reminder. Our lavender is just blooming, and enough to make something sweet! Oh, I can almost smell the lavender here! Pity your can't scratch & sniff the pc screen--LOL! Happy weekend to you & yours! :o)

Nonnie said...

I love lavender although I have to use it in moderation as my boyfriend is not too keen. I love the idea of the lavender sugar. An old flatmate used to make sponge cake with lavender icing and it was gorgeous.

Annie said...

Love the "toy town" comment. I had a laugh. Beautiful lavender

COLLS GARDEN said...

Hi Kim, your Lavender looks wonderful. Ours is taking a bit of a hiding just now, too much rain, then no rain, lots of VERRY cold, but it will be gorgeous again come Spring. Hope you are not near any of the dreadful floods we saw on TV tonight, our hearts go out to those people.
Hugs, Coll :-}

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oohh I love lavender too!
Have never tried any of the lavender recipes though, although I have a book somewhere with lavender recipes in, I must find it!
Alison x

mollycupcakes said...

Hi honey I've just bought a lavender plant, so when it's all big and in bloom I'll give your sugar and cookies ago.
Thanks for the idea.

Hope you've had a good weekend

Catherine x

julia said...

How I would love to have lavender like that. I do have a pot of it outside the front of the house and it is gorgeous, but I'm a bit jealous of all yours!

What a lovely "room of your own" you share. Do you think all us women long for a space of our own? I'm aiming for a little summer house at the bottom of our garden to escape to and sew, read, snooze etc. in!

Julia x

Isobel said...

I just adore lavender. My last lavender craziness was to have lavender ice crem with chocolate brownie in a hotel in Bosham one night and the next be cheeky enough to ask the waiter if i could have for dessert just the ice cream. He was kind enough to bring me three big balls of it. Just Yummy!
x

Sew Recycled! said...

I have been sleeping badly recently so I cut a bunch from my garden, shoved it in my pillocase and.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
I love collecting and drying the lavender every year - it makes me want to be those gentleman in the latest Country Living article. Lets go and buy a bit of the Downs Kim, together we could set up our own Sussex laveneder farm!

Sew Recycled! said...

Kim, I am there, thats it! Its perfect, dream dream dream..........

Chookyblue said...

wow I love lavender..........it is one of my favourites in the garden but it never grows wild..beautiful post........take care.....

Lallee said...

Your lavender looks beautiful. I've always wanted to try making lavender sugar, and your shortbread cookies make it really tempting now. I will have to order some lavender buds. My lavender dose not produce enough for doing so. I love your little sachet, too.

carolyn said...

Another Lavender fan here. Actually I'm amazed at how well it is doing bearing in mind all the rain this year.

see you there! said...

We only have one rather largish bush of lavendar but it does produce flowers nearly year round.

I know there are different varieties of the plant and they have different growing habit as well as strength of fragrance.

Love the little heart sachet!

Darla

Wild Rose said...

I love this post Kim. Lavender really is an amazing herb.

I've just come back from another trip to the lavender farm and the smell was incredible, the colours stunning and the bees loving it!

Marie x

dottycookie said...

Lavender sugar, what a glorious idea. I have jars of rosemary and vanilla sugar but not lavender - yet! I think I once saw a recipe for lavender and chocolate ice cream ... hmmm, might have to dig for that again actually.

Lynda said...

I'm glad your lavender has survived those torrential downpours! Lavender is one of my favourite scents and I use it everywhere. I'm drying some now that I hope to make up into more sachets for my linen closet. Thanks for the recipe! ♥

kate said...

Kim,

I envy you your lavender! Thank you for the lavender sugar recipe. I am definitely going to try this with my little lavender plant that doesn't seem to like its current location!

Reflections from the Stone Nest said...

Such a beautiful post! Your pictures and suggestions using lavender are wonderful!

Thx
Kitty

Sarahs Home said...

I have just come across your beautiful blog. I love the lavender and grow it in my garden, I am hoping that the weather stays dry enough for me to go and cut some out to keep in the house but it is too wet for me right now.

Sarah x

weirdbunny said...

I planted a lavender hedge a couple of years ago. Then last year 2 of the plants died, so I replaced them with a pink and a white lavender instead of the traditional lilac. The trouble is I can't bring it into the house as it gives me a headache.