Friday, 20 July 2007
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).
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.