Lavender is a perennial plant. It is said that Adam and Eve took lavender with them when they were banished from the Garden of Eden…
Starting by Seed or Nursery Plants – Lavender is easily grown whether you start with seeds or nursery plants. If starting with seed fill a container with the appropriate soil mixture. Lightly pat the soil down to level it. Take a pencil and lay it flat. Push down so soil comes up half of pencil width. Sprinkle seeds in these indentations, then cover very slightly with additional soil mixture. Make sure seeds are covered thinly and tamp down very gently – just enough to set the soil over the seed. Germination taks anywhere from a week to 3 weeks, so be patient.
Starting with nursery plants obtained from a reputable nursery greatly decreases the time from planting to flowering.
Soil – Lavender flourishes best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. All lavender species need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation. This is particularly important in areas of high humidity as root rot due to fungus infection can be a problem. Avoid organic mulches as this can trap moisture around the plants’ bases, again encouraging root rot. Instead, use pea gravel, decomposed granite, or sand instead.
Container – A clay pot is probably best as it will help to keep the soil at the root level from becoming too wet. Lavender likes good air circulation. A rather larger clay pot will aid in making sure there is plenty of space between your lavender plants and the rest of your herb garden on a windowsill.
Light Requirements – Lavender does well in a spot that receives full sun.
Watering – Be careful not to over-water because Lavender can easily be killed by too much of a good thing. Water your new plant thoroughly after planting. For the first couple of weeks keep the soil damp, but then water less frequently. At this point water when the soil begins to get dry, but before the plant displays any distress. Too much water will kill your new lavender plant.
Lore – It is said that Adam and Eve took lavender with them when they were banished from the Garden of Eden. The Biblical name for Lavender is spikenard. In the gospel of Luke the writer reports: "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment."
Lavender is regarded as a safeguard against evil. A cross of lavender hung over the door will protect the home and those who dwell therein.
Romans used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, and scenting the air.
In Tudor times a maiden would sip lavender dew on Saint Luke’s day while murmuring: "St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me. In my dreams, let my true love see."
Apline girls tucked lavender under their lover’s pillows to turn their thoughts to marriage. Once married, they would use lavender to ensure their husbands’ marital passion.
Here in the United States the Quakers were the first to commercialize lavender and produce their own herbs and medicine and sold them to the "outside world".
Lavender, rosemary and lad’s love (an aromatic herb of temperate Eurasia and North Africa having a bitter taste used in making the liqueur absinthe) were dried and mixed together in bags to scent linen & act as a moth repellent. Sprigs were included in posies for visitors in England and colonial America.
Deities associated with lavender include: Cernunnos, Circe, Hecate, Medea, Saturn, and Serpent Goddesses. Use lavender for cleansing, chastity, happiness, longevity, love,meditation, peace, protection, purification and sleep.
Lavender Linen Spray
2 teaspoons of witch hazel
40 drops of Lavender essential oil
4 ounces of distilled water
Mix the witch hazel with the essential oil and let sit for a few minutes. Add the water. Shake before each use and spray away!