It's the first official day of summer break for the children and I, and today has been a Very-Lazy-Day... Everyone needs those once in a while to recharge the mind and body and to appreciate the small things in life. Today it was the smell of the freshly cut grass, the beautiful sound the children make when they laugh and the stunning colors that surround me each day... To that end, this afternoon the color that caught my eye was the lavender which is going CRAZY in my yard! I had hundreds of shoots that needed trimming, SO we set about taking the first swipe at harvesting this years lavender spikes. Lavender is one of the most versatile and lovely herbs to cultivate in the garden. First and foremost lavender is crazy easy to grow. It is very low maintenance, (which is great for me) and once it's established it is very resilient! Added bonus is that lavender attracts butterflies and bees and repels deer! :) There are many types of English Lavender which includes, but are not limited to: Hidcote, Munstead, Graves, Purple Bouquet, Betty's Blue and Royal Purple which all bloom the recognizable purple blue blossoms and which smell so divine. There are also other varieties of English Lavender that bloom light pink and sometimes appear white, such as Melissa English Lavender and Jean Davis English Lavender... I haven't had much luck with the Melissa I'm trying to grow, (BUMMER) but I'll post updates if I have any success. I'm only touching on the English Lavender in this post because I think it smells better than the French Lavender, AND in my humble opinion, its MUCH easier to grow. The French Lavender that we have had in the past was very persnickety and only lasted a season or two. Lavender also has many uses! Aside from the beauty of the plant in general, you can dry the flower for sachets, use lavender in lotions and in essential oils (more on this later) and in most cases you can even eat lavender. The wreath pictured at the top was made this afternoon with the lavender we harvested and a wee bit of floral wire! I plan to make lavender lemonade later in the week and even have a lavender cookie recipes. YUM!!! Medicinally, Lavender has been used since the time of the Romans to calm and soothe the mind and body and is just as prevalent today. I personally use Lavender Essential Oils on my neck and muscles to help me relax and reduce muscle tension. I use Lavender in a diffuser to help promote a restful sleep and to reduce stress levels. I use lavender in my bath to relax... Do you see a trend?!? In my humble opinion, Lavender is one of the most versatile, hardy and handy herbs to have around so if you are looking for great color, easy maintenance and an amazing floral bouquet considering Lavender- You won't be disappointed! TTFN! /S.