is one of the most beloved plants in the garden, not only does its heady and unmistakable aroma appeal to both men and women, but lavender is also rich in history and long prized for its healing properties.
Lavender has had its place in people’s hearts since ancient times. Romans used lavender and its oils for mummification, perfumes, bathing, cooking, healing, and even to deter insects, but Lavender has also long been associated with love. In Tudor times, if a maiden wanted to know the name of her true love, she would sip a brew made of lavender on St. Luke’s day while saying: “St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me, In my dreams, let my true love see me”. Girls then tucked lavender under the pillows of their lovers in hopes of turning their thoughts toward love and romance. New brides would place bunches of lavender under their mattress to ensure marital passion.
Lavender remains a source of continuous inspiration for painters, photographers and romantics. Lavender’s unmistakable fragrance is a foundation ingredient in many complex perfumes and its essential oil has been called ‘first-aid in a bottle’, as its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties make it ideal for treating insect stings, cuts and burns. Lavender is also known for its ability to reduce insomnia and irritability. Lavender can also be brewed into a tea; either drank or applied, and is reported to help relieve headaches, sinus congestion, hangovers, tiredness, exhaustion and tension.
Lavender’s fresh and dried buds make wonderful aromatic sachets, and some varieties are a wonderful cooking ingredient prized by chefs.
Romantics know the value of lavender, and many a heart is still swayed by the gift of this wonderful plant and the products produced from it. Lavender is a symbol of love and devotion and many a bride includes it in her wedding bouquets and for the traditional wedding toss thrown by guests on the happy couple.