If you are looking for plants for your garden with a heavenly scent, lavender has to be right up there at the top of the list.
From a garden design point of view, lavender's silver-gray foliage is an excellent neutral. Use it as a backdrop for brighter plants and as a bridge between contrasting colors.
To successfully grow lavender, select a spot with well-drained soil and a full day's sun. Water consistently and apply an all-purpose, liquid fertilizer in spring as new growth emerges. To keep plants full, lightly prune after the flowers fade in summer.
Lavender is a multipurpose plant that is useful in herbal remedies, aromatherapy, cooking and perfumes. Here are three easy ways to put lavender to work around your house.
Slowly boil one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add ¼ cup dried lavender flowers and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Lavender simple syrup will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.
Lavender Swizzle Sticks
Freshen up your drink with a little lavender. Snip a stem that is an inch or so longer than the depth of the glass. Strip the leaves from the bottom, leaving the ones at the top. The pungent flavor is particularly good for a gin and tonic or martini.
A cup of lavender tea is good for anxiety, upset stomach or sleeplessness. Mix one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers with boiling water in a teapot and steep for 10 minutes. Save leftover tea to use as a hair rinse.