Posts Tagged ‘lavender’

I went out a few days ago to pull weeds (or dig them up if recalcitrant) and spotted one of my lavender bushes looking absolutely strong and beautiful! Originally there were three but the other two didn’t make it for some reason, making this one even more appreciated. I have another, older one near the house too. I noticed today that yesterday’s and last night’s rain beat it down but perhaps the sun will revive it. This is Spanish lavender, not the tall plants of Provence, but I appreciate them just as much or maybe more because they’re mine.

Lavender is one of my favorite scents although many scents that advertise themselves as lavender don’t really make the scent grade. They just smell artificial. One year when in Provence, my sister-in-law, our younger daughter, and I took a road trip to an area where the lavender grew. It had been harvested but the scent still lingered everywhere. I gleaned a number of stalks at the end of the rows and managed, through packing them in bubble wrap at the top of my checked bag, to get them home mostly intact.

The trip was memorable in other ways as we were in a Mini Cooper convertible with my daughter and my s-i-l’s large Rhodesian Ridgeback male in the back. Every time we hit a speed bump, they levitated. If the top was up, the dog was vying with my daughter for the most direct line to the air conditioning as it was a hot summer. It was quite funny.

I thought where we lived now in Arizona would be close enough in temperature and humidity (or lack thereof) to grow lavender but after a few failed attempts, I found out that there are three types: English, French, and Spanish and in our particular area, Spanish lavender is the way to go. Live and learn but take time to smell the lavender this week.

Lavender is one of my favorite flowers and when my s-i-l lived in Provence, all the markets had lavender for sale at ridiculously low prices. On the day we visited an area where lavender was grown, although it had already been harvested, I gleaned leavings from the ends of the fields, somehow managing to get them back home unscathed despite being in my checked bag. The scent still hung over the field and lasted for years in a decorative bag in my cedar chest.

So when we moved to Arizona, I was sure I could grow lavender in the yard, only to fail miserably. During a visit to a lavender farm in Pine, Arizona, I questioned the owner who told me I should look for Spanish lavender, not French or English which wouldn’t grow in our location. I now have several thriving plants, even though they aren’t the high French plants you see in photos. This lavender however flourishes in Redondo Beach, making my walk a scent-sible one. 🙂

The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows… William C. Bryant

Cee’s FOTD (aka Flower of the Day) 4.29.22

Just out of curiosity, is anyone else getting lots and lots of spam in their spam folder? It’s been nonstop!

One Word Sunday: diagonal

One Word Sunday: poetic

© janet m. webb

The sense of smell can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what you scent.  The “aroma” of a skunk is pervasively terrible, especially if it’s on your dog!  The perfume section of a large department store assaults the senses as does the perfume on too many women.  Perfume should be subtle and attractive, rather than knocking you down from six feet.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
~Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

However, the world is filled with delightful smells.  When our girls were small, we stayed for several days in Nags Head, North Carolina in a small motel where our corner room was perfumed with the scent of jasmine from a large bush outside the door.  It was heavenly, the first time I’d ever smelled jasmine.


© janet m. webb

Lavender is usually associated with Provence and the south of France.  But it thrives in the Franche-Comté as well, beloved by bees and butterflies as well as humans.  This shot may be a close-up rather than a true macro, but I send it to you from France with love for Sally’s challenge.  Thank goodness for an iPhone that will go anywhere with me!

copyright janet m. webb 2016