Growing Lavender

Lavender ‘Munstead’ is evergreen fragrant shrub is deer resistant, drought tolerant and attracts butterflies. This gorgeous perennial plant features spikes of soft purple flowers and a soothing fragrance. Lavender’s unforgettable flowers can be enjoyed in the garden or as cut or dried flowers. Lavender blooms in summer and has beautiful purple flowers that add a beautiful pop of color to any herb garden or can be used as a showy border plant.

 

Lavender prefers full sun, good air circulation, well drained moderately alkaline soil and requires watering for the first year as the plant’s root system gets established. Once established, Munstead tolerates droughts well. This sun-loving plant grows to 2-3 feet tall and should be spaced 12” apart. Lavender produces lovely purple blooms from June to August. Deadheading flowers as they fade can also help encourage new flowers to bloom. Spikes of flowers should be harvested as soon as most of the flowers open and before any fade for the best fragrance.

 

Pruning helps keep hardy lavender plants looking their best, up to ½ of the stem can be removed without causing lasting harm to the plant, but be careful, pruning can affect blooming time. Therefore, we recommend pruning lavender either before or after blooming in spring or fall. We recommend pruning Lavender down to 8 inches tall every three years in order to encourage new growth and to control size. Keep in mind that lavender is toxic to dogs, cats and horses when choosing a spot to plant it.

 

Uses of Lavender

Lavender ‘Munstead’ is one of our favorites here at Hook’s for its many uses in the garden, house and kitchen for its flowers, fragrance and flavor. The fragrance of lavender helps to release tension, soothe headaches and aid in overall relaxation. Lavender can be used in a scented bath, as a sachet or potpourri, and in cooking. We are confident that you will love this multipurpose plant too.

Recipes:

Lavender honey

1 Tbsp fresh lavender, washed and dried well or 1 ½ tsp dried lavender

2 c honey

Rinse the lavender lightly and place in a cheesecloth bag or directly into the bottom of a saucepan. Pour the honey into the pan over the bag or loose herbs and heat until just warm; high heat may spoil the honey. Pour the mixture into hot, sterilized glass jars and seal tightly. Store at room temperature for one week. Uncap jars and warm the flavored honey, straining out the herbs. Or leave the fresh herb leaves in the honey for texture and color. Return honey to hot, sterilized jars and seal well.

 

Lavender sugar

Mix a cup of dried lavender blossoms with a cup of sugar. Keep mixing as you use, because it tends to separate while it sits.

 

Lavender cookies

1 c butter

½ c sugar

A dash of salt

2 c flour

Lavender sugar from previous recipe

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the salt and flour. Mix with mixer or wooden spoon thoroughly. Chill the dough in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Form dough into small balls and roll in the sugar mix. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 10 to 12 mins. Cool on racks.

 

Sachet of just lavender – enclose dried lavender in a small cloth pouch.

 

Lavender oatmeal bath

1 c oatmeal

½ c fresh or dried lavender flowers/tops

And another bunch of fresh herb either rosemary, lemon balm, thyme.

Put all ingredients into a square of cloth and tie ends together. Steep bag for 10 mins in very hot bath water. Test water before enjoying the bath!

 

References:

Growing & Using Lavender by Patti Barrett

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a129