Heirloom Lavender- Perennial
(Tip: Use a paper or plastic bag and rubber band over drying blooms to catch seeds)
Of all the scores of different lavenders, this one – Lavandula vera– is arguably the most popular. A delicate and versatile variety, lavender is especially cherished for its elegant appearance and lovely scent. This lavender is fast-growing, long-blooming, and very hardy. Internally, Lavender is believed to be of benefit for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite, and as a breath freshener and mouthwash. Inhaling the essential oil in some cases has been reported to work as well as narcotics for inducing relaxation and sleep, easing symptoms of depression, and reducing headache pain. For inhalation purposes, boil 2 cups of water, add 2 drops of essential oil, and inhale the steam. Externally, Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used full-strength on the skin. It works wonderfully and can be applied directly for cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp, and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, canker sores, blisters, bruises, athlete’s foot, and rubbed directly into the temples in case of headache or migraine. Miscellaneous uses of Lavender include using unsweetened tea as a hair rinse to help reduce hair loss and dandruff, using the dried flowers in sleep and dream pillows, in potpourris, sachets and tucked in drawers to freshen clothing and repel moths. A few drops of oil dropped into warm bath water is a refreshing and relaxing treat.
Harvesting Lavender Seeds
The fresh or dried flowers contain the medicinal properties of Lavender. Cut flower stems as soon as the flowers are fully opened, but wait until the weather is dry and the morning dew has evaporated. Tie bundles of flowers together by the stems. Put a brown paper bag over each bunch of flowers and secure it below the flowers with gardening twine. Hang the flower bunches upside down in a dry place where they won’t be disturbed; wait a week or two. Take the bundles down and shake gently, then, keeping the flowers inside the bag, rub gently on all sides to remove the flower seeds completely from the stalks. Untie the bags, keeping them right-side-up, and remove and discard the stems.