A staple in the scenic hills of France and England, there are few herbs with as long and rich a history as lavender!
I have always loved the fragrance, look and color of these pretty bundles, so imagine my surprise when I learned that there were two beautiful lavender farms practically in my own backyard!
The first, Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, is located in nearby Brenham, Texas, in the heart of bluebonnet country! A mere eight miles from historic Chappell Hill, this hillside oasis is an aromatic and scenic excursion where you can picnic, clip your own herbs and shop in their lovely boutique, The Lavender Patch!!
If you visit their website they have lots of information on how to grow lavender! There are several varieties, but the ones that they have found to grow best in Texas soil and climate are: Sweet Lavender, Provence, Fred Boutin, Goodwins Greek and Spanish Lavender. Lavender plants will do well in either a pot or planted in the ground (raised bed preferably). Tip from the farm—lavender likes full sun and well-drained soil; do not over water.
The history of lavender is as rich as its scent, dating back more than 2,500 years. Known prior by the name spikenard, this flowering herb was often used for its healing properties. The above fields are from the Netherlands!
An ancient remedy for a range of ailments, applying lavender oil to the forehead can relieve sinus pain while drinking lavender tea can cure an upset stomach. Numerous studies have concluded that the mere scent of lavender has a soothing effect; relieving insomnia and calming stressed nerves – the original aromatherapy!
I learned so much more about lavender at Weidner Hasou & Co. (the cutest store and design studio) during a book signing. Chris, a representative of Lavende, a company who organically grows lavender and then makes the most amazing products from it, was there. The Lavande Company, with farms based in Chapel Hill, Texas (who knew?) and Santa Ynez California, model their lavender in the classic French Provence style. The above is Lavender from their actual harvest!
Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and spread throughout Europe by the Romans, lavender was added to baths to ward off diseases and to evoke ecstasy and constancy in love.
Rumor has it that lavender perfume was the secret weapon used by Cleopatra (69-30 BCE) herself in the seduction of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony! Some sources say she died from the prick of an asp, a poisonous snake that had been hiding in one of her lavender bushes.
Lavender, since, has been popular in its use in cosmetics and perfumes. Considered the epitome of luxury, lavender has been used by Kings of Queens of Europe, including Elizabeth, Victoria and Charles the VI. Even the Bible speaks of the herb being used to anoint the feet of Jesus!
With such amazing healing and soothing qualities, I purchased all of Lavande’s products to test for myself!! Falling in love with them and their clean packaging, I now wanted to share them with you!! Perfect for those hard to buy for friends, they are now available at the Segreto Boutique! Below, I share with you my top Lavande picks and why!!
With no added chemicals and all organic, Lavande’s lavender body lotion ($20.00 ea.) is combined with aloe Vera and Shea butter, for is soothing for both the skin and senses!! What’s more, the lotion can also help ease sunburn and diaper rash!
Their black tea, yummy both hot and cold, is a fragrant mix of lavender, mango and peach. Queen Elizabeth I consumed great quantities of lavender tea to soothe her migraines. Also perfect for my insomnia, I now have a cup or two before bed!! Added bonus-although they say it is strong enough to be brewed twice, I got 6 cups from one serving!!
Living in Houston, mosquito repellant is a must, but I never use it because the smell of most products for me is worse than the bite!! Unbeknownst to me, Lavender has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent! A lovely scent, Lavande’s mosquito spray lasts up to five hours and, because it includes no harmful chemicals, can even be applied to pets to ward off fleas!
Dating back to Christ, Lavender was commonly used to scent newly washed linen, believing the herb would repel moths and keep the linens insect-free. Perfect for creating a relaxing retreat anywhere you choose, a spritz on your pillow of this soothing blend of lavender and eucalyptus oils; calms frayed nerves and smells lovely.
This is what first drew me to their products. My Mom, who cooks Sunday dinner every night, made the most amazing roasted chicken. Not being able to place the herb that made the dish so sumptuous, I asked the secret ingredient! Lavender!!! Their product, packaged beautifully, includes just the right proportions of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, organic culinary lavender and lemon peel is the perfect complement to any cooks kitchen bringing their creations to the gourmet level! Lavande’s seasoning rub is great to season vegetables, pork, poultry, and fish (particularly salmon!).
So inspired by the healing and functional properties of this beautiful herb, I am planning on planting lavender in my own back yard! As the landscaping around our newly installed pool begins, I am going to try and grow some in pots and will let you know how they do!!!
If you also love the color lavender and its effects in interior design as well as fashion, visit our past blog post here and all of the inspiring images I have collected on our lavender Pinterest board here! I hope you all have the most soothing and relaxing week!! Think Lavender!!!
Liz GinggPosted at 11:33h, 20 July
Hi Leslie, Simply beautiful lavender post, and I love the history. I also admire that your Mother cooks Sunday dinner every night!
Also, thanks for sharing lunch with me in the Aiden Grey showroom, you’re the best!
LesliePosted at 08:13h, 23 July
HI Miss Liz!! That was so fun and it helped me only eat half–perfect!!! I need to meet you everyday for lunch!! xo
Taylor GreenwaltPosted at 09:42h, 22 July
Such beautiful images..I went to a lavender farm in Oregon and it was beautiful…it was so peaceful and smelled so sweet…I didn’t really want to go and I’m so glad I did…to my surprise it was my favorite outing we went on.
LesliePosted at 08:11h, 23 July
I didn’t know they grew lavender in so many places in the US. All the images are always across the ocean. If I make it to Oregon I will definitely go!! Hope you have a wonderful week!! xo
KarenaPosted at 11:46h, 22 July
Leslie I LOVE lavender! In lotions, scented oils, and I have used Herbs de Provence which include lavender in it!! It looks like an amazing line for your shop!
The Arts by Karena
LesliePosted at 08:10h, 23 July
Hi Miss Karena!! There is nothing that smells better! The issue is I keep taking all of my shops merchandise home!! Happy week to you! xo
Design ChicPosted at 12:15h, 22 July
I love lavender scents – use all of the lavender cleaners and it always smells so fresh. The fields are unbelievable – can’t imagine seeing them in person. Happy Wednesday, Leslie!!
LesliePosted at 08:09h, 23 July
Happy Thursday to you!!! I have started using the lavender natural cleaners in my house and I love them!! There is a French Antique shop here that has always cleaned with them and it like a breath of fresh air when you walk in!! xo Leslie
Danielle EilenderPosted at 15:56h, 22 July
I really enjoy your blog and your books. Being French, lavender is one of my favorite fragrances and dried flowers. The lavender fields in Provence and many other parts of France are indeed wonderful. But, as you write, we have lavender in Texas. I just finished a great little book The Unlikely Lavender Queen (Jeannie Ralston) who started a lavender farm in Texas near Blanco. I think it is still in operation. It’s a nice summer reading book!
LesliePosted at 08:07h, 23 July
Hi Danielle!! I will get the book!! Thank you so much for the suggestion!! I have a form of lavender that I just planted in my yard–it isn’t doing as well as I hoped!! Maybe when the heat dies down a bit!! Have a great week. xo Leslie