ENGLISH LAVENDER (Lavendula augustifolia munstead) is an essential herb with evergreen grey-green foliage in clusters with short spikes of violet-blue flowers. Highly valued as an aromatic in its dried form because it retains its fragrance for a long time, and the essential oils it contains for salves and lotions. The blossoms also make a beautiful edible addition to salads and desserts! Plants grow 18"h x 24-30"w. Perennial in zones 5-10. You will get a live plant in a 4" plant in the Spring at an appropriate time for growing in your zone. Please advise at time of purchase as to weather in your area.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: The ancient Romans named it "lavender" which means "to wash" and it makes a delightful addition to the bath water. Lavender has been widely researched for its now established properties as an anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. Hence its historic use in all manner of external applications. But now come studies that show it also has anti-depressant properties if brewed into a gentle tea.
GROWING TIPS: Be sure you do not over water, as lavenders need excellent drainage at all times, but do not let them dry out completely. Be sure to give them plenty of time hardening off, even potting up, before transplanting to the garden in a sunny position.
DRYING FOR TEA AND OTHER USES: When we gather herbs for fresh use, we pick early in the morning, when still kissed by dew. But when we gather herbs for drying, we are going to wait until the sun has dried the dew, so that we do not get mildew forming when we dry. Gather small bunches of the healthiest plants and tie at the ends with string with a tail. Then hang in a protected environment. For me, it is from the shutters of my interior kitchen window over my sink. No sunlight at this window but plenty of fresh air as an overhead fan circulates during warmer months. This is ideal. Otherwise, special drying racks work well. The idea is to dry quickly, without sunlight, but plenty of air circulation to keep mildew from forming. Turn if necessary to make sure the bunch dries completely. When dry, crumple the leaves from the stems and store in airtight canisters.