Lavender Mad

After days of being sat in front of the computer and re-designing my web site I’m glad to say the sun is shining brightly today so I’ll be happy to trim off all of the dead lavender heads that were missed in autumn. They will still flower profusely but a little later than normal.

I love lavender and can’t get enough of it and am looking forward to them doing their magic!

I found a lovely new idea that I want to share with you as well, with full instructions on how to make. To see this follow the link for a wall hanging lavender basket

I would also like to thank “Nicki” for her kind words and encouragement. See her lovely site, which inspired me to the make the changes I have. Her goods are gorgeous!

If you have any more ideas or pictures of what you like to do with lavender I would love to hear them and see your pics!

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Thank you for reading, please contribute and I hope you visit us again soon.

Author Jayne Watkins


Wow Sarah, I am one hungry bunny now. If it wasn’t for the dust on the bunch of lavender that hangs on the stairs I might be in the kitchen giving these a go! It now seems such a long time until we can harvest some. I will print off the recipes and be sure to use them this summer. Thanks.

Sorry for the length o this post but here are lavender recipes I did for woman’s Hour in 2007. I worked with Nigel Goodwill at his Lavender Farm in North Yorkshire for several years. We came up with lots of ways for using lavender. Now I live in the Gers, I am growing Lavender Stoechas (bunny ears) and Lavender Munstead up the drive. It was hard to cut the bed through the Gascon clay (not the best medium for growing lavender) but 3 years and a lot of digging later things are improving. Sarah

by Sarah Beattie
Lavender Poached Pears
150ml / 5fl oz white wine
150ml / 5fl oz water
100g / 3 oz sugar
a piece of lemon rind
a small bunch of lavender
6 pears, slightly under ripe

Combine everything except the pears in a flameproof casserole over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pare the pears thinly, keeping them whole and retaining the stalks. Stand upright in the hot syrup, cover and poach over a low heat until tender. Eat hot, warm or chilled.

Lavender Langues de Chat

50g / 2oz golden granulated sugar
1 tsp dried lavender
25g / 1oz plain flour
25g / 1oz unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/ 400ºF /200º C. Whizz the sugar and lavender in a liquidiser, clean coffee grinder or food processor until well blended. Sieve into a bowl with the flour. Using a whisk, mix in the cooled melted butter and egg white, beating well to make a smooth batter.

Place teaspoonfuls, well-spaced, on the baking sheets. Spread each teaspoonful out to 5 cm / 2in long. Bake 5 minutes, until browning around the edges. Carefully transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Lavender Salad with Grilled Goats’ Cheese

serves 4

2 tbs raspberry vinegar
4 tbs light olive oil
1 tsp dried lavender
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp caster sugar
2 ripe avocados
100g / 3 ½ oz small strawberries, hulled and diced
150g / 5oz rocket leaves
4 x 1cm / ½” slices of chevre (goats’ cheese in a log shape)
4 x 1cm / ½” slices brioche, toasted

Mix together the vinegar and oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the lavender, salt and sugar. Mix into the oil and vinegar. Peel and dice the avocados. Mix together with the strawberries and dressing. Line 4 small plates with rocket leaves.

Place the goats’ cheese on top of the brioche and place under a hot grill. Toast until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

Put a piece of cheese-topped brioche in the centre of each plate. Surround with the avocado and strawberries. Serve immediately.

Cucumber & Lavender Agrodolce (Jenny Murray was particularly keen on this - she said post-chemo dry mouth was relieved by its fresh tangy juiciness)
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tbs runny honey – eg Acacia
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1 very small red chilli, finely chopped
½ tsp dried lavender
a generous grinding of black pepper
Put the cucumber in a bowl. Warm all the other ingredient together in a small pan, stirring well until just simmering. Turn off the heat and pour over the cucumber, mixing well. Cool and then chill.

Lavender & Blueberry Cheesecake
This is the simplest form of cheesecake – just a crushed biscuit crust, cream cheese and a blueberry compote – but the lavender lifts it to something special.
25g / 1oz butter
1 tbs light muscovado sugar
125g / 4oz wholewheat “digestive” biscuits, crushed
250g / 8oz “light” cream cheese
1 tbs lavender sugar – see langues de chat
100g / 3 ½ oz blueberries
1 tsp lavender flowers
1 tbs castor sugar
Melt the butter and muscovado sugar together. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Press evenly into the base of a 15cm / 6in loose bottomed cake tin. Chill.
Beat together the cream cheese and lavender sugar. Pile onto the biscuit base and level. Chill.
Wash and drain the blueberries. Put in a small covered pan with the lavender flowers and castor sugar. Cook over a low heat until the berries pop. Take off the lid and turn up the heat to reduce until thick. Cool then spread over the cream cheese. Chill well.
To unmold, round a warm dry knife around the edge of the tin. Stand on a tin and slip off the sides.

Other ideas for cooking with Lavender:
lavender focaccia
lavender scones
with lamb, in sausages
on new potatoes
in sorbets
in custards

Lovely pics Jayne and Jane- we do have lavender, but the only photo I could find was of the communal flower bed that is just outside of our house (lucky us). Planted as small seedlings about 4 years ago it gets better every year.

Lovely pic Jane - Lavenders are supposed to only live happily for 4-5 years so the books say, but, like you one of ours in 10 years plus, brounght from the UK when we came over. It’s past it’s best now but we still get plenty of flowers and the scent is delicious :slight_smile:
@ Helen - tricky, I don’t trim back too hard but I’ve seen some that are and they’re fabulous - maybe it’s the timing.

I had a very mature lavender at home in the UK.
As it had become very woody, I chopped it back…and killed it.
I’ll know next time.
Beautiful plant Jane!

here is a picture of my big lavander which is a bout 10 years old and its roots grow under the terrace