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Plant of the Month

Lavender
                 

Here at Ground Effects we love lots of plants – some are great to look at, some are great for providing shade, and others, like lavender, we love because we can eat them! Yum. We find it delicious in gelato, cakes, teas, bread, on main courses like steak and chicken – really anywhere you can imagine it. (Our one warning though is that a little flavor goes a long way, too much lavender tends to wipe out the flavor of the food it is with.)

 

Lavender has been successfully grown throughout many regions of the world for ages. It is most happy in the sunny, warm and dry conditions seen in the Mediterranean climate zones.  In these regions, myriad shades of blue and purple blooms are appreciated throughout the long summer season.

 

While there are numerous varieties of lavender to choose from for your landscape, if you are planning to use it in cooking, it is important to stick with either L. angustifolia or L. x intermedia. This is important because these varieties do not contain harmful chemicals that some of the others have.  Additionally, it is important to purchase this lavender from either a certified organic lavender farm or by purchasing blooms at your local health food shop.  By using these sources you reduce the risk of selecting the wrong variety for your baking or accidentally purchasing a plant that had been treated with pesticides which you might find at your local nursery.

 

If you feel like planning an adventure, many lavender farms have festivals throughout the summer and also have online shops for your continued enjoyment. Here are some links to southern California lavender farms   www.clairmontfarms.com     www.newoakranch.com      www.kclfarm.com    and if you are looking farther a-field, www.purplehazelavender.com is in Washington state.

 

If you are not so into creative baking, or would simply like to surround yourself with lavender, we also love to plant lavender in the landscape. Because there are so many different varieties, it is possible to create unique and exciting scenes that are perfect and individual to your home. Have fun.

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Thanks to www.purplehazelavender.com for the images.

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