Gardening for You: Lovely local lavender

Think “lavender” and our minds drift to the renowned Provence (pro-VAUNCE) region of France’s southern Rhône River valley. How fortunate West Texans are to have a local source of this lovely, fragrant herb just a short driving distance away.

Our local source is The Lavender Farm of Shallowwater that is owned and operated by the Hill family since 2019. More than 15,000 fragrant lavender bundles are harvested from each season of the 3,500 plants under cultivation that are captured in the accompanying photo taken by Chelsi Simmons.

The name lavender is derived from the Latin lavare, “to wash.” Mediterranean civilizations have a long history using lavender. Centuries ago, ancient Egyptians used lavender for mummification and as a perfume. The Romans dried lavender stems, saving them for use as air fresheners as they traveled; they used the essential oil for culinary purposes and oil was added to soap for bathing. Ancient Greeks used lavender for insomnia and back aches (tumalolavender.com). Today lavender is a product in lotions, sachets, soaps, spritzes, and in teas and honey; the essential oil is popular in aromatherapy.

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