Lavender is blooming now in my garden, not only looking and smelling beautiful, but attracting bees and other pollinators to the rest of my plants. Lavender is easy to grow in any well-drained soil, and is a relatively drought tolerant, perennial plant that adds interest to any garden with its grey leaves and tall, purple blooms.
Pulverized lavender flowers can add a unique and delightful flavor to lamb, salads, custards, jams, teas and cookies. It is a culinary relative to mint, sage, marjoram and thyme, and can be used in the same fashion as these herbs. Lavender is so versatile in the kitchen, that virtually any cooking experiment with it will give you favorable results.
Lavender is also a prized medicinal herb, and can be made into teas and tinctures that calm the nerves and help you to sleep. But if you buy lavender for culinary or medicinal purposes, don’t buy it from a craft store and make sure you get it organic, because it is often heavily sprayed with pesticides and chemicals to preserve its color.
It’s very hot in the garden these days, so there’s nothing like a cold glass of lemonade to cool you down on a sweaty, summer day. But the powdered lemon drink that passes as lemonade these days is not only bad for your health, it tastes downright saccharine! Since the lavender is blooming and the lemons are ripe here in Southern California, this homebrewed lemonade hits the spot with a distinctive, refreshing taste and plenty of Vitamin C.