6.26.20 A Summer's Day Memory

The Lavender Lady

Today I had such a fun experience! I needed lavender for a lemonade recipe I’m going to try this weekend for my sister-in-law-to-be’s bridal shower. I stopped by my in-laws to borrow something else and ask if they had any lavender. No they didn’t but on their walk that morning they had gone past a house that had so much lavender that the whole area smelled of it! I drove by and spotted it easily. I drove down a lavender lined dirt driveway and pulled up to a friendly looking house with lots of plants, signs, and a blue wheeler who barked but with a wagging tail. He was happy to be petted and walked with me to the front door where there was a mat that said “Ring the bell and pull some weeds” but also a gun propped in the corner! I rang the bell and petted the dog until a lady in her late 50s opened the door. She was on the phone so I kept petting the dog who was by now crawling into my lap! When she got off, she asked me what I wanted. I explained my mission and after a few more questions, she called her sister to ask what variety I would want to use in lavender lemonade. She showed me her caldron where she makes essential oils, then took me inside to have me smell different varieties so I would know why the culinary kind is different than just any ornamental lavender. I could smell the camphor smell in the one and agreed that the other was much smoother and sweeter. I believe it was angustifolia that she cut for me. I was thinking I’d need a few springs but she insisted on filling a gallon bag with the clippings! I held the bag open while she snipped and instructed me on how to store it until I needed it. Not in water or wrapped up as it would get moldy, but maybe in the fridge to keep it fresh for a few days. Then she clipped bunches of white, blue, and purple together for a bouquet for the shower as well. All the way refusing any payment. With a huge bunch of lavender in one hand and a whole baggie full in the other hand, I followed her to her back yard where there was more lavender! She pointed out a woody Spanish lavender that she had to get just so that she could say she had every kind! She continued to name each plant and then more clippings off a young plant that wouldn’t have enough blooms to make essential oils out of yet. A chihuahua joined the blue heeler and timidly enjoyed a few chin scratches. We wandered back to the front and chatted for another 10 minutes before I got in my car, gently laid the lavender in safe places and drove slowly out the dirt driveway with a happy grin, breathing deeply of the lavender air.