Lavender weddings – a perfect combination! Not only is Lavender a very pretty herb for decorating your venue (and smells divine) but it is also associate with love and devotion. Lavender is also known as Elfleaf and Spikenard and is a member of the Mint family. It’s Latin name Lavendula comes from the Latin, “to wash” – the Romans used to add it to their bath water. The main reason we are interested in Lavender, here at Wildflower Favours, is because it is a fantastic plant for bees – they love it! Therefore we supply Lavender seeds in a lot of our wedding favours to encourage your guests to grow it for the bees!
How to Grow Lavender
Lavender is very easy to grow, either from cuttings or from seed. Take cuttings in the summer after flowering is over – cut a 3 – 4 inch stem just below a leaf node (indicated by a bump) and dip in some rooting hormone (although this isn’t essential). Fill a pot with compost (preferably peat-free) and insert the stem cuttings around the edge. Adding some grit or sand to the compost will help with drainage – indeed, you can even grow the cuttings in builder’s sand! Water the pot and then cover with a plastic bag to create humidity. Place somewhere warm and slightly shady for the cuttings to root – should take about 6 weeks. After that you can remove the bag and keep growing on until the cuttings become well-rooted plants ready to go into individual pots.
If sowing seeds – fill a tray with gritty compost and sprinkle on the seeds. Cover lightly with more compost and water. place somewhere sunny to germinate, such as a windowsill. Once seedlings appear, grow on until ready to transfer into small pots. Once in the garden, Lavender needs full sun. To keep your plants healthy and bushy, cut back by two-thirds at the end of August.
There is a lot of folklore associated with Lavender:
- In Spain and Portugal, lavender was included in bonfires on St. John’s Day to help ward off evil spirits.
- On St. Luke’s Day in the Middle Ages, young girls sipped lavender in hopes that they would be granted a dream in which they would see their true love.
- Lavender tucked under the pillows of young men was thought to encourage them to ask for a lady’s hand in marriage.
- Wives would put Lavender under the mattress to ensure the passion of their husbands!
- Lavender was hung on bedposts for protection
- Ladies of the night would wear lavender to attract customers and to protect them from cruelty and violence.
- It was used to scent clothing in order to attract love
- Lavender was used in love letters.
- In Roman times, Lavender was one of the herbs dedicated to Hecate, goddess of witches and sorcerors, and her two daughters, Medea and Circe. Also sacred to goddesses who love serpents. In Tuscany, Lavender was believed to ward off the evil eye. Wear with Rosemary to preserve chastity.
- It is said that Lavender possessed no scent at all until the Virgin Mary spread Christ’s swaddling clothes on a Lavender bush to dry, when from this time it adopted its characteristic scent.
- It was an ingredient in “Four Thieves Vinegar”, which was supposed to render immunity from plague to those who robbed plague victims after death.
- Carry Lavender and you will be able to see ghosts.
- Plant around the outside of the house to keep out evil spirits and bad luck.
- Turner’s herbal of 1551 recommended sewing Lavender into a cap to aid the brain.
- Spouses who place Lavender flowers in their bed will never quarrel.
- Charles VI of France insisted on having Lavender cushions available to sit on wherever he went. Elizabeth I ordered her gardeners to have fresh Lavender flowers available every day.
- In Medieval and Renaissance Britain, washer women were known as lavenders – they dried laundry on Lavender bushes to help scent the material.
- In seventeenth century London, during times of plague, people were advised to wear a bunch of Lavender around each wrist to protect from plague.
- Some folk would plant Lavender in order to attract fairies.
- Mary used Lavender to anoint Jesus’ feet (referred to in Luke as Spikenard).
- Christians believe that Adam and Eve took Lavender from the Garden of Eden and in many Christian houses a cross of Lavender was hung over the door for protection.
- Conversely, it was also believed that small venomous snakes would hide under Lavender bushes, which led some people to distrust the plant and associate it with fear
Herbal Uses of Lavender
Lavender flowers are purple and, spiritually, purple is associated with the crown (7th) chakra, which is the energy center associated with higher purpose and spiritual connectivity. This chakra is located at the top of the head and the vibration of the crown is the highest vibration in the physical body. This symbolism is appropriate as the Lavender flower is often used for healing and raising vibration to the highest level possible is the easiest path to healing.
Make a Lavender disinfectant by simmering leaves and small stems for 30 minutes. Strain and use.
Placing a sprig of Lavender behind the ear may cure a headache.
Lavender oil was used as an antiseptic in World War I, treating ulcers, sores and burns.
Massage a couple of drops of oil into the temples for a headache. It takes up to 150 lb of flowering tops to produce 1 lb of essential oil.
Apply the oil to a nit comb and comb through the hair to help eliminate headlice.
The Victorians made a furniture polish from Lavender.
It was also a major ingredient in most smelling salts, which were used as a remedy for fainting.
A couple of drops of oil on your pillow can help insomnia, or place some Lavender in your pillow.
Lavender fights inflammation and infection. Use it to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and athlete’s foot.
Ancient Egyptians buried their dead in Lavender-dipped shrouds. Lavender oil also neutralises poisons in insect and snake bites.
Make a Lavender bath – steep a handful of dried Lavender buds in boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain and pour liquid into bath.
Lavender Weddings – lavender wedding Favours
We have a variety of Lavender seed wedding favours, all made from recycled paper and very eco-friendly! Lavender seeds can also be chosen as your seeds in any of our other seed packet wedding favour designs.
Lavender weddings – lavender natural confetti
Help save the bees – grow Lavender!