Lavender; the most magical of the herbs , it has been used and revered since the beginning of recorded time. Its virtues have no limits, and its allure is captivating. Whether you love the herb for its medicine, its fragrance, its colorways as a natural dye plant or use it in the kitchen for culinary magic. This plant will weave stories with you, envelope you, and teach you. Its ever present magic is a delight to grow.
The lore of lavender is deeply rooted in its intoxicating scent when it was first learned that laying ones freshly washed clothes on a lavender bush to dry meant the sweet perfume would be consumed by the cloth, evoking well-being and health to the wearer of the garment.
During bible times and in ancient Egypt, lavender was revered for its healing and antiseptic properties. Also called Spikenard, the essential oil was an expensive perfume and ointment. Spikenard was used as one of the eleven herbs for the incense in the Holy temples in Jerusalem.
Lavender travelled to Britain during the era of the herb garden in the late 1400's and was deeply loved by Queen Elizabeth l. She requested the flowers fill her rooms every day of the year. Elizabeth drank lavender tea and used it to alleviate her migraines. She encouraged the development of lavender farms, and in the early 16th century the first lavender was distilled for oils found in the purple flowers.
The first modern distilleries built in France on the Sault plain and Barreme around 1914, dramatically improved peasant farmers’ way of life through the harvesting of wild lavender. During the First World War when modern antiseptics were depleted, the public was asked to gather up garden lavender so the oil could be used to dress war wounds.
Lavender only travelled to North America within the past 100 years. L.J. Wyckoff, a resident of Seattle, pioneered commercial growing of lavender in the Pacific North West in 1924. By 1950, Wyckoff had been producing lavender oil for nearly 25 years and regarded as the foremost authority on the commercial cultivation of L. Angustifolia in North America.
By the late 1970’s interest in the genus expanded as did many new selections which include the hardy lavenders such as ‘Buena Vista’, ‘Melissa’, Royal Velvet’, ’Sachet’ to name a few.
Today, cultivars of English and French Lavender are grown in Canada. Favorable sites include areas like Nova Scotia, and British Columbia where Lavender over winters well.
Silver Sage Flora has been growing cultivars for 4 years. We began distilling our first lavender cuts in the summer of 2020, and started collecting new cultivars and varieties for our fields.
Growing lavender has been a dream that we cultivated into our reality on our flower farm. It has brought such happiness to our homestead. You can find our lavender babies at our Lavender Harvest Celebration, currently on hold until the pandemic passes, or our online lavender nursery.