One of the ancient Magical four. Every garden must have some

Identification

Lavender comes in many shapes and sizes. The most common is a bluish green shrub with hard, woolly leaves on hard flexible branches. Another family has feathery leaves and yellow flowers. The smell is fairly similar across the range, but some are milder or produce more oil than others.

Harvesting

The branches are cut, and then stripped of leaves. For cooking, the flowers may be nipped off. The branches dry easily when hung in loose bunches. For most uses, the leaves are separated from the hard branches. The leaves become very brittle when dry.

Preparation

The herb is usually drawn like a tea, used dry as sprinkled herb, or fresh flowers and leaves are used after being stripped from the branches.

Uses

Lavender is one of the traditional foundation herbs. Any cleansing, drying, antimicrobial tea should contain lavender. Fresh flowers rubbed onto chicken before frying may be a good introduction to lavender as a cooking herb. The flowers are nice in green salad.