Oh, The Joy of Lavender

Dateline: 16 June 2007

Lavender is, to me one of the most pleasing of botanical fragrances. Both the leaves and the flowers are an aromatic delight.

Perhaps this herb appeals to me because of its calming and relaxing effect. Many evenings, before I go to bed, I rub a couple drops of lavender essential oil into the soles of my feet. I do this because I was told it would help me have a deeper and more relaxing sleep, and it usually does. Distilled herbal oils are powerful substances.

I used to think that lavender was a plant that grew only in far away places, like France. But I discovered that it will grow in my upstate New York climate. Winters here can be hard on lavender. Sometimes a plant will die from the cold. But if it survives the winter, lavender will do very well in the growing season.

I bought my first lavender plant, a bare root cutting, from an Ebay seller for a couple dollars. I’ve since bought other varieties of lavendula from local nurseries. Last year, I tried rooting some cuttings and had some success with that.

Lavender leaves and flowers can be cut, dried, and sewed into small "dream pillows." Dream Pillows are around six inches square. You slip one inside your pillowcase. Other herbs, like hops, are particularly effective inside a relaxing and sleep-enhancing dream pillow.

The long, delicate flower stems of lavender can be snipped off the plants, tied into small bunches and hung in your home for a fragrant decoration. I once made several fresh lavender flower bundles and Marlene sold them at the farmer's market.

I really dislike non-functional clutter (i.e., knickknacks) in my home. But objects from nature, like a bundle of lavender flowers, are different. Such things are special because they are actual examples of God’s beautiful creation. All the natural world around us testifies to the glory of God. When we bring portions of nature into our home they serve as reminders of the greatness of the Lord.

Now I am going to share with you a little secret I have discovered for enjoying fresh lavender. I developed this idea while working in my garden. Working in the garden can sometimes be especially inspiring, as you are about to see.

As I often do, I picked a sprig of green lavender leaves, rolled them lightly between my fingers to crush them and release more of the fresh fragrance. I held the leaves close to my nose, savoring the rich lavender essence. Then came the great idea...

Why not stuff the fresh lavender greens in my nose? That way, I could work in the garden while continuing to breathe in and enjoy the lavender fragrance. Why not, indeed. So I lightly packed both nostrils with lavender greens, thus creating a very effective natural lavender inhaler.

This idea worked so well that when my wife, Marlene, and son, James, came out a little later to see me in the garden, I excitedly told them of my new discovery. I demonstrated the special technique. To my disappointment,Marlene frowned and said, "You’re weird," and walked away.

I called after her, encouraging her to gently cram some fresh lavender greens into her nose too, but she refused. James, however, took to the idea and packed both his nostrils with lavender leaves. Upon seeing the sight of my son,a chip off the proverbial block, with lavender up his nose, I said, “Hey, hold on while I get my camera. I’ll blog about this!”

James was reluctant to have a picture of himself with lavender in his nose posted to the internet, where everyone in the world could see it. I offered him a dollar for a picture. But he held out for two. He’s a good sport but he drives a hard bargain.

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When I told Marlene later that I was going to blog about my lavender inhaler idea, she said, "Don’t do that. That’s stupid."

Well, I beg to differ.

But, alas, so many great nonconformist innovators throughout history have been discouraged and ridiculed by those who saw their ideas as stupid. The truth is, as they say, "in the pudding." Or, in this case, in the nose.

Try it sometime and you’ll see what I mean.


Anonymous said...

Egads! I apologize to all of your readers..for asking you to post pictures. I trusted you Herrick! Let me talk to Marlene. HeHe

Andi said...

Hmm...I might have to try that. Just don't take a deep breath. LOL BTW, I've been reading your blog on and off for a couple of months and have really enjoyed it. You've got some great articles!

Anonymous said...

Our family had a good laugh over this post! BTW, my wife agrees with Marlene.

Dreamer said...

You had me cracking up! Thank James for being such a good sport. I'd have held out for more than a couple bucks if it were me. How about a free tank of gas in the field car?

This sounds like the type of thing my father would do, except he'd never tell anyone but me and mom. And in appropriate response, we'd ridicule him relentlessly. Go Marlene! :~)

My husband on the other hand is entirely too serious. He thinks my side of the family is nothing but a bunch of crackups.

Thanks for the good laugh and the um...great idea??

Anonymous said...

yes I agree with the wife but I love lavender... I will just wait for the flowers

Anonymous said...

So funny, so funny.
Wish you and your family were neighbors of ours. We love people with a great sense of humor. That’s not to say we don’t have great neighbors, just not funny ones.

Anonymous said...

This really cracked me up! But since I can remain anonymous, I'll try it once! And tell your son he's a good sport. Great sense of humor there.

Anonymous said...

you must be kidding...

Herrick Kimball said...

Thank you everyone for your comments here.

It appears that the majority of commentators share my wife's opinion about my "natural lavender inhaler" idea.

Well, I have a feeling that this idea I've "planted" in your minds will come back to you someday.

You're going to be in the garden, alone, just you and your lavender plants. And you're going to pinch off a sprig of fragrant green leaves. And you're going to crush them between your fingers and hold them to your nose and breathe in the goodness. And then you're going to look around to make sure no one is watching. And.....

Yes you will.

You will.

I know you will.

You won't be able to help it.

Because you know this is really a good idea! :-)

Annie said...

That was some laugh you wrote about--esp. about the lavander greens--will be sure to tell my hubby that one--since he just planted some lavender!

I would tell your son to hold out for a way much more money next time haha. Welcome to you from Ky_homesteading@yahoogroups.

Anonymous said...


Marlene wrote and told me to read this thinking it would lift my spirits. Uh...well...it is funny to a degree. I WON'T be sharing this idea with my boys. I have this feeling I would have to take them to ER to have the inhaler extracted because they packed it too far up the nasal cavity. We have had a few close calls with corn and peas. Wishing you and yours the best!!!!


Anonymous said...

What a hoot. My husband and I have been enjoying reading your blogs inbetween butchering chickens. He says it is refressing to know there is someone out there as nutty as he is. He says your lavender inhaler is marketable to hospital workers, morticians, foresnics, hog and cattle farmers who are not using digesters. He says the people who said yuk will gladly use it when they have to work in some not-so-fragrant places.


LavenderLover said...

This reminds me of the time I stuck bread in my nose to avoid crying while cutting up onions. I was a teenager and my best friend saw me through the window as she was coming up the walkway. Never heard the end of it. Had I used lavender, she might have wanted to try it.

BTW, for those of you who might be tempted to try this - the bread DIDN'T work!!