Lavender: A Plant for the Water-Conscious Home


If you're looking for drought tolerant plants or flowers that are aesthetically pleasing but will also give you miles of use for your home, consider planting Lavender.  When I moved into my current home last year, the front garden bed was a tillage of giant prickly, thorny leviathan cacti.  Don't get me wrong, I love succulents, but around here, they're EVERYWHERE, and with near year-round hot weather, it can make me feel like I'm living in a desert here (although we're not far from miles of desert).  It took me weeks to deal with the business of pulling out the cacti out (as well as pulling out all the thorns from my hands and legs), but I finally replaced them with a stretch of bushes of a couple of French varieties (It really doesn't matter what variety you get, unless you want to become a master landscaper or decide to plant a lavender farm).  

There are so many varieties, and all of them are beautiful and fragrant, so just go pick one at your local nursery or gardening supply store.  They need a little more care at first - water them once a day if you live in dry, hot areas; or every other day otherwise.  Once the roots get firmly established, you can water them less and less and they will grow and expand with very little care.

I like to harvest them in the morning, when the oils are at their peak from the previous evening's mist and morning dew. Once brought inside, you can use them in everything - waters, lemonades, salads, cookies, cakes, in a sachet, in a vase, in a steambath for your facial, etc... etc... etc...

An extra bonus is the fragrant scent that drifts in with every breeze when you open the windows. An odd thing that happened after I planted a large row of Lavender in the front as well as on the side of my home: we stopped seeing mosquitos for some reason that, no doubt , has to do with the bug-repellant properties of this magical plant.  I can't say enough about how useful and beautiful this plant is for a water-conscious home.