If you’re a regular visitor to the Swettenham Arms, you’ll know about our glorious lavender meadow which stretches out at the back of the pub. Rows and rows of plants provide a fresh summer fragrance for outdoor drinkers, a stopping off point for hundreds of dancing bees and butterflies and a stunning venue for special wedding photographs. Learn more about this versatile plant with our fun facts:
The name ‘lavender’ comes from the Latin ‘lavare’ meaning to wash. In Elizabethan times, clothes were perfumed with lavender as an alternative to washing!
Lavender has anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, and was used by the ancient Egyptians during the mummification process. It’s also an insect repellent, and can be used to soothe insect bites. Keeping dried lavender in your underwear drawer will not only help to perfume but also to keep moths at bay.
Take a look at a lavender flower, and you’ll see it’s covered in tiny hairs. That’s where the essential oil is. Lavender essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to help relieve stress and aid restful sleep.
Dried and fresh lavender is a versatile culinary ingredient. Add it to cakes and sauces or use the fresh flowers as a cupcake decoration. You can also use it in savoury dishes – in fact, anywhere the recipe says ‘rosemary’ you can substitute lavender. If you’re going to cook with your lavender, though, it needs to be organic and pesticide-free.
Lavender has mild analgesic (pain relieving) properties. Next time you have a headache, instead of reaching for the paracetamol, try adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to a little carrier oil. Massage it into your temples and wrists and lie down with your eyes shut for ten minutes while the fragrance does its work.
If you’d like to see our lavender in full bloom, come and visit us soon at The Swettenham Arms.