Home| Growing your own lavender

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Growing your own lavender doesn’t sound that difficult, who knew?

As an essential oil, lavender has a wide array of uses around the home, whether you use it to sprinkle on pillows or in a bath or even as a soothing oil for skin, lavender seems to be the answer to all of our problems.

What better way to step up your gardening game this summer than with this elegant purple plant.

Fiann 2We asked horticultural therapist and the author of The Holistic Gardener, Fiann Ó Nualláin, for his tips on growing the culinary herb.

“Don’t grow lavender indoors,” is Fiann’s top tip.

“You’re killing the plant straight away. Lot’s of herbs grow on a sunny windowsill but lavender needs to be outdoors. It needs decent root room. It’s fine to grow in a deep pot on a balcony but in an indoor situation it won’t get enough sunshine.”

Fiann says lavender originated in Mediterranean countries.

“It needs the heat of the sun to intensify the aromatic oils within it, and it needs at least seven to eight hours of direct sunshine. If you think of the climate it grows in there, very little rain, lots of sunshine.”

Walk into any spa and what will you smell? That smooth, calming scent is instinctively recognisable and Fiann says there’s a “magical” reason behind this.

Lavender/Willow €4.90 from Harvey Norman

Lavender/Willow, €4.90, from Harvey Norman

“The magical thing about lavender is its aromatherapy beauty benefits.  But the fragrance of lavender pushes one button in the brain. It’s unique because when you smell it, it releases endorphins and chemicals to calm you. If you are down it will bring you up.”

“When I go to schools or old folks homes I will always plant lavender and whoever sits at the bench next to it – in whatever state they’re in – the lavender will level them out. Two different people can smell lavender with two different conditions and they will both benefit.”

HolisticGardenerCuresHardcover

The Holistic Gardener, Beauty Treatments from the Garden, by Fiann Ó Nualláin (Mercier Press, €12.99)

Fiann says lavender is a “magic bullet” and it’s clear why.

The super herb is antiseptic, antifungal and works as a herbal rinse for grey or lither coloured hair too.

There’s more. When eaten or drank as a tea, the horticulturist says it can help with stomach problems.

“Drinking lavender tea can be really good to detox the stomach for those with IBS or Candida.”

It sounds like if there is one addition to the garden we’ll be making this summer, it’ll be a touch of lavender.

For more on herbs you can easily grow at home, pick up a copy of this week’s Woman’s Way for more advice from The Holistic Gardener, Fiann Ó Nualláin.