The one hundred lavender bushes that line the approach to the Welsh Hovel are largely decorative. Next year they should be almost three foot tall and I hope even bushier than this year making a real “wall” of colour and smell. But already the smell as you wander past them on the way up to the rhubarb at the top of the garden is strong and wonderful. But the plants have uses too.
Yesterday I took off 200 of the tips and boiled them with a dash of lemon and 440 grammes of sugar in 1.2 litres of water. After simmering for 15 minutes I left to cool, drained and then reheated the liquid so it was a little more syrupy. That liquid was cooled, bottled and now sits in the fridge. The glass you see below is just diluted with water. But last night with my friend Lucian Miers and his Mrs visiting we also enjoyed a dash in glasses of prosecco which was magnificent. The plan is to try and use it for lavender ice cream later this week. I shall report back on that in due course.
The smell, as I prepared the cordial, filled the kitchen in a pleasing way so I shall be cutting more stems this week for lavender bags and posies as the Mrs seems to approve of this particular gardening venture.