I grew lavender in Florida. The world is a more beautiful place for the fragrance of lavender.
When we grew herbs in Florida, I would walk out in the garden every morning and run my hands through the lavender plants to release their perfume. In the coolness of dewy mornings it was a lovely fragrance – how to describe scents? Olfaction is the hardest sense to write. Lavender is herby and floral and evergreen, it is soft wood; it is both warm and cool like its flowers’ colors, light and silvery like its leaves.
Other times of day, when I worked in the garden, I’d brush against its fuzzy blue green needles to smell it again: with my forearm while I dug holes, with my shin as I walked by, with my shoulder when I crouched to investigate leaf bottoms, searching for butterfly eggs. By the end of summer, it was sometimes tall enough that I would brush it with my hip and a warm current of lavender fragrance would drift up and make me stop to breathe it in.
The best part of growing my own, and why I can’t wait to move and start cultivating it again, is that when it is in bloom, and even when it isn’t, we can have bouquets of lavender in our house. I’ll cut sprigs and spears and stems laden with tiny purple flowers, and I’ll fill glass jars with water, and I will place lavender nosegays in every room: on the dining and coffee tables, on the bar, on bright window sills, and best of all, on bedside tables, where we’ll drift to sleep breathing one of the loveliest scents of the earth.
Photo credit: A little arrangement by Lotte Grønkjær
For the month of April, I will be publishing a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.