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5 Lavender Home Decorating Ideas

There are some many ways to personalize and make your home interior original and fresh.  Certainly,  adding plants to it is one way.  It’s probably the most simple, inexpensive and popular one.  You can easily decorate your home with lavender. Lavender plants have beautiful colours that range from mauve to lavender to royal purple.  But if you don’t have a green thumb thanks to the popularity of Lavender in Provence there are plenty of decor items that feature it.   Here are ten ideas to help you decorate your interior with lavender.

Lavender Decor Item #1

Stylish Home decor

Stylish home decor to suit any taste

This series of  Lavender Design Planters makes a great home for more than just lavender! Crafted out of cement, this waterproof circular planter is accented with raised expressionistic lavender blooms in light purple — an understated compliment to any plant or flowers. Various sizes are available or a collage with the series makes a nice focal centerpiece on a dining room table or side table.

Lavender Decor Item #2

Home Decor - Lavender Canvas Art

Soft hues of purple, grey and cream make this lavender canvas art a romantic addition to the home

Soft hues of purple, grey and cream make this lavender canvas art a romantic addition to the home. This array of lavender artwork gives a room a more refined flair and elegance and lifts the eye upward adding a dimension of  height to your room.

 

Lavender Decor item #3

Cushion with lavender

A contemporary textured lavender themed cushion for your home

 

What a difference a few cushions can make and these lavender cushions are an easy and inexpensive way to liven up a room.  Textured and embellished they add a bit of colour to your room.  So before you get stuck in re-painting, re-carpeting, or replacing your old couch, consider the idea of using a few lavender cushions to spruce up your room.

 

 

Lavender Decor Item #4

A pretty tablecloth changes a room instantly.  It not only adds a pop of  colour but also a romantic charm to your dinner table.  Just add crisp white dinnerware, warm candles a mouthwatering meal and friends.

 

 

Lavender Decor Item #5

Add instant colour to your room with dried lavender

Dried lavender bouquet

Dried lavender in a simple neutral coloured vase can make a wonderful statement in a room.

Add a bit of baby’s breath for an even more stunning bouquet or use a set of 3 vases of different shapes to add a visually appealing composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We like the simplicity and touch of colour that the lavender adds making it a sleek and elegant addition.

 

So many different ideas to spruce up a home using lavender!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lavender royal purple

A Gardener’s Guide for Growing Lavender

Get ready to plant lavender in your garden this season.

Lavender Garden design time -Garden catalogues

Planning your lavender garden

January is a terrific time to design your landscape, choose the flowers and vegetables that you want to grow this year, order seeds and get leads and information on how to grow your favourite plants. And so, its a  perfect time to share some tips on how to grow lavender.

 

 

 

Lavender angustafolia Hidcote

Hidcote Lavender the deepest purple lavender is ready to bloom

The focus is on Lavandula angustifolia which is commonly known as English lavender.  It comes in assortment of colours from deep purple to lavender and even a blush pink that is so light that you’d swear it looks white in mass plantings.  Lavender with its lovely fragrance is part of the mint family.  It has made a come back in recent years and is now commonly grown in home gardens for it’s beautiful aroma, pretty flowers, culinary and therapeutic benefits – and isn’t it just a romantic plant that takes our stress away?

 

 

Quick Lavender growing tips

This easy-care plant typically enjoys hot, dry conditions, making it suitable for use in a variety of landscape settings and an excellent candidate for beginner gardeners or those who tend to forget to water their gardens.    Once it is established this plant is very forgiving although it is important to keep in mind that lavender is drought tolerant not drought resistant, so in dry years it will still need some TLC.

Stoechas Spanish Lavender

Lavender Stoechas with its pretty butterfly wings in not suitable for overwintering in Ontario lavender gardens

Although Lavender stoechas is readily available at garden centres across Ontario in the springtime.  This  pretty butterfly petalled tenSome der heat loving varietal will not withstand overwintering in Ontario even in the mild winters of Essex County.  It is more adept to the indoors or more the temperate climates of Spain or Texas and can only tolerate winter temperatures around 45 degrees.

 

Keep reading to learn more about lavender plant care.

 

 

 

How to Grow Lavender in the Garden

Lavender coconut ice

Lavender comes in all colours even a blush pink

Lavender seeds are  very slow to germinate and often not successful.  Beginner gardeners are best advised to purchase seedling plants in 4 inch pot.  This is the most reliable way to grow lavender. Growing lavender plants is an easy endeavor provided you give them what they need. Although lavender can tolerate a variety of growing conditions, this plant thrives best under warm, sunny conditions in well-drained soil.

To grow lavender outdoors choose a area that has full sun. If it is planted in partial shade  the plant will reach for the sun and not have any flowers on the shady side.  Sandy loams are ideal.  If you have clay amend the soil by adding sand, vermiculite and some gravel.  Plant the lavender in raised beds or mound the soil.  During the first few weeks pinch the flowers so that the lavender plant puts its energy into growing a healthy root system.  The plant should be watered weekly  and given a light fertilizer feeding for the first 3 months. If it is a dry year then continue watering regularly.

Lavender is native to arid regions, the plant will not tolerate moist or overly wet conditions; therefore,

Colourful lavender plants

The deep rich colour of lavender plants

it’s important to consider location when growing lavender plants, especially in Ontario where we have wet springs and falls. That’s why it’s recommended to mound clay soil to raise the plant so if its a rainy year they don’t get their feet too wet.

Lavender should be located in areas with adequate drainage and spaced far enough apart to ensure good air  circulation. Be sure to clear away leaves or mulch in early spring. This will help reduce the chance of developing root rot.

 

 

Lavender Plant Care

Pretty mounds of lavender

Well pruned lavender

Once established, lavender plants require little care or maintenance. While they should be watered regularly early on, established plants need water in dry years and a bit of fertilizer after blooming. Regular pruning is recommended in the fall time.  Pruning not only keeps lavender plants neat looking in appearance, but also helps to encourage new growth.  Lavender can be cut back  to about a third of the new growth.  Severe pruning is only recommended in years of heavy frost.

 

We’ll share more tips for growing lavender including information about pruning,  harvesting  and varietals we grow in future blog posts.

Lavender royal purple

Lavender bloom at Serenity Lavender 2020

 

 

 

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Chicken Provençal Recipe with Herbes de Provence

We’ve been longing to travel… but that won’t be happening soon   So,  if we can’t travel to Provence at least we can bring that idyllic wine and lavender oasis of France to our dinner table.  And what is more reminiscent of the beautiful region in France than herbes de Provence.

Obviously travelling vicariously is not quite the real thing but, it’ll have to do and what better way to travel than through food.

This week it’s a simple meal:  chicken,  dusted in flour and roasted with shallots, lemons, tomatoes, olives and garlic in a douse of dry red wine (I use the Pinot Noir from our sister company North 42 Degrees Estate Winery https://north42degrees.com/product/pinot-noir-2018-vqa/ ) and a sprinkle of  our own blend of herbes de Provence. https://serenitylavender.com/product/herbs-de-provence/   The chicken pieces crisp up on top, while the shallots and garlic melt into sweetness below. You could serve with rice, mashed potatoes or a simple green salad and a crispy fresh baguette to mop up the sauce.

 

A terrific recipe using local wine and lavender

Chicken Provencal with Herbes de Provence

 

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Serenity Lavender herbes de Provence
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 pint/2 cups of  cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  •  cup dry red Wine
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, for serving

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture; this will ensure the skin gets nice and crispy
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow pan or plate, and lightly dredge the chicken in it, shaking the pieces to remove excess flour.
  • On the stove top in an oven proof skillet heat the olive oil and place the floured dredged chicken skin side down until crispy and golden brown about 6-7 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and cook the other side for about 6-7 minutes.  Sprinkle the chicken with the herbes de Provence.
  • Arrange the lemon, garlic cloves, tomatoes and shallots around the chicken, then add the dry red wine to the pan.
  • Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 10-12 minutes, then baste it with the pan juices (do not skip this step). Continue roasting for another 20minu tes, or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat cooked through.
  • Serve in the pan or on a warmed platter, garnished with fresh thyme sprigs.

 

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or crisp baguette.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

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Lavender Rubbed Lamb Chops with Arugula Salad

This time of year there is a lot of entertaining going on in our neighbourhood with house parties abound.  The food is just as diverse are our friends who are hosting these little soirees from wine and cheese  minglers to  the causal elegance of a sit down dinner.

If you are hosting a party this season we have a perfect recipe that gives a tender juicy lamb loin or rib chop a bit of zing in the flavour department using locally grown lavender. The aromatic rub of lavender and orange zest is an ideal flavour combination to make any cut of lamb a herbal fragrant note that is reminiscent of the southern coast of France.

Served with a lovely fall salad of arugula or other bitter greens and tossed with roasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds.  The pomegranate seeds are delightfully sweet and crunchy. The bright red colour and burst of flavour is one of our favourite additions to any salad this time of year, not just this one.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon minced shallot

1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender’s dried culinary lavender buds

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of freshly ground black peppercorns

8 double cut lamb chops (about 450 grams each)

 

Method

In a bowl, blend the olive oil with the shallot orange zest, lavender, salt and pepper.  Rub the mixture all over the lamb chops ad transfer them onto a broiling pan or metal rack set on a baking sheet.  Let the chops rest in the fridge for  2 -3 hours

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8-10 inches from the heat. Broil the chops for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally until the temperature reads 140 degrees F.

 

Salad

Ingredients

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a large lemon)

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

400 grams of arugula

1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Place the arugula in a large bowl.  Add the remainder of the ingredients into a small round covered plastic container.  Shake well until the oil and lemon juice are blended.  Pour over the lettuce, toss and serve with the lamb chops.

Enjoy!

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Lavender Honey-What’s the Buzz?

Our bees have been busy this year and we have once again we have lavender honey!

What’s the buzz? A worker bee gathers in her entire life 0.8 gram (0.0288 ounce) of honey and it requires 556 worker bees  and a million flowers to gather a pound of honey.  Bees normally fly once around the world to gather enough nectar for that pound of honey but we make it a bit easier for them by placing our hives in our lavender production field. Still, that’s a lot of flowers.

Bees at work at Serenity Lavender

Raw honey has been used as a folk remedy throughout history. But those old wives tales are true and honey has a variety of health benefits and medical uses. It’s chocked full of antioxidants, is heart healthy and tastes delicious too!

The bees arrived back on our property on June 7th and we have 8 hives this year.  The bees were very busy with 2 blooms this summer and our first batch of honey was extracted on July 21st.

Taste the pure goodness of raw lavender honey

 

 

 

Lavender honey in the making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooooo golden in colour and the delicate floral scent of lavender flows through this pleasant, well balanced and rounded honey.

 

 

100% natural lavender honey

Our bees make terrific lavender honey – not infused

 

 

Lavender honey comb

 

 

And we just stocked our shelves with some gorgeous honeycomb.  Eating honeycomb is one way to enjoy the full fruits of our bees’ labour.  To produce one pound of wax the bees consume 6-8 lbs of honey.  The wax is edible and honeycomb contains not just honey but also pollen and sometimes royal jelly. It’s the perfect addition to a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and you’ll find it on our charcuterie boards at the Bistro 42.

We’ll be saying goodbye to our bees soon as the evenings cool but we thought we’d share this old family recipe as our bee season winds down and they go into hibernation.

Polish Honey Spice Cookies (Pierniczki)

Ingredients

1 c sugar

¼ c  water

 

1 c honey

2 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp nutmeg

4 tsp butter

 

4 c flour

1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup warm water

Icing

1 c confectioner’s sugar

1-2 Tbsp water depending on the thickness of the icing you want (glazed or piped)

½ teaspoon almond or peppermint extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan measure out 2 Tbsp of sugar and ¼ cup of water stir until dissolved  and carmelize over gentle heat stirring until it begins to turn a golden brown colour.  Add the remaining sugar, honey, spices and butter.  Stir continuously until the mixture begins to boil.  Remove from the stovetop and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl beat the egg and mix in the flour, baking soda and water.  Blend in the sugar add spice mixture .  Knead the dough until smooth. Cover the  bowl with a towel and let it rest  20 minutes.

On a flour dusted countertop roll out the dough into a rectangle.  Cut the dough into shapes using your favourite cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool. Ice the cookies.

Smacznego!

 

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Lavender Festival 2019 – Schedule of Activities

Schedule of Events

Thank you for joining us for Lavender Festival 2019 and helping us celebrate all things Lavender!

 

 

SATURDAY

10:00 am            Tai Chi Demonstration

Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism

 

10:30 am            Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

11:00 am            Cooking Demo

Learn the art of BBQ from Award    winning competitive barbequer Wally Hayes. Meet at the Food tent

 

11:00 am           Live Music – Max Marshall

-2:00 pm           Grab some food, wine/beer and enjoy under the music tent

 

12:00 pm         Lavender Wand Dem0

                           Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

12:30 pm         Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

1:00 pm          Paint and Sip Class

                          Prepaid tickets – meet under the canopy

 

1:00 pm          What’s the Buzz? Bee tour

                           Pre sold tickets –Anderdon Apiaries stay tuned for future events

 

1:30 pm         Decoupage Demo

                         Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

2:00 pm      Live Music- Aaron Furlotte

-5:00 pm     Grab some food, wine/beer and enjoy under the music tent

 

2:00 pm       Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

2:30 pm        What’s the Buzz? Bee tour

                         Pre sold tickets –Anderdon Apiaries stay tuned for future events

 

3:oo pm        Wreath Making Demo

                        Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

 

SUNDAY

10:30 am         Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

11:00 am          Cooking Demo

Learn the art of BBQ from Award    winning competitive barbequer Wally Hayes. Meet at the Food tent

 

11:00 am          Live Music – James Staley

-2:00 pm          Grab some food, wine/beer and enjoy under the music tent

 

12:00 pm       Dried Flower Music Cone Demo

                          Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

12:30 pm          Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

1:00 pm        Paint and Sip Class

                         Prepaid tickets – meet under the canopy

 

 1:00 pm        What’s the Buzz? Bee tour

                         Pre sold tickets –Anderdon Apiaries stay tuned for future events

1:30 pm         Decoupage Demo

                         Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

2:00 pm      Live Music-Garage Mahal

-5:00 pm     Grab some food, wine/beer and enjoy under the music tent

 

2:00 pm       Lavender Tour (free)

Meet at the Peace Garden/Labrinyth

 

2:30 pm       What’s the Buzz? Bee tour

                         Pre sold tickets –Anderdon Apiaries stay tuned for future events

 

3:oo pm       Felt  Flower Wreath Demo

                        Meet at the Serenity Lavender booth

 

Thank you for your smiles and continued support!

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Lavender Festival 2018 Schedule

Saturday June 30th          

 

10:00 am              Festival opens

Tai Chi Demonstration

 

11:00 am              Alcohol Ink Class with Val Reid

(Advance registration on Eventbrite)

 

11:30 am              Lavender Tour

Music by James Staley

1:00 pm                Lavender Tour

Music by Joel  Furlotte

 

1:30 pm                Lavender Wand Demonstration

 

3:00 pm                Cooking Demonstration with Chef

 

3:30 pm                Lavender Tour

 

Sunday, July 1st

 

10:00 am              Festival opens

Yoga class with Caroline Holmes

 

11:00 am              Alcohol Ink Class with Val Reid

(Advance registration on Eventbrite)

 

11:30 am              Lavender Tour

Music by James Staley

 

1:00 pm                Lavender Tour

Music by Six Degrees

 

1:30 pm                Lavender Wand Demonstration

 

3:00 pm                Cooking Demonstration with  Chef

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Save the date!! Lavender Festival 2018

Sometimes it’s best to brainstorm when you are far away from all the hustle and bustle of the daily routine of home an work.  Last year Serenity’s Lavender Festival exceeded all of our expectations.  The turnout was amazing, the weather was picture perfect but we did not yet have our new hospitality centre and so with a new building smack dab in the centre of our parking and vendor area, with  a full service restaurant open 7 days a week,  a brainstorming session was in order.  Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out the Festival activities.  A sprinkle of new with old making this an even better festival for all ages!

Lavender is, of course still  the star of the show and choosing a date can be a challenge not too early and not too late to miss the peak of bloom.  And then there are all the other wonderful festivals in Windsor Essex to keep in mind.  We’ve chosen June 30th and July 1st and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that mother nature is as kind to us as she was last year!  So pencil that date into your calendars and we hope to see you for another Scentscational Experience!!! 

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Serenity Lavender………….Inspirational

cleopatra1We had the pleasure last summer of a visit from The Great Canadian Adventure Tour.  We were not only thrilled to host them but we really had a blast showing them around the farm and being a part of the filming. Thanks guys for making us a stop!

Lavender is perhaps nature’s most alluring herb. It has been said to be the herb of love.  The Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, certainly knew this! It’s said that she used it to capture the heart of not only Julius Ceasar but Mark Antony as well.  Egyptians used lavender not only as a perfume  added to their waters and baths but also for embalming their dead. They knew that essential oils beautify the inside of you body as well  as the outside.

We introduced the Tour to the many uses of lavender – from culinary to aromatherapy.  556

It looks like we got 2 thumbs up as a place to visit.  As they put it “its a uniquely tranquil destination experience”, but take a look for yourself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWV6lSRFJxg

 

 

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