Tuesday, April 6, 2010

L is for Lavender and Lounging with Tea & Scones

L is for Lavender

Provencal Lavender Fields, original oil on board by Karen Tual

If you've ever seen fields of lavender in bloom, then you know the beauty of this remarkable plant. Lavender has been used in cultures for over 2500 years and first came to this continent with the Pilgrims in the 1600s.

Lavender is a delightful addition to a sunny garden spot. It grows in clumps and likes a sandy, well drained soil.

Spring and summer yields the joy of delicate lavender blooms.

A soothing bath with lavender salts is the perfect ending to a long day. It's a wonderful way to relax, rejuvenate, and revitalize.

Lavender baths are healing. The delicious sent of lavender is the perfect aromatherapy.

After my shower I like to soothe my skin with Pandora Balthazar's lavender foot cream and body butter.

Lavender is also a wonderful fragrance to use around the home. Not only does it make everything smell fresh, it also helps get rid of bugs.

Long ago lavender wands were often given to young women to protect trousseaus and use to perfume linens stored in closets or drawers. Today, many of us like to use lavender sachets in our drawers and closets.

Lavender sprinkled about a closet is a good way to keep one's clothes smelling fresh.

Lavender flowers, stems, and leaves have long been used for culinary purposes.

Lavender tea is a perfect morning pick-me-up or a late afternoon treat. Fresh lavender leaves are best used as an herb for savory dishes. Lavender flowers, both fresh or dried, offer beautiful color and flavor to a variety of dishes. Use only lavender that is clean, pesticide free, and grown for culinary purposes.

Today I've made lavender scones for you . . .

and brewed you a pot of lavender tea.

The teapot is old Sheffield plate. It was a find from a vendor at the Round Top Antique shows several years ago.

The vintage silver-plate cream and sugar are from my mother. She gave these to me for my playhouse when I was a young child. They are marked "Made in Japan". Most of the silver is now worn off, and the copper is showing through in some places. They are very sentimental pieces for me, but I also like the sweet shapes, the pebble texture, and the floral details.

I've set it all out on a tea tray so you can enjoy your lavender treats out on the sun porch.

I've filled a petite Quimper cornet with lavender sprigs and a few fresh flowers from the garden. It is unmarked, but most likely produced by Adolphe and Arthur Porquier, 1875-1903. The croisillé of this piece is one of my favorites. This decor was very time intensive and expensive to produce, so it was not often used in production after WW II.

A pair of sweet vintage linen napkin were a recent gift from Mary @ Across the Pond. You can read about this and the other delights she sent me here. I was the fortunate winner of her celebration of her 800th post give away. Thank you again, Mary! I'm definitely enjoying my gifts.

Your cup of tea and lavender scone are served on pieces of Quimper from my collection. The larger wand of lavender was purchased in Santa Fe last summer. A street vendor would make these on the spot and embellish them with a fresh rose bud and other flowers. The lavender is now dried, but I add fresh blooms now and again to perk it up.

The cups and saucers are early HB Quimper. They were a purchase during my first visit to Quimper, France. They have the softest blue glaze, and the painting on the cups is unusually detailed and fine.

The saucers are deep and painted with a simple border of floral sprays. The petite plate holding the scone is unmarked. It repeats the delicate croisillé decor of the AP cornet.

Since I'm serving tea and sharing about lavender today, I thought it appropriate to include this pair of hand appliquéd and embroidered tea towels. The little lady on the left is dressed in her lavender best.

The tea towels are the skillful handwork of my mother many years ago, and they've now been handed down to me.

So happy you stopped by today. I'm linking this post to Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday for "Letter L" today, but I've also linked up to some other weekly memes this week. Click the links below to visit these great blogs for lots of interesting posts.