Sunday, 15 December 2013

Lavender Growing and Calendar/Journal Entries

Lavender fields different varieties - pinks,blues and purples

Drying process of bunches of lavenders to hand up to dry

Southern France - provence

Instructions on Lavender growing........

Stoneman's  Website has a good fact sheet for growing Lavender.

Calendar - Journal Entries:

This electronic journal is an excellent idea because you can set it in  the month and time of planting by the moon.

You can do daily, weekly or monthly dates to your journal entries, and putting in reminders to your calendar and it will give you a pop up reminder when important events come up. Remind you when to do your planting of your new Lavenders in advance.

Lavender Growing Keeping a Diary
“Where to grow your Lavender and Climate Conditions”
Lavender is a “Mediterranean herb” that requires a lot of sun 8 hours per day. They grow and flourish in a dry heat especially in summer in environmental conditions that require well drained soil.
Growing in a sunny position provides the roots of the plant to seek moisture deep into the soil beds. They grow very well in the Mediterranean areas well drained and rich in lime.
It is a good idea to keep a diary of when you planted the new lavenders as they’re   longevity is only of five years you will need to replace them.
“Planting new Lavenders”
When you plant lavenders in acidic soil, Lavenders appreciate the addition of lime to the soil, if your soil is very acidic.
“Pathways and Hedges”
Scented Lavenders make great hedges and pathways can establish a house with colour, scent and beauty value to your dwellings. It also give character a wonderful abundant of flowers through the seasons.
“Growing Lavenders in Pots”
Growing  Lavenders   in pots with a little potting mixture and good drainage.
“Pruning Tips”
Always cut off the dead flowers of the Lavender and lightly trim them back in late summer.  Straggly plants can be cut in early spring or they become very woody and sparse and less new growth underneath.
Trimming is important to encourage new growth and new shoots to the plant and gives the lavender bushes a more  fuller appearance.
By keeping a diary you can go back on your diary notes of what went well and what was a disaster.  The journal diary can let you know the time and the date you planted your first new plants.


Expert Village (2008). Google.  A Guide to Pruning Lavender, USA,  27 September 2008.

Readers Digest (2011). Google. How to Grow Lavender Gardening Hints and Tips for Growing Lavender, Sydney Australia, <>

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Lavender Properties and Culinary Delights!

Lavender : History & Cultivation, Properties

Lavender fields - France. "La route de la Lavande." - Carmenviorica. Passing through the Provence region of Southern France.

 Southern France very rich pinks of lavender align the countryside.

History of Lavender:

Over 2000 years ago Lavender has been used for medicinal purposes, when we go back in history the Egyptians used Lavender for mummification processes for their dead in decorative urns and in balming its' Pharaohs ready for the after-life. Egyptians used Lavender oils on their skin for perfume.
The Early Greeks learned a lot about Lavender in their Lavender flower perfumes used as an aromatic herb from the Egyptians.
Lavender's technical term in Latin meaning "Lavare" [mean to wash and cleanse] Livendulo [meaning "livid or bluish colour"].  There are many varieties of Lavender plants over 30 different species across the continent today.
The Romans used Lavender heads [flowers] in their bathing especially in their public baths.  They used Lavender perfume for themselves and in their homes. Lavender was used for treating ailments against infections.
Lavender goes back to the biblical times when Mary used it on her infant Jesus and also used the Lavender oil anointing Jesus Christ at his crucifixion when Mary was preparing Him for his burial.
During the Renaissance period Lavender was used to protect people against infections during the plague.
Lavender's properties can be used for many medicinal purposes as an insect repellent especially back in the plague where rats carried  lice. Lavender is used in soaps, facial products and bath oils and cremes today.
Victorian Era:
Queen Victoria encouraged all fine English ladies to scent themselves in Lavender and everything else.  Queen Victoria used Lavender throughout the castle for cleaning floors and washing down furniture and all linens were perfumed with its sweet scent of Lavender.


In England the demand for Lavender grew and it's cultivation and commercial growing maintained a constant supply for royalty.
Street vendors sold Lavender in the bunches and would sing about their Lavender wares to bring attention to the public for potential buyers.
Some of their calls were printed in "The"Cries of London" through songs, poems and diddles.

Lavender: Culinary Cuisine

There are a variety of recipees in


Lavender potato salad and variety of healthy salads. The Lavender has many beautiful essential oil properties and a wonderful ingredient used in cake mixes that enhances the favour of the cake in any form whether it is a cupcake or a large two tier cake.
Lavender Characteristics: Digestive system and skin
Lavender also known as "Lavandula Angustifolia" is one of the most widely used, versatile herb known today. It is considered a member of the Labiatae family.

Lavender is an aromatic tonic herb with a sweet scent, its benefits are it relaxes the digestive system, stimulates peripheral circulation and lowers fever and relaxes spasms in the body.

Lavender contains certain "Ursolic acid"  anti-bacterial properties that fights against lipid oxidation and encounters to stop oxidation and tissue degeneration by helping encounter ageing.

Lavender is an essential oil used by aromatherapy botanists for the medicines and healing properties that calm the nervous system, and used in various skin beauty therapy products.
Lavender oil is a favourite essential oil it has anti-bacterial properties and is a must in a "First Aid Kit" especially for burns.

Lavender: Ageless Properties

Lavender oil has a calming, sedative property to help relax and fight against stress. It is used as a herb for promoting healthy sleep relaxing the patient specially when they suffer from anxiety and a stressful life situation, it is a great agent in its calming properties.

Lavender oil is used in shampoos, facial products, body/hand creams and soaps.
Lavender is a wonderful herb to grow in your garden and makes a wonderful array of colour in your garden as an edging to your home. I have Lavender growing in my garden in Canberra the French, Italian and English type.


Esteoleric Oils CC  & Sallamander Concepts LCC2013. Lavender Oils (Lavendula Officinalis) The Origin Source the World of Precious Essential Oils, Gaunteng, South Africa, Sallamander Concepts 1998 - 2013.

Meyer Michael 2013. Ageless The Trustee Herbal Ageing Site Since 1999, Sallamander Concepts 1998, 15 October 1998.

Tisserrand Robert 2013. Aroma web, Essential Oils, Southgate MI USA, 15 October 2013.

TMEETZ 2013. Hub website, The Many Benefits of Lavender, San Francisco CA USA, 16 November 2007

Zinkan Laura 2009. Google, Taking Care of Lavender, Northern Carolina USA, 17 May 2009. http://www.The Garden

Getty Paul J. (Producer), (2009). Youtube, Egyptian Mummification Process (English Subtitles),  Retrieved from>

Warner Valentine(Producer), (2012). Youtube,  Lavender Meringue and Cream - What To Eat Now: Summer, Australia.  Retrieved from

Carmenviorica (Producer), (2009). Youtube, "La route de la Lavande" - Lavender Fields, Southern France.  Retrieved from <>

Lavender: Cooking & Recipees

Fresh Lavender is used in the above recipe in What to Eat Now! Include a lot of fruit recipes and meringue, macaroons recipes.


Lavender and Cream Meringues recipes

Early Egyptians Mummification processes:
Early Egyptians Mummification: Lavender Oils:
Early Egyptians used Lavender oil in the preservation of their Pharaohs. This video gives you a good outline on the process step by step on how they preserved their dead. More videos on the early history of the pyramids and other sources.

Created by Margaret Ferguson

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Austria and Switzerland Tour 1986

The hills are a alive with the "Sound of Music"

Austrian Flag

Europe Tour 1986

City of Salzburg:  Attractions and scenic views.............


Views of Salzburg city
Salzburg - Alps
Views of Salzburg
Salzburg - cable cars



September 1986 - Contiki Tour  around Europe

Austria was my favourite place to visit the huge mountains sawing high into upper levels of the cloud, it was amazing comparing our mountains in Australia quite small look like hills.


I toured through Salzburg, Austria where the Sound of Music was taken and walked through the small packed streets of  Salzburg where Mozart was born I actually went to his house it is so small and very steep stair case inside to the upper levels of his house.  Each room has been left with his music scripts and instruments and small mementos.





I travelled on a train around the steep outer slopes of the Swiss alps to go up to the Jungfrau. It took me 2 hours 30 minutes by train to go up and wind around the mountains to the top and you can look down and see a small tiny village below from where you come from, you can't imagine how far up you are as it becomes colder and then you come to another outer layer of the cloud to sun and warmth look right across the alps it is such splendid views. There are creative ice sculptures inside like a fairy tale cave with colourful lights and lots of snow. Then be adventurous to go out to the balcony lookout over the Alps with thousands of feet right below you.


Swiss Valleys:


I was tavelling by bus past these open meadows and through the small villages tucked away into the hills with their lush valleys and wild Edelweiss grows on edges of the mountain.
I went walking for miles in the forest area and found small black moles living in the forests. I was curious seeing these black holes wondering what was in them first, till I saw the head of the mole where they lay in these dug out holes in the grassy banks of the hill. You have to be careful where you step;  like me I trod on one one and yelled to find it moved under my feet.

I  kept on walking for miles, following paths around the valleys, it was a splendid day I will never forget how life can be in another country calling into a small chalet for lunch.

Film on "Lake Lucerne" ......[3 mins]

My Contiki tour took us down to Lake Lucerne the lake is clear as glass on sunny days very picturesque we stopped over  to look at the village and people were buying Cookoo clocks.  We traveled a little further on to Swarovski Crystals shop where they have all the idealistic gift, I bought a gold pendent watch with the black rose symbol for the area. Moved onto a place called Gruyere.

Castle in Gruyere


Gruyere cheese produce of Switzerland
manufacturing Gruyere cheese

Gruyere - Castle maize
Gruyere countryside


In Gruyere there is some wonderful places to visit especially the castle, constructed in the 13th century, was home to a long succession of Gruyères counts. Michel, the last predecessors who faced financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy in 1554.

The creditors - the towns of Fribourg and Berne - shared his land between them. The Castle became the headquarters of the Fribourg bailiffs (1555-1798), then the prefects' residence until 1848.

In 1849 the property came into the hands of the Bovy and Balland families, who stayed there in summer and took care of restoration of the site with their artist friends.

In 1938, the State of Fribourg bought the Castle and opened a museum.

Around the Gruyere region it is famous for their cheeses, Gruyere cheese everyone has tasted some time in their life that are  rich in flavour and creamy and exceptionally good and goes down with a nice wine.

The production area of Gruyère  AOP extends to the various regions of French speaking Switzerland, 50% of the cheese is produced in the canton of Fribourg.

Many tourists have the opportunities discover the method of production of the cheese, educational routes to the demonstration cheese dairies passing by countless mountain cheese dairies, are a delight for the taste buds and the eyes. 

Gruyère  AOP enjoys a reputation which extends far beyond our borders. It not only occupies a place of honour on the cheeseboards of the most sophisticated connoisseurs but is always ready for use in many culinary recipes.

Castle: Enjoy the video of Gruyere........

Traditonal Swiss dancing: country side and valleys:

Traditional dancing and their colourful costumes as seen below:  show their costumes through the centuries, European traditions their local dancing and festivities they take pride in.


The wonderful fireworks at night that light up array of patterns through the skies to celebrate many festivities such as Bastille Day in some parts of the Swiss regions.


Steves Rick (2006).   You tube. Switzerland's Jungfrau Region: The Top of Europe, Edmonds WA USA, <>

Davidsbeenhere (producer) (2010). Youtube. Le Gruyere Cheese Factory [DVD], <>

Sacha Zauggy. Youtube. Heat and Birthplace of Switzerland, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, 20 March 2011.