Birthday Wishes and Lavender
This week was my birthday. It was a milestone birthday. Of course I knew in advance that I would be making a wish at my birthday cake. I contemplated what I would say silently to myself when the moment came to blow out the candles. I reflected on my life leading up to now. I found I was focusing on the dreams I've had. There are dreams I have been carrying around with me for many years. Dreams that I hold close because they are wrapped up tightly with the essence of who I am. I have reached a moment in my life when fortunately some important dreams are now in my control and reach. This week on my birthday, I recited my quiet wish to myself that I would keep my dreams in sight this year and put my energy into making real what has only lived as ideas.
I received some thoughtful gifts for my birthday including the sweetest little bouquet of crocuses that my daughter gave me. My little girl is young enough that she doesn't remember the autumn when we planted these bulbs together. She also doesn't realize that by picking the crocus flowers this will be the first year ever that she doesn't unknowingly trample them all!
My birthday cake that framed the candles I wished on was custom created by Kathleen of Ollie Otter Bakery I appreciate how for every special event, my family provides Kathleen with a list of dietary and flavour specifications that most bakers of fine cakes would outright refuse for being too difficult or outright impossible. Or obnoxious. Instead, Kathleen fulfills every single request. Every time. There are two words that instantly come to mind to describe the cake she baked this week: exquisite, sophisticated. Kathleen is also quite modest. She likes to tell me that a cake is beautiful because she decorated with the flowers I grew. This assertion is never true. I have decorated cakes with my flowers. Mine don't come close to her creations. Or Kathleen will say it is my lavender extract that is responsible. Again, I have baked with my lavender. As much as I love my own use of lavender, Kathleen is in an entirely different league! Kathleen is a master.
I really do enjoy growing lavender. Accidentally brushing up against lavender, meeting with the surprise of fragrance, is the pleasantest of moments . The colour of blooms is one of the prettiest in my garden. Lavender is also low maintenance and easy to care for. I do a hard sphere-shaped pruning every spring, just when the first bits of new green start to show. This pruning ensures that the lavender keeps a beautiful shape from year to year and that all the supporting brown wood is concealed from sight. I water sparingly. I add a bit of mulch. If I am lucky, I will get a second flush of flowers after I harvest the first. This is all I have to do for lavender. So little work for such great reward.
This week I began transplanting young lavender plants that I started in the autumn. When these plants mature, they will form a fragrant low hedge. I can't wait (well, actually, I can wait...I don't need time to move any faster. I am not in a hurry to reach my next birthday!) This summer, I will harvest the beautiful, purple blooms to create soap bars, skin balms, infused vinegars and extracts. I will create lavender wreaths, too, and in late autumn I will add sprigs to my evergreen wreaths.
All this talk about lavender! I think I will go make myself a lavender espresso! Or some tea.
Wishing you a relaxing week,
PS if you purchased one of my evergreen wreaths and are ready to take it down, you can return the wire frame to the Garden Stand and I will reuse it. Thanks!