Lavender. Not just an essential oil.

If someone has only ever come across one essential oil as an essential oil rather than in some other product it is probably lavender. It is loved by bees and where it is grown as a crop for the production of essential oils, Lavender Honey is another yield available from it though if the weather is cool you will probably only see bumble bees rather than honey bees on it as the latter tend to only go for it when heat increases the amount of nectar available.

But you don’t have to buy essential oils to benefit from this herb. The herb has been put in cloth bags to keep under pillows for centuries to aid sleep. It can be made into an infused oil or bags can also be put in with clothes to keep them smelling fresh.

The shrub is also of ornamental value in the garden though I tend to watch it for the masses of bees of different sorts that cover it on a hot day! While I am sure that some of the large bushes on our allotment site are visited by my bees, there is not enough for the lavender to be more than a small contribution to the honey and wax I harvest from my bees on the allotments in Trumpington, Cambridge.

Psychologically it is comforting and often helpful with those who are stuck and need to move on.

The few people I have met who don’t like the aroma all seem to associate it with elderly relatives who have been physically unwell.