I don't recall when my love affair with lavender started. Perhaps the first hint is found in a happy memory from decades ago. The week after I made my First Holy Communion, my mother asked what color I wanted her to dye my simple but lovely dress--a cotton sateen, I think--hand-tailored by a kind woman in our village. "Lavender," I immediately replied.
We didn't grow lavender in our gardens nor do I recall any elderly ladies wearing woolens scented with it, as some of my own sweaters are now! Somehow I'd latched onto the mystique of lavender though. Considering I was drawn to the color itself in first grade, it's no surprise I grow it in my gardens, despite our acid soil. Or try to grow it.
Through milder years, I've harvested up to 16 plants twice a season. It's true I fed them lots of lime, but I had to be careful that neighboring plants keep their distance. And what good is it if you can't plant something that flowers in brilliant reds to complement the lavender, like this beautiful begonia?