The lavender flower is considered by many gardeners to be one of the more exciting plants to grow. With 39 species within its family, and a variety of sizes, shapes and even colors, this is quite understandable. Despite the available variety, English lavender is by far the most recognizable. In warm climates the shrubs that produce these flowers are evergreen, can reach the size of three feet in height and equal to or double its height in width. The flowers themselves are small, light purple, and grow from spiked stems.
Over time the use of the lavender flower has expanded. One of its most recognizable incarnations is, of course, within the cosmetics industry. Although the sweet, calming scent of lavender is sought after for its uses in perfumes, body sprays and soaps, it is also thought to work wonders for people with troubled skin. This flower is said to stimulate cell growth, heal acne and prevent scars, and cut down on inflammation. The lavender flower may also be used in face washes, as it is thought to have potent antibacterial properties, and may also help balance the skin of the face. Lavender is also frequently used for cooking; one of the most obvious examples of this would be honey. The nectar from a lavender flower can help to create an uniquely flavored monofloral honey that is predominantly produced in the Mediterranean. Some people like to add dried lavender to spice their meat dishes, tossed in a salad, or even baked into sweet desserts and frozen treats. This flower is also occasionally candied, blended with a variety of herbal teas, or even added to milk so as to give it a gently sweet, floral flavor.
Giving lavender as a gift can be a creative experience. Given the varying shades of purples and pinks, you might be able to create a large bouquet of flamboyantly colored flowers. Each shade tends to indicate something different, and this might also lend to your creativity. For instance, a “floral” or “true” lavender hue is thought to be a symbol of decadence. For this you might create a gift basket with the potted flower, perhaps some floral scented body oils, and maybe even some chocolate or pastries with lavender baked right into them. In general, though, lavenders are thought to be a symbol of devotion, and there would be nothing sweeter than giving the gift of a simple lavender flower by itself.