(lavendula Vera D C; L Angustifolia Moench; L





spica, Linn.), a half-hardy perennial undershrub, native of dry,

calcareous uplands in southern Europe. Its name is derived from the

Latin word Lavo, to wash, a distillation of the flowers being

anciently used in perfuming water for washing the body. The plant forms

a compact clump 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, has numerous erect stems, bearing

small, linear gray leaves, above which the slender, square, flower stems

arise. The small violet-blue flowers are arranged in a short, terminal

spike, and are followed by little brown, oblong, shiny seeds, with white

dots at the ends, attached to the plant. The seeds remain viable for

about five years.



Cultivation.--Lavender succeeds best on light, limy or chalky soil,

but will do well in any good loam. In gardens it is usually employed as

an edging for flower beds, and is most frequently propagated by division

or cuttings, seed being used only to get a start where plants cannot be

secured in the other ways mentioned. In cold climates the plants must

either be protected or removed to a greenhouse, or at least a cold

frame, which can be covered in severe weather. The seed is sown indoors

during March, and if crowding, pricked out 2 inches asunder. When the

ground has become warm, the plants are set in the open 15 to 20 inches

asunder. It delights in a sunny situation, and is most fragrant on poor

soil. Rich soil makes the plant larger but the flowers poorer in

perfume.



Uses.--The plant is sometimes grown for a condiment and an addition to

salads, dressings, etc., but its chief use is in perfumery, the flowers

being gathered and either dried for use in sachet bags or distilled for

their content of oil. In former years no girl was supposed to be ready

for marriage until, with her own hands, she had made her own linen and

stored it with lavender. And in some sections the lavender is still

used, though the linen is nowadays purchased.



In southern France and in England considerable areas are devoted to

lavender for the perfumery business. The flower stems are cut in August,

covered at once with bast matting to protect them from the sun and taken

to the stills to obtain the thin, pale yellow, fragrant oil.

Four-year-old plants yield the greatest amount of oil, but the product

is greater from a two-year plantation than from an older one, the plants

then being most vigorous. Two grades of oil are made, the best being

used for lavender water, the poorer for soap making. In a good season

about one pound of oil is obtained from 150 to 200 pounds of the cut

plants.



TTITLE Lovage



(Levisticum officinale, Koch.), a perennial, native of the

Mediterranean region. The large, dark-green, shining radical leaves are

usually divided into two or three segments. Toward the top the thick,

hollow, erect stems divide to form opposite, whorled branches which bear

umbels of yellow flowers, followed by highly aromatic, hollowed fruits

("seeds") with three prominent ribs. Propagation is by division or by

seeds not over three years old. In late summer when the seed ripens, it

is sown and the seedlings transplanted either in the fall or as early in

spring as possible to their permanent places. Rich, moist soil is

needed. Root division is performed in early spring. With cultivation and

alternation like that given to Angelica, the plants should last for

several years.



Formerly lovage was used for a great variety of purposes, but nowadays

it is restricted almost wholly to confectionery, the young stems being

handled like those of Angelica. So far as I have been able to learn, the

leaf stalks and stem bases, which were formerly blanched like celery,

are no longer used in this way.



TTITLE Marigold



(Calendula officinalis, Linn.), an annual herb of the natural

order Compositae, native of southern Europe. Its Latin name, suggestive

of its flowering habit, signifies blooming through the months. Our word

calendar is of the same derivation. Its short stems, about 12 inches

tall, branch near their bases, bear lanceolate, oblong, unpleasantly

scented leaves, and showy yellow or orange flowers in heads. The curved,

gray seeds, which are rough, wrinkled and somewhat spiny, retain their

germinating power for about three years.



Cultivation.--For the garden the seed is usually started in a hotbed

during March or April and the plants pricked out in flats 2 inches apart

and hardened off in the usual way. When the weather becomes settled they

are set a foot or 15 inches apart in rather poor soil, preferably light

and sandy, with sunny exposure. Often the seed is sown in the open and

the seedlings thinned and transplanted when about 2 inches tall.



Uses.--The flower heads are sometimes dried and used in broths, soups,

stews, etc., but the flavor is too pronounced for American palates. One

gardener remarked that "only a few plants are needed by a family." I

think that two would produce about twice as much as I would care to use

in a century. For culinary use the flowers are gathered when in full

bloom, dried in the shade and stored in glass jars. The fresh flowers

have often been used to color butter.



The marigold, "homely forgotten flower, under the rose's bower, plain as

a weed," to quote Bayard Taylor, is a general favorite flowering plant,

especially in country gardens. It is so easily grown, is so free a

bloomer, and under ordinary management continues from early summer until

even hard frosts arrive, that busy farmers wives and daughters love it.

Then, too, it is one of the old-fashioned flowers, about which so many

happy thoughts cling. What more beautiful and suggestive lines could one

wish than these:



"The marigold, whose courtier's face

Echoes the sun, and doth unlace

Her at his rise, at his full stop





(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm) (ocymum Basilicum Linn) An Annual Herb Of The Order Labiatae facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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