We have some awesome lavender plans this year, so I'm somewhat lavender-brained right now.
Typically, we send flowers to our moms for Mother's Day. This year, we wanted to do something a little different. My first thought was a lavender gift basket. I did a couple of internet searches and was fairly disappointed with some of what came up. Most notable was a selection of offerings from a major online retailer, some of which seemed satisfactory but overpriced, not including delivery, and a few that totally baffled intelligence.
Had I not recently discovered via a humorous but pointed post by piquant rhymer Pat Hatt that not all product reviews are to be trusted, I might have fallen for a gift basket or two.
One particular product had an even number of positive and negative reviews. Nothing in the middle.
From: "Guys, this is the way to go! You can't go wrong with this! My wife loved it!"
To: "I would never give it as a present - well, maybe if they priced it at $5.00 and it was a Secret Santa gift!"
What gives?!? How could the reviews be so polar?!?
Pat Hatt's little complaint helped me realize the positive reviews likely were not only paid, but copied and pasted.
Sheesh! So what's a daughter (or son) to do???
I've been trying to grow lavender in my garden for five years now, and not a single plant survived the winter until this year. Some didn't even survive the summer droughts, and they're supposed to be drough tolerant! I bought four different varieties of lavender plants last summer, and three of them are growing back now!!! Yippee! Colorado's winters (and/or wind) might be a little too tough for one variety, which I can't specifically identify just yet, but of course, was the most fragrant and the most prolific during the summer months.
One of my co-workers also grows lavender with more success than I. She's at a lower elevation, and I don't think she has the winds we do. She said to give my stragglers a chance because some varieties do take longer to kick in, particularly if we've had a brutal winter. I wouldn't say our winter was necessarily brutal, but the winds certainly were. And I've read one of the ways to protect outdoor lavender during the winter is to shield the plants from the wind. That presents a perplexing challenge for next winter.
Meanwhile, before the winter set in, I dried some of my beautiful lavender (and rosemary and mint) last fall, and I made potpouri that was a huge hit at the office craft fair I participated in last December. I still have a few potpouri bottles left...
A co-worker makes homemade soap. She had some lavender-scented!
While visiting The Wave last January, we received a gift of homemade lavender moisturizing lotion and bath salts from one of the hotels where we stayed. Oh, did this ever get me thinking about things I might be able to do with lavender!
I can crochet lavender baskets. I can make lavender basket filling with my husband's paper shredder. I can make lavender washcloths and scent them with lavender oil. I have more than my fair share of lavender-hued flower photos from last-year's garden. I can make card pouches to match! I can make all kinds of fun lavender things! And I can custom pick a few fun lavender offerings at the grocery store or the health food store.
Heck with prepackaged mail-order! I've giving one-of-a-kind lavender baskets this year!!! Lovender baskets. Made with love.
This is what The Lizard saw when he dropped me off at the train one day after I came up with this idea.
This is what he saw that evening when he picked me up from the train station.
"You MADE that?!?" he admiringly exclaimed as his eyes popped open. Wow. Is this guy awesome or what?!? I guess I haven't made any crocheted baskets since I've met him...
I lined the basket bottoms with (crochet-covered) recycled plastic wrap around recycled cardboard to give the baskets support and strength. As a result, they are strong enough to carry lavender barbecue sauce, lavender candles, lavender lotion, lavender shampoo, lavender bath salts and a blevy of homemade lavender stuff.
These baskets, in my biased opinion, are better than anything I could have bought online!