Lavender or Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and Lavender Honey Creamsicles

Lavender is by far my most prized herb/flower in my garden as it has everything I could wish for in an herb. The variety I grow is Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ – perfect for my zone 5 garden.  There are other varieties and colors, just be sure you get the one that is suited for your growing area.

This cultivar produces the deepest violet-purple calyces, grows about 18-24 inches tall and blooms in early summer. It is drought tolerant and really does not like wet feet. It needs full sun and well-drained soil and does well during our Michigan winters. I cut it back after blooming in July and sometimes I get another bloom in mid to late September. I have four areas where I grow it, two were planned and the third and fourth are  volunteers (see below).

Lavender, why do I love thee? Let me count the ways… First the color, second the smell, third – it attracts my favorite pollinator, bees; fourth – a great herb for savory and especially sweet recipes. See the list of recipes below for the ones I have published so far. It is an ingredient in Herbes de Province and Lavender Tea. It can be used in potpourri and for medicinal uses.  It’s a great landscaping plant as you can see in the pictures – what a pretty border it makes. The flowers are fragrant fresh or dried, it makes a beautiful cut flower and I just happen to love it 🙂

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The five stages of lavender; 1) cut back in April and just starting to show some green; 2) lavender in full bloom in late June; 3) flowers have lost their color in late July; 4) cut way back hoping for another bloom before the season is over in mid to late September; 5) you can see the new growth in just a few weeks and we are having a drought! 6) Recent update September 15th – new flower stalks are forming, not as vigorous as in the spring but I am getting fresh blooms to use for recipes or the bees to enjoy! The following is the various stages my lavender plants go through during the growing season. Final and 7th update on October 12, 2016 – lots of flowers but not as full as the spring bloom.

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Some of my lavender/edible flower books on the left. I also have a number of herb books which include lavender in the picture on the right.

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The buds are pictured below:

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I treasure my lavender volunteers: the lavender on the left took over Iberis sempervirens or “Candytuft“. You can see what’s left of it around the lavender plant and in the middle of it.  The picture on the right shows a lavender plant growing in my Geranium sanguineum ‘Striatum’ or Striped Bloodred Geranium. When a lavender plant pops up anywhere in my gardens I leave it as it brings some lovely blue/purple color and of course the smell. I did not plant these … Mother Nature at her best!

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My lavender recipes I have published so far:

  1. Lavender-Infused Mom Collins
  2. Chicken with Lavender, Lemon and Thyme – thank you Chef Julianna @foodieonboard.com
  3. Lavender and Rosemary Scented Walnuts
  4. Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
  5. Cantaloupe with Lavender Syrup
  6. Chocolate Lavender Brownies
  7. Oranges and Raspberries with Lavender Honey over Frozen Yogurt
  8. Lavender Lemon Spritzer
  9. Lemonade Scented with Lavender
  10. Lavender Whipped Cream
  11. Edible Flowers

Lavender is also an ingredient in Herbes de Provence which was introduced back in the 1970’s and Earl Grey Lavender Tea. I have had that grinder forever – just for this herb mix. Don’t you love it? I have tea bags and loose leaf and the aroma is so pleasing let alone the taste.

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I wanted to include a new recipe using lavender and decided on a popsicle recipe. I purchased this Onyx mold after seeing it in a Food 52 email and viewing Suzanne’s recipes https://apuginthekitchen.com/?s=popsicles. Check out her site for some more yummy versions.

This recipe is adapted from Broma Bakery.

Lavender Honey Creamsicles

  • 3/4 cup whole milk (if you use skim milk each creamsicle would only be 67 calories)
  • 5 tbsp. mild honey (I did use orange blossom)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. calyx or bud, before the flower opens  (the original recipe called for 2 tbsp. and that gave the creamsicles too strong of a lavender taste)
  • 1-1/2 cups plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • a dot of red and blue food coloring (optional)

Combine the milk, honey and lavender buds in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the milk just begins to scald. You will see small bubbles form. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 2 hours.

Strain the milk mixture through a sieve and press down gently with the back of a spoon to get all of the milk through.  Throw out the flower buds. You can add color with a drop of red and blue food coloring if desired.

Pour into your molds and leave a little headspace for the mixture to expand. Place the tray and popsicle sticks in each creamsicle; it’s best to freeze overnight. To remove place under hot tap water for a few seconds until the creamsicles release from the mold. You can remove the trays but I chose to leave them in to catch any drips.

These are so creamy, delicious and just melt in your mouth.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju

I’m linking my lavender post and yummy lavender honey creamsicles to Fiesta Friday #132. The co-hosts this week are Angie, Sandhya and Nancy. Come join the fun 🙂

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36 thoughts on “Lavender or Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and Lavender Honey Creamsicles

  1. Great informative post Judi. Love lavender myself, but with my limited space in the garden, I’m afraid I don’t have the room. But I do appreciate it when I go by gardens, and often touch the flowers to get that whiff of the lavender perfume. I love herbes de provence too, we got some when visiting the South of France a few years ago and I use it sparingly. Lavender tea is lovely too…..oh and I love your popsicle sticks, I keep promising myself I’d buy some as I’ve seen so many great ones from other bloggers. Your creamsicles sound dreamy 🙂

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    • The creamsicles are very tasty Loretta and a perfect, simple way to use lavender. The plants don’t take up much space and don’t grow a lot. As a shrub they stay small and compact – you need at least one plant in your garden 🙂 I kept seeing popsicle posts too and when I got the email from Food 52 I just ordered the mold from them.

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  2. The lavender I planted a few years back is now a hardy robust plant. It was gorgeous in bloom this year. However, I didn’t know how versatile it was…thanks for the education, Master Gardener!

    Your Creamsicles sound wonderful, Judi… How appropriate to use the honey from your helpful lavender pollinators. 😀 Great flavor combo!

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  3. I bought a lavender plant in spring this year and couldn’t figure out why it was not doing so well. Then I found out I was over-watering it. Then it lost all the purple. Then another blogger said to cut it all the way back and lo and behold, it is green as can be and can only hope it survives to bloom again next year! Thank you for the timeline of the pruning, etc. as it’s very helpful to me.

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    • Thanks for your comment Kathryn – treat lavender right and it will reward you with all kinds of beautiful flowers. Keep it dry with lots of good sun – that’s the south side of my house. Lavender takes well to pruning – I prune it hard in the spring and one might think it’s dead, but all of a sudden you can see new growth and it just takes off 🙂 Also my snow plow guy piles snow on top of it every year (it grows at end of driveway) and the lavender likes it.

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  4. I agree lavender is great, and smells so lovely. We have a ton in our garden as well, great for attracting the bees! Thanks for the recipe, must try it soon!

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  5. Hi Judi,
    Another informative post ! I want to start growing lavender now. Those creamsicles look so inviting and are perfect for the summer .Thank you so much for bringing them to Fiesta Friday and sharing them with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, what a great post, Judi! This is a wonderful resource for all of us.You are so lucky to have so many lavender plants! I am going to have to try growing some next year. I think I may have an area that will work. Thanks so much for all this information and the delicious recipe! 😀

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    • Thank you Julianna! I hope you grow a plant or two – the rewards are many as you can see from my post. I probably have about 20 plants so I always have a good supply of lavender flowers. They are just as good dried as fresh 🙂

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  7. What beautiful popsicles! I have not used lavender in cooking before. We hope to move in about 10 months and will have more land to plant on. You have inspired me to try to grow lavender and try some of your recipes. I will have to investigate what varieties grow in AZ. They are such a pretty plant. I really enjoyed your post and beautiful pictures, Judi

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    • Thanks so much Shari – I really enjoyed putting this post together. You will love lavender and it would grow beautifully in your area – hot and dry! My plants don’t get that big but I’m sure in Arizona they will. It’s a fun herb to grow and cook with. As you can see I use it in a lot of sweets and I need to try using it in more savory dishes 🙂

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  8. That is an impressive amount of lavender! It never quite took in our garden and this year is the first when we actually have a flowering plant. I will save this post for next year when I hope we will have an even healthier plant. It is delicious and the smell is wonderful. Love the creamsicles, they are very pretty with the strands of lavender inside. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Petra – lavender does not require much care; loves the sun, heat and dry feet. I prune it hard twice; once in the Spring after winter and then again after the first bloom. The creamsicles are tasty, just be careful not to add too much lavender 🙂

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      • Thanks for the tip about pruning! I only ever done it once/year but will make sure I do it twice! I love the smell and need to use it more, a great post 🙂

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  9. I use quite abit of lavender in teas, sachets, and in lovely scented baths. You really expanded the possibilities with this just excellent information packed essay. The lavender pop cycles sound just delicious. So interesting. Thank you. 🐞

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