8 Jul 2013

Thoughts of Lavender

Lavender - Vicki Archer

I didn’t think I could take another photograph of lavender… I thought lavender and I had danced our last dance, said our fond farewells.

I have spent many years admiring lavender, crushing the tiny flowers in my palms in order to inhale her sweet smell… I have cut bouquets, arranged them and dried them. I have saved them to burn in the winter months… the smoky fragrance filling our home… I have bathed in the oil, slept with the perfume under my pillow and I have sprayed lavender water on our sheets… it truth, I have enjoyed it all when it comes to lavender… I believed I was immune to her charms.

When Carla and I were working on My French Life and French Essence… we would look at each other, laugh and say… “no more lavender” shots… “it’s done”… “we have it”… I think her image of the lavender fields in My French Life, is one of my favourites… I can still remember the day she took that photo so clearly… Carla, looking for the perfect angle… waiting for just the right light.. crawling through the rows of bushes, risking life and limb amongst the bees for the best shot… We were lavender obsessed… We had to let it go.

And yet… what have I done since arriving in Provence these last days… nothing but think of lavender, look at the lavender… and take pictures… morning, noon and night.

Lavender - Vicki Archer

In Arles, on Saturday morning at the market, I stopped at each stall with lavender for sale… lavender sachets, fresh potpourri… I couldn’t help myself… I very nearly bought a lavender plant for our terrace… If you could see how much lavender we have blooming right now, you would understand the extent of my crush…

For it is a crush… a major re-awakening… and another reason to love Provence. Lavender is the very definition of summer… and one of the reasons why millions of visitors flock to the region every year… Lavender is something to behold…

Mother nature waves her magic wand and yet again I am amazed… I never get used to the beauty… or I hope, take it for granted… Her brilliance is enchanting…

See the lavender in My French Life

Spoil yourself, smother yourself in everything lavender from L’Occitane

Scent your summer with lavender from Diptyque


and most of all, have a wonderful day… xv


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Heather in Arles

I think that the lavender is extra precious this year as we nearly didn’t have it because of all of the springtime rains…but it always is something magical, I agree!
Bisous et Bon Dimanche chez toi–enfin. :)

jilly Bennett

You write so beautifully,Vicki. This expresses so wonderfully how you feel about lavender and being lucky enough to own your book, My French Life, which I love – I also own all of Carla’s! – I appreciate it all the more. Wonderfully evocative description of how you feel and beautiful photographs.

Bises – Jilly x

helen tilston

Hello Vicki

I know that despite all the images already taken you will still be able to capture the beauty of your beloved lavender in a new light.
May the light never dim

Helen xx

Karen in CT

… taking a picture captures your thoughts at that moment … it means you continue to enjoy the beauties of life … which is a good thing … start to worry when you no longer want to “capture that moment” … beautiful pictures and post

Karen in CT


Beautifully written; merci! My husband and I are vacationing in Aix en Provence. Just this morning we visited the flower market. I, too, fell in love with lavender just a little bit more each time I picked up bundle to experience its beauty. No two bundles are the same — much like snowflakes! :)


Oh yes, I feel your crush! This year my little bed of lavender below my climbing roses has transported me time and again to a place I’ve never even been, yet can vividly imagine when I’m harvesting, wrapping, hanging, & crushing those little flowers….wonderful post to read while enjoying my morning coffee – thank you!


Vicki, here in the Midwest lavender is so precious! Of course we have the oils, sprays, perfumes, etc. How I long for a fresh bouquet in one of my blue and white vases!

Designer Series 2013


I am with you with lavender Vicky, never enough photograph , never enough of the scent..
My obsession with vintage sheets just about equal my lavender obsession!…
When I see a row of lavender in bloom I just want to ” kiss” it (if it was not for the bees I would !!..)

emily @ Town And Country Shuffle

Hi Vicki,

I too adore Lavender. I have a precious little bottle with lavender essence from L’occitane and use it as a “bath oil”… I find it very relaxing…You’re so lucky to have fields of lavender outside your home!

warm regards
Emily @ Town And Country Shuffle


I never tire of lavender, the scent, the way it blows in the wind and its beautiful color! That is why I named my blog what it is!



We were just in Cheval Blanc and visited lavender fields all over the Luberon. I also bought tons of lavender sachets, soaps etc. Cannot get enough. So thank you for the post.


Lavender really does have its own charm. I have a large round of it right outside in my front garden; the Provence variety.

Barbara Lilian

Thank you for the pictures of lavender, I could never get tired of it. My childhood memories when visiting my grandmothers house, where there was always a lace handkerchief sprinkled with lavender water. Now I have my own lavender patch in my garden here in France. It’s late blooming this summer, due to such a wet spring, when I thought I’d lost it. Now I can’t wait to pick it & make my lavender wands. keep taking those wonderful pictures, it reminds me of my visit to provence 3 summers ago.

Veronica Roth

So nice Vicki. My lavender bushes have really been wonderful this year and Chloe and I are busy making lavender wands. I can never get enough of this summer treasure. :)


How perfectly you’ve captured the subject of the plant!
I so love lavender and was determined to have my own in New Jersey that I planted a patch on our circular drive which is now scenting the air. After discovering that there was a lavender “grosso” that could withstand northeastern winters I couldn’t get enough! I have a separate patch of Jean Davis- which buds pinkish white flowers and then became determined to have a little Hidcote for its intense color! It doesn’t end…I succumbed to lavendula dentata which won’t survive our winters but I take it indoors. … enough said.
Thanks for your wonderful post Vicki! I am imagining you in the markets.


Maybe its the vibrant colour of the flowers, but in my mind you can never have enough pictures of lavender, or enough lavender around the house, it’s my favourite scent….When I’m not in Provence, I travel with the oil, it helps with jet-lag, relieves sun-burn, and can be used as a mild disinfectant. Further-more it reminds me of the beautiful lavender fields of Provence that I am missing when I’m not there….thanks for sharing the photos and giving me a whiff of what I’m missing to cheer up my Sunday morning.

MJH Design Arts

Hi Vicki—so beautiful and romantic. The photo of the lavender, olives and Alpilles (?) in the background — speechless.
Thanks for a great start to my Sunday.


I can almost smell the soft fragrance just reading your words, and it will send me on a journey today to a wonderful floral market to buy some.
We have a garden boulevard between our new home and the neighbours next door, the decision is ours to plant the garden bed there. I have been considering lavender and the more I think about it the more I realize how wonderful it would be.
Enjoy the fragrance that surrounds you.


I really enjoyed reading this post on lavender. I purchased lavender scented body powder from an English name brand and sprinkle it on our bed sheets on really hot nights. The scent is light and soothing. I must get some lavender scented shower gels and a nice light lotion.


So beautiful Vicki, I can imagine the scent through your words. The lavender images in your book are breathtaking!
Cheers, Kathy x


well, how can you possibly resist lavender’s charms…when those charms are from a living thing? Is that not its beauty? The fleeting, the seasonal, the changing, the developing, the fading…i think therein lies the charm…

oh, and the fact that it is so incredibly beautiful as well!!

rosalie carmichael

Lavender and roses go so well together. The roses have been pruned but the lavender is flowering. These are great plants here in southern Western Australia becasue not only do they flower year after year but send out babies so that whenever I have to finally pull out a plant because it is too woodly there is always a small one or two hiding underneath.


Don’t stop writing about lavender. Just recently, I was told that Lavender can help me with the “no see ums” insect bites I get every year. I’m hoping it will work. I plan to buy a Lavender plant tomorrow.

P.S. I love your pictures!


Hi Vicki, I love lavender! My neighbor’s front yard is full of it, so it’s a wonderful view to come home to. I am back to posting again! I would love it if you wanted to stop by. I hope all is well in your beautiful part of the world! ~Becky

Maria Costa

I love lavender and reading your post brought back memories of my attempt to start lavender by seed. My sister-in-law decided to do the same. I cared for and watched for seedlings to appear. Nothing…….. My sister-in-law came to visit me with good news of how her lavender was growing so I went to visit her and her lavender of course. To my surprise and hers it was not lavender but dill. We still laugh about it to this day. xo

Anita Rivera

Dearest Vicki!!!!!!

I have been off-line since my visit here in California with family, and have missed all my favorite blogs and friends.

I don’t think that those of us who are Francophiles can get away from loving lavender. She is a part of the charm, her perfumes calm us and liven us….she is France to me…..

So good to come back to French Essence; it’s my second home. Anita

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

One of my all-time favorite scents and sites – there are actually a lot of lavender fields not too far from Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula near the town of Sequim where they have a lavender fest each year. But I’ve never seen the lavender fields of Provence. I hope there is a little that hasn’t been harvested yet when we visit this August! Lovely photos!


Just when we think we can take in no more beauty, discover yet another facet of what has become ordinary, we are taken aback by yet another of its charms. I love that lavender does this to you. Now I want to go out and buy a bunch of it; it doesn’t seem to want to grow from seed for me.

Esther George

Hi Vicki I do love lavender and your photographs make me want to buy more…… I do have French Lavender planted in a pot and I have English Lavender in the ground. For some reason the English seems to attract Australian native bees i find they are smaller in size and quite beautiful. I would love a meadow of all the different shades of this beauty. Have to be extra nice to hubby he does all the work. Thank you for this visual feast. Regards Esther from Sydney.

Juanita in OH

I never tire of Lavender anything! Keep it coming and TFS. I have to get some this week because you talked it up, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


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