Lavender and lilac are two of my favorite spring plants. Each one comes in a shade of purple. Lavender belongs to the mint family. It is known for its fresh relaxing scent. Lavender is used to aid sleep. It is a common oil for aromatherapy. Massaging the temple or sleeping with lavender may ease headaches from stress or tension. Many bath products use lavender. It is found in potpourris, sachets, and floral arrangements. I have also read that lavender will work as an insect repellent. It is becoming popular to use lavender at weddings as confetti. Besides its aromatic qualities, lavender can also be used as a flavoring in herbal teas and water. Bees are attracted to lavender; Monofloral honey is a top quality honey from the Mediterranean. Many people use the little lavender flowers as decorations for cakes. One thing to remember is not to eat or drink lavender if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. As with all medications, always check with your doctor.
As much as I adore lavender, lilac is also a wonderful plant. It belongs to the olive family. It also has a wonderful spring scent. The lilac is a symbol for love. Many cities hold annual lilac festivals. Infact, Spokane, Washington, has been called 'Lilac City'. There is also a National Lilac Society for any serious lilac lovers. This year marks my 30th wedding anniversary. I believe I will ask my husband to take me to the Lilac Festival at Mackinac Island, Michigan. I have been wanting to visit there for some time now.
I would like to post a few lines from Walt Whitman's poem: When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd.
In the door-yard fronting an old farm house
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love
With every leaf a miracle...
This poem was written as an elegy for President Lincoln. I once read or heard that during the Civil War, the lilac was placed upon the door of the families who had lost someone to show that they were in mourning. Perhaps, that is why Whitman chose the lilac as part of the elegy for President Lincoln. Also, consider the fact that the Civil War spanned across five Aprils, and the lilac blooms during late April through May.
I have the urge to go and wash my sheets. (I have lavender-scented detergent, and I have a lilac arrangement in the top of my closet that I need to set out.)