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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lovely Lavender and DE-STRESSING Day!

It is hard to believe I will be flying to Santa Monica in eleven days and then trying to be ready for the Santa Monica Antique and Collectible Fair four days later. I will definitely be napping on the beach getting used to the eight hour time change from England to LA! As I said last week, the nerves are nibbling away at the ol' brain about our first antique show with our FMF Compagnie collection of antiques and linen soft goods, so Jim and I decided today would be a good day to breathe in some lavender and de-stress! Truly, lavender has medicinal qualities and  is helpful to relax by slowing the brain. After a hectic week in London for Jim and the same for me in Castle Combe, breathing in some lavender sounds like a fun way to spend Saturday morning.

I have always thought of lavender being associated with France and a dryer stone soil and lots of sunshine. But to my surprise in England, there are many fields of lavender throughout the country. Lavender has had a presence in England since  it was introduced in the Middle Ages for washing, medicine, cologne, and house keeping. Queen Victoria was a great enthusiast of lavender and had a conserve of lavender she expected on her royal dining table whenever she ate. She also requested from her gardener that she have a bouquet of lavender year round in her bedroom....that had to be a difficult task in England! Today almost every cottage garden and the large estates feature different types of lavender mixed with their roses and other flowers.

Somerset Lavender Farm, FMF Compaigne

Today we set out for the Somerset Lavender Farm about forty minutes away. It was a glorious day of blue crystal skies and a lot of warm sunshine. There is no prettier country than England when it is sunny in the summer!!!

We arrived to the Somerset Lavender Farm, which is right in the village Faulkland off the main road and down a country lane through some old barns. The setting is charming with five acres of lavender set on a hill with the English countryside view extending for miles. The farm has fields surrounding it that are filled with horses grazing. When we arrived the owner was on his lawn mower buzzing around cutting the grass near their beautiful well organised vegetable plot. We walked the plot first admiring their potatoes, lettuce, herbs, sunflowers and roses and then wandered to the lavender fields that we could see in the distance. The fields were in full glorious deep purple blooms. We could smell the lavender scent in the air as the wind shifted the long stems. We walked to the top of the hill and sat underneath a large tree where we could peruse the entire field and take in the medicinal qualities to de - stress........that lasted about ten minutes! Typical of Jim and I, both type A's....that was enough de-stressing! On down the hill to their farm shop where we purchased some lavender plants to add to our cottage garden and four bags of their wonderful lavender for Jackie to use in our sachets and drawer liners. I'll tuck it in to my suitcase!!!

With flowers on my mind right now, I wanted to share some pieces Jim and I found last weekend that will be coming over on the Fall shipment. I love old English floral patterns in fabrics, ceramics and wood and these were extra special. England is all about flowers.

We also found some very romantic tins that once held candies and biscuits. All the images have a wonderful sentiment about them and rust patina that adds to the charm.

One of our best finds recently has been this set of old floral drapes in a background color of blue cornflower and then sprays of flower bouquets all over. The fabric is an old Sanderson print which is an English make. I am so excited about these that I may just have to put these in the suitcase for the Santa Monica Antique and Collectable Fair too!!!

 Well, the lavender worked on Jim! He is the cocoon in the hammock in our cottage garden! Lavender dreams forever.........

If you are wondering why Jackie is not writing the blog this week, the lucky gal is at the ocean on a well deserved holiday break. Have a great week Jackie!

Please peruse our selection of antique French linens re-purposed as sachets and drawer liners on our Etsy site:

 Now I know we could sell them also as de-stressors......just plop them on your head, close your eyes and imagine English lavender product Jackie!!!

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