25 May 2013

Lavender - The Lovely and aromatic herb

Here's the next post on my favorite 'Lavender'.  Lavender which is well known for its fragrance is indigenous(native) to the mountain regions and can be grown in gardens or fields.This fragrant herb is native to Africa, southern Europe, the Mediterranean region, southwest Asia and southeast India. But now it is widely cultivated all over the world for its aromatic nature. Despite its aroma, the other notable feature is the color of its flower . one of my favorite color indeed. It gives you a pleasant sight while seeing its flowers in bloom over in the garden or a field. It is also well known in biblical times as 'spikenard'. As I seen somewhere in the web, I came to know that the first use of this name 'Lavender' for a color term in English was used in 1705. Lavender has a great history for its healing properties. It symbolizes elegance, silence and spirituality. You can read the meaning of Lavender here : http://www.lavender-flower.net/

The lavender herb grows at its best when it has a good exposure to sunlight. Lavender is well known for its scent right from ancient times. Lavender is cultivated for its dried flowers and oil. It is believed that smelling the lavender flowers or the extract from the flowers which are made into oil can be used to relax the body and mind which produces a soothing effect. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It has 39 species. Lavender Lavender herb has green leaves and long spikes which bears the purple-blue flowers. The flowers usually bloom from June to September.

Types of Lavender :

                      ~Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender)
                      ~Lavandula dentate (French Lavender) and
                      ~Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender)

In India, Lavender cultivation can be well suited in Himalayas, but it is being experimented all over India. Near the manasbal lake, north of Sringar lavender is grown in a filed of 50 hectares by a woman, Dr Gazalla Amin. Click here for more on it - http://www.indianexpress.com/

Here are some cultivation process :

Here's the picture of world's largest Lavender garden. Located at Tasmania (South to Australia)

Numerous hidden values of Lavender :

                There are numerous values and uses of Lavender. It has various commercial, medicinal,culinary uses and above all for healing purposes. It's essential oil is widely used in making scents, perfumes for its aroma.

             ~ Lavender oil is used for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is nicknamed as 'first aid in a bottle' for its multiple medicinal properties. Lavender was used in World war I and II when there was scarce in medicines.
             ~ It is used for relieving the muscular aches, sprains, stress, anxiety and many more.
             ~ It is used to treat insomnia, stomach problems, infections, poor vision, nerves disorder and dizziness and used in aromatherapy.
             ~  It is believed that the smell of lavender gives you tranquility and it eases you of depression and stress.
            ~ On the commercial front, Lavender is mostly used to make perfumes which are quite unique from other. It aroma increases the mental activity and removes you from nervous problems.
            ~ On the culinary front, candies are made from the Lavender flowers and they are used in making cakes. Since the Lavender flower has nectar in abundance, it attracts more bees which gives honey.They are also used in salads and for decorative purposes. Lavender herbal tea made of its flowers is used to promote sleep and to cure nervous disorders and stress.
            ~ Most importantly it is used in healing process like relaxing the mind and body. It is said that Lavender seeds or flowers placed under a pillow gives some relaxing and tranquil experience.

Pictures courtesy : Internet

I was quite surprised and delighted to know about these valuable and hidden qualities of my own favorite Lavender and happy to share this with you all.

Thanks for reading.
Have colorful and Blessed days ahead. :)

03 May 2013

Tulips - The Vibrant and Elegant Flower

Tulip is a perennial( long lasting) plant that belongs to the family Liliaceae and it is believed that Tulip has around 150 species.. Tulip is native to Southern Europe, North Africa, Iran, Japan and Central Asia.. Tulips are always known for its vibrant colors, simplicity and elegance..That's what attracted me indeed..

If you are eager to know the history and meaning of Tulip flowers, check the following links :

Apart from their original species, many hybrid species are cultivated in some gardens and fields..Tulips are well adapted to the hilly, mountainous areas with moderate to cool temperature.. I have read somewhere that Tulips can be grown successfully in places where their altitude range from 1300 to 3000 feet high from sea level.Tulips are kept dormant for a while so as to enrich their growth.. As I surfed on the Internet, I have found a term called 'vernalization' , while mentioning about the growth of Tulips.. Vernalization is the phenomenon of cooling a seed during germination for accelerating their growth when it is planted..Tulips are one of the most famous spring flowers  in the world.. As we have seen before, Tulip has 150 species and it also has 3000 varieties.. Tulips are available in number of vibrant colors such as Red, Pink, Purple,White, Yellow, Orange and many more.. They grow at an average height ranging from 10 cm to 70 cm..

Tulips can be classified based on their blooming.. Some of the notable types of Tulips are,

*Early flowering Tulips
(They blossom in the period of March to early April- comprising Red Emperor, Water Lily
and Greigii Tulips ),
*Midseason Tulips
(They blossom in the period of April and early May - comprising Swan wings Tulips, Parrot Tulips
and Darwin Tulips)
*Late flowering Tulips
(They blossom in the period of May alone - comprising Rembrandt Tulips Fringed Tulips)

Tulip Cultivation in India :

           In India, Tulips have certainly gained more admiration among the floriculturist(The cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants) on the account of congenial climate in the hilly areas, especially in places like Kashmir . Asia's largest Tulip Garden, 'Indira Gandhi Memorial Garden' aka Siraj Bagh is located in Zabrawan range , Srinagar, Kashmir. It is where the annual Tulip festival is organised. As this garden is located in the shores of the Dal lake, tourists who arrive to enjoy the Dal Lake drive never miss this Tulip festival where these elegant Tulips are spread over 5 hectares of land. This Tulip festival is organised during the months of March and April annually. This year the Tulip festival 2013 was organised from 1st of April to 14th of April. These Tulip flowers can be witnessed in full bloom for 15-20 days depending upon the temperature.

Here are some pictures of Tulip festival 2013 in Kashmir :





Images Courtesy  : Jet-ways travel in Facebook

Check the following link for some more wonderful Tulip pictures :


I was planning to post this just before the start of the festival but it got delayed due to some technical problems. If you get the chance to tour here never miss the Tulip festival next year.

Have Colorful and Blessed days ahead :)
Thanks for reading.