Lavender Farm

Lavender Farm

During our trip to the South West last month, we travelled to lots of pretty places, through still-green-and-lush countryside.  One such place was the Lavender Farm in Balingup (about 240km from Perth).  My Mum and I had been there before, about ten years ago and were eager for our UK visitor to see the property and perhaps share some delicious tea and scones.  We were disappointed to find they no longer serve lunches (I’m absolutely convinced that they used to – but maybe I am muddling them up with a different places…) so we just looked around the garden instead.  Sadly, the lavender itself was not out, having been pruned back to small clumps.  Disappointment again.  But, we made do with the rest of the garden which was pretty and colourful, with a few individual lavender bushes, California poppies, bulbs and other beautiful blooms.

The property is nestled in the hills of Balingup and the countryside itself is gorgeous.  It’s kind of an Aussie version of a English dale.  Green and lush, rolling hills dotted with fluffy sheep and little farmhouses.  So pretty.

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I love lavender – its smell and colour and just the look of it when it is in full flower.  It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the farm in full harvesting bloom, but the little amount we did see was lovely nevertheless.  The bees seemed to be happy enough 🙂

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The California poppies were gorgeous – that orange is so sunny and bright.  I loved the just-opening ones.

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We saw lots of these Scillas on our travels.  Scilla Peruviana to be precise.  I only know this because I looked it up ha ha.  SO pretty.  That bright, bright blue-purple is dazzling.  Another favourite with the bees.

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Lots of irises.  The icy white complemented the purple ones – very beautiful.  When we returned home, Mum was pleased to see hers had flowered in our absence – they are stunning.  Such a favourite in the garden at this time of year.  They are elegant without being too showy.

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I wasn’t sure what these flowers were called so I had to look them up when I got home.  They are everywhere at the moment.  Blooming on the side of the road, in people’s gardens, and in council displays.  They are so bright and cheerful and pretty.  They’re Ixias, or African Corn Lillies.  Native to South Africa, these bulbs seem to like our warm climate and flower beautifully in the Spring.  The colours range from yellow to red, pink to purple, with every shade in between.  Lovely.  They also make a nice cut flower – lasting well in a vase for a pretty arrangement.

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So, we had a nice hour at the Lavender Farm, despite the general lack of Lavender, and got lots of gorgeous flower photos.  Mum even got to see a Blue Wren, her favourite little bird, so it was worth the trip even for that.  I’ll write up about the bird life in a future post.

A beautiful part of the South West 🙂

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Lavender Sugar Cookies

After yesterday’s attempt at, well, nothing in the end, I gave up and did what I always do when I can’t get my act together – bake.  And besides, baking is still a form of creating, right?  I make just as much mess in the kitchen as I do in the craft room, so I figure it counts.  My hubby just complains less when there’s food at the end of the mess.

These biscuits are really easy to make and taste delicious.  If you don’t have a food processor, just cream the butter and sugar together by hand and mix in the other ingredients.  It works well either way.

LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIES

100g Unsalted Butter – cubed

75g Caster Sugar + extra for sprinkling

175g Self Raising Flour

2 TBS chopped Lavender Flowers (dried or fresh)

Water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the butter and sugar into a food processor and “whizz” up until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.

Add the flour and flowers and pulse again.  Add some water (about 1-2 tablespoons) until a smooth, workable dough forms.

Remove from processor and knead on a floured board or counter top.  Roll out to about 5mm thickness. Cut out into desired shapes and place on a tray lined with baking paper.  Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake for approx 15-20 minutes until slightly golden.  Cool on wire rack and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.  Get hubby to do dishes (this is a very important step).

Makes about 20 cookies depending on size!