Y is for Yardley(English Lavender)

*photo courtesy of Yardley

Yardley brings back memories of my youth; My Grammie Ruth, used their products.  I remember the first time I had a whiff of her lavender soap, it was a wake up call for the senses.  I didn't like it at first, too strong, but I grew to love the scent of lavender and how it permeates the brain.   I use to love to visit my Grammie's place; she had a small apartment in town.  She was within walking distance to everything.   She loved the color purple, her bedroom was mixed shades of lavender, silver gray with touches of green.  Just like the herb.   I use to love her vanity, she had bottles of toliet water, and English lavender.  Her bedroom smelled of the calm scent.  I don't think she wore the fragrance, I think she used it to freshen linens and bedding.  She always kept pressed flowers around, pansies mainly.  They were under the glass over her vanity stand.  Her linen closet had opened bars of Yardley soap, everything had a freshness about it.  She didn't have a lot of money, but she sure knew how to make the most of what she had.  Every birthday and Mother's Day, I knew what we would be buying her, some more lavender perfume or toliet water.       I remember one summer, I was home visiting and I wanted a few sprigs of lavender/   I wanted to mail her some sprigs in my letter.  She had remarried and moved away.  I was probably eleven, older enough to know better.   I snuck into a neighbor's yard at dark and picked 5 spikes.  I knew it was wrong, but I figured as long as I didn't pull up the root and snapped a few sprigs at the top, I wasn't doing any harm.  This lady had huge amounts of it, she wouldn't miss 5 sprigs.    I felt guilty and made up for it.  She never knew, but I did...so I made her some muffins and brought her a bouquet of flowers from my Mom's garden.   I told my Mom what I had done.       

I now grow my own lavender and don't borrow sprigs, spikes or stems from the neighbors.   Smelling it's heady scent, reminds me of my grandmother, a quiet woman, with an infectious laugh,  who made her nest smell like France.

This photo is in Provence...
photo courtesy of this site~


Lisa said…
WHOA - that photo is unbelievably beautiful! What warm memories you have to cherish. That's a blessing in and of itself!

Great post Ellie!
Linda said…
I grow lavender in my back yard too! When it is blooming I snip some and put it in water on the table and around - it is so pretty. Love the picture of the whole field of lavender!
That's a lot of purple in once place.
I can grow grass. Weeds, too, but I'm not proud of that fact.
unnamed lad said…
about a hundred miles south of here, there's a lavender farm known to everyone in the state i think. it's beautiful passing by it on the interstate. although i have a photo of it, it's not as pretty as the one you have here. it's a bit of a blur traveling at 85 MPH.

so you made restitition as well:)
I've heard others say how wonderful the scent of lavender is. I think I'll try growing some this year in my herb garden.
I too remember Yardlys English Lavendar, I suppose living in England I would. When I was 16, I worked in a Chemist(Drugstore)and sold alot of the Lavendar.
I loved your post and that photo WOW.

Take care.
Grammy said…
I remember Yardley's too, from long ago in department stores. I have some lavender in my yard as well. I love its fragrance. Thank you for the reminder of days gone by.
That took me back... I remember Yardley soap. I adore lavender, the kind grown in the Mediterranean. It seems more pungent.
Lovely post, Ellie!
Anonymous said…
I love the smell of lavender as well. What a wonderful picture you painted of your grandmother!
Guinevere said…
What a beautiful memory! I love lavender, and that post was so evocative of scents and colors.
Unknown said…
Oh I love lavender too! The bath&body works lavender vanilla is on of my favs! I've loved all your fabulous posts Ellie! Excited to see what 'Z' will be.

Beth Zimmerman said…
Absolutely gorgeous! (And believe it or not there was a Grammie Susie in my Maine childhood too!)
Unknown said…
hi, I am doing a challenge a photography swap of sorts More in an email to you privately.
Hope to still visit even if the challenge is over.
Natasha said…
Isn't it strange. My grandmother used Yardley English Lavender too, and I loved the scent.

Unfortunately, the flower doesn't grow in India, or you bet I would try to grow it too.

Your site looks great too - you've given it a makeover, haven't you?

~ Rayna