Lavender is a very satisfying plant to raise, though in peculiar ways. It is advertised for ‘full sun,’ but it grows in shade. Once you have it established, a gentle trim each fall, back to the basic shape you have chosen, assures a new coat of blossoms. Like a tea bush, it likes to be pruned. The smell is not for everyone, but personally I like it, in moderation – a sprig in the kitchen, another in the bath.

This is a field I used to pass in Lourmarin, France, walking my way to town to fetch groceries or my daughter from the school. I can’t recall the name of the conical building, used as a granary by previous generations, but the small tower is a pigeonnier or colombier (dovecote in English) used for keeping birds. Our femme de menage sometimes hung our laundry between the tree on the left and another behind the stone buildings, and so I felt personal responsibly for despoiling the view on those days.

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