Washington DC – Day Trip 1 – Virginia Hunt Country Sights – D

Lavender (c)2010 mystic http://travelvactionreview.com
Of all the places that I have traveled in America, I think that the best rural example of what was Colonial America exists in Loudon and Fauquier Counties in Virginia and a couple of areas in Virginia, further afield.

Since these counties are within easy drives of Washington DC, in addition to all the “usual” sites, take a 60 – 90 minutes day trip to the rural parts of these areas to see the beginnings of America!

In these rolling hills and meadows, and on the estates and horse ranches, even many of the British traditions are intact!

Apart from it being Horse Country, with regular fox-hunting and steeplchases, and more, you will also find other Colonial pursuits and crafts, growing and using lavender being one of them. Delight in another visit to a Virginia farm!

Lavender had many uses in Colonial times – externally and internally. We think of only its use in perfumery and as an essential oil now,  but learning more about its practical and medicinal use is fascinating. So, combine a memorable rural drive into historic areas, see the amazing beauty of lavender fields and learn lots!

Around 600 B.C. lavender was carried to France – where it is still a major element in daily life, and their plant cultivars are the best.

Historically lavender was used in many cultures for perfume, bathing, cooking and scenting the air. The Romans most likely provided the linguistic root name (from Latin: either lavare — to wash or livendula — bluish).

In Biblical times, the legendary but real Queen of Sheba offered it to King Solomon as a gift. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus of Nazareth with it, too. Back then, it was referred to as the herb “spikenard”, due to the beautiful purple-grey shaft of the plant.

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe the washing women were known as “lavenders” because they used lavender to scent the washing and sometimes even dried their washing on lavender bushes. History is filled with stories of lavender use.

Now the herb is common in Spain, Italy, England, Australia and the United States (California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia and Texas). Be sure to bring your camera if you want to wander in the fields.

And, remember that bees love lavender; they’re busy making lavender honey (a delight). Most bees in the meadows will be non-aggressive bumble bees, but you should ask if sensible precautions are needed. The farmers will know the types of bees which frequent their fields.

Here’s a delicious dessert recipe to make with some of the delectable lavender honey. Lavender Honey and Chocolate with Bananas Recipe. Enjoy!

Edith and Deborah Williamson proprietors
Seven Oaks Lavender Farm
8769 Old Dumfries Rd.
Catlett, Fauquier County, Virginia 20119
540-788-4257 or 540-788-4352

Opens March 6 in 2011.

Parking is along the lower drive and you may walk past the lavender shop up to the field, in front of the gray Cape Cod house. There will be a port-o-potty available. Please approach slowly up the drive as there are often children running around.

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©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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