Lavender is a perfect plant. It's fragrant, it's beautiful, bees and hummingbirds love it, it's drought tolerant, and best of all, it's edible. Or, in this case, drinkable.
Every summer I harvest a handful (or two) of lavender to make a floral soda:
Photographs by Marla Aufmuth for Gardenista.
Above: I find most store bought sodas to be too sweet and synthetic. Luckily, it's easy to make your own with seasonal flowers and fruits from your garden.
Above: First, harvest from five to six lavender flowers, leaving a few inches of stem with leaves on each.
For more edible flower recipes, see 5 Delicious Ways to Eat Flowers.
Above: Next, make a simple syrup. Bring two cups of water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of honey. (Many recipes will call for a ratio of one cup water to one cup of sugar, but I find this so sweet that you only taste sugar.) Taste, and if you want it sweeter, add more honey.
Above: Add your lavender flowers to the syrup and turn off the heat. Let them steep for from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how floral you prefer your soda.
Above: Pour one or two inches of simple syrup into a glass, add ice, club soda, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Then sit back and enjoy your garden. (For more of Maria's recipes, see "DIY: Rose Petal Honey.")