Something I do every summer is make bunches of rosemary and lavender from the bushes in my garden.
Rosemary and lavender are both natural insect repellents, including mosquitoes. Although not bees. Bees love lavender - but I quite like bees so don't mind!
This year my rosemary bush has become a bit wild and smothered my lavender bush somewhat, so after a good prune I've been left with lots of rosemary to use along with a decent amount of lavender. Unfortunately though, because my lavender has been almost covered by the overgrown rosemary, it hasn't got any flowers on it yet this year. But never mind as both plants still smell absolutely gorgeous :-)
My lavender (left) and rosemary (right) bushes after pruning.
The rosemary bush was about 5 times bigger!
I use two or three stems of each plant to make each bunch. Either securing together by winding around and tying a single lavender stem or by using garden twine. I then hang them outside the back door and from the pan rack on my kitchen ceiling. Not only do they smell really lovely, I definitely find that I get fewer insects in the kitchen when I have just made fresh bunches.
Finished bunch, hanging by the back door.
There are loads of uses for both rosemary and lavender. My favourite is lavender biscuits, which I will try to post a recipe for at a later date. A good use for rosemary is to put a few sprigs on barbecue coals. This infuses the barbecued food with a subtle rosemary flavour.
Below are a couple of links to other uses for both plants…