Vanda is truly a magical plant: the purple variety of this plant has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, treating everything from anxiety to insomnia, depression, headaches, hair loss, nausea, and much more. Her first-ever recorded use comes from ancient Egypt, where she was made into oils that were important to the mummification process. Fast forward to ancient Rome, where she was used in bathing rituals because of her antiseptic properties - in fact, her botanical name comes from the Latin 'lavare', which literally means 'to wash'.
Vanda makes a great addition to the garden for her lovely smell and cheery look. She blooms in midsummer and tends to stay in flower for 3-4 weeks; after her buds open, trim off a bunch of her stalks and use them in essential oils for some aromatherapy action, or in tea as a sleep aid.