Friday, July 18, 2014

Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly!

For my birthday, my sister-in-law gave me a couple of lovely lavender sachets, which I tucked into my underwear drawer. It reminded me that that the lavender in my garden was running rampant. It was time to harvest.

Last summer, I had let it flower and go to seed -- and then I regretted it come Christmas when I wanted to make some sachets or potpourri or naturally scented bath salts. So this year, I got the scissors out and snipped away.

At first I stuck the stems in a vase (hence the picture at the top of this post), but then I realized that if I wanted to dry them, I'd have to remove them from water. Duh.

So I clipped each stem (discarding the leaves) and just tossed them loosely in a bowl. And then I procrastinated, which is something I'm very good at doing.

According to Pinterest, I ought to have clipped the stems before the buds were so fully bloomed, but they seem to have retained their colour and definitely were still aromatic. The buds that were truly fully bloomed ended up like this.

A faded, dried-out flower.
Over the next ten days, I moved the bowl from one spot in the kitchen to another, always thinking, "I should get around to that." Occasionally, I fiddled with the stems, lightly stirring them.

Finally, I decided it was time to separate the flowers from the stalks.

This proved to be relatively easy. I simply pulled each bud against the direction of its growth, and it snapped off. The buds at the very tip were tricky because the stem itself is so fine that it tended to break off with the cluster of buds intact.

I sat back with a small bowl in my lap, plucking buds while surfing the net. After an hour or so (I didn't keep track of time), I ended up with this.

Naked stems
And this.

That's a small bowl of buds sitting inside the original bowl. I've got about 3/4 cup, enough for a couple of small gifts.

Up next from the garden: oregano.


  1. Gorgeous. I LOVE lavender. I would love to someday have a lavender plant. Such a great top picture too.

    1. Lavender seems to be really easy to grow, and it's a perennial. It is thriving in our sandy soil in hot, hot sun. And I never water or fertilize my plants. Because I'm lazy.

  2. Wonderful!! I love lavender..... but I grow catmint instead. I have a TON. So clearly I should stop procrastinating myself and do something like this. Catmint is very strong smell, so it's great for areas that can get smelly.

    1. Hmm. I may try catmint at the back of our yard, where our neighbour's composter is. And we are downwind, unfortunately.

  3. Oh, good idea... my lavender's thriving this year, too, and I really ought to harvest it and use it. Thanks for the reminder!! did you take all the flowers, or just some?

    1. I took as many as I could without breaking my hip. Stephen tells me that the best way to dry the lavender is to tie it in a bunch and hang it upside down for two weeks. I actually knew that but was too lazy to go hunt up some string. Loosely tossed in a large bowl seems to have worked.


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