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Monday, 1 August 2011

Lavender Harvest...

I try to leave cutting the lavender for as long as I dare! It always seems a shame to cut it when the flowers still look so wonderful, but it needs to be done before they 'go over' so they retain the oils & fragrance. I have a late flowering variety 'Imperial Gem' which can be left until late July, but it also depends on the weather and how busy we are with other things.  Fortunately we've just had some dry days so the time was right..


We have about 30 bushes, which produce plenty of lavender. It's cut in the evening after a warm dry day, tied into bunches with elastic bands and hung up to dry. As I work along the rows I'm battling with the bees who get quite cross as their flowers slowly disappear...

KC assembles temporary bamboo cane racks in the garage, which are perfect for hanging the bunches and well spaced to allow for the air to circulate.  Old sheets are suspended underneath to catch the dried flowers. The drying process may take a couple of weeks depending on the weather conditions.


Our sloping garden, with it's chalky soil, is perfect for growing lavender and 'Imperial Gem' is a great variety, producing lots of deep purple flowers. The dried lavender has a very strong long-lasting fragrance and natural insect-repellent qualities.

I use lavender around the house to help keep moths & bugs away from my precious wools and felt fabrics. I fill bags, pincushions and felt lavender birds, and I've even been known to make lavender scones! It's a wonderful versatile plant with so many applications and it's a great pleasure to grow & harvest it and to be able to use it in so many ways... 

I shall be bringing along some of this year's harvest to 'Art at Turf Walk' on Saturday 27th August, plus plenty of bags of dried lavender and many of my felt products.

Let's hope the weather stays dry...


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