Tips for Harvesting and Using Lavender

Tips for Harvesting and Using Lavender
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Tips for Harvesting and Using Lavender

From Susan L. Harrington of LabyrinthHill.com

Here is a simple lavender sachet hint I presented to a delightful group of ladies (oh yes, and one man) at a local retirement community. The oldest in attendance was 92 and what a dynamic group!

This hint is especially useful for seniors whose hands and fingers aren't quite as dexterous as they used to be. I thought what a lovely project for a group of youngsters to bring to a senior center!

I'm sure you all have stashed in your dresser drawers, lovely boxed handkerchiefs that you've received as gifts over the years. There they sit, just too pretty to use. Well it's time to use them, even recycled as gifts for friends and family!

Iron the handkerchief flat. Often there is at least one corner with flowers embroidered on it. Place the hanky face down with the embroidered corner at the top. Add one to two tablespoons of dried lavender buds in the middle of the square. Fold the hanky by bringing the bottom corner up over the buds to form a triangle. Fold again by bringing the left and right corners of the triangle up to the top point. You now have a small square with the lavender buds in the bottom corner. Carefully turn the sachet over and secure the buds by tying a satin ribbon in a bow to enclose them in the corner of the hanky.

This handkerchief sachet is a fragrant and elegant addition to the pocket of a jacket, tied to a bridal or baby shower gift or even hung from a hanger in a closet (moths don't like lavender!). A small squeeze of the sachet will release the lavender essential oil for years!

Lavender Havesting and Drying Tips

I recommend that they use only rubber bands when hanging lavender to dry. My first harvest hung beautifully tied up in raffia. Within days it was all on the floor as the stems shrunk when they dried the raffia didn't! A fragrant mess, but a mess nonetheless! Rubber bands will contract along with the drying stems. I then over wrap the rubber bands with raffia when I prepare the bundles for sale. By the way, the rubber bands will indeed become brittle after a year or two.

I also recommend placing a clean sheet under the bundles to catch any buds that will naturally drop from the drying bundles. (Waste not, want not!) The tendency to "shatter" (lose buds) occurs more often in some cultivars, for example Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence' than in others L. x intermedia 'Grosso' (my all-time favorite for crafting).

And finally, here's another tip for removing the buds from the stems. Place the bundle-still bound by the rubber band-into a pillowcase. Roll it up and gently press and roll on a counter as you would a rolling pin. I then scoop the buds out of the case and sieve out any large debris. The remaining stems make great fire starters in the winter (remember to remove the rubber band!). Or place a few on the barbecue coals when grilling chicken for an aromatic lavender chicken. Placed on coals or campfire embers, the smoke also repels mosquitoes!

About the Author:

Susan L. Harrington is growing fragrant lavender in a classic labyrinth! She sells wonderful lavender products and dried lavender for crafts and recipes. She also has newsletter for visitors entitled "Of Labyrinths and Lavender"! Visit Susan at www.LabyrinthHill.com to sign up for the newsletter and see pictures of her wonderful lavender!

You may also enjoy:

More Recipes&Tips!

Lavender Powder Recipe

Pampering Tips

Crafting With Lavender

 

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About The Author

Bella Rogers has a lovely blog called Bella's Rose Cottage where she shares pictures and writings of what she loves most. Stop by and visit!
 
 

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