I love lavender! Better still, I love having lavender in the garden. Even just brushing past it produces the beautiful lavender scent. July is the month for lavender here in Ireland. I have lavender that can be quite showy, especially this month. I was delighted to see 5 established plants when we moved into our home three years ago. I don’t know their exact variety, but I think they are possibly Grosso Lavandin, or maybe Lavandula x intermedia. I will admit that I am really not sure!
Lavender prefers well drained soil, and lots of sun. Honestly, I’m not sure why my plants do well. This year, sure, it has been sunny and dry, but this is certainly not the case every year. Last year was exceptionally wet, and I really thought the plants were lost to root rot. At the end of last year’s season I trimmed all of the stems off as I do every year (cutting off about 2/3 of the stem). But I didn’t expect them to survive. In fact, I ordered some more plants!
Six new plants! Lavender angustifolia seemed to be a similar variety to my plants. I put them in a new raised bed. They seem quite happy!
It really is a fantastic amount of lavender. Just this season I’ve made 24 lavender wands, and one very full wreath, and I still have a lot left to dry. Yay!
The first year we moved into the house my sister-in-law suggested that I really should do something with all of that lavender! She was right, and so I started with just drying the flowers. Then with suggestions from friends, I moved on to making lavender wands, and this year I added making a wreath.
Making a wreath is easy, once you have the right materials. I like using a straw-form wreath. While I was home in the States, I picked up this small 10 inch wreath for just $2.99 at Jo-Ann fabrics. I first tied the small bunches of lavender with some floral wire, and then I used floral pins to attach them to the wreath. That’s it! You just keep attaching small bunches and work your way around the wreath.
I have so much more appreciation for lavender wreaths now! It does take some time to cut the lavender, wire it, and fill in the wreath. It is usually helpful to have some Spanish moss, or some kind of filler for the very outside of the wreath. I didn’t have any of that so my wreath is quite full with lavender!
I’m still not sure about a ribbon. For now, I really like just having the three small dried roses. They are also fragrant!
I knew that the wreath was going to use up a lot of my lavender, so before making it I made a bunch of wands. They are rather quirky and unusual and I love them! If you are wondering what to do with them, I have a few ideas. They make a nice hostess gift, can go in clothes drawers or closets, a few in a vase are fun, or simply laying on the bathroom windowsill. The lavender scent will last for years. I posted about making lavender wands last year. You can see that post here: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/english-lavender-in-full-bloom-lavender-wands/
The trick is to work with the lavender before the stems become woody. Last week was the perfect time for mine. I like to have a couple of stems with some blooms open, but for the most part they are made with lavender that isn’t yet open.
This year I discovered a new way to finish the wands. I have to give credit to Robb, of the “how’s Robb” blog. I came across it, and loved how he neatly knotted the ribbon on the handle of the wand so it doesn’t unravel. Here is the link to his blog on lavender wands: http://howsrobb.blogspot.ie/2013/05/how-to-make-lavender-wands.html
I just looked at his page, and with a few tries I figured out how he slipped the ribbon through a loop, and then turned it in the opposite direction to do the same again. Easy! And it keeps the ribbon nice and tight. I’m glad I came across his page!
I love all of the different colors. Did I mention how relaxing it is to work with lavender? 🙂 Between the weaving, and the scent of lavender, I enjoy my time working with lavender. I discovered last year that I could sell the wands, too. So I’m doing that again this year. Right now I’m just selling locally, €5 per wand. But who knows, maybe sometime in the near future I’ll be selling globally!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little lessons on working with lavender!
Your lavenders wands and the wreath are so lovely. As you say, it must be wonderful working with the lavender.
Thank you Karen, I’m really happy with how they all turned out. What a bonus with how relaxing the smell of lavender is while I work with it!
Thank you for your insipiring ideas about lavender. I have some lavender in my (very small) garden and every year I enjoy its scent but don’t really harvest it. It produces flowers but they are not as full as yours. What do you do to enhance the flowering of your plants, if anything?
Hi Eileen! Friends from home actually gave me the idea of the lavender wands! I’ve read that trimming it down will help keep it full the next season. I cut mine to just above the leaves, or new shoots – or if not so low I at least cut 2/3 of the stems off. There are so many different varieties, too, that maybe your variety doesn’t get as full. I hope that helps!
Wow this is great. I love lavender, but I have a hard time growing it where I am at.I have some started this year and will take them in this winter and see if I can keep them going.
Hi NomadNurpu, thank you for your compliment! Good luck with nurturing your lavender this winter. I won’t mention that maybe I’ve been a bit lucky with mine, for fear of jinxing it! It is lovely to have though.
LOVe the lavender wreath!!! Beautiful!! You should sell them! Lavender is one plant that I don’t have but wish I did, I love it and the scent!
Hi Stephanie, I would love to sell wreaths! Baby steps here my friend 😉 I should really cut the rest of the lavender now to dry it, but I want to enjoy the pretty purple blooms a bit longer! I wish I could trade you some of my lavender for some of your peony plants!
Wow, what a great way to enjoy lavender.
Thank you patinaandcompany! I think it is nice way to use something that is so lovely.
That wreath is so lovely. Lavender is one of the plants I want to have in our garden next year. Maybe I will have enough for a beautiful wreath too. The little wands are sweet too. Ideal if you have lesser amounts of lavender.
Thank you Bridget, I was quite pleased with the wreath (said humbly!). Since making it, I’ve been searching for different ways to make lavender wreaths (turns out I still have quite a lot left!). I need to grow more dry-able plants in my garden!
It’s such a pleasure to “meet” blog readers. Your lavender wreath is beautiful! And I’m glad you enjoyed making the lavender wands.
Hi Lisa & Robb! I so agree that it is wonderful meeting other bloggers! Thank you for the compliment (and for the super way of knotting the ribbon for the wands!). 🙂 Dana
Hi! Your wands and wreath are beautiful!! I am a wreath maker, but have never tried a lavander wreath. I just recently have had a request for one. I am going to attempt. But since it’s not something you see a lot of in my area I have to order it. Any idea as to how much lavander I would need to make a wreath? It would be roughly the size you made as I would be using a wreath form from michaels or hobby lobby. Thank you!
Hi Christine, Thanks for the compliments! I took my 10 inch wreath down to try and figure out an answer to your question (it is a tough one!). I used pins to attach, and had small clusters of about 10 to 12 stems. Those flowers were about 2 & 1/2 inches in length (the green stem would be another 2 to 3 inches long and that is what I pinned to the wreath). I am counting roughly 10 waves of flowers creating the circle, with at least 4 groups across. This is very rough counting! It takes a lot of lavender. I would recommend using Spanish moss or some kind of filler to go along with the lavender (I didn’t have any at the time, so it took more lavender to cover the straw wreath). I will definitely measure out the lavender that I use next year. I hope this is helpful (at least somewhat!). Good luck! 😉 I’d love to know how it goes for you!
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