I have quite a few lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) plants . They thrive in my yard, and I am quite happy about that! About mid-July, depending on the weather, I start to “harvest” the lavender. I cut it as it just starts to bloom, cutting about 2/3 of the stem (or a bit more). Then, this is the fun part, I lay it on the floor around my house; in my sitting room, in my bedroom, in any free space that I can find, because it is a lot of lavender! I try and lay it flat, to help it to dry out as quickly as possible. A couple of weeks usually does the trick (as long as it isn’t wet when I cut it). Thankfully, we don’t really use the sitting room, so at least it isn’t a problem to use the entire floor of that room!
There are a few things I do with the lavender. If I have time when I cut it, I will make lavender wands (the stems must be fresh though, so they don’t break while bending). I also make lavender sachets, which involves taking the lavender off of the stems after they are dried, and then sewing up little pouches. You can click here to read and see more about wands and sachets. But my favorite craft to do with lavender is to make wreaths.
It is a time when I can be creative, work with my hands and just have fun. I love it! Depending on the wreath, it takes about two hours to make, give or take. Aside from the plant materials, the main items which I use are: floral straw wreath form, floral “u” pins, and secateurs. I try and use some kind of different plant material every year, and this year I used poppy seed pods, and an artichoke. I made three different wreaths, each a bit different. Here’s a look at what I did!
I start with grabbing a bunch of dried lavender and any other plant materials I’m going to use. The above wreath is only going to have those four roses with the lavender. I attached the roses first and then worked around them, starting on the top right. I tend to work out from the top, first going right half way around, and then working from the top again and going left.
It can be a tedious task, as it takes many, many bunches of lavender to fill the wreath! The up-side is that the room smells wonderful while working with the lavender!
It takes patience, but it is lovely to see how it fills in and of course the smell is wonderfully relaxing!
The next wreath had lots more plant material! I didn’t use the artichoke which is in bloom on the table, as it was too big. I did use a tiny one, though.
It was only after taking the close-up picture above that I realized that the wreath would look better with another layer of lavender. It just looked like it was missing something.
Ah yes, you can see it now, can’t you? The inside layer is definitely lighter! 🙂 This is where the two plus hours comes in…
My third lavender wreath had roses and poppy seed pods. I started at the top left for this one, and placed the roses on the right.
The roses are also from my garden. I try and cut as many as possible early in the season so they will be dried enough for the wreaths. I think I’ve finally decided that it is best to cut them while they are still closed. They will still dry even when opened, but the color stays darker when they are closed.
I really like the poppy seed pods! This is my first time using them in a wreath. I know they dry brown, so I’m not sure how it will look in a few weeks time. I’ve also learned NOT to turn the wreath upside down as millions of teeny tiny seeds will go everywhere! 🙂
I LOVE making lavender wreaths! I had to stop at three because I don’t have any more wreath forms and I can’t seem to get my hands on them here! Please let me know if you see where I can buy them in Ireland!
Whatever lavender doesn’t get used in the wreaths will be taken off of the stems and stored in containers to be made into sachets (eventually). The lavender stays fragrant for a very long time!
I have not harvested all of my lavender, as that wouldn’t be fair to the bees! No, there is still plenty for them. I will have to trim those plants later in the season, after the bees are finished with them.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how I create my lavender wreaths!