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Front Gate garden with hydrangea, lavender and lupin

our front gate garden with hydrangea, lavender and lupin in early July

Well hello there! Welcome to my blog where I am hanging on to summer with both hands! It’s true, I am frantically working in the garden, and out, trying to get all of the summer jobs done before, well, summer ends. How does time fly by so quickly? (Thankfully, this is a true sign of enjoying ourselves!)

our front Gate garden with hydrangea, lavender in late July

our front gate garden with hydrangea and lavender in late July

July is the month for Lavender here in Ireland. The best time to make lavender wands is just as the lavender comes into bloom, in early to mid July. I made a few this year, because they are just fun to make!

Mom in the Garden with Lavender Wands

Mom in the Garden with this season’s Lavender Wands

Mid July is also the time when I harvest my lavender. I cut about 2/3 of the stems (including the blooms) and lay it flat to dry. It usually takes a couple of weeks to dry. So typically, I’d then use the dried lavender to make wreaths in August. I’m waaaay behind with that this year, and I have just made one wreath so far! But my lavender is at least all bundled up and looking pretty in some baskets. πŸ™‚

Basket of Lavender

Basket of Lavender

drying lavender on the floor

This is where I dried most of the lavender this year – on the floor of the room my daughter uses to practice her Irish dancing. She was away for 3 weeks at the Gaeltacht (Irish camp) so it worked perfectly!

I’ve made several lavender wreaths over the past number of years (Have you checked out my ‘Wreaths of all Varieties‘ page? The link is at the very top of the Mom in the Garden page.) I like writing about wreaths because they are so easy to make, and really, anyone can do it! There are a few basic things I need to start with: “u” pins / floral pins, secateurs / garden shears, a straw wreath frame, floral wire to make the hanging hook, and dried lavender.Β  Extras include dried roses, Spanish moss, some ribbon and some coffee (decafe, of course).

Lavender Wreath set up

Lavender Wreath set up with straw wreath frame, floral pins, garden shears, dried lavender and roses, and Spanish moss

I love saving flowers from the garden. I’ve spray painted artichokes and created Christmas arrangements with them! If you cut artichokes and allium at the right time, their purple stays purple for a very long time. ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ anyone?

vases of dried flowers

vases of dried (and painted) flowers including allium, artichokes, bells of Ireland, barley, roses, and hydrangea

This year I’ve set up an old table in our ‘sitting room’. We rarely use this room, and I can make as big a mess as I’d like and it won’t be in anyone’s way. It has great lighting too.

floral pins, straw wreath frame, and hanging hook

getting started: the basics: making the hanging hook, floral pins, straw wreath frame

The first thing I do, after gathering all of my materials, is make a hanging hook. You can see in the picture above that I’ve used some floral wire which I doubled to make stronger. I wanted to know how many floral pins I’d need, so I started with a box of 50 – which covered about 1/3 of the wreath.Β  So I needed about 150 pins! I use a 12 inch (30.5 cm) straw wreath frame for my lavender wreaths.

Lavender Wreath starting with roses

Starting with the Spanish moss on the outside, and dried roses on the inside

I like to put Spanish moss around the outside of the wreath – just to make sure I don’t have any straw showing when I’m finished. Confession time: I actually made this wreath a tiny bit backwards (oops!). I started with my dried roses at the bottom, and I think it would have been much easier to add them last. I’m making a note here for next time! πŸ™‚

Lavender Wreath roses + lavender start

I filled in the area around the roses and then went to the top of the wreath and worked down

Lavender Wreath sample group

each group of lavender has 7 to 10 lavender stems, and I cut the stems about a thumb’s distance from the blooms with sharp secateurs and ‘pin’ the group of stems into the straw wreath frame with the floral pins

I filled in the area around the roses first. Then I had a bit of an ‘ah ha’ moment and realized I should be starting from the top. I’m sure there are lots of different ways to do this, but I find that going from the top down makes it easier to cover the stems as you go along.

Lavender Wreath beginning

Starting from each side at the top and working down is a method that works well to cover the stems easily.

I think one thing you do need to have is patience. It is time consuming. The lavender smells so lovely as you work with it, though, and it definitely relaxes you!

Lavender Wreath in progress

Lavender Wreath in progress

Piece by piece, the frame gets covered with lavender.

Lavender wreath almost complete

One last little section to cover!

Lavender Wreath bow

The bow I made by playing around with the ribbon – like tying a shoelace over and over again!

Completed Lavender Wreath in garden

ta-da! Finished lavender wreath!

I had some video of my making the wreath on my Instagram stories the other day. Did you see it? Let me know what you think! The roses are also from my garden. I usually cut the first 20 or so roses at the very start of the season so that I’ll have them for wreaths. I cut them when they are still closed, as they dry best that way. And not to worry about the bees, I’ve left lots of lavender in the yard for them!

Lavender + bees + hydrangea

This bunch of lavender was left for the bees

I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at making a wreath! It’s really not hard. I’m glad I made (another?!)Β one!

In peace,
Dana

Completed Lavender Wreath on playhouse

completed lavender wreath on our playhouse door