Thursday, 26 July 2012

How to Dry Lavender

Okay!  The first thing I need to say is, "Do as I say, not as I do!".

I nearly always have some dried lavender on hand.  I use it in lavender bags to scent our drawers, to give to friends, to put in heat packs etc.  Lavender can be sewn into stuffed toys or pillows to scent a child's bed.  I like to pop a lavender bag or sprig of lavender into things I'm returning to people.  You know... the things you end up with like clothes the children borrow on play dates or tea towels people accidently leave behind when they visit.  Launder them and pop into a bag with some lavender.

Years ago I volunteered on a working bee at a local hall.  They ripped out a lavender bush, which really distressed me.  I took some cuttings home and struck them.  About five years later I am the proud owner of a very strongly scented lavender hedge!

Now, to pick lavender for drying you should pick it early in the day while all the oils are still in the plant. Later in the day the oils tend to evaporate to an extent, especially on a warm day.  (I picked mine in the late afternoon - Do as I say, not as I do!)

Simply select the best flowers, which translates to the prettiest ones.  What a hard task, hey?  Go pick beautiful and fragrant flowers!

Tie the flowers in bunches and hang them with enough space around them for air to flow.  They should be hung in a dry, dark spot to dry without going mouldy and to retain their colour and fragrance.  (I hung mine over the kitchen bench where there is often a lot of moisture and is usually well lit because I like the added benefit of them being decorative as they dry - Do as I say, not as I do!)

I hope you enjoy your lavender as much as I do!  Please tell me, what do you do with lavender?


Unknown said...

I love lavender too, mine was totally overgrown and I gave it a good trim yesterday, so hoping for lots of flowers very soon. As I only have a small bush, I have been drying them in a colander on the kitchen bench, but I should really cut them longer and hang them like you did. Didn't know about cutting in the morning either - try to remember that one! I have been putting the flower heads in little gauze backs and hanging them in our wardrobes. I hope that deters moths. Your idea of popping them into parcels etc is lovely, I was pleased to find one in the sock wool you sent! When I have excess I will keep that in mind too.

purplepear said...

I love lavender but have never really got into drying it don't know why but you've inspired me. Thanks for checking up on me Linda. I went away for a few days and just can't seem to get back into blogging just yet.I seem to have lost direction (not in life) but in what I want to write about. I have been visiting all my blogger friends though but don't even feel inclined to comment, not because I'm not interested but haven't the energy . Maybe it's wintertime blues or something. I'm sure when life settles down here a little I'll be back on top of it all. Thanks for caring.xx

Anonymous said...

I love lavender, I make lavender cakes which are really nice too

Linda said...

Hi Liz, Yes lavender is so pretty hanging up. I'm going to use your idea of lavender in the wardrobe. And don't forget that lavender strikes easily, coz you can never have too much! I'm glad you enjoyed mine. :)

Hi Kate, How lovely to hear from you. I totally get what you are talking about. I have found this winter hard myself. I'm finding it hard to stay positive and motivated. You just enjoy doing whatever you like to do, stay warm and I'll look forward to hearing from you when Spring arrives.

Linda said...

Oh Hi Greenfingers! I'd love to know more about your lavender cakes. We make lavender biscuits but I don't have a recipe for a lavender cake. I'd love to try it!

Cheryl said...

I have a lavender bush, when it is in flower, I just cut the flowers and put them in a vase in our bedroom, they looked beautiful.

Linda said...

Busy mum, I love lavender in vases. I have a little white vase I often put it in. It sets it off so nicely!

Cath said...

Mmm, your post sends me back to my old home in Cape Town where I grew heaps of lavender and had it hanging in my kitchen.

My favourite thing to do with it is to make lavender cupcakes with honey icing.