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?