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Oct 19, 2010
Harvesting and using lavender
Theresa Loe  Associate Producer | Growing A Greener World

Growing lavender can be very rewarding. In the springtime you can watch the hummingbirds inspecting the gorgeous purple flowers, and enjoy the wonderful fragrances wafting through the garden with every breeze. Later, you can harvest and preserve those blossoms and use them in many different projects.

In my garden (Zone 10), I grow several different lavenders and I am lucky enough to have two harvests a year. I have one in the late spring and one in the fall. When I harvest, I cut the long lavender stems and bind them into bundles using rubber bands. Then I hang those fragrant bundles in the garage to dry. After a few weeks, I hold the bundles over a big pan and rub the dry flower heads until all of the sweet flowers fall off into the pan.

I store the dry flower blossoms in an airtight jar. But I don’t throw out those fragrant, dry stems! I keep them bundled and save them until winter. Then, on those cold winter nights when I have a roaring fire in the fireplace, I toss a bundle in and get a mild lavender fragrance. The dry bundles also work as fire starters. If you have any left during the warmer months, you can even toss them into the BBQ to give lavender smoke flavor to grilled veggies.

Seriously! Nothing goes to waste!

I use the dried lavender blossoms in various fragrant crafts. One of my favorites is a floral dryer sachet. You basically make up a simple potpourri with dried lavender (but really any dried sweet herb will work) and place it into small cotton drawstring tea bags (available at health food stores). Then you toss one sachet into a dryer load of laundry and everything will be scented with the wonderful fragrance of lavender. I especially like to use it with bed sheets or towels.

Give it a try!

Floral Dryer Sachets
1 ½ cups dried lavender blossoms
4 drops lavender essential oil
8 small cotton drawstring tea bags

In a small bowl, combine lavender and essential oil. Mix well. Place 2T of scented herbs into each tea bag. Tie strings into a knot tightly. Store bags in a sealed jar until ready to use. They can be used with several dryer loads before being emptied into the compost pile.

Reader Comments (5)
I'm going to try this!!!! very cool!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Kristin Daniels
Thanks Kristin-
You will love it! So easy and yet makes all your linens smell heavenly!!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Theresa Loe
I'm late this year but I think I am going to plant some next year. I want to do some rosemary too.
Friday, October 22, 2010 | Dub Strickland
I plant lavender at corners and along walkways so that the growing plant is otfen brushed against and releases the lovely fragence. On small bush is planted just on the edge of my patio. My three dogs brush it each time they go in or out. Not only do we enjoy the fragence while enjoying our patio, the dogs often smell faintly of lavender.
Friday, October 22, 2010 | Tammy Zaluzney
Thanks Theresa for the suggestion to use the lavender bundles as fire starters! I found that sometimes when burning compressed logs, they are slow to light and tossing in a bundle gets the fire going in no time.
Monday, December 13, 2010 | KirkinGarden
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