My Lavender Harvest:
When I was setting out my garden I chose warm sunny borders to plant english lavender. This is the best lavender to harvest for culinary and potpouri use. Now mature, it took a couple of years for it to start to ‘hedge’ with regular clipping in Summer and Autumn. In winter it looks rather plain but in spring new green emerges to become the familiar lavender flower stalks we know and love.
December lavender in Melbourne Australia
December is usually the best time to harvest in my garden in Melbourne Australia ….when the flower heads have opened nearly to the top of each stalk. Using my trusty sickle I harvest in small bundles, securing with a rubber band ….. and then hang to dry under cover. I love this process …. harvesting in the morning ( after the dew has dried ) or in the evening. The aroma is glorious and I am communing with my garden and a myriad of bees also who can’t resist these lovely flowers and the early summer blooming. Above friendly magpies sing in the trees.
Just harvested Lavender hanging on drying racks
Late January or early February the next process begins….. when Melbourne commuters have gone back to work …. a world away, I set up in the courtyard with a large spread sheet to catch the fall and begin to strip each lavender bundle. By now the lavender flowers are dry and they fall off easily with some gentle rubbing. This is another process I love and best done outside lest the intoxicating scent sends you into a sleepy drift.
Now the job is done and I have beautiful home grown organic lavender ready for creative projects in my studio workroom. I store it in airtight containers ready for its next journey. Maybe they will end up in my Etsy shop:
The stalk bundles are never wasted …. they are used also for creative ideas or given as fire lighters to friends or returned to the garden to protect small seedlings.
I hope you have enjoyed learning more about Lavender harvesting …. please leave a comment and look for more occasional posts at: