It’s late June and it’s that time of the summer… The lavender is just starting to bloom out in the garden! So what to do with all of those lovely purple blossoms? You have a thousand choices, but one of my favorites is preparing to make dried lavender bouquets. Making lavender bouquets is probably the easiest way to put lavender to use. Here is how you do it:
Step 1: Enjoy the blossoms and then cut
Picking a lovely flower is always a drag to me. One of the best parts of lavender is that to dry it you do not need to pick it when the flowers are at their prime. You can wait to cut your lavender blossoms and enjoy them in the garden until they start to look a little spent. Once they do, then go ahead and cut them. Cut them with long stems, as close to the plant as you can without cutting off too many sets of leaves. (Your lavender may even re-bloom again later in the summer because of the trimming!)
Step 2: Dry the lavender
After the haircut, next it’s time to dry. Some people hang lavender to dry it, but I have found that some of the little flowers can fall off in the process, and to me that is a waste. Instead, put the cut flowers inside of a paper sack. Arrange them loosely so that they are not all clumped together but also without severely bending the stems. The point is to give them room to breath and dry straight so they’re ready to bundle into bouquet. Store the paper sack in a room-temperature, dry place like a closet. Drying may take a couple of weeks.
Step 3: Shake off the loose flowers and prepare stems
(For this step you will need a paper towel.) Once your flowers are dry you can remove them from the sack. When you do that, give each stem a little shake to remove loose flowers. Lay the stems of flowers all the same way on the paper towel. At this point you might want to separate stems with fewer flowers into a separate pile. Pour all of the loose blossoms left in the bottom of the bag into a container and save them… they make lovely filler for sachets.
Step 4: Bundle!
Choose 5 to 8 large flowers (stems with lots of dense flowers) and grasp them in your hand. Make them so that the flowers are all at the same height above your fist. Choose 5 to 8 small flowers (stems with fewer flowers or less dense flowers) and add them to the outside of the ones in your hand. Distribute the small flowers evenly around the outside of your bouquet.
Step 5: Adjust and shape
Time to practice your artistry! Shape your bouquet by pulling up or pushing down on the flowers to make a the bouquet a shape that is pleasing to your eyes!
Step 6: Tie and Cut
(For this step you will need several 6-12 inch pieces of ribbon prepared ahead of time… I recommend pink, white or purple. Narrow strips of something natural like raffia also look nice.) Lay out a strip of ribbon on a flat surface, probably your dining room table. Gently place the stems of your newly sculpted bouquet into the middle of the ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the stems and secure by tying a bow. You can still adjust the height of the flowers by pulling them up and down if you need to. Once they are all in place… cut the bottoms off of the stems so that they are all relatively the same length.
Ready to display! My favorite display option is in a vase, but larger bouquets look lovely hanging on a door or wall.
Have fun crafting with home grown decorations from your garden!