Last year I planted 4 plants out in the allotment, this year the plants had grown huge with lots of stems. After cutting off all the stems I realised I did not have any photos of the lavender in bloom so I had to go through nearly all my photos to find one that had them in one corner! I cropped the photo and it actually looks quite 'arty'. As if I posed the blue shovel handle to accentuate the lavender flowers!!
This year the plants had grown fairly big and I thought it was a shame to just leave the flowers to be blown down by the wind or leave them to fade on the plant.
Aisling ( the lady still in waiting as I write) volunteered to surf the web to find out how to dry or do something with the flowers. As usual she came up with the goods on http://www.labyrinthhill.com/
All you need to know about growing, drying and crafting with Lavender. I followed the directions on the site to make a lavender wand. Photo shows a wand with some of the dried lavender, but the wands should really be made straight from the plant as it is easier when the stems are pliable. The buds then dry in the wand, and it lasts for years in a linen cupboard or drawer.There are links to other sites there and more crafty ideas too.
I have 5 bunches of lavender stems which are drying in a wardrobe as per instructions on the site, it should take about 2 weeks to dry then they can be used in sachets etc. I would love to try making soap with it, but all directions I've come across seem very scientific and messy!!
I found this simple method of using lavender in gardenguides.com
QUICK-MAKE BATH BAG Use an old handkerchief or piece of thin cotton fabric, six to eight inches square. Place a quarter cup of dried lavender blooms in the center, gather the corners together and secure the bundle with a piece of twelve-inch ribbon, tied it in a knot. Then tie the ends of the ribbon together in bow or knot, to form a loop by which to hang the bag. Slip this over the bathtap, positioned so the water will run through it as the tub fills. It may be used for several baths, the lavender should then be replaced.