Ten years ago my mother and I took a trip to North Carolina. On the way there we stayed with an old family friend in Virginia. The woman was moving things around in her garden and asked me if I’d like her English Lavender plant. I had no idea whether or not the plant would survive the trip or if it would even grow in Vermont. However, she was just going to toss it, so I rescued this poor plant. It not only survived the trip back to Vermont but it has been growing well in my garden ever since!
I love the smell of lavender and each year I think I will get around to harvesting the flowers and each year my timing is off. This year I was determined to cut the flowers. For the past few days I have gone out in the early morning and cut the stems that have flowers. It is important to do this early in the flower cycle and in the morning before the heat of the sun has drawn out too much of the essential oils. Interestingly enough if you cut the flowers early enough, at the base of the flower, a new flower grows, giving you more than one harvest. Here in Vermont I may not get more than one harvest, we’ll see.
You can dry the lavender in bunches or on screens. I plan to use my lavender for potpourri.
For potpourri, both the buds and the leaves work well. I will also put some of the blossoms around the house in a vase without water. Hoping that this winter the smell of the lavender will bring back memories of those warm, sunny days of summer.
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