Bring Color and Natural Fragrance to Your Home

Bumblebee on lavenderWhen the bees take over my lavender plants, I know the blossoms are ready to harvest for drying. I wait as long as I can, so the bees can have their fill of pollen. My lavender attracts a variety of pollinators: honeybees, three different bumbles, sweat bees, and a few I can’t identify—all in numbers greater than I can count.

My plants come from Sequim, WA—famous for its lavender farms—so they do well in my Seattle garden. For growing and harvesting tips check out Lavender 101 on the U.S. Lavender Growers’ website.

Since lavender responds better when it’s been cut back, I make a point to harvest it and use it. One of the easiest ways is to craft a lavender wand—basically a bunch of blooms gathered together with ribbon. They make lovely gifts, and look pretty in almost any room of the house. I keep one by my bed so the therapeutic scent can soothe me to sleep.

Four Simple Steps:

Besides the lavender, all you need is ¼” ribbon in your choice of color (I like grosgrain because it doesn’t slip), scissors and, if you’d like, a vase.

Step 1: Cut approximately 24” of ribbon and set-aside. Gather a small bunch of lavender with the stems left long (6–10 inches). Place the center of the ribbon at your top point—close to the blooms—and crisscross it, being sure to hold BOTH ends taut.

Starting a lavender wand

Step 2: Continue wrapping the stems in a tight crisscross pattern, until you reach about 2” from your desired bottom.

Reaching the bottom

Step 3: If you are using a vase, determine your stopping point for the ribbon and your cutting point for the stems by placing your wand next to the vessel.

Lavender Wand–Step 3

Step 4: To secure the stems together, overlap the crisscrossing at least two–three times at your bottom point, and finish off with a bow. Clip the bottoms of the stems with sharp scissors or pruners so they are a uniform length.

Securing the ribbon

The Finished Product:

Lavender WandThis “wand” can be placed as is on a mantle, couch table, or a buffet. Or, use longer ribbon to start (36”), double back over the first layer of crisscrossing, and tie off with a bow at the top, closer to the blooms. I use this version when I’m using a vase.

Lavender in jar-vaseI often save Knudsen quart-size juice bottles to use as vases when I gift flowers from my garden to friends and neighbors. The attractive “cut glass” top looks rather elegant, don’t you think?

Still looking for things to do with your lavender? Check out these planet-friendly ideas from Mother Earth Living.