Lavender is in full bloom in July. There's no happier sight than passing fields of bright purple, and enjoying the hum of bees merrily buzzing through them.
British lavender from our garden
Lavender offers a wealth of health benefits for us: from anti-inflammatory properties to its calming, anxiety-relieving scent, it's one of nature's real treasures.
Each year I harvest a small batch of lavender to dry in order to maintain its presence around my home throughout the year ahead. It holds its shape, scent and colour for months and is so simple to do, and it looks beautiful dotted about the house in little vases or old jam jars.
Here's my top tips for giving it a try yourself:
- always gather your lavender when it's in its prime (usually early to mid July), as your results will reflect the condition it was in when you harvested it
- using some garden scissors, cut your stems at around 20cm long (so they'll fit nicely into a vase) and always try to cut from different spots of the plant, not confined to one area as it will leave a big chunk missing out of your plant
- get some twine or string and tie the lavender together tightly at the stems (tip - very tightly as it will loose some density during the drying process)
- tie a knot at the opposite side of your string in order to hang your lavender upside down in a cupboard (or any dark place) for around two weeks (my favourite place to hang them is the airing cupboard - the results are much quicker!)
- some of the lavender will likely shed during the drying process and once it's fully dried it can be very crumbly, so do take care when you remove them from your drying rack
- remove the string and place into a vase! You can also remove the lavender from its stem, tie into little shoe string bags and pop into your clothes draws to make everything smell lovely
My dried lavender from last year
I hope you'll enjoy having this beautiful plant in your home year-round.