Lavender should be cut and dried while in the bud stage. Once it has flowered, it is no longer 'desirable'. But, since lavender doesn't mature perfectly evenly on the stem, there are frequently some flowers that bloom before harvest. During the drying process, the lavender is gently shaken so that the flowers fall to the ground, leaving only the 'bud' for the remainder of the drying and processing. The flowers are discarded.