Wednesday, July 22, 2009
There are so many ways to enjoy lavender. My favorite is to leave it in the garden and admire the blossoms on the plants all summer long. But lavender keeps well when dried, and if you want to enjoy its beauty in other months as well, there are ways to preserve it. An example is the wreath shown above. It's easy to make. Simply create a form out of wire (like a strong clothes hanger) and form it into a square. Then, take small bundles of lavender and secure them with a rubber band. Use floral wire to secure the lavender bundles to the wire, and you are done! Add a wire to hang with and hang it up to dry. The lavender wreath in the picture is still fresh. As it dries it will retain the shape you see.
Lavender is pretty hung with other herb bundles as well. If you have beams on a ceiling or a drying rack, herb bundles can be dried and look pretty in the process. They should be set to dry in a place that is out of direct sunlight. And since the bundles will shrink as they dry, be sure to use elastic or a rubber band to hold the bundle together. They can be hung by a pretty ribbon or a bend paper clip (which works very well).
Lavender can be enjoyed with tea and is pretty when used as a part of the tea decor in your china closet. Lavender bud can be mixed with sugar and set in a pretty jar to infuse. Most people will tell you to sift the bud out when ready to use, but I prefer to leave it in, thinking that lavender bud floating in tea is quite pretty. Lavender bud can also be placed in a saucer, bowl, or on a tea tray to be displayed with your china.
Lavender makes wonderful soaps, oils, and lotions. Each lavender farm has their own formulation and unique ways of using their product. Candles are another beautiful way to use lavender. Adding dried bud to the wax when molding makes a very pretty candle! Don't worry if it sinks to the bottom half. It only makes it prettier! If you enjoy making beeswax candles, simply roll in lavender bud after your candle is rolled. The sticky properties of the beeswax will hold the lavender bud on very well. No glue necessary!
Sachets, bundles, lavender wands, lavender bottles, and lavender dryer bags are all fun ways to enjoy lavender throughout the year. If the fragrance seems to subside, just squish and squeeze the lavender to release the oils and renew it's fragrance. It's still there, just hidden by gentle use. Some say that lavender's fragrance is enhanced by age. If you decide to use lavender bud in a dryer bag, be sure it's securely tied or stitched! I learned the hard way! The linens smelled wonderful, but the lavender bag opened in the dryer and I had lavender bud all over the place! The lavender that made it to the dryer vent blew around with each cycle, creating a funny sound! It required the removal of the dryer and a vacuum cleaner and one husband to get it fixed again. I don't think he was overly impressed with the awesome fragrance of the linens!