This is one of my favorite times of year, when I can start harvesting Lavender from my garden bed.
Every year I’ve added a few plants, and they are finally growing to where I can get some really good size bundles every few weeks until Fall. In Chicago there are quite a few varieties that do really well if they are planted in a sunny place and well drained soil.
It’s my favorite planting bed.When you walk by on a warm summer day, you can jsut smell the lavender oil in the air, and every time I weed around the plants, the aroma surrounds me as my arms brush up against the flowers and stalks. It just makes me happy to sit by it and have a glass of iced tea. Hubby made this brick path when we first moved in from all of the bricks he found on our property. Crazy right? We think there was an old brick patio since most of them were under the current deck. I love how the little weeds and moss grow up between the cracks. Once in a while, I’ll spray a little vinegar to keep them in check, but I really don’t mind them.
There is a trick to harvesting Lavender so that your plants don’t turn leggy. The first few years I cut mine the wrong way and now I am trying to re-prune them so some of them regain their mounding shape.
I harvest them so I am only cutting the green part and not into any woody stems. I gather a bunch in my hand and then cut them all at once so they are the same length. I use mine mostly for creating bunches and sachets so it doesn’t matter if they aren’t perfect. To encourage proper growth though, snip each stem at the base where it emerges from the thickest part plant, just as the stem starts to grow slightly sparse with leaves.
I even keep the green leaves even though they aren’t as fragrant.They are perfect for dried potpourri and sachets.
There is something that makes me very happy about the scent of gathered lavender. I can smell it on my hands for hours after wards.It’s better than lotion. Here are a few other lavender posts you can check out if you love the sweet stuff, just like me.