Friday, June 5, 2009

Crafting with Herbs: Lavendar

I love growing lavender! The smell is heavenly, the bees love it and it looks wonderful in crafts, added with a doll or critter, in potpourri and sachets or in crocks. The possibilities are endless! And lavender dries so well and retains its fragrance and color for quite some time.
I clip lavender stems early in the morning just as the buds are opening. Gather a few stems together, tie with string and hang in a brown paper bag with holes punched in it for air circulation. Just as long as the location is dry and fairly dark, but I find when placed in the bag, any loose buds that fall off are easily gathered to use in potpourri and sachets.
Lavender is a tough plant and is extremely drought resistant, once established. When first starting lavender plants, don't be afraid to give them a handful of compost in the planting hole and keep them regularly watered during their first growing season.
They will tolerate many growing conditions, but thrive in warm, well-drained soil and full sun. Like many plants grown for their essential oils, a lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An alkaline and especially chalky soil will enhance lavenders fragrance.
Although lavender plants get pruned regularly simply by harvesting the flowers, to keep them well shaped and to encourage new growth, a bit of spring pruning is in order. The taller varieties can be cut back by approximately one-third their height. Lower growing varieties can either be pruned back by a couple of inches or cut down to new growth.
Lavender will spread out a bit over time, but it’s not an invasive plant and more than welcome in my gardens for its beautiful purple flowers, aroma and crafting needs!

Crafting with Herbs was written by Debbie of Barefoot Primitives. Debbie is a master gardener and uses many of the things that she grows in her wonderful garden in her primitive creations. You may check out here shop here at wsoapp at:

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