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If you grow lavender in your garden, you need to know how to dry lavender flowers. Drying lavender flowers properly allows you to enjoy their beautiful color and scent all year long!
According to Gardenia.net, there are five main types of this delightful flower. English Lavender, French Lavender, Spanish Lavender, Portuguese Lavender and a hardy English/Portuguese hybrid called Lavandin. Of course, lots of additional varieties have been cultivated over the years.
Whatever the variety, all lavender plants grow as perennial shrubs with delicate purple, pink or white flowers and woody stems. And they all come with the intoxicating lavender aroma everyone loves.
The Beauty of Lavender
Lavender is such a classic beauty. Tufts of purple flowers atop long grey green stems evoke visions of sunny French fields and welcoming English cottage gardens.
I planted English Lavender on either side of my garden steps a few years ago, and it never disappoints. There’s nothing better than the scent of lavender flowers freshly picked from your own garden. The pop of bright purple from these hardy shrubs adds color to my otherwise (mostly) green herb garden.
The bees and butterflies that pollinate the rest of my gardens seem love it almost as much as I do. Early in the evening the buzzy bugs are can always be seen hovering around the pretty lavender flowers.
Unfortunately the season for lavender here in Canada is short. That’s where preserving it for winter comes in. Carefully harvesting and drying the lavender flowers allows you to enjoy them all year long.
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Bunches of lavender are drying on this well-worn wooden ladder at Garden Therapy.
The look almost as pretty upside down as they do right side up!
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How to Dry Lavender Flowers
Drying flowers might seem pretty straight forward, but there are actually a few different ways to do it.
If you only have a few sprigs to dry, you can press them in a heavy book. Just place them between the pages in the middle of the book, close it up and place something on top. This will result in flat flowers, but it’s super easy and it does work.
Maybe you have a dehydrator? You can also dry them that way. Use a low temperature so you don’t destroy the fragrant oils that give the flowers their signature scent!
Probably the most common way to dry lavender, and any garden herbs really, is to air dry them. You can dry large quantities this way, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. Simply bunch the stems together and tie them with a string, then hang the bunches upside down in a warm place with good air flow. It’s important that air can circulate around the flowers to avoid rot and mould.
What to Do With Dried Lavender
Dried lavender is a joy to have around, because it’s so versatile. It’s scent is said to be relaxing and can help with sleep. Use it to create an infusion for cooking, baking and cocktails. Use it in homemade cosmetics and soaps. Or you can simply enjoy it as is, in a dried bouquet or potpourri.
If you’re interested in harvesting and drying your own lavender, Garden Therapy has a great article on how to dry lavender flowers to help you along!
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