Image courtesy of Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm
Cut lavender flowers to bring indoors for making beautiful arrangements. Lavender bouquets can use fresh or dried flowers, or savor the best of both worlds by arranging fresh stems and letting them air dry in the vase. The secret to success with lavender bouquets is harvesting flowers at the right stage.
Lavender bouquets bring the beauty and fragrance of the garden indoors. When you create dried lavender displays, you’ll be able to savor that perfumed garden glory indoors for a long time. Lavender is an easy-to-grow herb, and it’s also an easily handled cut flower. Harvest it fresh, and use it fresh or dried to create pretty lavender bouquets.
Keep an eye on your lavender flowers to know the right time to harvest. For fresh or dried bouquets, aim to pick flowers when roughly three-quarters of the blooms in each flower head are open. This usually corresponds to the time when blossoms are opening at the base of the lavender flower spike.
At this stage of the growing cycle, lavender stems are thick and able to support flower heads as they dry. Lavender flowers also have a strong, deep purple hue at this point in the season. The longer flowers stay on plants and sun bathe, the more the purple tone bleaches out of blooms. Best of all, the essential oils in each blossom are at their peak at this stage of development, so you’ll not only have pretty purple flowers, you’ll have blooms packed with wonderful lavender fragrance.
Cut your flowers for lavender bouquets early in the day. Choose a sunny day when plants are dry. If dew is heavy, wait until it dries before harvesting. Cut stems to your desired length. It’s a good idea to snip stems on the long side. You can always trim stems as needed when you’re creating lavender bouquets.
Create lavender bouquets that incorporate other garden bloomers, such as roses, bee balm and coneflower blooms. The strong vertical lines of lavender flowers play a strong counterpoint to the rounded forms of these other summer blossoms. Or arrange a lavender bouquet featuring stems of this favorite herb. In either of these cases, if you’re arranging bouquets in water, for longest vaselife be sure to remove all lavender leaves that fall below the water line.
An easy way to create a dried lavender bouquet is to arrange stems, after cutting, in a vase without water. Flowers and stems will dry upright in the vase. Once lavender dries, gather stems to form dried lavender bunches for wreaths or decorating.
You can also bundle stems with rubber bands and hang upside down to dry in a dark, warm place. Once stems are dry, arrange dried lavender bunches with other dried garden flowers, or create a large dried lavender display by gathering several bunches together. Sunlight fades the color of dried lavender, so keep displays out of direct sunlight if possible.