Maybe the lavender harvest hasn't been a total bust

by Suw on August 10, 2007

The thing about weddings is that the majority of the work is in getting the detail right. Luckily, I like detail. One such detail is how to do the place settings at the wedding breakfast. Everyone will have a specific place to sit, but how to we indicate who is sitting where?
I don't like traditional place settings – they're boring. So I struck on the idea that we could use a little posy of dried lavender, with a name tag attached to it with lace or ribbon. Mum and Dad have a lavender bush in the front garden, but it's not enough for the number of posies we need. In fact, it's probably only enough for one. But Mum teaches adult exercise classes, so she asked if any of her members had spare lavender that they would cut for me, and many of them said they had.
Sadly, the weather this year has been just dreadful, and the wetness during June and July has ruined much of the lavender which needs hot dry weather to flourish. The flowers came out earlier than expected, but when people cut them, they were so damp that they just went mouldy.
Despite this, some of Mum's members have managed to cut some nice lavender and successfully – to various extents – dry it for me. Mum has been keeping it in the airing cupboard, and yesterday i sorted it out. Some of it had gone a bit mouldy, so we had to throw out three large-ish bundles, but the rest of it was fine.
This is what we had left, and I've put it in a box in the loft, where it's nice and warm.
Mum got an additional bundle yesterday, which I prepared for drying in the loft, but I don't think it's going not be usable as it was picked after the majority of the flowers had died.
Rosemary and lavender
You can see how much greyer it is than the top photo. I bundled it and hung it up in the loft to dry anyway, as I might be able to use it for small favours.
Rosemary and lavender
Rosemary and lavender
If you look, you can see there are just a few actual flowers left on this lavender, the rest are just the dead husks of the flowers.
Rosemary and lavender
One other option is, instead of having posies of lavender, we use bundles of rosemary. Now, Mum and Dad do have an absolutely enormous rosemary bush in the garden, so yesterday we cut as many of the long stems as we could.
I've bundled handfuls of four or five stems together, and hung them in the loft to dry too.
It should take a couple of weeks for both the rosemary and the lavender to dry fully. It's hot up in the loft, and the weather at the moment is quite warm, so it should dry ok. The rosemary bush grows like the clappers, so Mum's going to do another prune in a few week's time so that I get a second harvest. Hopefully that will give us enough rosemary and lavender so that we can put one little posie on each place setting.

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