Lavender on the Amalfi Coast

Out of the way bees ... that lavender is mine!

Two and a half years after planting, my three lavender plants in the garden have produced a bounty of wonderfully scented flowers this summer. I’ve been keeping a close eye on them for the past few weeks, waiting for the right moment to harvest them before the weather turns cool and windy. We’ve had a hot August with very little rain, and I noticed that the lavender flowers had already dried quite a bit on the plants. I was worried that a wind storm or heavy rain would scatter most of the flowers on the ground like last year. Fortunately, the temperatures cooled off just enough last weekend that I could harvest the lavender early Sunday morning before the sun was too strong.

Harvesting Lavender on the Amalfi Coast

Lavender ready to be harvested at the end of summer

Although many people might find the task a tedious one, I do love the slow process of harvesting the lavender flower stalks from the plant. This is the time of year to just cut the flower stalks off, as the full pruning happens in the spring. While I cut the lavender, I make piles that will be easy to tie together with twine when finished. The neighbor’s tiny white puppy kept me company, occasionally bounding over and snatching a piece before running off!

Lavender on the Amalfi Coast

What happens when a Type A personality harvests lavender ...

Once the bundles are tied up, I hang them to dry for at least a few weeks in our outdoor storage room, which is called a sgabuzzino in Italian. (Isn’t that a fun word to say?)

Lavender Harvest 2011

Ready to be hung in the storage room to dry

I gathered the small bits and pieces of lavender in a basket to add their scent to the rooms of the house as they dry. It’s such a warm and comforting smell!

Basket of Lavender

Bits and Pieces

This year I have exciting plans for the lavender once it dries … but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out!

  • How exciting! We have had no end of rain in the UK – although my lavender is doing ok and is still in flower, but has very strange flowers on the end of each stalk that look a bit like thistle shaped things. Very strange! Enjoy yours and wish i could be in Italy right now.

    September 1, 2011
  • Oh I love lavender Laura – it grows beautifully here in San Diego….I just found a recipe for lavender shortbread – wondering if it might be a good pairing of ingredients…I wish I could spell the lavender growing on the hillsides of Ravello right now…

    September 6, 2011
  • Great crop Laura. My lavender has not done as well as yours. I am a little disappointed as it does not grow as well here as it has done in previous gardens. Never mind at least I have a couple of bunches in the bathrooms.

    September 7, 2011
  • Laura

    You inspired me and right now I have 7 bundles of lavender drying on our sunny deck. Looking forward to your ideas of what to do with it once it dries!

    September 9, 2011

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