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.
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!
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?)
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!
This year I have exciting plans for the lavender once it dries … but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out!
wendy Blair says
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.
Ciao Wendy! How strange about those weird flowers on the end of your lavender. Last year I wasn’t able to harvest any lavender, so this year’s abundance was a real treat! We had a rainy end to the summer, and it seemed like the lavender never had a chance to really dry out between the rains before a big wind storm came and blew most of the flowers off. This year I got out there to do it even though it was so hot! 🙂 Sending you some sunshine from the Amalfi Coast!
Linda Lou says
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…
Ciao Linda! Yum … lavender shortbread sounds delish! There’s a pasticceria in Amalfi that makes these lavender scented almond cookies. I think your shortbread recipe would be a similar idea. Would love to hear how it comes out! 🙂
LindyLouMac in Italy says
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.
Ciao Linda! I’m so sorry that your lavender hasn’t done so well this year. I wonder if it’s something in the soil? That’s far more advanced than my gardening skills, I’m afraid! I know you’re quite experienced in the garden, and this might be a bit basic, but I’ve found this article on How to Prune Lavender in Italy extremely helpful. I’ve tried to follow the instructions over the past few years about watering amounts and the pruning. They’ve gotten bigger than I expected, which means I think I didn’t prune them back enough the first year, and now I can’t prune into the wood. But the massive amount of lavender they produced this year means they’ll be sticking around for awhile to come, even if they do rather take over that part of the garden each summer. I have plans to put the lavender to good use this winter! 🙂 So happy that you have some to add their lovely scent to your rooms!
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!
Ciao Laura! Wow … so happy to have inspired your lavender harvest! 🙂 I’ll be sure to share about the projects I am working on once the lavender dries. Would love to hear yours, too!