Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drying Lavender

Nearly everyday in our Studio, I hear a lot of great ideas about how to dry flowers.

I still prefer the old fashioned way - the way my Grandmother taught me. (sort of, ain't broke/don't fix attitude)

The lavender starts to bloom from the bottom of the spike up the stem and finally the top. It is best to pick Lavender when it is blooming 2/3 of the way up the stem - with the top third yet to open.

Create a bundle of "disorganized" Lavender - with the flowers at varying heights in the bundle.(not perfectly lined up at the same height as we do when flower arranging) - the theory being that the random bundle has more air circulating around each bloom - which is better for drying and will avoid mildew in the process.

Next, an elastic band goes around the stems - about a third of the way of up, to hold the bundle together (I used to use twine - but noticed that sometimes in the drying process, as the stems shrink - the lavender would fall out of the twine - where the elastic tightens as the stems shrink - dah!)

Then, the lavender is hung upside down in a dry (ish) spot out of the direct sunlight.

The moisture from the stem travels to the flower - opening the top third of the bloom ready to dry. The drying process takes anywhere from a few days to a week or so - depending on the humidity.

If your lavender is already fully in bloom - it is still worth a try - you just may lose some of the flowerlettes on the bottom of the bloom - they may fall off - or they may turn brown - or you may be lucky and it will all be just fine!

It is best to dry the flower on the stem - so if you are looking to create potpourri or for culinary use - dry it on the stem first - and once dry - remove the budds of the dried lavender.

Good Luck !