I have harvested tonnes of my English lavender a month ago. It doesn’t have the big showy floral petals on the ends of the lavender spikes like the French lavender, but rather compact flowers on the end of long stalks. They are really fragrant and I love the meditative activity of harvesting them, making small bunches and hanging them upside down either inside or out in the garden shed, till they are dried. The whole drying process can take from 1-2 weeks.
Then begins the shucking of the actual flower heads. For years I painstakingly rubbed them off between my fingers. Be warned; it is quite hard on the fingers!! So this year I had my “eureka!” moment! It is so much easier using the handle of a teaspoon. Saving time and fingers. I sat and did this over a couple of days.
Now normally, I stuff organza bags with my lavender heads but given that we are in COVID-19 Lockdown, I can’t go and buy more organza bags. So after filling my last bag, I scratched my head. Now what? That got me thinking…….. Here we are in Lockdown, many people a bit stressed over this time and all the uncertainty it brings. Lavender is great for reducing stress, for allowing us to sleep (tuck a sachet under your pillow), it is a natural anti-depressant and also has antiseptic properties. What could I sew some bags out of? The fabric needs to have an open weave.
So always the forager, I spied some leftover hessian sacking from making my door mat. I cut up the remaining piece into little bag-sized pieces, sewed up the two open sides, wove some of the hessian fibre through the top to form a pull-close bit, filled them with lavender heads, tied the hessian fibre and voila! Fully compostable lavender bags!
So it got me thinking even further …….I now have more lavender sachets than we can use. I may hand some over to neighbours as part of a little care package….. hopefully they can use them to help reduce stress. Just pick up a bag, and sniff. It’s that easy! Or leave it on the table, and as you pass by, crush it in your hand to release the calming odour into the room. And when they have served their purpose, they can be thrown under a bush outside, or into your compost bin if you have one. They will totally break down. Got any lavender in the garden? Start harvesting them. We have plenty of time.
Take care. Stay safe.