I love July for a variety of reasons: Summer is here, The fourth of July and my lavender is blooming and ready for harvest! I like to think of myself as a “Lavender Farmer” I don’t have a huge farm but the plants in my garden provide myself and my friends with a years supply of lavender. I use my lavender in creating bath and body products, sachets for my home and in cooking. Lavender is perfect for scones and added to coffee and lemonade.
How I “harvest” my lavender flowers is simple –I know a lot of people tie them up into cute bunches and hang them from racks and I love this idea but I don’t always have that kind of time. Here is what I do:
I lay a cotton tablecloth on the grass next to my plants and cut off all of the flowers after they have bloomed but before they are totally dried out. Cut just above the green leaves and you will even get a second crop in many parts of the country.
I then let my lavender dry in the sun — if it is windy where you are you can also do this inside. I then sort of “Pat down” the lavender stalks and collect all of the fragrant flowers that have fallen off. You can also save the stalks they make lovely fragrant “fire starters” when bundled up.
Once you have your dried lavender you can use all on their own or mixed together with other ingredients.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to try:
Lavender Body Mist
When you are feeling stressed this is a light fragrance you can spray around you or even on your sheets before going to bed at night to help you sleep.
1 cup witch hazel
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
2-3 drops essential oil of lavender (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together and let sit overnight. Strain out the lavender flowers and pour the liquid into a clean spray bottle or container with a tight fitting lid. To use: Spray onto your skin or air around you.
Yield: 8 ounces
Relaxing Lavender Bath
A lavender bath is not only relaxing it also has skin soothing and healing properties. Lavender is a natural antiseptic which makes it an ideal bath for calming a bad rash, sunburn or insect bites.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
2 cups oatmeal
1 /2 cup baking soda
Place all the ingredients inside a food processor or blender. Grind until you have a smooth, fine powder. The powder should have the consistency of whole grain flour. Pour into a clean airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
To use: pour 1 /2 cup into your bath as you fill the tub.
Yield: 28 ounces
Lavender Mouth Rinse
Lavender freshens your breath and cleans and disinfect your whole mouth. This is a mild, almost tasteless mouth rinse that has an airy, floral fragrance. You can also use this as a skin freshener.
1 Tablespoon lavender buds
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons rosewater
Place the lavender buds in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let the mixture steep until cool then strain. Add the rosewater to the lavender water and pour into a clean container. To use: Pour a small amount into a clean glass and rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth and gums.
Yield: 8 ounce
For more recipes check out my book Natural Beauty at Home.
Have a beautiful day!