As the summer progresses, herbs ripen, flowers bloom and the question becomes what do I do with it all? For the most part, I would say enjoy what Gaia offers; walk the earth, appreciate the colours, breath in the aromas and enjoy the season in gratitude.
A portion of the bounty can however be collected and used for health, flavour and beauty. This post is a little late as I have not been allowed too much time on the computer and lavender is past it’s best unless it has been tucked away in a shady location.
Lavender has medicinal uses that I am not going to cover as lavender wands are about the effect of the aroma but I would encourage you to research the topic for more information. Research on essential lavender oil suggests it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. So although lavender wands in drawers to help freshen your lingerie is definitely an option, these wands are also helpful to have around your comfy chair while reading a book or a bed at night.
Begin by picking your lavender while it is in bud. The aroma is stronger, will last longer and the wands will be easier to manipulate than when they are in full bloom as they take up less space. You will need an odd number of stems for each wand. I have seen everything from 9 to 31 stems be used. These were made with 13 stems.
Remove the leaves at the bottom of the stem, so they are nice and clean. Collect the stems and arrange using the end of the lavender buds as the common point. Clip the stems so they are all even.
Some instructions will suggest that the buds be adjusted to various lengths so that the woven end of the wand is longer and more oval. It is a question of personal preference.
Tie your length of thin ribbon around the base of the flowers. I would leave the right side of the ribbon about 1 1/2 inches longer than the picture and use it to tie off the longer piece when the weaving is finished.
Now gently, fold back the stems over the flowers. You are creating a cage around the blooms. Some instructions suggest using a spoon to do this part. Either way be gentle with the folding. You do not want to break the stems, only gently bend them. Fresh stems work best as they are more flexible.
The shorter piece of ribbon will be inside the cage. Using the longer piece begin to weave in and out around the cage, over one and under the next, repeat. Once you go around the first time, you will find that what was over on the first round will be under on the second round unless you do what I did and miscount. I got part way through three times before I finally figured out what had happened and found the stem I had dropped on the floor.
Keep working your way down the cage until you reach the point where all the lavender buds are enclosed. Using the short end of the ribbon that is sticking out from inside the cage and the longer piece you have been working with tie a knot or two for good measure.
There are several options to finishing off your wand. Some people make bottles by cutting off the stems to about 1 1/2 inches. They add a loop of ribbon and use as a sachet.
It is entirely up to you. Be creative and come up with something different!
These wands will last for years. When the aroma depletes, roll the woven blossom section around with your fingers and more fragrance will be released. When I had foreign students, I had two hanging in my bathroom as a room freshener. When needed, a quick roll would release a new whiff of lavender.
This is a great craft for many ages but a little manual dexterity is needed. We spent a lovely afternoon on the veranda, listening to the birds and making plans for future projects.
Lavender wands, one of Mother Earth’s gifts of summer.
Lavender Wands from My Kitchen Wand