When we moved into our house the front garden was pretty standard. It had a gate, hedge, lawn (mostly made of clover and moss) and thin border flowerbed down one side (with more grass in it than the lawn). There’s not much else you can expect from a front garden really, you don’t generally spend any amount time there, you don’t sit there in the evenings…
Well, we do! You see we are in a bit of an unusual situation in that our front garden is actually larger than the back, and is not overlooked at all! our house faces out onto a footpath
rather than a road, and car access is through the shared driveway behind the house.
This means that, in my opinion, the front garden is open to being treated differently. And as such, I wanted to make some changes!
(I’m afraid I was a total fail at taking any transformation pictures for this. So instead I will paint you a picture with words!… Yeah. sorry.)
First order of business was to take up a block of lawn and add a decent sized raised veg planter. My lovely mum and dad came to help with this. We surrounded the veg box with about 2ft of slate chippings to try and control pests. The planter itself stands about 2ft tall and took about 10 bags of compost to fill, along with all the turf we dug up in order to build it! This has since had 2 crops of Courgettes harvested from it and is now growing some very cute baby pumpkins.
However, the more exciting change was that we were finally able to put in something that Dave and I have wanted since we first started looking at houses… A lavender hedge!
We were able to create a dividing flowerbed that comes down from the gate and up to the front door. To that, we added 6 evenly spaced teeny tiny English Lavender plants. not so much a hedge as a very minimalist flowerbed at first.
One year later however and the plants have flourished and become monsters!
We had about 4 months of beautiful Lavender flowers, which along with them brought the most bees I have ever seen in my life! Such a happy sight to see them all working away. You could actually hear the bzzzzzz from the bees while inside the house some days!
The plants themselves grew so fast I could hardly believe it, they have now all met up to become a continuous hedge-line. In one year!! Fantastic stuff.
As part of looking after Lavender plants, you are meant to give them a good chopping back at the end of the season (September/October time depending on how the year has been) So we grabbed our sheers and chopped all the long stems and this year’s growth back to the more woody base plants.
We were left with bundles and bundles of lavender stalks, which we let hang inside our porch to dry out (The porch is rarely used due to our backward house situation. In fact I sometimes refer to the front door as the ‘Pizza door’ as that is all we open it for!). The smell in that tiny porch is heavenly, so fresh and floral!
After they had dried fully, I sorted through the bundles and reserved the nicest ones for decorations around the house. The rest I released from their bindings ready to harvest the beautiful, fragrant flowerheads.
I rolled the stems between two old curtain sheets which seemed to be the most effective way to get the flowerheads off. I guess you could pick or shake them off but that would be time-consuming and/or too messy for me!
I was left with 4 whole sandwich bags of dried lavender (that is an official unit of measurement in this house, don-cha-know!). I still have the bare stalks in the hallway and they continue to give off an amazing smell, but these will be sent to the garden waste soon.
I have been doing a lot of research into what to do with the resulting dried lavender so thought I’d list some of my finds and suggestions for what to do with the yearly harvest!
5 Uses for harvested Dried Lavender
1. Bundle it up and use for decorations
I Have many lavender bundles now decorating our house. they are perfect for this time of year as they look very seasonal next to other autumnal decorations. And not to mention the lovely fragrance.
2. Dry and crush it to use as Potpourri
I have so much left I think I will be adding dried lavender flowers to potpourri and decorations for months to come!
3. Use dried flowers to scent your clothes drawers and keep Moths away
This is the one I have done! I bought some purple voile bags from Amazon and added approx 3 teaspoons of lavender flowers into each bag. These have been amazing to disperse around the house, keep in my handbag, hang on clothes hangers in the wardrobe etc. I have also given a tonne away to friends and family. Good stuff. Highly recommend.
4. Mix with dried chamomile to make a soothing tea
Make sure you give it a quick rinse and drain in cold water beforehand. and if you are buying dried lavender instead of growing it, make sure to look for organic. You never know what might have been sprayed on it otherwise!
5. Make a relaxing Bath Salt
This is amazing. Also, the ingredients are quite easy to come by in pound shops and HomeBargains. Alas, we do not have a bath in our house so If I were to make these they would be for gifts.
BONUS (for advanced lavender-ers!)
6. Make essential Oil
(This video is for rosemary but you get the general idea…)
This looks quite tricky and requires some skill and costly equipment. However, if you have the time, money and skill… why not?!
Let me know if you have made anything from dried lavender too! Don’t forget to send me a link if you have written about it, I would love to check it out. Maybe it will give me ideas for next years harvest! 🙂
Thank you so much for reading.
Love, Beccy May.
Ps. You can Pin these pictures for later!