Making Lavender Wands


I have always admired lavender wands. They are so pretty with their beautifully woven ribbons. Having an abundance of lavender in the garden, I decided to make lavender wands myself.

Having never tried this before, I looked up the basic instructions and started my task. First, with scissors in hand, I marched out to the lavender plants and trimmed 10 long stems. This was my first mistake. (I’ll get to why later.) I set myself down at my table and laid out the lavender, gathered them and tied them together just under the blooms. Next, I took a spoon and pressed on the stems just below the ribbon. This step is important so that when turning the cage of the wand the stems don’t break. I carefully bent the stems down around the lavender to form a cage. I started weaving the ribbon. It wasn’t going so well. My unders and overs were starting to duplicate themselves, the pattern was broken. Had I gone under instead of over? What was going on here?

Remember when I said my first mistake was trimming 10 long stems? Well, what my instructions failed to tell me (when it said to trim 7-15 stems) was that the number trimmed had to be an odd number. This, I finally figured out on my own. So, I plucked out one of the stems and started over. This time, the pattern worked just fine.

As with most diy projects, the first one is usually a learning process. Now I know what I would do differently next time. I would cut an odd number of stems and I would leave a longer tail on my first knot to tie the bow with. Not bad for a first attempt. Live and learn..

As always, Happy Crafting!


Lavender Adds a Refreshing Taste to Baked Goods


If you haven’t tried baking with lavender before, I highly recommend it. Lavender adds such a suttle yet inviting taste to baked goods. Fresh and inviting is how I would describe it.

I purchased a package of dried lavender for baking. I tried a couple of recipes using the lavender. The first was for lavender scones. The scones had lavender in the batter and infused into the glaze. The second lavender goodie I tried was a lavender shortbread cookie. Again the lavender was in the dough and the glaze.

I really liked the lavender glazes and have decided it would be very easy to add the lavender into cakes and frostings as well. To make the glazes, it is a very simple process, just allow the lavender to seep into the warmed liquid (milk or water) for a few minutes, then strain it through a fine sieve before adding it to the dry ingredients.

Springtime, lavender baked goods, and a cup of tea….now doesn’t that sound wonderful!

As always, Happy Baking!

Propagated Lavender Takes Off


Ah the joys of gardening! Its the little successes that make it all so worthwhile. Back in June, I propagated lavender from lavender I had in my garden. (There’s a post on this in the gardening section.) Now it is early September and there is evidence of success. A lavender bud has formed on one of the propagated plants. Oh joy!

With the recent success of my blue potato bush and now the lavender, I could really get into propagating plants. I have a vision for where these new plants will be going in my garden. Believe me, I have a lot of space to fill. I plan to have a border of lavender and potato bushes. However, with the propagated plants, it will take a bit longer for them to reach a decent size. Yes, I would get faster results by purchasing more mature plants at the nursery, however, I kind of like this whole propagating thing.

As always, HAPPY Gardening!

Propagating Plants – An Update


It has been a little over a month since I propagated the lavender and blue potato bush. I thought I would write an update at how this process is going. My first post on this can be found under gardening and is titled Propagating Plants.

First of all, I want to say that I have been very diligent about watering the plants. They are on our potting table and I have been sure that they are taken care of in the mornings and are never dried-out. I have done nothing more to them than watering them.

From the beginning, all plants looked fine. One of the blue potato bush plant’s leaves started to wilt not long after being planted. I did not panick. It still looked alive. However, last night, I think reality has hit. The plant’s stem is dry looking and I think it has reached it’s end. The other blue potato bush is thriving. Last night I was so happy to see that new buds are forming on the plant. A sure sign of happiness!

Looks like the end…

The lavender seems to look pretty much the same as when I planted them. I guess that is a good thing. All seem to have attached themselves to their new soil.

Hopefullly, these cuttings will continue to grow and someday be able to be planted in the ground. I will keep posting every now and then on their progress. As always, Happy Gardening!

Propagating Plants


I have big plans for our backyard. Part of the plan is to plant more lavender (which is doing quite well in our yard) and blue potato bushes (which are relatively low maintenance). Since we already have these in the yard, I decided to try to propagate my own plants from cuttings.

I have been saving large yogurt containers for a little while now with the intention of using them as pots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the labels came right off and I could write on them with a Sharpie. I also poked holes in the bottoms of the containers with an awl for drainage.

Yogurt containers with awl

Next, a little research in propagation. April through June is a good time to propagate plants. I am in the window of time, early June. I took a cutting just below where the green part of the stem meets the woody part of the stem. Then I striped the leaves, leaving a few at the top and cut off the tips of the plants. Then I poked them into my soil-filled containers and gave them a good watering. I will just have to wait and see if I did this correctly.

Lavender Cutting

If this works, I figure I will be saving myself a little money from not having to purchase new plants. Of course, they will be smaller and take longer to grow, but I can spend the saved money for other things to complete the yard project. I will also have had a little fun trying something new. As always, Happy Gardening!

Lavender Makes a Comeback


I posted earlier about how the bunnies thought my two young lavender plants were a salad bar. I then put up fencing around the lavender and gave the plants some extra loving care. They started to grow back and look healthy. Yesterday, to my great surprise, one of the lavender plants had produced it’s first lavender flower! Not quite in bloom yet but will be very soon. That is the amazing thing about gardening, the big changes from day to day. As always, Happy Gardening!

Peter Rabbit and the Lavender


I should have known better. I let my guard down in the garden and Peter Rabbit (or one of his buddies) made a smorgasbord out of my young lavender plants. Oh no!

I have two other lavender plants that are always in bloom and the rabbits never touch them. I had not thought that lavender would need protecting, however, I suppose the younger plants were more to the liking of the bunnies. I have since constructed a couple of wire fences to protect my two young lavender plants and staked them in the ground so they will not blow away.

As can be seen in the photo, the weeds are making a come back. I guess I’ve been slacking in more than one way in the garden. I have recently purchased a three-pack of new garden gloves as I had worn holes in the fingertips of my old pair; and the weather is gorgeous so no more excuses. Happy gardening!

Keeping Spiders at Bay – Follow-up


Well it has been a little while and I thought I would post an up date on my post entitled Keeping Spiders at Bay. To recall, I was trying to keep spiders from building their webs around my mailbox and in particular from being present in my mailbox itself using dried lavender. The big question is, “Did it work”?

My original post was on September 18. It is now October 10th. So it has been about three weeks since my little experiment started. To date, I have not had any spiders in the mailbox. Exactly what I was hoping for!

I may add a few fresh springs of lavender in the box every once in a while to keep the aroma fresh. So far so good. We shall see if this lasts…

Keeping Spiders At Bay


It feels as though Halloween is approaching my neighborhood. But it is only September. Yet, spider webs are everywhere.

On my daily walks in the neighborhood, I have noticed the incredible amount of spider webs found on my street. Spiders have been very busy weaving their intricate art in the yards of my neighbors. Spiders seem to love weaving their webs around lamp posts, trees, bushes, porches, and mailboxes.

One morning I woke to find garlands of webs stretching across my whole front yard, from tree to tree to bush and across the front porch. Must have been quite a party these eight legged guys were having in the night. While the making of webs is quite amazing, sometimes they can get in the way. I do not usually mind the webs outside the home. Spiders do have their benefits and place in the world after all. However, I was getting a bit tired of the spiders over-taking my mailbox.

I clean the mailbox frequently so the webs do not build up. However, the spiders come back and decorate the box again. It is a never ending process. It is not unusual to find spiders in my mailbox when retrieving my mail. I personally do not like the idea of reaching my hand inside knowing there may be a spider waiting inside.

The question is: How to keep spiders at bay? I did a little research and found that spiders do not like some plants such as mint and lavender. Lavender caught my eye. I grow lavender! Why not plant lavender around the mailbox? But first, maybe I should see if the lavender thing actually works. So, I proceeded to clean the mail box of all webs and occupants. Luckily, no occupants were in the box at the time of cleaning. Next, I took some clippings from my lavender plants and made tiny little bundles which I tied with twine. One bundle I placed inside the box. The other bundle I tied to the post. I will wait and see if this will have the outcome I desire. Time will tell…

Drying Lavender


Have you ever gone into a boutique and seen the bunches of dried lavender neatly tied with twine for sale? I always thought it would be nice to purchase such lavender bunches. The only thing that was stopping me was my pocket book. Dried lavender can be pricey.

This is where my DIY mode sets in. I decided growing my own lavender would not only be cheaper than buying dried lavender bunches, but I would also have plants to fill in my bare yard. Bonus!

Growing lavender is easy (see my blog under gardening). Drying lavender is also very simple. Just cut the lavender stem above the lowest leaves. Cut enough to make a nice bunch and wrap a rubber band around the bottom of the stems. Hang this bunch upside down until they are dry. Voila!

I put my dried lavender in a ceramic wall pocket . You could tie a pretty ribbon around them and display them in a basket or make a floral arrangement with them. Crushing the flowers and putting them in a DIY hand sewn satchel would bring a lovely scent to your drawers. Gifting the lavender would also be a nice option or using them to decorate a wrapped package.

So if you like the thought of lavender indoors, why not bring it outdoors first. The bees will be happy and your garden will look lovely.