Drying lavender is a wonderful way to preserve your beautiful blooms. There are so many wonderful uses for it too. It’s excellent for making tea, cooking and baking and crafting. Learn all about how to make dried lavender (a few different ways), including the best varieties to use, and when to cut it.
The best lavender to use for drying is English lavender. The reason is because it contains more oils than other varieties. But regardless, you can still dry any variety you have in your garden – whether it be English, Spanish or French.
The Hanging Method
Here’s how to dry lavender using hanging bunches:
Cut a bunch of lavender stalks making sure that you leave a few inches of stem on the cut stalk. Group about 15 – 20 stalks together and tie them with an elastic band or twine.
Once set, hang each bundle in a dark, warm, and dry place, like a basement or cellar. Make sure to hang it upside down to help retain its blossom shape. Don’t forget to leave enough space to allow air to travel between the stalks.
Now simply leave your lavender hanging until completely dry.
The Oven Method
Here are the simple steps for drying lavender in the oven:
Set the oven to low heat at around 100 degrees Celsius. Spread a thin layer of lavender on a baking tray and place it in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the stalks are completely brittle. Keep the oven door slightly open while drying (to allow moisture to pass through effectively). If it still feels moist after 10 minutes, rotate the stalks and then leave it for 5 more minutes to dry.
Once done, remove the dried lavender from the oven and run your hand down the dried stalks carefully until the blossoms fall into a container.
Do it yourself projects are on the rise this year. With many of us spending a lot more time around the home, sales within household goods stores were 9.9% higher in August 2020 than February 2020, mainly due to a rise in the desire for home improvement items, according to The Office for National Statistics. So, with lockdowns still present all over the UK, why not bring the DIY trend into the garden with these autumnal DIY gardening crafts.
Pick up a pre-made birdhouse from the craft shop or build your own. Then, paint it your favourite colour at home and hang it out in the garden. Avoid hanging your birdhouse in a spot that receives strong sunlight, rain and wind.
Tip 💡 For decorating, why not try painting your birdhouse in polka dots, stripes, or flowers!
Pallet Compost Bin
Composting is a cheap and easy to way to create your own nutrient rich compost to add to your garden plants in the springtime. Using leftover wooden pallets are perfect for those of you who are new to composting. To make a pallet compost bin you’ll need four pallets of matching size. Join together four pallets to create the back and sides, then stand them up and screw them into place. Now, you have your completed pallet bin!
Almost anything can be turned into a fun, unique planter. Tin cans and buckets can be painted and upcycled into fun small garden planters for patios. Whereas larger items such as tyres, chest of drawers and wheelbarrows can be given a new lease of life as a planter to create a feature in the garden.
A great one for the kids, these festive autumn front door wreaths will give your home serious autumnal curb appeal. All you need is a wire circular frame, some moss to form the base, and a bunch of your favourite flower and foliage. Simply bundle your foliage, cover the frame, and attach using floral wire all the way around the wreath.
There are always things to do in the garden in December. These simple gardening tasks will offer some calm and relief amid the busyness of the festive season. So, here are our top jobs to get done in the garden this month.
Don’t smash the ice on a pond with a spade as the shock waves could kill fish or other wildlife. Create a breathing hole by putting a rubber ball in the water before it freezes, removing it once ice forms.