Four Steps to Fragrant Lavender Wands
Four steps to fragrant lavender wands
by Ellen Spector Platt
There are hundreds of varieties of lavender but ‘Hidcote’, offfered here, works perfectly because it has a sweet aroma and nice stem length. Be sure to give any lavender full sun and excellent drainage in your garden and you’ll be rewarded for many years to come. You’ll have materials not only for wands, but other crafts, potpourris, and cooking as well. (For more information on growing, click here.)
Nestle a lavender wand in your drawers to gently scent your favorite clothing or linens. Or leave it out on a shelf in the bathroom where the color and patterns can delight the eye, and the aroma rises when the room gets steamy. Years later, the wand will still be giving pleasure.
What you need
Fresh lavender with long stems, here, 35 stems
Four yards narrow ribbon, 1/8 or 1/4 inch wide; cut off one piece of 24” and set aside
Scissors and clippers
What you do
- Run your fingers along each stem of lavender to strip off all the leaves.
Bunch all stems together and tie with a knot just under the blossoms. Use one end of the long ribbon to do this, leaving the rest of the piece dangling.
- You will be weaving the ribbon in and out among groups of stems. You must have an uneven number of groups. I started with 35 stems and divided them into seven groups of five stems each.
Grasp 5 stems which are near each other and gently bend them down over the flowers as shown. Take the ribbon at the knot and place over this group. Now bend down another group of five and weave the ribbon under.
- Continue bending down the rest of the stems in groups of five, weaving the ribbon under and over each group. Because you have an uneven number of groups you can keep weaving over and under in a regular pattern until you have formed a nice checkered pattern with the ribbon and have totally encased the flowers in a woven cage. Pull the ribbon tautly as you weave because the lavender shrinks as it dries.
- Tie the wand at the base of the weaving with the reserved piece of ribbon. Tie the woven piece into the bow as well for a third streamer. Trim the ends of the ribbon and the ends of the stems. In a warm, dark, dry spot the wand will dry in about a week, then place in a drawer or on a shelf to enjoy.
Three hot tips for success
Tip: Be sure to make the wand within a day of cutting so the stems won’t break as you bend them to start weaving.
Tip: You can make bigger or smaller wands by starting with more or fewer stems but the total number of stems must always divide into an uneven number of groups. If you want a bigger wand you could use 49 stems divided into 7 groups of 7 stems. For a small wand use 15 stems, 5 groups of 3 stems each. Naturally, the length of ribbon needed will vary with the size of your bunch.
Tip: Renew the scent after some months by gently squeezing the wand to release more of the aromatic oils.
Tip: ‘Hidcote’ is also my favorite variety for cooking. Add small amounts of dried or fresh, organically grown flower buds to enhance herbal teas, baked goods, and savory dishes. For recipes, see my book listed below.
Ellen Spector Platt was the proprietor and chief weeder of Meadow Lark Flower & Herb Farm, Orwigsburg PA and is author of ten books including: Lavender, How to Grow & Use the Fragrant Herb, Stackpole Books, 1999. She has lectured and demonstrated crafts at lavender festivals in Sequim WA, Fairfield PA, Canterbury NH, Albuquerque NM and many others and has taught classes in growing and using lavender at the NY Botanic Garden. Ellen currently grows ‘Hidcote’ and other lavenders in containers on a rooftop in NYC.