Friday, July 12, 2013

Lavender Wands--Pieces of July

Evening vespers among the lavender.
Rafters filled with dried lavender bundles.
July is the month to celebrate lavender here at Blooming Hill and, it is also the herb of the month, named by The Herb Society of America.  The harvest is in and although it is just high summer, twilight seems to be already drifting ever-so-quietly over the field and the gleaming sun that coaxed the purple and violet buds out of their tightly wrapped green cloaks, during the month of June, is beginning to set ever-so-slightly in the west as the world spins onward. But, the magic and allure of lavender does not stop with the harvest, oh no.  While life goes on, we can sit back and take stock in a job well done and be thankful for a good season and bountiful crop and maybe wax a little nostalgic, especially when making lavender wands.

The beginning of a lavender wand.
Weaving a wand can be a dizzying experience.
Freshly finished wands.
Victorians were the clever ones who came up with this elegant idea of weaving the frilly fragrant flower heads atop their stately, long stems together with colorful ribbon and fashioned them into a wand, of sorts. Lavender wands, or some may refer to them as lavender bottles, can be big or small, but all can lend their fragrance and calming beauty to sweet dreams on a bedside table, easing a headache, or just perfuming a closet or drawer. When given as a gift, lavender wands can convey the feeling of gentle devotion to another and are often seen gracing wedding party tables. The late 19th and early 20th Century author, Myrtle Reed, wrote, "I've always thought my flowers had souls," in her book, Lavender and Old Lace.  I have come to realize that a lavender wand is a charming expression of it's soul, whimsical yet graceful at the same time.

'Seal' lavender (Lavandula x intermedia).
The crew is happy to be finished and there is never a question as to who gets to ride 'shot gun'.
I still have a few bushes of Seal (Lav. x intermedia) lavender, a long stemmed variety, left purposely uncut so I can make these fairy-like wands and I love the colorful ribbons I use to weave their magic.  I can breathe in the grassy high notes that are intermingled with the citrusy middle and piney bottom notes of lavender all bound together in a simple rainbow of satin.

For a simply elegant experience, just wave your lavender wand and find yourself magically transported back to a summer day in the month of July, any time of the year.
Lavender wands need to be made with freshly cut lavender as the stems should be pliable enough to bend without breaking and for those of us with two left hands and all thumbs, (like me, for instance, since I am left-handed to begin with and could never really master the art of knitting or crochet) weaving lavender wands is a nature-inspired way to create a piece of "Victorian folk art," if that is such a thing, and keep the best pieces of summer close to your heart for several years.

1 comment:

  1. Those are beautiful, Cyndie! I've never seen lavender wands before.