My mum taught me how to made bouteille de lavande (lavender bottles) when we moved to Provence, France when I was 9. Apparently I then stole some lavender from the local field, made a few and then sold them for 10 Francs each outside the village hairdresser! I also used to make them as presents and I recently found this one in my great godmother’s room. It’s 17 years old. Pretty cool.
Well it’s lavender harvest time at the moment so my mum took my girls round her garden to cut the lavender and then we sat and made some lavender bottles. We didn’t have any ribbons so we made simple ones. Here’s a how to.
Step 1. Cut the lavender after it has flowered but whilst the stalks are still green. You have to make the bottles as soon as possible after as otherwise the stalks will break when you bend them.
Step 2. Gather a bouquet aligning the purple pods to start at the same place. I recommend a thick bouquet as this gives you more stalks to cover the pods with. Slide your fingers down the stalks to clear off any leaves or small sprigs. Tie tight.
Step 3. Turn your bouquet upside down. Hold the purple pods in one hand and then gently fold the stalks down with the other, rotating the bouquet as you go to evenly cover the pods. The idea is to contain the lavender inside the folded down stalks.
Step 4. If you are using ribbon (like in the first photo) you then have to weave it in and out of the stalks, starting at the top and then you use it to secure the bouquet at the bottom. As you can see, we just tied the bouquet at the bottom with string.
Et voilà! A garden crop, turned into beautiful fragrant bouteilles de lavande. And we kept the loose pods and rejected stalks in a bowl, which my mum will add to her fire over the winter.