Photo by Iain Robertson
Lavender, with its captivating aroma and striking purple blossoms, offers more than meets the eye—or nose. Delve into the art of lavender picking as we guide you through the process, making your experience as enchanting as the results.
The Lavender Backyard Garden is renowned for its Pick-Your-Own (PYO) lavender activities, attracting visitors from across New Zealand who come to our lavender farm to immerse themselves in the fragrance and beauty of lavender.
Step 1: Perfect Timing
Choosing the right time is paramount. In New Zealand, lavender season unfolds between December and January. Timing matters:
- For dried, colorful blooms, visit our farm before December ends, when buds are 25% open.
- To capture lavender's fragrance, opt for early to mid-January, with plants at 70% to 80% bloom. Don't forget to consider a seasonal pass for varied experiences, but remember, it doesn't include activities.
Step 2: What You'll Need
Ensure a smooth trip:
- Buy an admission ticket from our farm shop and pay for the number of lavender jar rings you intend to pick.
- We'll provide a jar and scissors for each activity you've paid for. You can also consider bringing your scissors. However, please note that the jar is for measurement purposes only, and you will need to return both the jar and scissors to us once you have finished picking.
Step 3: Choosing the Right Lavender
With various species and scents, choose wisely. At our farm, we focus on Lavandula Angustifolia (English Lavender) and Lavandula x Intermedia (French Lavender).
- English lavender offers sweet, light scents and bright blue-purple hues, perfect for baking and tea. It blooms from early to late December.
- French lavender boasts strong, sharp scents, primarily used in aromatherapy products. It blooms from mid-December to late January.
Step 4: Begin Picking
The time has come to pick your lavender:
- Grip the stem below the blossoms.
- Use scissors for a clean, swift cut.
- Avoid cutting into the woody part of the stem.
- As your jar can't hold more stems, your perfect bundle is complete.
Step 5: Wrap it Up
After finishing, return your jar and scissors to our shop. We'll prepare your lavender bundle for you to take home.
Step 6: Keeping it Fresh
To keep your lavender fresh:
- Use minimal water in your vase (about 1cm).
- Keep the water fresh and trim stem bottoms when changing water.
- Place lavender loosely in your vase to prevent mold.
Step 7: Hanging and Drying
Bundle lavender in small bouquets (10-15 stems). Secure with a rubber band or twine.
- Hang bundles upside down in a cool, dark, and dry space.
- Allow 1-2 weeks for the drying process, typically during dry summers.
What to Do with Lavender
After thorough drying, explore various uses for your lavender:
- Create aromatic sachets and potpourri.
- Craft lavender-infused oil or vinegar.
- Design wreaths or home decor.
- Incorporate dried buds into candles, soaps, or bath salts.
- Share your lavender bouquets as thoughtful gifts with loved ones.
In conclusion, the allure of lavender picking awaits you at our farm in NZ. With a perfect timing strategy, essential tools, and knowledge of lavender varieties, you can experience a truly enchanting adventure. After picking, the possibilities are endless, from crafting aromatic sachets to creating lavender-infused delights. Explore this article on 7 Fantastic Ways to Utilize Dried Lavender After Your PYO Lavender Day. Join us for an unforgettable journey and bring home the beauty and serenity of lavender – a truly unique experience you won't want to miss. Come and pick your own lavender, and let nature's charm embrace your senses!