Every year on the third weekend of July thousands of people converge in the small city of Sequim, Washington for the annual Lavender Festival. It is harvest time for lavender and it is in full blossom…the fields are absolutely gorgeous! It is a busy weekend with festivities both in downtown Sequim and at the many lavender farms.
Sequim is located in the Olympic rain shadow making it the perfect place to grow lavender. The first lavender was planted in Sequim approximately 20 years ago and there are now dozens of lavender farms across the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. Sequim has actually been nicknamed the “Lavender Capital of North America”! I’ve included a link to a great article if you would like to learn more about Sequim lavender.
While attending this years festival I decided to purchase fresh-cut lavender to make a lavender wreath. I was concerned that the lavender would mold if I made the wreath while the lavender was too wet, so I decided to let it partially dry for about 1 week. It takes 2 weeks for lavender to completely dry.
There are only three materials needed to make a wreath, a small grapevine wreath, floral wire and of course fresh lavender. The wreath is simple to make but does require some time and patience.
1. Begin by making small “bouquets” of lavender. The blossoms vary in size; start your bouquet with longer blossoms in the back and add shorter blossoms in the front. Each bouquet should consist of 15-20 stems of lavender. Secure the stems by tightly wrapping them together with floral wire. Cut off the stems approximately 1″ below the wrapped floral wire. The amount of bouquets you need will vary depending on the size of wreath you decide to make.
2. Next begin adding the lavender bouquets to the grapevine wreath securing the bouquets to the wreath with floral wire. You will need to vary the position of the bouquets as shown so that your wreath is full on the outer and inner edges. Don’t cut the wire as you add each bouquet…work with one continual piece of floral wire. Continue working all the way around the wreath until the bouquets are joined into a circle.
3. You’re finished! That is unless you prefer to add more color by adding a ribbon to the wreath for hanging. I decided not to use ribbon on mine but instead hung it with a piece of fishing line.
A couple of tips….you can spray your wreath with hairspray to help maintain the color and spray with lavender oil when the scent begins to fail. Oh and don’t throw away the pile of lavender buds that fall off while your working. You can purchase small sheer bags (or make them) and fill the bags with buds to make great smelling sachets for your drawers.
Hopefully you will have an opportunity to visit the Lavender Festival and pick your own Sequim lavender in the future. When you do, don’t miss the lavender ice cream or maybe even a lavender margarita!