The summer holidays are always a little bit challenging for a working mum, and I often find striking the balance between work, entertaining the kids (and myself!) quite a challenge. With this in mind - and definitely more for me than the girls - I took them to Hitchin Lavender Farm on a gorgeous sunny day a few weeks ago.
I think they were rather dubious about a trip to a flower farm but when we got there they had a great time. It was such a beautiful setting - the air was full of busy bees flying over the lavender and the glorious field of sunflowers that was just next to it - the smell was amazing!
We picked lavender to bring home and a few of the sunflowers too. It was a really lovely way to spend a few fragrant hours! I remember as a child, my Mum showing little lavender bunches wound with ribbon which we did have a go at making at the time. So I decided to pick the lavender with good long stems so that I could have a go. You can see my attempts below, with a little tutorial on 'how to' if you fancy having a go yourself. I'm thinking that I might save a few and pop them in with knitted Christmas gifts . . .
1) You will need nine stems of lavender with all the leaves taken off the stems, just over a metre of 6mm ribbon and some strong string (or yarn) to tie them together.
2) Tie the nine stems together with the string, making sure you have slid the ribbon between the stems and the string to secure it. Slip one end of the ribbon through the lavender heads to keep it out of the way, leaving a ‘tail’ which you will use later to make a bow. The longer end will be used to wrap the stems.
3) Make sure the string is tied tightly around the stems and pull each stem to ensure the flower head sits tight onto the knot. Fold the stems back on themselves, this is why it is essential to use fresh lavender so that the stems are still flexible. Start weaving the ribbon in and out of the stems, under and over, the first couple of rounds are a bit tricky!
4) Keep weaving the ribbon rounds until you have covered all the flower heads. Every now and again stop to tighten the ribbon, this makes it look better at the end.
5) When you have wrapped the flower head use the two ends of the ribbon (one is threaded through the inside) to tie a knot and a bow. Trim the ends of the ribbon.