Lavender and summer's end

Summer is drawing to a close and with that comes the annual pruning of the lavender bush. It must be six years since I dumped it as a small sprigling  in a hollow wall brick, to take its chances and it has thrived. The bees turn it into a busy, humming factory and  continue to try to gather pollen even when the flowers are completely over. Which is why I leave pruning until the very end of the season.

This year I have pruned back harder than ever, in an effort to make it a little smaller and bushier. It now looks rather rugged and shorn, but there are tiny leaf nubs emerging. I cut right back to the tiniest ones, as near to the main stems as possible and remove as much deadwood as I can find. 
There has been a bumper harvest. Each year I bring it into the house to dry in a basket, and use it as natural kindling when we begin to use the wood burner. Every time I light the stems on a chilly winter's night, the smoke smells faintly of hot, herb scented summer days and I remember the sunny, buzzing sound of foraging bees.


Karren said...

What a marvelous idea! I never thought of using the lavendar as fire starters! That smell in winter must brighten your days considerably. Good thought.

Granny Sue said...

I envy you that crop of lavender. I've had little luck getting plants established for the past 5 years. I think I'm going to try buying bigger plants and see if that helps.

School on the Heath said...

Beautiful blog. I would so love to visit your garden Gretel.