Lavender Love

Lavender Heart

I love lavender: the plant, the flower, the scent, the memories it evokes.  I love rubbing an old-world lavender plant between my hands and inhaling the wonderful floral-citrus aroma of the leaves and flowers.

2013 June 310

What better way to celebrate this love, and keep the scent with me year-round, than to make a heart out of flowering lavender stems. I can’t remember where I got the idea for making lavender hearts, and I don’t pretend to have invented the craft, but I present here the steps I use to create my lavender hearts, with a few tricks I have developed over time to make it easier and more stable.


  • 8-12 flowering lavender stems (even number)
  • 5 feet of ribbon (cut into one 4′ and two 6″ lengths)
  • two clothes pins or clips

It’s best to pick the flowers before they have opened, and preferably early in the day. Of course I missed my window, so these heads have bloomed, and are therefore bulkier. They still smell lovely, and I’m sure the scent will last. I used 12 stems for this heart.

Arrange the stems with the base of the flower heads staggered to create a lovely arrangement and decide what will be the front of the arrangement, or bouquet.

Fold the 4′ strand of ribbon in half and tie it around the base of the flower heads, like so:

Tied Flower Heads

Tie a double-knot, not too tight, and slip the knot to the back of the bouquet.

Separate the stems into three sets, with two in the middle, and an even number on either side, for example if you have eight stems, you would put three on each side and keep two in the middle.

Wrap one strand of ribbon around one set of stems and clip it so it doesn’t come unravelled. Wrap the other strand around the other set of stems and clip it. Leave the two stems in the middle unwrapped.

The arrangement will look like this:

July 040

Using thin pliers, gently crush the base of the two unwrapped stems so that they don’t break when you bend them, and fold them over the back of the bouquet (180 degrees) so that they are pointing in the same direction as the flowers.

Carefully bend each wrapped stem up over the flowers until they cross over in front of the two unwrapped stems. Grab all three sets of stems like this (view from the back):

2013 July 043

Here’s where those two middle stems come in. Pull the two middle (unwrapped) stems up or down to create as much curve in the heart as you would like. In previous years, when I didn’t have the middle stems, the heart had a tendency to twist out of shape, and it tended to be long and thin. With the addition of the two middle stems, my hearts are fuller and more stable.

Now, using one six-inch strand of ribbon, tie it around the base of the heart, at the intersection of the three sets of stems. In the photo above, this would be the point just above my index finger. Tie a double-knot, but not too tight or the stems will twist. Trim off the ends of the 6″ ribbon so you can’t see them.

Unclip the ribbons from the wrapped stems (the double-knotted 6″ ribbon will keep them from unravelling) and unwrap them up to the tied part. Wrap them around the stems, at least once, and bring them to the front of the heart; this part is inexact, do your best, the stems are already secure, you’re just trying to make it pretty at this point. Tie the two ribbons into a bow, then do a double knot so the bow doesn’t come undone. You can still adjust the middle stems to get the shape you want. Place the heart flat on the table and pull the flower heads out and arrange them as desired. Adjust everything until it is juuuust right.

Use scissors to trim the ends of the stems and ribbon.

Take the second piece of six-inch ribbon and loop it around the top so you can hang the heart in a special place. I just placed the ribbon at the back of the heart and threaded one end through each side, then tied an overhand knot

And there you have it. A beautiful lavender heart to share.

Lavender Heart on Door

I gave this heart to my neighbour, as a thank you for letting me cut some of the lavender outside her door. She divided her bush one spring and gave me a plant, but with my black thumb, it never did grow, so I’m back to begging her for stems. The photo above is the lavender heart hanging on her door: thank you Hilary.

And here is a scented rose from my garden. Just because I love scented plants.

Highly scented roses

I live in Vancouver, where lavender grows abundantly. Last weekend, I made my first heart of the season with wild lavender I picked from an abandoned lot, but the photos didn’t turn out and I didn’t have the right kind of ribbon, so I started again with Hilary’s lavender.

I also love lavender because of its connection to France. My paternal ancestors came from France, and I feel a strong affinity to the country, its history and customs, its food, language, culture. My husband and I visited in 1993, and our hope is to some day bring the kids there. My heart is in France.

Last summer, we didn’t get to France, but we did find an abundance of lavender. In Kelowna, we visited Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm on our road trip to Calgary for my niece’s wedding. It was a magical experience. I learned a lot about the different varieties and scents of lavender. And I’ve never seen so much lavender in one place. I encourage you to visit if you’re ever in the area.

Let me know if this craft works for you, and post or send me a picture of your lavender hearts. By this time next year, I expect to see a profusion of lavender hearts on Pinterest.

Love, Theresa

Knotted Daisy Bracelet

Knotted Daisy BraceletIf you are one of the 80% of people in North America living in an urban centre, it’s easy to get caught up in technology and lost in the concrete jungle, disconnected from the world. To maintain your santity, you need to find a way to connect with nature. You really do.

Sometimes all I can manage is a walk to the local park or beach to connect with the earth. I read that walking barefoot in the grass can help with insomnia, so I tried this with one of my kids recently, and it worked; we try to make a habit of it now.

There’s something about spreading my toes on the cool green grass or walking barefoot in the sand, that acts like a reset button for my soul. I feel grounded, refreshed, connected to the earth, strengthened to take on life’s many challenges. A couple of weeks ago, I walked my daughter home from school, and we made daisy chains.

At this time of year in Vancouver, the grass is filled with small daisies. I’ve been looking for instructions on how to knot them into bracelets and headbands and the only instructions I could find say to slit the stem with a knife or fingernail and insert the next flower through the hole in the stem. This doesn’t work for these diminutive lawn daisies. I’ve been fiddling with a solution and settled on this simple method. I do not claim to have invented it, I simply share it here for you to enjoy and pass along.

A white butterfly alights on lawn daisies at Kits Beach. Photo by A. Lavoie

Step 1: Pick 10-15 daisies with the longest stems possible, saving the longest stem for last.

Tighten knot
Step 2: Tie a knot in the stem, making the loop small enough that the flower head doesn’t pull through.

Step 3: Insert stem of second flower into the loop of the first knot.

Pull Down
Step 4: Pull the second stem through the loop until the head is at the knot.

Step 5: Pinch off the excess length from the first stem and make a new knot in the second stem.

Step 6: Keep tying daisies together until you’ve reached the desired length.You can probably be more careful than I was and try to make each stem the same length, for a more symmetrical bracelet.

Tie last stem to first flower
Step 7: Complete the loop by tying the stem from the last (longest) daisy around the stem of the first daisy!

And you’re done, you have a complete loop you can use for a bracelet, head band or necklace.

Closeup of a Daisy Chain daisy.





So go ahead, be a flower child, connect with the earth, sink your toes into the grass, weave flowers into your hair, and sleep sweetly tonight.