It's the lavender flowers. On Saturday they looked like this
I have twenty two metres of accidentally purchased voile that is perfect for lavender bags. Father planted some small lavender sprigs which are now huge swathes that are now blocking the path and they are probably ready for picking. I have been watching the weather and this morning there are lots of puddles still in the street. It isn't ideal, but I thought it worth a risk. I started picking some stalks when I got back from dropping bear at school. Not only did I oversleep, but I was concerned about picking them damp so it was after 9am when I got out.
It was a fail. First, and significantly, I didn't know where to start. There are masses of stalks, all fragrant and elegant. I could have just got stuck in, but the other problem made me think twice. The lavender is full of bees. In fact the lavender is really heavily full of bees. Not all of them are from the chimney either. Some of them are bumble bees and they look like they could punch harder than me. I picked a few sprigs and then retreated.
I could wait until evening, but the forecast is looking damp for this week. This was my best window of opportunity. Then when they come in I do have a space to dry them - but it is going to be decorated. The only really suitable space at the moment will be painted. There are very limited places elsewhere to hang them, the house is being turned upside down (not before time) and I think they would be a fragrant nuisance. Next year there is a good chance I will be able to organise things better. This year I am planning to keep going with my sudden clearing.
If I don't harvest and dry the lavender then the bees will thank me, there will be significantly less trouble and clutter and I can just hack it back with shears when I really need to walk past the plants. However I won't have lavender flowers to make lavender bags.
Did you know you can buy dried lavender flowers on my friend eBay? I don't suppose I would get more than 100g of dried flowers no matter how carefully I harvested, but I can buy 1kg of dried Yorkshire lavender for £6.99 including postage. I suspect this good price is for the end of last year's harvest, but around October when I start thinking of the church fair I am confident I would still be able to get a decent price.
So, if I am going to make lavender bags and not do other stuff with the voile, is it worth me leaving the lavender where it is and not cluttering up space and then buying what I need later on? We have just had to shell out for a much needed laptop for DH, and I can see a lot of expenses coming up. Do I abandon the idea of lavender bags for this year or do I still go ahead, make the lavender bags but use money instead of time and effort to get the flowers for them? Or do I take on the bees and just get on with it? After all, I could have probably picked quite a handful of stalks while I was typing this.
I think I will abandon the lavender harvest this year, especially as it has just started raining. I may or may not purchase the flowers later, I will see how things are in October. I may be being profligate, I am determined to be realistic.
I still haven't had a call back from the Council. I don't remember being given any paperwork when father moved to the home, but I remember how clear they were that it had to be a nursing home, with the ability to provide medical care and not just residential, and that he couldn't come home as he needed too much medical care. There was certainly no attempt to set up any payment.