I'm always a little sorry when the time comes to harvest lavender, because I know I'll miss seeing those elegant, elongated blooms gathered in puffy purple clouds in my garden. In the last few years, lavender harvesting time has always come when the boys were away for tournaments and tennis camp, and Rebecca and I alone have woken up early to tackle the job, before the bees swarm the bushes, as they do all day.
This year, Rebecca helped with the harvesting. It's partly age, and at five she's started to be really helpful, and partly that she had the right tool: after struggling with my big, heavy shears, and not getting very far with a little knife, we've found that Chinese-style scissors are the perfect tool for an eager young gardener (available here).
But also, she had the perfect dress for harvesting lavender: another French sundress that I whipped up in no time at all, repurposing a French blouse I'd made for myself with a purplish floral pattern. The blouse didn't fit me too well, and I'd never actually worn it, so I didn't feel too bad when I cut it up, made a bodice out of the sleeves, and used the front and back to make the skirt. Making a girl's sundress out of a woman's blouse was a quick job, though it made a very short dress.
So, isn't this why lace ribbons are made, to lengthen a sundress made out of mamma's blouse? It all worked out very well on that day when my girl and I harvested lavender: the repurposed dress, the Chinese scissors, the beautiful summer early morning. The garden looks a little bare now, but our house smells wonderful, again.