I've been super busy this past week and a half making bouquets and lavender wreaths. I finally got around to putting all the listings up on Etsy today.
One of the number one complaints or questions I get about dried lavender is related to shedding. You certainly can minimize shedding by drying the bunches properly and picking them at the right time. The best time to pick lavender is before the flowers fully open. This will help a lot in minimizing shedding. Dry bundles upside down in dark shed or garage, but it's important there be good air circulation as well.
Even with all these precautions lavender can still shed. By nature it's very delicate. Most dried flowers experience some breakage and shedding because well they are dried, of course. Dried flower are more brittle than fresh flowers. To help combat shedding, I give a light dusting of florist preservative spray to my bouquets and wreaths. This seems to help with the brittleness and the shedding. You can buy the preservative spray at Hobby Lobby or you can simply dust dried flowers with a light coating of hairspray.
Another question I sometimes get is why the bouquets and wreaths are so expensive. Lavender can be costly to purchase. If you grow your own you need many, many bundles to make a single wreath. Also lavender bouquets and lavender wreaths are quite time intensive to make. These are not items you can just pop out quickly. They take time to design and create.
For my wreaths I ask at least for 1-2 weeks time to create the wreath. I do not pre-make my wreaths generally. I like to make them as fresh as possible so they re not just sitting in storage for weeks or months at a time. The other reason is simply lack of storage. They do take up a lot of room and I'd rather just make them up when I get an order and ship it off.
Shipping is usually 2 days priority mail. Do not shoot the messenger on the shipping costs! I know shipping can be a real pain and expensive, but USPS creates the rates not shop owners. Wreaths and big orders of bouquets aren't usually very heavy items, but they must be shipped in larger boxes, which increases costs. USPS charges more for anything that weighs a pound or more and anything that exceeds 12 inches. I do try to ship as cheaply as possibly, but I do prefer Priority mail as opposed to Parcel Select Ground. Parcel Select takes up to 9 days and it's slow, but also the package will be jostled around much more often (it says so right on the USPS website if you look it up). With the delicate nature of wreaths and bouquets, I do not want to chance damage. I'm always working and playing around with shipping to try to get things shipped as economically as possible. However, on some larger or heavier items it is a challenge.
Just as a note: I do only make a limited supply of wreaths and bouquets. When my lavender is out I am usually done! Sometimes I will get extra lavender from other farms or vendor sources to fill an order if I am out. However, I am dependent on how much is available in the market.
Right now I have quite a few bundles so I am happy to put up some new listings.
So now on to the wreath and bouquet pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. Hubby and I have a new camera and have been having fun learning with it.