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What to Do With All That Lavender


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Kim said,

Saturday, June 23. 2007 at 19:10 (Link) (Reply)

I'm so glad to hear you rave about 'Grosso' as I just bought 6 little pots of that this year and am planning to turn it into a hedge!

As far as tips, I considered lavender an annual at my old house because of the heavy clay soil there... until someone gave me this tip: Mound up the soil (just your regular garden soil) 6-8 inches high at the highest point and at least 18 inches around. Then plant the lavender at the top of the mound. And don't mulch it very much at all! This helps its roots drain and keeps it happier.

I'm not sure how it will work for Michigan clay, but my lavender was on its third year in my Ohio clay when I moved out of that house. I haven't tried the tip since, though--here I'm blessed with soil that's so well-drained I can't even grow hydrangeas very well.
Genie said,

Sunday, June 24. 2007 at 00:21 (Link) (Reply)

Colleen, thanks for the great tips -- I need to cut the blossoms off my lavender plant and bring them in to dry -- I have so many! And while I'm happy to cook with them, I love some of your ideas, too. Keep a sachet under my pillow sounds lovely!
farmingfriends said,

Sunday, June 24. 2007 at 14:10 (Link) (Reply)

I love lavender but haven't got any in my garden yet. Your post is very useful. Thanks for sharing this information.
Sara from farmingfriends
Annie in Austin said,

Monday, June 25. 2007 at 18:00 (Link) (Reply)

Hi Colleen - it was fun to realize we both started blogging last June - congratulations on the start of year 2!

My lavender is lightly blooming in a container- I've had plants in the ground that grew fabulously for short stretches, but the clay eventually got to them and they rotted. Did I tell you about this already?
In years when I've had a fair amount I made Lavender Sticks according to Elizabeth Lawrence's essay in her book Through The Garden Gate. The story is enchanting, so get it if you can; I've extracted just the directions from the book:

Cut stalks and use immediately an even multiple of an odd number, e.g., 18 which is twice 9 or 30 which is twice 15. Cut stalks when the first flower opens, choosing strong stalks 8 to 14 inches long.

You need about 4 or 5 feet of 1/4 inch baby ribbon. Lay the stalks together with the tips of some spikes sticking up beyound the others, making a flowering head about 6 inches in length. Tie one end of the baby ribbon tightly around the stems just below the lowest flower. Then you gently bend the stems back over the flower heads, while you weave the ribbon under two stalks, then over the next two, going around and around until you've made the stems into a basket enclosing the flower heads within the ribbon/stick weave, tying it off at the end.

It sounds confusing but becomes apparent as you work, ending up with a little basket that can be tied on a hanger or put in a linen closet.

My lavender is way too soggy to make them this year, but maybe 2008!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Layanee said,

Tuesday, June 26. 2007 at 08:01 (Link) (Reply)

Colleen: I'm with Kim concerning lavender's longevity. My advice on rejuvenating 'Hidcote'? Rip it out and plant another! I do love lavender but it is not reliable here in the Northeast.

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