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Lavender royal purple

A Gardener’s Guide for Growing Lavender

Get ready to plant lavender in your garden this season.

Lavender Garden design time -Garden catalogues

Planning your lavender garden

January is a terrific time to design your landscape, choose the flowers and vegetables that you want to grow this year, order seeds and get leads and information on how to grow your favourite plants. And so, its a  perfect time to share some tips on how to grow lavender.

 

 

 

Lavender angustafolia Hidcote

Hidcote Lavender the deepest purple lavender is ready to bloom

The focus is on Lavandula angustifolia which is commonly known as English lavender.  It comes in assortment of colours from deep purple to lavender and even a blush pink that is so light that you’d swear it looks white in mass plantings.  Lavender with its lovely fragrance is part of the mint family.  It has made a come back in recent years and is now commonly grown in home gardens for it’s beautiful aroma, pretty flowers, culinary and therapeutic benefits – and isn’t it just a romantic plant that takes our stress away?

 

 

Quick Lavender growing tips

This easy-care plant typically enjoys hot, dry conditions, making it suitable for use in a variety of landscape settings and an excellent candidate for beginner gardeners or those who tend to forget to water their gardens.    Once it is established this plant is very forgiving although it is important to keep in mind that lavender is drought tolerant not drought resistant, so in dry years it will still need some TLC.

Stoechas Spanish Lavender

Lavender Stoechas with its pretty butterfly wings in not suitable for overwintering in Ontario lavender gardens

Although Lavender stoechas is readily available at garden centres across Ontario in the springtime.  This  pretty butterfly petalled tenSome der heat loving varietal will not withstand overwintering in Ontario even in the mild winters of Essex County.  It is more adept to the indoors or more the temperate climates of Spain or Texas and can only tolerate winter temperatures around 45 degrees.

 

Keep reading to learn more about lavender plant care.

 

 

 

How to Grow Lavender in the Garden

Lavender coconut ice

Lavender comes in all colours even a blush pink

Lavender seeds are  very slow to germinate and often not successful.  Beginner gardeners are best advised to purchase seedling plants in 4 inch pot.  This is the most reliable way to grow lavender. Growing lavender plants is an easy endeavor provided you give them what they need. Although lavender can tolerate a variety of growing conditions, this plant thrives best under warm, sunny conditions in well-drained soil.

To grow lavender outdoors choose a area that has full sun. If it is planted in partial shade  the plant will reach for the sun and not have any flowers on the shady side.  Sandy loams are ideal.  If you have clay amend the soil by adding sand, vermiculite and some gravel.  Plant the lavender in raised beds or mound the soil.  During the first few weeks pinch the flowers so that the lavender plant puts its energy into growing a healthy root system.  The plant should be watered weekly  and given a light fertilizer feeding for the first 3 months. If it is a dry year then continue watering regularly.

Lavender is native to arid regions, the plant will not tolerate moist or overly wet conditions; therefore,

Colourful lavender plants

The deep rich colour of lavender plants

it’s important to consider location when growing lavender plants, especially in Ontario where we have wet springs and falls. That’s why it’s recommended to mound clay soil to raise the plant so if its a rainy year they don’t get their feet too wet.

Lavender should be located in areas with adequate drainage and spaced far enough apart to ensure good air  circulation. Be sure to clear away leaves or mulch in early spring. This will help reduce the chance of developing root rot.

 

 

Lavender Plant Care

Pretty mounds of lavender

Well pruned lavender

Once established, lavender plants require little care or maintenance. While they should be watered regularly early on, established plants need water in dry years and a bit of fertilizer after blooming. Regular pruning is recommended in the fall time.  Pruning not only keeps lavender plants neat looking in appearance, but also helps to encourage new growth.  Lavender can be cut back  to about a third of the new growth.  Severe pruning is only recommended in years of heavy frost.

 

We’ll share more tips for growing lavender including information about pruning,  harvesting  and varietals we grow in future blog posts.

Lavender royal purple

Lavender bloom at Serenity Lavender 2020

 

 

 

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Preserving Herbs

 

 

 

You grew and cooked with fresh herbs all summer but now as fall is upon us and what will you to do with all those remaining herbs in the garden.  This workshop will teach you techniques to preserve the bounty of your fresh herb garden.   You’ll learn some of the creative ways to store and preserve those garden flavourings and which technique is best for your favourites.  We’ll share some of our favourite recipes and  herb blend creations that you can enjoy for months to come.  Participants will receive a notebook and complementary bottle of  culinary lavender.

Cost $25.00 +hst

Tickets available on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/enjoy-your-garden-herbs-year-round-tickets-50015283058

 

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Spring Wreath Workshop

Why have a beautiful hand made wreath just for Christmas, when we can welcome in Spring with an Easter Wreath too.  Come learn how to make an adorable wreath for your door to celebrate spring!  We’ll use decorative mesh and ribbon, and lots of Easter extras.

All materials provided. The class is $45.00 plus hst for a couple of fun, relaxing and creative hours… just… for… YOU!!

The class size is limited to 10 participants. Register at  www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-wreath-workshop-tickets-43181274354

 

 

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Save the date!! Lavender Festival 2018

Sometimes it’s best to brainstorm when you are far away from all the hustle and bustle of the daily routine of home an work.  Last year Serenity’s Lavender Festival exceeded all of our expectations.  The turnout was amazing, the weather was picture perfect but we did not yet have our new hospitality centre and so with a new building smack dab in the centre of our parking and vendor area, with  a full service restaurant open 7 days a week,  a brainstorming session was in order.  Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out the Festival activities.  A sprinkle of new with old making this an even better festival for all ages!

Lavender is, of course still  the star of the show and choosing a date can be a challenge not too early and not too late to miss the peak of bloom.  And then there are all the other wonderful festivals in Windsor Essex to keep in mind.  We’ve chosen June 30th and July 1st and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that mother nature is as kind to us as she was last year!  So pencil that date into your calendars and we hope to see you for another Scentscational Experience!!! 

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