Lavender is coming on strong at Hauser Creek Farm. Some days I catch myself just listening to the din of bees, busy at work in the blooms. At market this past Saturday, I took a big basket of loose lavender stems en bulk. Some folks seemed to enjoy the opportunity to buy a little or a lot, depending on mood. Regardless of the amount, bringing lavender indoors adds a whole other dimension to its beauty. Generally, once the stems come under the clippers, I bunch them up into bundles and then hang them upside down to dry in our barn. The bundling process is simple: First, grab a handful of stems. A rule of thumb is to look at your wrist and then fashion a bundle a little smaller than that. Some references suggest no more than 100 stems per bundle (to prevent mold from developing). Holding the lavender bundle in one hand, take a rubber band and wrap it 3 to 4 times around the stem ends. The advantage to using rubber bands is, over time, as the stems dry they shrink, and so does the rubber band. Of course, there are other methods to bundling lavender, but the rubber band technique is my favorite. Once bundled, lavender can be hung in any room in your house or placed in a vase. Let the fragrance of fresh lavender fill your home!
Hello, friends! Spring arrived with a bang, and the view from the barn porch is now splashed with rounded green domes in the lavender field. I witnessed an incredible green-up in just a few short weeks. The first tiny lavender buds appeared, well ahead of schedule thanks to unseasonably warm weather. Then came a late frost this month which nipped the buds. That means those lavenders could be blooming later rather than earlier. So while the only apparent color right now is green, my mind jumps ahead to May and June - we will be seeing purple very soon.
As a lavender grower, I am learning as I go. Out of 7 varieties and 650 plants, all but one (variety) have proven to be winners in our USDA hardiness zone 7. Hidcote, munstead, grosso, provence, and Fred Boutin have fared exceptionally well. Likewise, so has Spanish lavender, which surprised me with blooms at the end of March! The exception is Goodwin Creek - I will not plant this variety again as it is evidently not tough enough for North Carolina. However, the truth about lavender is this - what doesn't work for one grower could work just fine for the next person.
To ensure that you get the latest lavender news, be sure to join our facebook page. We'll have updates there on bloom time, lavender availability, market dates/locations, and events.