Our Woodland Bouquet In Outre' Bride
I was super excited to notified by Swatch Studios Photography that they had taken some wonderful professional wedding photos of a wedding in Toledo. I had made the bouquet for the bride. It was our Woodland Bouquet, which is truly one of my favorites. It is made of Grosso lavender, ivory and blue larkspur, basil green and dark caspia, ammobium (winged everlasting), ornamental grasses (bunny tails), golden wheat, tiny blue star flowers, and lichen.
I wanted to share the link to Outre' Bride a website that also ran the pictures as well. I posted this news on our Facebook page and Instagram a few weeks ago, but didn't around to blogging about it until now. I was making another bridal party set of Woodland bouquets today and taking some new photos and this came to mind.
Truly some beautiful photos and we were glad to be part of the special day in some small way. Our Woodland bouquets and boutonnieres can be found on our shop (click shop tab). I believe the bride here is holding a medium size bouquet. So there is one size up. They are good size bouquets. Again, one of my favorites to make!
I am so excited for fall! It's my favorite season of all. We've had some cooler days and nights lately. I must say I am enjoying the cool breezes and windows open.
It's also clean up time for the lavender fields. The new plants are growing well sans the the outer rows, which I reported earlier were becoming candy for bunnies. My husband seems to have stopped their progress. We switched from spray to granules on the deer/rabbit repellent, which seems to be working better. We also bought some cute wind chimes we put on a shepherd's stake out in the field. The noise is supposed to help keep the critters away. They do look pretty in the field. I am seeing some new growth on the munched plants.
I've been busy adding some new bouquets to the shop. First, is our Autumn Festival bouquet, which is an autumn-inspired bouquet similar to our Summer Festival bouquet. Next, is our Country Meadow Wildflower bouquet. It was born out of doing a custom design for a bride and I really loved the results. It has a very vintage feel. The last is a cute little posey that I call the Winged Everlasting and Lavender Bouquet. Winged everlasting is the name for ammobium, which is a daisy-like flower that is a native to Australia. I use ammobium as a filler in a lot of my bouquets, but I thought made a really cute little bouquet with some lavender tucked in as well.
We are looking forward to fall. We've already hit the cider mill once with the family and had a great time feeding the goats, getting apple cider and fresh peaches (still in season for a bit). Emma, our granddaughter, had a great time! Happy Fall!
I have been busy working on a few new bouquets and revamping a few existing bouquets as well.
First up is our herbal bouquet. I previously had this bouquet listed, but I added some safflowers to the mix of Santa Cruz Oregano, Grosso Lavender, and ammobium (daisy like flowers). I love the contrast with the safflowers. I also have a love affair with SC oregano. I have used it in one of our new wreaths as well (also pictured). It pairs well with lavender and I love the bohemian touch it gives to overall look of the design.
Here are a photos of lavender/SC oregano wreath I have posted before.
I've also added some different ribbon choices to the Fancy English lavender bouquets. They comes in twine, lace and purple ribbon. They are also a little bigger. English lavender is shorter than French or Intermediate lavender, but it's often very deep in color and very fragrant. I think it has a beautiful romantic look. The little bouquets are very pretty and make great table arrangements, favors for place settings or weddings or showers, home decor and can be used as a sweet flower girl bouquet.
The last listing is an all new bouquet: The Autumn Harvest bouquet, which has Grosso lavender, English lavender, golden wheat, ornamental grasses, orange foxtail millet, ivory larkspur, red wildflowers, yarrow, and ammobium. The purple lavender contrasts with the fall colors in red, ivory, orange and yellow. A perfect fall wedding bouquet or harvest centerpiece. These bouquets will stand on their own for table top arrangements.
That's what is new in the world of Lavender Rose Floral Designs. We are still working on the fields as well. We have replaced a few of our plants that took a beating from the wet beginning this summer. Things are growing well in the fields. I am in the planning stages of a butterfly garden/perennial garden and a sunflower and zinnia patch for next season! More news to come.
Want to grow lavender too? We can help! Lavender is a wonderful perennial to have in your landscaping, whether you want to grow in your garden, as a backyard farm or larger farm. Let us guide you through the process of selecting, planting, caring for, and harvesting your own lavender.
HOW IT WORKS: Consultations are available by phone. Please see our Etsy shop listing at the below link for details and to set up a consultation.
When ordering from this listing please provide your phone number and 2 choices of dates/times you are available to discuss. Please note I am on Eastern Standard Time. Please include your email address for materials to be emailed after the consultation.
Most consultations last about half an hour to one hour depending on the number of questions you have. I can also email you some tutorial type of materials, websites and other resources I have gathered in researching my own farm. We also offer troubleshooting and suggestions for troubled plants or growing problems.
It is important to note that lavender will only grow in certain zones/areas. Lavender is usually hardy in USDA zones to 5 to 10 .
CREDENTIALS: We are members of the US Lavender Growers Association and the Great Lakes Lavender Grower's Association.
ABOUT US: We have grown in colder climates (zone 5 and 6), but we can also help those in warmer climates. We specialize in "grow where you are" type farming such as urban/suburban farming. This consult is perfect for the backyard farmer or those who are are just getting started. We can also help those who are looking to grow on more traditional types of farms.
We originally started our farm as a backyard farm in a suburban area. We are now on several acres and have over 250 plants in 7 different varieties.
WHO THIS CONSULTATION WORKS FOR: While we do share a lot of helpful hints and articles on our Facebook page along with our blog that chronicles the journey of our lavender farm from backyard plot to small farm, this consult goes more in depth and can be customized to meet your specific needs and climate.
Yesterday I woke up feeling a bit in the funk. It was the fifth anniversary of my father's death. However, hubby and I decided to make the most of the day. We took our dog, Murphy, to get his nails trimmed at PetSmart. He also got some treats and food, lucky pup!
We then drove out to Parran's nursery in Ida, Mi. It's a nice drive out by so many farms. Driving around in the country always puts me at ease and gives me sense of peace.
The season is winding down at the nursery, but we were able to pick up a tray of Munstead lavender all cut back. I am replacing some Hidcote that we lost to excessive rain/hungry bunnies. I've had pretty good luck with Munstead in the past so we will give it a go.
We also got some wonderful Mexican heather. It's not a perennial here in zone 6, but I will give a shot at bringing it inside during the fall and winter. I love how it looks at our front entry.
We also got some baskets for the front porch 2 for 10. Can't beat that for late summer color.
Love the colorful plants on our front porch.
We ended the evening by the entire family, including our granddaughter, going down to the Independent Dairy for ice cream. So all in all, not a bad Sunday after all.
It's been a learning experience doing major planting this year. We have had so much rain which is NOT good for lavender as they don't like wet feet. Another grower in the Ohio area was complaining of plants dying because of too much rain. I guess that's farming and agriculture. You are at the mercy of Mother Nature. I find myself surveying the fields daily. I walk the rows and look plant by plant. Plants that are looking suspect I am trying to determine dead or not dead. However, I see some little green sprouts even on those looking a bit bleak so I give them a chance to rebound. Some I have pulled and replaced. That is disheartening for sure. I am rooting for each one to survive and get sort of depressed when I lose one. Even with weed barrier, the field is still requiring some weeding of grass that pops up around the plants. So this is a near daily activity - survey and pull grass.
The Hidcote is looking overall crappy and I am super bummed. Probably lost half a row of 37 plants. Rabbits? We think so. We have a ton of rabbits on our property. I see them every evening and morning around the lavender fields. I thought rabbits were not supposed to like lavender so I was not worried - but apparently they do like it. I read on a couple of rabbit owner forums some owners give it to them as a treat. I thought GREAT, lavender is rabbit candy!
The same grower complaining of rain in Ohio also was complaining of rabbits eating the lavender. That is what clued me in to what might be happening with the Hidcote. It is the first row on the outside of the bed and near enough tree cover that the rabbits can hop out, munch down, and take cover again quickly if need be. Initially, I thought the Hidcote was dying due to too much rain; but it was odd only the outer row was struggling. I think rabbits are the major culprit in the demise of the first row. Hidcote is also a sweeter English lavender used for culinary purpose. On the opposite side of the field, the outer row is Phenomenal, which is an intermediate lavender and not as sweet. There is tree cover close there but they don't seem to be eating it.
I initially tried vinegar on rags and cotton balls to keep the rabbits out, but that honestly isn't very practical for a plot of over 250 plants to keep reapplying. We thought of putting bags of Irish Springs, but I would have had to cut or shred a LOT of soap. So we got some natural repellent from Family Farm and Home store, which has garlic and vinegar in the ingredients and is safe for pets and people.
I planted a couple of plants I got at Lowe's yesterday as a trial to see if the rabbits would munch in the first row after the repellent was placed. I have some Super Blue and Purple Elegance I got from the Michigan Lavender Festival a few weekends ago sitting in pots. Going to try to put them in the ground in the first row as a replacement for the lost Hidcote if it seems the repellent is working. If the repellent is not keeping them out, we may just have to fence in our field for next year. That will be an undertaking... hoping the repellent works.
As far as our other plants - The Melissa is growing crazy big. The Grosso is doing great. However, I will have to watch how this one overwinters, as it is not as hardy to the cold. The Phenomenal looks pretty phenomenal you could say. Good and strong. The Folgate isn't growing as fast as say the Melissa, but overall looks good and growing well.
I will have to replace some of the Hidcote next season and I also intend to plant bunch of Royal Velvet to fill in the rest of the second plot next year. Hopefully, we will have the Wascly Wabbit situation solved by then. Onto the dog days of summer, hoping we get some warm, dry weather in August.
New Shop Offerings: I have been experimenting making some wreaths. The heart wreath is up on our shop to purchase. I have not listed the Herbal Wreath as of yet and I decided to keep the one pictured to put over my own fireplace. Hopefully I will get it listed in a week or two as I need to get some more supplies. We also partnered with a stained glass studio to bring some lavender suncatchers and spoon rests. I love them and have one hanging on my sliding glass patio door. They are available on our store.
FINALLY FINISHED! Well, with this plot anyway. I have 27 left over Phenomenal plants - see pictured. Will be arranging for tractor dude - as I call him - to come out and till another area for our second plot. He is so reasonably priced and local it's far cheaper than purchasing our own tractor with tiller attachment at this point. It was not in our original plan to do another plot, but this is always a work in progress. We we will have an area tilled and ready to go with some plants in the ground and space to plant for next year.
The grassy area pictured at the end of the current field is where I plan to do the next plot.. I am going to plant these 27 extra plants this year and preorder 72 Royal Velvet for next spring. I wanted this variety because it is a GREAT culinary lavender and has a very deep purple color, but I was unable to find it this year locally. There were a couple of lavnder farmers in the state who had it but it would have required a 3-hour, one-way trip to go get them Normally I am not one to mind a road trip, but with moving, planting, graduation party, and lots of orders to fulfill it just wasn't possible. By next summer e will have over 300 plants in the ground with 5 different varieties 4 English and 2 intermediate (if all plants make it through the winter) Thanks for following this journey. Will keep posting news and updates.
We started tilling our plot a few of weekends ago. This is our first year of large planting. We had a small plot at our suburban home before we moved early this year. Since moving, we have a couple of acres to work with. I thought we were starting out small - until the plot was tilled and we started spreading the weed barrier and it didn't seem so small anymore!
This has been a learning process. I have done several trial plots at our old home and also when we lived in Marquette, but the plants numbers were relatively small (under 30 plants). This has been about 3 years in the making and the time had finally come to do our own lavender field! It has been a dream come true, but also it has been a trial and error process.
First, we had our friend bring his chain saw and we had to take down some hefty tree branches that were shading the proposed planting area. Then, we attempted to till the area with our neighbors tiller. However, it was not strong enough to get through the grass. We went to plan B. We found a local man who had a tractor with a tiller attachment and paid him to come till our plot. That worked great! However, after tilling and putting down the weed barrier, we realized we miscalculated and not all the plants would fit in the plot! We will end up having 26 extra plants with no place to go. Oh no! On to Plan C.
We are finishing up the plants that will fit in the current plot. I have one more row of Phenomenal to plant tomorrow. Then, we will call our handy tractor friend to come out and till another small plot adjacent to the current plot to place the left over plants. Which means more weed barrier and so forth. However, we will have a new plot tilled for next year to add more plants!
This has been a process and learning experience. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and it definitely was WAY more physical than I anticipated. My husband had valve replacement surgery in January and his tolerance for heat and exertion is not 100% yet. He went down with heat exhaustion one day, which was very scary, but he is doing much better and we are all much more cautious to get out early on hot days and keep hydrated.
I relied very heavily on my sons to help me as well. Thank you to Kyle and Conner. I appreciate wholeheartedly all the hard work they did digging, planting, laying tarp, watering. Our little granddaughter even jumped in and was having fun putting down the pea gravel. She loves the lavender field and that is her in the picture above this post.
Weather: Friend or Foe? Wouldn't you know the week we have been planting was in upper 80s and 90s. However, at least we didn't have to fight a lot of rain. We learned to get up and out in the field very early while the plot was shaded in the morning. Some days we had to stop by 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning due to heat.
Once we got to planting it was much more enjoyable, but we had about 225 plants between our new plants and older transplants from the other house. The varieties we planted are: Grosso, Phenomenal, Folgate, Hidcote, and Melissa. I am hoping to get some Royal Velvet and possibly Violet Intrigue next season.
I am very grateful to a handful of friends who came to help us plant. They worked hard and sweated with us. We couldn't have done it without you, Tommy and Tina. While I don't know it if necessarily "fun" for all involved, the hard work has paid off as we are nearing the end of planting. I do know my fitbit has been exploding in fireworks for meeting and exceeding my step goals. Who needs a gym with this kind of work out.?
I will keep everyone updated and post more pictures as we continue to progress. It's our second son's grad party this weekend! So we will be taking a planting break for the party and a bonfire following.
A reminder our shop is OPEN! While it's a challenge juggling orders (it's wedding season) and planting I am finally feeling caught up. Please stop by our store and check our products out.
Happy summertime to all! Enjoy the gallery that documents our planting experience so far.
Hi everyone! I've had little time to blog lately due to our construction at the new house and the upcoming move. We had a new wall built to make a den into a fourth bedroom and also a closet built. We are the stage where we can paint it now. We are finishing up painting and prep and have started move some things over. Our movers will be coming soon for furniture. Here are some photos of the almost finished 4th bedroom, before painting.
While the construction was ongoing I was working on getting out a wedding party of bouquets and boutonierres. These were our Summer Festival Meadow Bouquets. While our carpenter was working away I sat at my new island in my new kitchen and made these (see below). See the boutonierres also at top of page.
I've closed our shop again. Hopefully, I will reopen next week as it is a busy time of year for us, but we may have to extend until after Memorial Day pending how fast we get settled in and I have my products and supplies set up.
I have moved on to the actual packing of the old house in force toay. However, we did take some time out last weekend to run up to Telly's in Shelby Township to a little over 200 lavender plants. We got some English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) such as Hidcote, Folgate, and Melissa. We also got some Grosso and Phenomenal plants (Lavandula x intermedia).
I am still searching for some Royal Velvet. Some other lavender growers in Michigan have kindly let me know they have some available, but it would require several hours travel for me to their farms and at this time we are too bogged down by moving for the trip. I am looking into possibly trying to get them after the move or ordering them online (out of state) if all else fails. I really love the color of the Royal Velvet, and it makes an excellent culinary lavender. All English lavender can be used for culinary purposes if you were wondering. However, I am picky and like certain varieties better than others. So we will get our hands on the RV soon.
Our planting day will be coming soon! We are hoping for and shooting for the first two weekends in June. A little later than I had hoped, but our move will be done. The plants will be fine in their pots for a couple of weeks as long as I keep them watered. We also have till up an area to plant. I still scoping our sun/shade situation on our 2.25 acres. We have a large flat area, all sun, closer to the river, but since I'd like to monitor the river a full season before planting to see how far the flooding may come up, I am hesitant to plant there just now. Neighbors, however, say it has never flooded past a certain point in 30 years.... but playing it safe.
We have a large berm on the property made for this purpose - to keep any flood waters out about halfway back on the property. We were planning to plant ahead of the berm, but there is a tree casting some shade in part of that area until mid-afternoon. We might have to look at cutting some limbs. We also may have to shift the beds to the far right and extended the beds onto the slope of the berm, which is fine given the slope helps drainage and water has never come close to that point. I have a few weeks to figure it out. I am going out and tracking sun/shade areas pretty much every day I am on site at the property and also looking for any standing water past the berm.
Our next post should be pictures of the planting day upcoming.
Very excited to get GROWING!!
Pictures of our plants below.
Just a Reminder:
Our shop will be closed April 26th through May 7th. Orders already taken and scheduled to ship during this time frame will still go out as planned on scheduled dates. We will not be taking any NEW orders during this time.
While I hate to close the shop during our "busy" period with weddings, showers, etc coming up on the horizon - we do need to get our house in order so to speak.
We have several exciting projects which necessitate me closing the shop. We are moving to our new home/land! We have recently purchased land to expand our farm, as I posted in a previous blog post. If you'd like to see pics of our new property please look at the previous blog post.
We are also in the process of ordering bulk lavender plants from several greenhouses locally. We need to pick up plants and do initial planting. This will not be done until sometime in May after we are moved into our new home. I will definitely post some pictures to the blog and Facebook/Instagram site. We may be having a planting party with friends and family as we will be planting several hundred plants.
Please bear with us while we transition. We are using the next week and a half to finish painting and renovations on the inside of the house and to get packing.
See you all after May 7th!