We are excited to announce that aside from lavender and other botanicals that we grow we also are now going to be designated as a Black Walnut Farm. We have many mature black walnuts trees on our property. Starting in fall of 2018 we will begin harvesting our nuts and taking them to a hulling and buying location in Ohio in the fall (October-November). There they are hulled and the nuts used at a well-know Black Walnut product company called Hammond's. We do not have hulling equipment on our farm. You can check out the company our family will be supplying and the products they make here. Hammonds Black Walnuts
Black Walnuts are low in saturated fat, high in unsaturated fat, and a good source of protein. They have a stronger more earthy flavor then regular walnuts. The nutmeat contains vitamin A, iron, minerals and fiber and serves as a cholesterol- and sugar-free snack or ingredient.
We have been having some really crazy weather here. The Raisin River is flooding. We had some hesitancy when we purchased our house and property as the the river is at the back of our property, but since it's several acres back and we have a few berms on our property, we felt it was safe.
The river is nearly record high. Down the street in both directions at parks on the river there is major flooding. Veteran's Park parking lots are flooded. The water below the dam is nearly up to the drop of the dam! Swing sets, benches and trees are underwater. The river has not made it to the street yet but it's close. Upriver the beautiful park where I take many pictures of the old rustic barn and little white picket fence along the river side park is flooded. The waters are not up to the barn, but they are up close to the top of the bridge that crosses the river at Raisinville Road.
My son trekked back to the river on our property and said the river had not yet reached our fire pit/tin wood shed. There is a bit of berm there so hoping that's as far as it gets. So I think we are fairly safe. The river tends to snake. It's the most winding river I have read. The river winds away from our home/lavender field and we have more property behind us than many of our neighbors. The river is flooding nearby towns of Raisinville Twp and Dundee, Mi. Praying for those who have had to be evacuated.
Here is the latest news on the river: Monroe News River Flooding
Today is a snow day! We are getting snowed in here in Southeastern Michigan. Forecasts are for 6-10 inches of snow and under a winter storm warning. I am cozy inside with a cup of hot coffee. My husband is working from home today and we have been enjoying the many birds outside our kitchen window feeding from the feeders and the bird cakes I recently started making. My son and I added about 6 of the cakes to the tree and bushes on our patio where many birds like to nest. We also have a cardinal couple that resides there. We bought a cardinal feeder as well. Cardinals are very pretty against the snowy backdrop! Since it's a cozy day inside, I thought I'd do a blog to answer some frequently asked questions I get through my Etsy shop and emails.
1. When should I order my dried bouquets? It is best to order at least 8 weeks before an event for wedding parties and custom orders. Occasionally, we can accommodate orders in less time, but we are particularly busy during spring and summer. Our bouquets are made-to-order. Please allow enough time for us to create them for you.
2. Do you carry floral crowns? Not at this time. As answered in our previous blog, we are working on a line of floral crowns. When they are available to purchase we will post them to our shop.
3. How do I store my bouquets and how long will they last? Wrap them in some newspaper or tissue paper to prevent them from drawing in moisture from the air. Then place the wrapped flowers in a box or storage bin so they don’t get crushed. Keep them out of damp basements and overly dry spots, like attics.
Dried bouquets left out for home decor: Dust with a feather duster. While they can last many months to years, dried bouquets eventually will need to be replaced. To minimize fading keep dried bouquets and wreaths out of direct sunlight.
4. How long does dried lavender last? Lavender can last from months to years! If lavender is in sachets you can simply squeeze the bags and the scent returns.
5. Do you do Wholesale? On certain products we are able to give a 10-20 % discount on bulk orders. All of our bulk listings on our shop already have this discount applied to the price. If you need even larger amounts of a product than what is available on our shop you can always drop me a note. We may be able to accommodate depending on stock.
6. How much lavender should I buy to fill my own sachets or to use as wedding toss? A pound of premium dried Lavender buds averages just over 14 cups. How many sachets you can fill will depend on the size of sachet and how full you want them to be. Small wedding toss sachets (3” x 4”) take about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lavender, so a pound of lavender buds will fill about 40 of the small sachets. Wedding Toss Loose: Use about 1/2 to 1 cup per guest if using a basket for guest to help themselves.
7. What variety of lavender is best for culinary purposes? Lavandula Angustifolia (or English lavender) is the best choice. There are many varieties such as Royal Velvet, Hidcote, or Munstead to name a few. French lavender or craft lavender is generally not used for culinary purposes. I prefer Royal Velvet, but have used other English lavender varieties. Currently our farm is growing Royal Velvet, Hidcote, Folgate, and Munstead English varieties.
8. Can I purchase fresh lavender from you? Unfortunately, this is currently not available. Lavender is in bloom usually June-July. Currently we are using all the lavender we produce for our floral designs and products. We are continuing to expand our planting and hope to offer fresh bundles in the future.
9. Do you have bulk dried bundles available (wholesale)? Again, we are currently using all our lavender for our products and to create our floral designs. This may change with increased planting.
10. Where is your farm and when may I visit? We are located in Southeastern Michigan in Frenchtown Township (Monroe, MI mailing address). We are currently not open to the public as we are still in our "creating" stage. We are filing in the rest of our lavender beds in 2018 and creating several other gardens such as herb gardens, rose gardens, perennial gardens and erecting a greenhouse. We do hope to have visits to the farm in the future seasons by appointment, for scheduled workshops, and field trips. We prefer to plan arrivals/departures and traffic flow in the future rather than having set public hours.
11. Speaking engagements: At this time, we do not plan to do any speaking events for 2018. We are currently completely booked between in-person markets, planning/planting our fields and other gardens, and our online shop. My husband works a full-time job and my sons also work/have college so I am our only full-time farm worker. I am our only floral designer for the farm and online orders. Spring and Summer in particular can be very busy with wedding party orders. Please stay tuned for announcements about changes to our availability for speaking engagements, and thank you for understanding.
12: May I schedule a private photography session at your farm? As of this season we are unable to accommodate such events due to many of our plants being fairly young and our fields and gardens are not yet completed However, we DO hope to offer this service hopefully in summer 2019. There will be a session fee of 50.00 for use of the property for 2 hours. Our property is scenic and in park-like setting backed by the River Raisin. It is a ribbon farm. Ribbon farms or strip farms are long, narrow land divisions, usually lined up along a waterway and/or a roadway. We also have many black walnut trees Blue Spruces, Eastern White Pines, wildflowers, a fire pit area and old-fashioned tin wood shed and Weeping Willow by the river. Our plans are to incorporate many more gardens, which will make our property a beautiful place for photography. We will make an announcement when are accepting photography session.
13. Do you consult with would-be lavender farmers? Yes, if you would like a private a consultation I can talk with you by phone or though email if you are not local. There is 50.00 fee for a private consultation that includes more in depth one-on-one information with reading materials provided. You may go to our Etsy shop and find the listing for private consultation and pay online. Please provide contact information so we can arrange to talk via phone or email. Remember I am located in Michigan so my growing conditions may differ from your own. I will do my best to help with your area as far as to adapt the consultation to meet your climate conditions, recommendations for plant varieties, some growers I have used to purchase plants in my area but also nationwide etc. I will also provide a Lavender Grower's Guide that I used when I was first starting out and found very helpful and it's a resource I continue to refer back to.
For Free Information about Lavender Growing: I do post gardening tips/lavender growing information as part of our blog and I post many articles related to growing lavender and other plants on our Facebook page. A great suggestion for prospective lavender farmers is to join the United States Lavender Grower's Association, which also has a Facebook Group where you can go ask questions online. Lavender farmers are generally a helpful lot, however, our time is limited due to own farms and businesses. Networking with USGLA is a great way to meet other growers both online and offline. There is helpful information on the internet about lavender growing as well just start googling. I am completely self taught and did a lot of research and sought out many free resources! A lot of our my experience was good old trial and error. Also you may try to reach out to your extension horticulture agent such as Volunteer Master Gardeners. Here in Michigan it through MSU Extension Program.
14. What is the best way to reach us? Email at email@example.com. You also can send me a note through our website contact form or shop message through our Etsy shop. I try to reply in a timely fashion.
15. Where can I see your products? Online on our website/Etsy shop. I also post regularly to Facebook and Instagram to announce new products. In-Person: Visit our events page on our website. We have our first market 2018 coming up at the Chic and Unique Vintage and Handmade Market in Brownstown Mi on May 12. Full details are on our events page of all upcoming markets.
16. Does your farm just produce lavender? No! As touched on in previous answers, we grow other botancials and flowers, plants and trees. We have about 250 lavender plants currently with another 100 to be planted this season coming (2018). Our varieties included Hidcote, Munstead, Royal Velvet, Folgate, Melissa, Grosso, and Phenomenal. We also will be starting a herb garden. We grow other wildflowers and perennials. As our name indicates we also grow roses. We have multiple rose bushes but plan on starting a rose garden and expanding our planting. We provide dried roses to our shop. We also grow peonies and lilacs. Our farm has many mature Black Walnut trees. In fall, 2018 we will begin supplying a black walnut supplier/product company with our walnuts. We also have wild grapes down by the riverfront that the River Raisin was named after. We will begin to use these to make wild grape jelly this season. We also have plans to plant other berry bushes such as raspberries, blackberries, and thimbleberries.
If I have missed any questions you might have feel free to put the questions in our comment section and I will check back and do my best to answer all questions. Thanks so much for supporting us on our journey.
Lavender Rose Farms LLC
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We do not currently have floral crowns. We are looking forward to making them to match all our bouquets in the future, but we have not gotten there just yet. As soon as I have some created I will post them to the store. We have been super busy with planning and planting our lavender, preparing for spring markets and working on getting our own e-commerce store running on our website. Please be patient!
FLORAL DESIGN ORDERS TIMELINE: Peak Season for floral design/bouquets is around the corner. Spring and summer are our busiest season followed by fall. Bridal parties/large orders. Please order wedding party bouquets at least 8 weeks before the date . Occasionally we can accommodate larger orders with less time but it is dependent on the number of orders we have at the time. Custom orders should allow 6-8 weeks minimum.
WHOLESALE LAVENDER BUNDLES: We currently are using all of our stock for floral design and to fulfill orders. We hope to have additional bundles for wholesale in future growing seasons but currently we are using everything we produce. . Thank you!
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I am always so very happy to receive photos along with the reviews on our Etsy Shop. I get really excited to see any of our products in use, but particularly when I have been working with a bride to create a bouquet, table arrangement, boutonnieres or bridal party bouquets. When I create something custom for the bride it makes that even more special.
In December I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful bride. As our shop is online we don't get to meet in person so we exchanged multiple emails getting an idea what she was looking for. I am always willing to take one of my existing designs on our shop and tweak the color or even add or exchange some of the flowers to suit the bride's needs.
When she told me she was doing a red and gold theme and it was a Celtic theme as well, I was thrilled. I had been wanting to use heather in a bouquet but hadn't gotten around to designing anything. As soon as she said Celtic I suggested heather and blue thistle. I think of the Scottish highlands with that combination. I have mentioned that I am a member of the Northeast Heather Society. We are working towards becoming heather growers. We are in research and networking stages, but we hope to get a heather garden going soon.
We love to see our products in use. We will use your photo on the product's listing and we also like to post to our social media and website. People especially love to see the bouquet with a beautiful bride as do I. We are more than happy to give credit to the photographer. Please send a photo with the watermark or name of the studio you used. We like to have a reciprocal relationship with photographers. We've had photographers send us the wedding photos they took when a bride used our floral design and give us permission to use their photos.
We can accept home photos taken by clients too! As long as you comfortable with the photos being used on our listings, social media or website.
I'd like to invite future brides or really any client to share their photos. Sending a photo with the review on our Etsy shop is a great way of doing this. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the photos.
Pictures from Our Clients
Celtic Meadow Bouquet - New Listing
Happy New Year! It's been very cold here in SE Michigan. The lavender is covered in snow. Hoping that the snow is giving it some insulation. Crossing fingers and saying prayers the little guys make it through the cold spell.
We have been in the planning stage for the next phase of our gardens. Our main priority is to get the lavender field planted. We have Royal Velvet coming this spring, which should bring us up to 300 plants! We may or may not have to do some replacements depending on how the new plants faired over the winter. A priority besides finishing our lavender field is to to regravel our driveway and also to place pea gravel on the lavender field and a border. We are also working on having our barn painted this spring, which I am super excited about. We have other gardens in the planning stage as well.
Wholesale orders: I have been getting a lot of requests for wholesale lavender bunches, both English and French. I have had to decline these requests unfortunately. I did want to share here the reasons. We are a new farm. Our lavender is newly planted and young. We do have some plants which were transplants and at maturity. Because of this, our lavender harvest this year was negligible. I do expect some harvest this year, but looking toward 2019 as having more of a full harvest (based on past experience). So please be patient while we grow our lavender.
If you are looking for bunches I have provided our production partners on our Etsy shop - other lavender farms in this area or across the country that I partner with to get supplies for my floral design when our farm doesn't produce enough to meet demand. You can also send me a quick note on our contact page and I will be happy to give you a list of other growers I have used.
Markets: We are in the process of scheduling some in-person events! I am very excited about this. We have not really pursued the Farmer's Markets and craft show aspect due to moving and getting our farm started. However, we are in the process of working with two different vintage markets locally. Please look for an announcement with events page soon!
It is late and here I am up planning a special garden for spring. Yes, we will be planting more lavender! Of course! We have a bunch of Royal Velvet on order which I am super excited for. They make really good cut English lavender bouquets and are also great for culinary lavender. I likely will have to replace more Hidcote from the bunny massacre of the summer of 2017! A slight exaggeration, but we did lose a few plants.
Speaking of bunnies, believe it or not there was one right up by sliding glass door this evening. My son told me there was one in the yard so I carefully checked for him as I went to let Murphy out. I didn't see him and that was because he was hiding to the side of our door. Of course, the bunny ran and Murphy ran after him. Trying to chase a dog in slippers in sub-zero weather in the snow doesn't go very well. Hubby came out and saved the day. Murphy usually comes back when he hears his voice.
Anyway, back to the gardening. Aside from the lavender I am planning a couple of other projects. One is a veggie garden and a gated herb garden. The third project I want to get off the ground is the heather garden with some companion plants. That's really starting to take shape in my mind and I am starting the design as well. I do have to do some soil testing this year with MSU (Michigan State University).
We did the testing at our previous location but when we moved this past year in late spring we were on such a time crunch with the move and 250 plants sitting there waiting to be planted. I will tell you, I grabbed a store bought pH tester and honestly don't know how accurate those things are and ran out into the field we had newly tilled and went with it. It was a true leap of faith and trust in God that I said let's put these 250 babies in the ground without formal soil testing.
Do I do things by the seat of my pants? Occasionally. Sometimes you take a chance and sometimes you have to have blind faith.
Anyway, the lavender had a harder time with the bunnies than the soil. Once we figured out how to keep the rabbits away they flourished although I wish some could have had more time to grow before the cold weather. Not sure if we will have winter losses, but we will roll with it and replace some if need be. Our fields are fairly sheltered with tree lines on two sides and a barn to buffer a third side from wind.
That said, I intend to the soil tested with MSU as soon as the ground thaws this year. The heather bed requires altogether different conditions than the lavender so I need to really see what's what and probably amend. Again, I will figure it out.
We'd like to get our greenhouse up this year too, but that's a stretch. We have a barn to get painted and we are planning on laying pea gravel in the lavender field over the barrier. Not quite sure how many of these gardens we will get to this year. However always good to get it planned out and can always push something back to the following year.
My hope is to make our place not just a lavender farm but a lavender farm and botanical gardens of sort. Always ambitious and sometimes a bit crazy but hey seize the day right?
Happy New Year to all! Hope we all can ring in 2018 with warm wishes, sincere prayers, and lots of love.
Christmas is inching towards us in just a few short days. I've finally caught up on all my orders. I have closed down our online shop for the holidays and we will reopen on December 26th. I am making our last holiday post office run with our final orders. I have decided to close a bit early to catch up on some gift wrapping and baking. I also have babysitting duty for my lovely little granddaughter, Emma, the next few days. So she will be my baking partner as well!.
Last week I finished a custom order I was very pleased with. I created a bridal bouquet, 4 large table arrangements, and 7 small arrangements. The larger arrangements could also be used as bridesmaids bouquetsmand the smalls for flowers girls. However, the smalls also fit well into a quart size mason jar type container to use on tables as well. I hope to have the listing up over the holiday break or soon there after.
I called this collection the Celtic meadow collection. The bride was having a red and gold theme and also Celtic theme. I always think Heather and the Scottish Highlands when I think of Celtic. I added some burgundy peonies, Nigella pods, and blue thistle, which also reminds of Scotland. There are daisy-like flowers and oats and other greenery. This bride also requested some true mixed in so I used pepperberries. The goal was a fresh from meadow picked bouquet with a Celtic theme. I really loved how it came out especially with the gold baby's breath. This can be changed out for natural or white baby's breath if you don't care for gold. I am always willing to customize - just send me a note.
I've added some preview pics of the bouquet above and a gallery below Also there are some pictures of a heart-shaped lavender (Grosso) heart wreath I made for a customer. I also made myself one since I liked it so much and it's hanging in my kitchen (on red wall in picture) ! The wreath listing is already up on our shop. Please check it out after the holidays - Dec 26th.
We've been getting some snow here and it covered our lavender in a beautiful blanket of white. I am not a winter-hater as many people become after years in the cold. I actually love the change of seasons. Winter is a peaceful season to me. However, like most of us I don't care for commuting much in heavy snow. However, I have enjoyed the blanked of white we got the past week or so. However, it warmed up the past few days and we lost all the snow so looking to be a green Christmas. A little sad about that. Either way, we are blessed no matter whether a green or a white Christmas.
The reason for the season is always that of the message of Jesus Christ and a celebration of his birth. We have been challenged this year in our family, but we also have been blessed beyond measure. I pray that the Christmas spirit of love, hope, and peace shines into everyone's lives, homes, and hearts and everyone has a wonderful and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thanksgiving has changed over the years for our family. My mom always hosted, but with both parents having passed it's changed. All the traditional things we did are now different. I am the older generation in the family now and the last few years we've had Thanksgiving at home with our sons (and now granddaughter). We do things a bit more relaxed. Jeff, my husband, and I start our turkey in the morning and enjoy the day together watching the parade while sons visit their father's family.
In the evening we gather and enjoy our meal together when they return. I usually don't break out fine china as my mother did, but it's the family togetherness rather than the china or centerpieces that matter to me. I definitely miss my parents and I know during the holidays my sons do too. They so associated every holiday season with them and having a meal at the grandparents house. So I understand this changing of the guard is difficult for most family members.
I'd like to extend prayers and warm hugs for the grieving today who have an empty seat(s) at the table. Holidays are a time of great joy and thankfulness, but they can also be difficult for those who are missing people they love dearly.
I remain ever thankful and blessed by my small little tribe here at home. My wonderful husband, my two sons and my granddaughter are a blessing. Like any family, we have our ups and our downs. It takes patience and perseverance and lot of love to make family relationships work. To me it's not the quantity of relationships that matter, but the quality of relationship that matters. What we lack in number, we make up in love.
We are thankful and blessed. Whether you family is big or small... remain grateful for those who are in your life and truly support and care for each other in times of hardship and times of bounty.
I created a autumn themed slideshow below. I added some of our fall/autumn themed bouquets to start. After those, I added some of my nature photography. Taking nature pictures is my other passion. These photos came from all around this great state of Michigan. Many of them were from right here around my home in Monroe, Mi. Others were from Marquette Mi from when we lived in the Upper Peninsula and also from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Northern Lower Peninsula. Hope you enjoy it!
It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am pulling our turkey out to defrost today, as I am sure many of you are doing the same. It's been a mild November in our neck of woods. Yesterday we did get some flurries, but it was still warm enough to walk Murphy down to the river albeit bundled up tight! The River Raisin was very high. A dramatic change from the summer when it was so low that vegetation was growing in the middle.
In keeping with Thanksgiving, I give thanks and feel very blessed by our property. Murphy and I also took a walk through the lavender field. Praying and hoping the smaller guys make it through the winter. The Grosso and Folgate are pretty good size for first year plants. The Phenomenal and Hidcote got off to a slower start as we did "The Battle of the Bunnies." Once that was under control, we saw a good recovery. I do wish they had a bit more time to grow. Phenomenal is a variety that is very cold tolerant so I expect it to be okay. English lavender (Hidcote) usually handles our winters well. So here is hoping.
In other news, I have placed my order for a couple of trays of Royal Velvet for next spring. I am very excited. Try as I might, I could not find this variety in my area this past summer. So I just placed my order for next season. If you are looking for high quality plants, I ordered from Victor's Lavender in Washington. I also have bought plants locally in Shelby Township, Mi at Telly's Greenhouse. I was able to grab some Munstead at the end of the season at Parrans Greenhouse in Ida, Mi, which is much closer to our current location.
I am on for the search for Heather plants too. I have been scoping out the potential location for the heather bed. I am still heavily researching growing heather and ways to amend a bed to match their preferred conditions. I plan to use the winter months to design a heather bed
Shop news! Christmas will be upon us soon and I added several different varieties to our botanical Christmas bulbs. We have had these the past 2 seasons, but only in lavender and lavender and rose petals. I had a great time capturing these photos and it really put me in the Christmas spirit. This year we have 6 different types:
We have created a new bouquet. It's called the Love-in-a-Mist and lavender bouquet. It also contains caspia, pine greenery, purple globe flowers, deep purple peonies, and the Nigella pods (which are called Love-in-a-Mist). As with any of our bouquets we can make a matching boutonniere and our listing is already up for that.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Into December we go soon!
I wanted to share our most recent listing. With bringing in November it's a perfect time to think of warm fires. We've recently added lavender fire starters to our store. I used the stems of debudded lavender in bundles to create these highly aromatic fire starters. They can be used in wood burning stoves, wood burning fireplaces and also year round in campfires. Other uses include using in smokers or BBQs to infuse meat with lavender appeal. Supplies are limited.
The listing is available here. lavender fire starter
I would like to apologize to those who have contacted me via the online contact page of our website. I have been very bad about checking that forum. I also discovered I had inadvertantly put the contact form to an email I don't check very often. I have corrected the issue and I should start to receive contact form emails now.
I was reading through the old messages and would like to let everyone who did not get a response know I am reading your messages. Some messages required a more timely response, and I apologize if my delay in getting back with you that way has caused inconveniences.
The best way to reach me is to send me a message via Etsy. I receive the Etsy messages daily (sometimes hourly lol). I get lots of questions and custom requests via the Etsy shop so I will be sure to see your message. Seems like Etsy messages are constantly beeping through on my mail so they are seen and responded to very quickly.
This is the direct link to our Etsy store or click the store tab on this website and it direct links to Etsy.
The final way to reach me is sending an email to email@example.com.
I hope everyone had a great Halloween. We didn't really see any trick or treaters this year due to not being in a subdivision. However, my granddaughter had a great time going out with her parents. I was thrilled to see that one of her uncles got a T-Rex suit and he went with kids. I love T-Rex Tuesdays. Look it up on Facebook or go to this link below. The videos are always funny.
I'd love to do a video with the T-Rex running in my lavender field. I think it would be so funny. I can see my granddaughter chasing him!
Happy November everyone!