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!