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.