Introducing the Lavender Connection’s new blog! “For the Love of Lavender” featuring Farmer Rick & his Lavendaughters.

Please look for expert advice for beginners to enthusiasts – from planting, growing, harvesting, and pruning, to uses, products, and lavender recipes – as well as a fun, unique look into the the world of a lavender farming family

We have a confession: The Olson Family loves to talk, especially when it comes to lavender. This will not be news to anyone who has ever visited our farm in person. We love nothing more than the opportunity to wax poetic over lavandula, and convert customers into full lavender enthusiasts.

While Farmer Rick is the true encyclopedia – if you can wrest him away from his copper still, he’ll spend all afternoon walking the fields with you, answering questions, giving advice, and taking adorable pictures of you and your pets – the rest of the family has soaked up a wee bit of knowledge as well (mostly from listening to him.)

Over the years we have gotten used to fielding (ha! pun intended!) pretty much every lavender question under the sun from our customers, from “How do you get the oil out?” to “Is that really lavender? It’s white!” to “What type of soil is best to grow lavender in?”

And, since the Lavendaughters (Rebecca & K) develop and create our products with their mother, Susan the Purpled, we have acquired tips and recipes to share with our customers that you don’t normally get to hear. For example, “How Not to Put Lotion Into a Bottle” and “How to Rope Friends Into Helping You Wrap Soap.”

Thus, Lavendaughter Rebecca has *so* much time on her hands, that she decided it would be a great idea to start a blog to share our love of lavender with our customers, featuring tips for all things lavender!

We look forward to hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about specific posts, suggest ideas for things you’d like to know about, and share our tips/ideas on social media. The way we see it, the world could use a lot more lavender in it, and we’re delighted to do our small part. Onward lavender soldiers!

For the Love of Lavender offers advice for beginners to enthusiasts – from planting, growing, harvesting, and pruning, to uses, products, and lavender recipes – as well as a fun, unique look into the the world of a lavender farming family.

8 Replies to “For the Love of Lavender | Our new blog!”

  1. Judy

    Looking forward to your wise words of wisdom..
    I live in eastern WA and have a hard time keeping lavender alive after a winter like this last one..

    1. Rebecca[ Post Author ]

      I’m so sorry to hear of your lavender troubles, Judy! Can you be more specific about what the weather was like for you over there this winter (exceptionally cold? exceptionally rainy?) and what happened to your plants? I’m happy to pass along your questions to Farmer Rick, and see if he has any suggestions. It is also quite possible that they look dead, but aren’t – don’t despair!

  2. Upson

    I need the recipe for lavender potatoes! They are incredible AND awesome!

    1. Rebecca[ Post Author ]

      Great idea for a blog, Susan! I’ll see if I can wrest it away from him.

  3. Kathy

    Can beauty bark be used in my Lavender garden? I read that it is toxic to Lavender. Thank you.

    1. Rebecca Olson[ Post Author ]

      Kathy – Farmer Rick gave a more lengthy response to this question in “Spring Pruning” – but in case someone else encounters it, here is what he said:

      “Regarding your question on beauty bark, I am not sure of the origin of that opinion. It may be true that some types of beauty bark may have impacts on lavender but some may not. (ie cedar vs pine, coarse vs fine, etc.) I have a small garden area in front of our barn store where we placed heavy woven weed fabric down on clean soil, burned 5” holes for planting the lavender and then spread some local large format beauty bark to 4” deep. It has been in place for 6+ years and the 4 different varieties of lavender both angustifolia and intermedia cultivars are all doing great with the lavender plant stems hanging and resting on the bark. I would say that if you want the bark garden groundcover effect, go for it and address any problems that may occur. Most problems I find people have with lavender is that they over water it (place it in a garden of roses that constantly need watering) or plant the lavender in areas with very tight clayey soils or with a high water table (less than 30” minimum). Lavender does not like much water after the first year. Good luck with your lavender! – Farmer Rick”

  4. Nidhi

    Hi I have a question about the lavenders I planted in my balcony which has full sun. I got 9 plants and placed them in the pots as it is. Since my husband got small white metal pots (which I am not a fan of). The balcony has full sun and I live in London I thought lavenders would be best option as they are hardy. But out of 9 only 2 are green rest have become greyish and looks like they are drying. Stem seems dried already. I would appreciate if you could guide me on how to look after them or if they are still alive. I can send you pictures. Thanks for your help.

    1. Rebecca Olson[ Post Author ]

      Nidhi – hello! Full sun is a very important component for keeping lavender healthy, so you’ve got that covered. The other is soil drainage. If they are in pots, did you mix sand/gravel into the soil to ensure that they drain quickly and easily? Can you twist the grey branches and pull them off of the center/main plant? If the dead/dying branches pull away, I would suspect you’ve got some form of root rot due to improper drainage. You can try pruning the deadwood back, pulling them out and amending the soil with sand or gravel, and replanting – though this will be very stressful for the plants, and still may not work. If they are only a year or two old, it may not be worth trying to save these plants. Compost them, amend the soil, and plant new plants this year.

      If you don’t think the issue is related to drainage, it may be the pots themselves. Lavender can grow in containers, but regular lavender plants sold at big box stores/nurseries are usually meant for the ground – their root system wants to reach as far as the part of the plant you can see above ground – so the plants could be root bound. lavandula intermedia varieties are typically too large for containers; lavandula angustifolia is usually smaller and could potentially thrive in a 5 gallon container when fully grown. If your pots are smaller than 5 gallon, your best bet is to find a variety specifically cultivated to stay small, like “Thumbelina”. Or, you can use them for the first year or two as the plants get established, with the plan of moving to different pots once they reach the teenage years.

      Do remember to keep your lavender pruned, which is another key to maintaining healthy plants. In addition, plants in containers need to be protected in the winter if you’re in an area that freezes. Check out our blog about overwintering lavender to ensure they survive. Hope this helps – and good luck!

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