Helichrysum Immortelle

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Today I planted 60, 2″ Helichrysum plants on our U-Pick lavender farm. This plant is a perennial that has beautiful tiny yellow flowers, that bloom mid summer. It loves full sun, and is drought tolerant, similar to Lavender. We have about six, 4 year old plants near our retail cottage. The yellow flowers are a beautiful contrast with the Lavender.  One of our customers visiting our farm, walked by the helichrysum plants, and commented on it’s aroma.  He said, ” what is that aroma I smell, like maple syrup?”  Other customers mentioned that it’s aroma is like chocolate or vanilla. It is a lovely plant, and it’s healing benefits are endless. When it’s at full bloom, we distill the flowers for essential oil and hydrosol, flower water. The oil and hydrosol are used for sport injuries, for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also anti-allergenic, anti-spasmodic, astringent, diuretic, analgesic, cytophylactic, cholagogue and nervine. This is why we say, it is nothing short of precious. Just another gorgeous Flower!!  

Lazing around the Hellichrysum
Lazing around the Hellichrysum

Beautiful Angustifolia Lavender

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 Today I propagated over 100 cuttings from one of our most popular L. Angustifolia “English” Lavender plants.  When these cuttings mature enough to be transplanted into 3″ pots, I will plant them on our new wholesale Lavender Farm. After the first bloom, in about one year, we will distill the flowers for the Essential Oil. This Oil will then be used for Aromatherapy by us in our products, and by many of our customers that purchase from us on our website, and  in our retail cottage at our U-Pick farm.

Lavandula Angustifolia Essential Oil is extremely healing! A “Whiff” or “Huff” of our certified organic lavender essential oils helps calm jagged nerves, soothes stress & headaches, and provides a smooth “pick-me-up”. It is also very effect for insomnia encouraging restful sleep, by applying a few drops to your pulse points, then deeply inhale the aroma several times.  My husband and I use it this way every night.

So…here’s to best wishes for these little lavender cuttings, may they grow into beautiful flowers!

To learn more indepth about our essential oil read this.  

Spring rain :)

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 Lets talk about what to do when it rains, and in Oregon, it rains a lot!! I love to go for a walk in the rain, and hear the sound of the raindrops hitting the pavement.  Sometimes, I even work in the rain…. but today, after I took a walk, I came back inside to complete a few sewing projects. I cut-out, and then sewed up fifteen Quilted Pillows, and ten Neck Wraps. Then I filled them with our Organic Lavender, Organic Flax seed, and a little Rice. These soothing, relaxing, and healing aromatherapy products are sold on our website, and in our retail cottage at our Upick Lavender Farm.  We will be opening in one month, so I’m busy stocking up inventory to fill our Lavender Retail Cottage. I’m excited about our 5th year at our Upick Lavender Farm. Its been fun to watch our plants and farm grow, and of course having folks from all over the globe visit our small piece of heaven. 🙂

Spot of Wisdom

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This day touched my life….A couple days ago, I stopped what I was doing to help a friend get a new washer installed after her old one dumped water all over her kitchen floor. I heard a beautiful, yet simple moto from her. Actually it was a post-it note on her fridge (I love post-it notes). This note was with about fifteen others, but it stood out from the rest; “Enjoy what you’re doing.” I told her, ” I love that saying!”  She said, “her father, a nice Danish immigrant, told her that years ago”, and she said “it’s the best words I’ve ever had”. 

Here’s another wise saying thats been passed down in my husband’s generations, “it doesn’t cost anything more to work happily.”

There is a lot to be said about our attitude, and how we approach life, work, and relationships.  When you have a positive, happy attitude, whatever you’re doing, it will rub off onto those around you.  Whatever, I’m doing each day, weather it is weeding, cutting flower bouquets, doing household chores, care-giving, or visiting dear widows, I will be in the moment, take heart and “enjoy what I’m doing” and work “happily!”  Reach out and let your joy touch others.

Spring Lavender Starts

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Lavender plant starts
Lavender plant starts

This is the time of year for new starts, and new growth. Just like the bulbs in the ground begin their growth in preparation of those beautiful flowers, the fruit trees are also developing full buds that will become lovely  apple, pear, or cherry blossoms. This is also the time of year that we take cuttings from particular varieties of lavender, for new starts which we’ll sell at our Upick Lavender Farm.  So, today  Joe and I took cuttings of a few varieties of Angustifolia Lavender, “Jean Davis” a white/pink lavender, and “Folgate”, a dark purple lavender. We remove a 2-3″ cutting of the “new growth” part of the lavender stem . We usually take about 50-100 cuttings from one particular plant.  With these cuttings, we stripped off all the lower leaves up about 1″, then we scrape the outer stem(bark) off one side only, until we see the green inner stem. Then this cutting is placed into a starter tray that has been soaked with water.  

These cuttings are then placed in a warm greenhouse, out of cold weather conditions. The cuttings in the starter tray need to be sprayed at min. twice daily to get water into the leaves, hydrate the cutting and promote root growth. Rooting can take 3-6 weeks depending on light, heat and the weather. Until they develop good roots, we water them when the soil looks and feels dry.

Lavender is drought tolerant, so they don’t like being over watered.  We take cuttings in the early spring or late fall when the plants are not in bloom. When these cuttings have developed strong roots, and are hardened off outside, they will be sold in 2″ and 4.5″ pots at our Organic Lavender Plant sale during Blossom weekend, on April 17th, 18th and 19th.

Spring always inspires me to think about the newness in life it’s self, life that will develop moment by moment.  I watch this garden transform… I’ll sit and ponder that thought a lot through out the days ahead, as winter lets loose its grip and I tend my garden 🙂

Tending my Garden

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Today I was out in the wildflower section of our Lavender Farm, weeding out one of my “not so favorite weeds” …uuagggg!!! You know what I’m talking about; those weeds that you can never get rid of like dandelions. Well, this one is the original, wild “evening primrose”.  I’m constantly digging up small plants, and watching during the summer to see if the flowers have matured, and quickly yank it out, before the flowers go to seed!!  Nuf said about that not so friendly weed!!

Diane sitting in mass amounts of Lupine!
Diane sitting in mass amounts of Lupine!

 

 

 I was also digging up dormant Lupine flowers, to move them over to another wholesale Lavender farm of ours.  The Lupine has out grown the wildflower section, and is crowding the other flowers.  We love lavender and purple flowers, “really“, so we don’t mind a few thousand Lupine flowers (As you can see in the picture of last years, early summer flowers). We even had this comment on our website, when we posted this photo on our opening page, “why do you have a photo of Lupine on your front page, if you are a Lavender Farm?” Well… we love flowers, including Lupine, and we grow lots of Lupine. Wouldn’t you post a picture of Lupine, if you had thousands of them in you wildflower section? Before our Lavender blooms, many of our wildflowers begin blooming, and the Lupine grew, “Crazy” last year, and visitors that came to our Lavender Farm, couldn’t get over it. Many photos were taken of families, children, lovers and etc, in the Lupine!!! I hope you were one of those people that came to experience that! If you were, please send me a photo. I love to see others “point of view” of these gorgeous flowers. 

So… this was my day, out “playing” in my garden. I agree with all the others that think working in a garden is like “playing”, not work at all. It is soothing and uplifting, and also, good for our health! Enjoy your garden!!

Lavender Farm 101- spring-cleanup

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The sun was out for awhile today, and it felt good to be out in our Lavender Farm. We are busy pruning, and raking up cutting around some of our 3,500 Lavender plants on our Upick farm. Each plant is pruned, by hand, with loppers. The lavender plants were already pruned once in the fall, to remove any uncut flowers, just to the base of the stems, but not too far into the green, leafy, main body of the plants. Cutting them too low in the fall, makes them tender, and possible die off may accure from the cold temperatures and wind.  Now, we are trimming the plants a second time, down a little lower, about 3 1/2″ are left, of the green stem. When customers ask, “how far down should I prune my Lavender”? I saw, “always stay in the green”. We never cut the lavender plants into the brown, woody base part, otherwise they would die. Cutting the Lavender this low, keeps them shaped nicely, preventing them from getting leggy, and woody. It also helps promote more flowers each year. The cuttings are then raked up from around the plants, and removed to compost or burn. Removing the fall leaves, and other plant debris around the lavender is also an important part because, it will prevent mold and mildew, helping the plants breath, and promote new spring growth.

 “Whew”, there is an incredible amount of work that goes into tending these lovely lavender plants, and keeping this Upick Lavender Farm looking it’s best!! It’s all for you, our customers……

I hear break time calling….. As I sit and rest, eating my oatmeal cookie, I hear the sweet songs of the Robins!  As the weather warms up and days become longer, I know spring is not far away. I am excited to see the dewdrops and crocus starts pushing up through the ground. There is nothing better than tending a garden, to soothe ones soul! 🙂