Category Archives: Wildflower Garden

Are you seeking a unique, surreal new adventure?

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Where would you turn to find information, if you’ve never been to our lavender farm, or our beautiful Hood River Valley? You might consider the world’s largest consumer travel review site…Trip Advisor.  On “TripAdvisor” you can read reviews from real people seeking fun, new adventures.

We’re ecstatic, about receiving an award from TripAdvisor!! This is the BEST type of accolade! Our customer ratings earned us the 2014 Certificate of Excellence award!!! We are pumped, and extremely grateful for our terrific Customers!!! THANK YOU!!!We love you, our awesome customers, who visited our Organic Upick Lavender Farm and then took the time to write these reviews!!  🙂 

Best Best Tripadvisor

Who are the folks that visit? Everybody, lovers of Lavender, of all ages, seeking a quaint, serene, peaceful, calming break from their busy lifestyle. Those seeking a unique lavender farm experience!! Some folks have never been to a lavender farm, and are looking for a unique, fun adventure outside, seeing, smelling, and touching the heart of our lovely lavender!! We’ve been called “a little piece of heaven” for years now, because of the quiet, surreal setting of our U-pick Lavender Farm. Nestled between two snow capped mountains, with vista views of our beautiful Hood River Valley!!

If you are seeking a unique fun adventure with your family this Memorial Weekend…look no further! This weekend we will be serving samples of our delicious, refreshing Lavender Lemonade. As you sip on your aromatic flavor delight, you may be entertained by our sweet little humming birds that dance around our patio feeders 🙂 You might choose to relax awhile on a garden chair or bench, and disconnect as you blow bubbles!  A relaxing stroll around our Wildflower Garden is a delight for your senses!! We have 100’s of gorgeous Iris, Lupine, Blue Flax, Shasta Daisy’s, Fox Glove, and Giant Pink & White Iceland Poppy’s, to name just a few of the beautiful, fragrant flowers that your eyes & nose will both enjoy as you stroll along the path 🙂

Don’t forget your camera to capture a few pics for memories of your visit to share with your family & friends later. As you stroll around our quiet serene lavender farm you will be delighted to hear the lovely serenade of birds singing, from Quail, tiny Sparrow (thrush), Humming Birds, Red Tail Hawk, and Kestrel Hawks that frequently fly past our farm.

Aww…taking a moment to smell the flowers!! It makes my soul happy every time I look into the face of a flower & smell it’s lovely aroma!  🙂
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Best Best di pic2

 

This is truly one of those stunning delights to behold, Iceland Poppy, Papaver somniferum 🙂

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Lavender Lady Essentials: Lavender Lady Essentials

 

Best best di pic3These three sisters visited us this week, and paused for a few relaxing moments in our wildflower garden. Wouldn’t you love to spend your birthday in a fragrant, serene, peaceful garden? 🙂

We will be open for Memorial Day weekend on our U-Pick Farm, normal hours and serving up some yummy Lavender Lemonade samples. Although our lavender isn’t quite in bloom yet..we’re patiently waiting…we have 100’s of gorgeous Wildflowers in bloom. We hope you will plan to visit and take in the beauty while you sip some Lavender Lemonade. Our Retail Cottage is stocked with lots of Lavender Goodies for you to enjoy and take home too.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you and your family!!

Enjoy the long weekend, and please don’t forget to honor those who have served, and remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We love our Veterans!!

XX Lavender Lady

Lush Greens And A Splash Of Brilliant Colors

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Our lavender farm has burst into lush green with all the new-growth of the lavender, and 100’s of extremely gorgeous wildflowers 🙂 Sigh…such a Splash of brilliant colors!! One of my favorite wildflowers is the Papaver nudicaule,Pink Iceland Poppy…like giant umbrellas, dancing with the other flowers in the gentle breeze 🙂

We share our garden with abundant wildlife, yellow Finch, Chickadees, Humming Birds, Monarch and Swallowtail Butterfly’s, and Lady Bugs to name a few.  I love the sweet song of these birds as I meander through the wildflowers, sitting awhile on a bench to enjoy the song, and the serene beauty  🙂

We invite you also, to come out and enjoy a picnic lunch, a stroll through the wildflowers, Upick a lavender bouquet, and if your an artist, bring out your Sketch Pad. One lady that visited this week, sat and capture the landscape and beautiful flowers on paper. 

Her husband enjoyed capturing a few shots with his camera. It was the most tranquil and calm morning, as they enjoyed the garden together… moments to just RELAX! I think sometimes in our busy lifestyles, we have forgotten how to relax. When I see our customers flop out in the grass on their backs, I know they remember how to relax!

Now that I’ve relaxed a bit, I better get back to work 🙂

I planted 100 Giant Elegans California Zinnias in a raised bed, which I plan to transplant around the edges of our wildflower garden once they have grown about two inches. These will survive the hot summer months of July and August and be another brilliant Splash of color! I also planted several Gladiola bulbs in the front of the garden. These were my dear Grandmother’s favorite flowers, now they are my favorites as well 🙂

I once read, “If I can’t garden, I wouldn’t be happy”, well that’s the way my husband and I feel! We don’t do any of this out of duty, we do it because we Love It! We love our beautiful Hood River Valley, with two snow covered mountains, and we love the country lifestyle we live, and our wonderful friends and family that surround us. It’s good therapy and it’s good for our Soul! I think that  flowers are like sunshine to my soul, and they encourage “smiles”.

We love to generously share our lavender farm with you, and invite you out. U-picking lavender has already begun as you can see….. Two neighbor girls visited us, and were the first to U-pick a lavender bouquet for the season. Woohoo!!

Hope you can come visit! Come see, hear, smell and touch this fragrant beauty! A piece of heaven, as one of our customers said 🙂

~Cheers to Lavander!

Happy May Day, Opening Day!! Cheers To Maximus Aromatherapy And Beauty!

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Happy May Day, our opening day for the season!

 I love the serene, peaceful feeling of our lavender farm!  Our quiescent plants are beginning to show signs of  new-growth, preparing for the seasons flowers.  I took this photo a few days ago as the sun was setting on our lavender…Glorious beauty! We are looking forward to the fragrant beauty of our lavender plants in bloom…sighMaximus Aromatherapy 🙂

We are already seeing many of our Wildflowers showing their lovely faces in bloom, as we eagerly wait for our lavender flowers. The Lupine is always one of the first to bloom, and soon to follow are the  Iceland Poppy-Papaver, Iris,  and Blue Flax-Linum Perenna. I captured this photo of our first Lupine flowers yesterday. Another  lovely Purple flower!

You will want to visit, with your camera in hand, because these beauties are stunning against the back drop of Mt. Hood! We also have a path running through our wildflower garden, with benches to sit and relax, as you take in the aromas and beauty!

These photos were taken a few years ago.

If you’re still looking for the perfect  low maintenance plant for you garden or landscaping…look no further! We’ve got 100’s of starter lavender plants on sale at our Upick lavender farm, while supplies last. 

Want MORE Lavender Plants? Why not DIY and propagate some?

I took cutting two weeks ago from this Lavandin, Sawyer, and propagated them, making clone plants 🙂

Propagating lavender is much easier than you can imagine…and there are two times a year that you can take cuttings to root- in the spring “now”,just before the plant comes into flower, and in the early fall.

To begin, it’s best to use a good quality potting soil or you can make your own by mixing approximately three parts peat moss with one part vermiculite and one part perlite. Remember that the most important thing is drainage…even a cutting of lavender DOES NOT like wet feet!

Once you have a good mix, fill several small terracotta pots, or starter trays,like I’m using in the photo, and make sure to dampen well. Now poke one small hole per pot into the mixture about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Next, using a sharp pair of plant shears cut a small branch off the lower half of the lavender plant that is about 3-5 inches long. Make sure that the branch is soft and not woody. Strip the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting, and scrap off the “skin” on the bottom 1/4″ of the cutting, and place the cutting in the pot or tray.

 

Make sure to cover the bottom part of the cutting with soil. Water your cutting thoroughly. For the first couple of weeks keep the soil damp, but then water less frequently. Misting the cuttings often will allow them to take in water and keep them hydrated. After the first few weeks, water when the soil begins to get dry but before the plant displays any distress. Too much water will kill your new lavender plant. Good Luck growing your own lavender plants. You can also start L. Angustifolia lavender from seeds, however it takes a long time before you have a good size plant, at-least a year.

Many birds are actively seeking out food, and searching for new mates and nesting spots in our garden. I just filled two humming bird feeders, and hung them under our patio, just in time for a few hummers to find them. I Never use the nasty red food color in their food! My recipe is: one cup sugar, three cups water, boil 6 minutes, and cool well. They Love my all-natural juice 🙂

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Our Pink Flowering Almond bush is in bloom and lovely in front of our Retail Cottage. Perfect for our opening day 🙂  Looks like summer type weather is on its way for our opening week! We look forward to the season, and meeting all our customers that drop by for a visit, and spent some relaxing moments in the garden with us! Cheers to May, and  the new season of Maximus Aromatherapy and Beauty! 🙂

Cheers ~ Lavender Lady

 

 

 

 

Rustic Multi-Grain Herb Bread To Compliment Our Sunday FishNChips

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Multi-Grain Herb Bread

3 cups lukewarm water
3 Tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons yeast
6 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup Buckwheat, 1/4 oatmeal or flax seed)
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
3 Tablespoons Hood River Lavender Spice Blend
2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
*glaze: 1 egg
oatmeal or seasame seeds

Proof Starter: Mix the following ingredients in large mixing bowl.
3 cups “lukewarm” water
3 teaspoons yeast
3 Tablespoons honey
1 cup white flour
Stir with a spoon to mix. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until liquid is foamy.

Then add:
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
3 Tablespoons HRL Spice Blend
2 cloves Garlic (chopped)

Beat – 5 minutes on medium speed

Then add additional flour, one cup at a time. Mix well after

each cup, and continue adding flour until dough is stiff, and pulling

from the sides of mixing bowl.

Place dough on a well floured surface, and knead about 8 times.


Then place the dough in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap or towel, and let it rise until
doubled in size for 2-4 hours.

Then place dough on a well floured surface again, and divide

the dough in half. Shape into two round loaves, and place
on oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Score the loaf tops making an  X  with a sharp knife,
brush tops with egg white glaze & sprinkle with Oatmeal or Sesame Seeds.
Let rise 10 minutes.

 

*Egg white glaze: 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon water , whip with fork.

Very Important information about this recipe:

This bread goes into a cold oven, with an oven safe pan or Pyrex dish
on the bottom oven rack large enough to hold 3 cups of Boiling water.
Placing the bread on the middle rack in the COLD oven, pour 3 cups Boiling Water into
the pan on bottom rack.
Then turn the oven on 400 degrees and bake 45 minutes, Do Not open the oven
as it bakes, because the steam will escape. 🙂 The addition of steam as you bake this delicious rustic bread encourages a “Crusty” outside, with a wonderful flavor, and soft texture inside. Heavenly!

Mmmm…I love the aroma of fresh baked bread that fills my home!! Now to enjoy a warm slice with lots of Butter! The Perfect compliment with our Sunday FishNChip dinner 🙂 <3

We’re continuing our Spring Cleanup around the lavender farm, in prep for our “Soft Opening” on Blossom Festival Weekend, April 20th, and 21st. The weather man said we were expecting a few days of rainfall, so I scattered a couple packages of new flower seeds, Shasta Daisy, Crazy Daisy, and Papaver Baracteatum, Great Scarlet Poppy, into our Wildflower Garden at the farm. There’s always room for a few more vibrant, happy flowers!!I love seeing all the new growth, and Spring flowers, like Forget-Me-Nots that are starting to bloom. Bright, Cheerful flowers 🙂

Enjoy a wonderful relaxing day. I’m heading outside for a brisk walk with our two dogs, Sadie and, Gunther.

Happy Spring!

 

 

Happy Memorial Day! Sunshine, Lavender Shortbread, And Hummers At The Lavender Farm

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Happy Memorial Day!! We hope you are enjoying making special memories with you family and friends! We are OPEN and serving samples of my favorite Lavender Lemon Honey Shortbread, with a delicious home-made flavor with the addition of lavender, lemon and honey! Yummy!! Also, serving samples of our Lavender Mint Medley Tea. Drop by to stroll through our lavender farm and wildflower section that is bursting into gorgeous blooms of Papaver, Iceland Poppies & California Poppies, Shasta Daisy, Blue Flax, and Lupine!  Hood River Wildflowers

One of our customers favorite attractions, and my favorite pass time on warm sunny afternoons, is to sit on our patio and gaze across our lavender garden at Mt.Hood and watch our hummers dance “crazily” around the two feeders!  When these little creatures catch the eyes of children and their parents, they are drawn to the patio to watch, and enjoy their crazy, intense dancing about 🙂  These high energy, delightful little creatures are extremely loved and photographed by our customers and myself.  IMG_0635

We have three different varieties that frequently visit our lavender farm, Rufous “Selasphorus rufus”, Anna’s “Calypte anna”, and Ruby-throated “Archilochus colubris” Hummingbird.  Rufous hummers are extremely “feisty”, and outfly all other species, and usually get their way at the feeders! We love these delicate, delightful, high-energy lil’ creatures!

 

 

 


Spring, with Lavender, My Fragrance Of Sunlight

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I’ve been working steady tending our lavender farm and wild flowers, getting the yard prepped for new growth, and our opening date April 14th.  Today was a perfect day to be outside, truly gorgeous with temperatures around 54 degrees! Spring has officially arrived, and it really feels like Spring! I scattered 1000’s of Iceland Poppy & Rose Scented Bee Balm Monarda seeds in the Wildflower Section. I love these flowers!

I need to spend a few hours packing web-orders inside and I need lavenders aroma to surround me, with my “Fragrance of Sunlight” as I work!  It’s a good thing that I live and work in Lavender Heaven, because inside or outside, I can still have that Fragrance of Sunlight  🙂  A bottle of lavender essential oil is always at arms reach..I know I’m “spoiled”!!  🙂 I like to apply 5 drops of  Angustifolia Essential Oil and 5 drops Clary Sage Essential oil to a tissue, and relax while I inhale these lovely, calming, and balancing aromas. It clears my sinus, balances my mood, and refreshes my spirits! Awww..

Since we have a few days before I’ll be working outside again in the lavender farm, I’ll work inside on web orders. I sent this re-order with 10 Reed Diffusers and Lavender Refreshing Spritzer out to a very high profile celebrity today! Love my job! Love lavender’s calming lovely aroma!

 

These  lavender items will fill the domain of the recipient with that intriguingly uplifting, and calming , fresh lavender garden aroma! I like to call it my Fragrance of Sunlight!  It gives me that uplifting, energizing boost that helps me through any situation, with calming peace. Our  Reed Diffusers are filled with a special combination of our own Certified Organic Lavender Essential Oils.

I also shipped an order with 2 Reed Diffusers and 2 pounds of Bulk dried lavender buds to a gentleman, for his home!!  He mentioned that he planned to fill decorative containers with the lavender buds. I suggested that he could  purchase sachets to fill with lavender buds, or if he felt creative,  make sachets with vintage hankies or pieces of wool cloth, and tied with hemp or jute twine. 🙂

Here’s hoping that the lovely, calming aroma from his lavender will fill his domain with  the Fragrance of Sunlight too !

Calming Vintage Sachets

Sachets made with Vintage Hankies and Lavender wool cloth, filled with our Certified Organic dried Lavandin Grosso. DIY cute sachets for yourself or gifts for a friend.

Climbers At The Lavender Farm

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I planted a “Warzawska  Nike” Clematis on the east end of our Arbor today. Four years ago we planted a Joseph Coat Climbing Rose there, but through the years, cold temperatures, or maybe a Gopher, stunted it’s growth, leaving a sparse area on the arbor.  This Clematis will soon cover that end of the arbor, with lovely flowers!

Our Arbor is located in the front of our Wildflower garden. We custom designed our Arbor at the beginning stage of planning our lavender farm. It is crafted together with re-bar and old Headboards. We literally bent the rebar around a fruit tree, until we achieved the arch shape needed for the Arbor. Then we sank them into the ground in cement. Viola! Our rustic Arbor for the wildflower garden, at our Lavender Farm 🙂 This became instantaneous vertical support for plants that love to climb, and gives height to our garden, bringing climbing plants up to another level, a rich layered effect to the eye of the beholder.

One of the climbing plants on the west end is my favorite, a “Silver Lace Vine”, along with two seedless grapes, and Nelly Moser Clematis. This year our arbor will be climbing with lovely flowers and foliage, perfect for butterflies and hummingbirds to enjoy, and many photographers, and art groups. We look forward to your visit with your family & friends.

grapes, clematis & silver lace vine starting the year's growth
grapes, clematis & silver lace vine starting the year

Waiting on Blossoms

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Our temps have been extremely cool, and wet this spring. The pear blossoms are just beginning to show a little white, almost two weeks past blossom weekend.  Our lavender plants are just beginning to wake up, along with the butterfly bushes, and other shrubs around our lavender farm.  We are still doing spring clean up, which includes pruning the lavender, and other plants. As I was raking up the pruned lavender from around the plants, I noticed a Praying Mantis Ootheca inside one of the lavender plants. We love all our helpful insects that live at our farm, and since we are certified organic, our garden is a healthy environment for insects, wildlife, and also families. The Mantis is sleeping~waiting for warmer weather, as we and the lovely flowers are too!

Praying Mantis cocoon
Praying Mantis cocoon

We have been re-establishing our path through the rapidly growing wildflower garden, spreading out bark and making it an easy meandering path for us all to enjoy. The Lupine is growing daily and within a month this will be a mass of color. I can hardly wait!

We look forward to seeing you visit, as you explore our beautiful Hood River Valley with your friends, and family.

Re-taking the wildflower path
Re-taking the wildflower path

Birds Are Nesting..Signs of Spring!

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There is lot of work to be done around our lavender farm, preparing it for the season. Similarly the birds are starting to pair up, and are busy nesting 🙂  I worked a few hours today at our lavender farm, with a young lady that I just hired to help out this season. I thought I’d give her an idea of the different types of work we do around our lavender farm. Since we are “Certified Organic”, when it comes to weeding and removing invasive plants, everything is done by hand, with integrity in our gardening/farming practices. We never use pesticides!Preparing the wildflowers for another spectacular year

So, today we cleared dead flower tops and grass out of the wildflowers, and dug out 100’s of weeds. We were extremely careful not to disturb the tiny new leaves, and flower buds developing for this seasons lovely flowers. A few of these native wildflowers are: Shasta Daises, Blackeyed Susan, Sweet Williams, Iceland Poppies, Oriental Poppies, Candy Tuff, Hollyhock, Veronica, Verbascum, Dianthus, Delphinium, Showy Milkweed, and Lupines, to name just a few. We finished clearing out about half of our wildflower section, which is about 1/4 acre total size. It doesn’t look real attractive “yet”, because it’s just waking up! It will transform shortly into a brilliant array of lovely fragrant flowers for all to enjoy, people and wildlife alike. But for now, we have lots of work to do before our season starts, and weeding is an extremely important part of any garden.

We look forward to seeing you in the spring opening weekend, April 16th. Happy Happy Spring!

June Wildflowers
June Wildflowers

Spring Is On It’s Way..

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snowdrops blooming
snowdrops blooming

Our first flowers on our lavender farm..Snowdrops, signs that Spring is on its way!!

I planted 100’s of Iris’s and daffodils in the fall, along with a few Snowdrops, along the roadside around our lavender farm, and in between raspberry plants at the front of our farm. They are showing signs of growth, and hopefully they will produce lovely blooms as spring approaches. Although our lavender plants won’t bloom until the end of May, 1000’s of other wildflowers around our lavender farm, will produce gorgeous color for our enjoyment.

Flowers are like joy to my soul, as I watch them grow, unfolding their fragrant blooms. Their beauty brings a smile on my face, and nothing lifts my spirits better then a walk through my flower garden! As I stroll around my garden today, while the spring rain is falling, I’m excited about the coming season! I can’t help but sing one of my favorite songs, “I Can See Clearly Now”, by Johnny Nash! I eagerly await to see the beauty unfold, as I welcome Spring!!

Lupin, Poppies & Me!
Lupin, Poppies & Me!