Tag Archives: Spring

Spring Gardening~Blue Sky, Lavender, Rain And Rainbows~

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Spring is unfolding little by little at our Lavender farm, so it’s time to delve into some spring clean-up!! This is one of my favorite places to be early in the year, working on the farm!! Fresh air, sunshine and a little rain, are all so invigorating to my soul!

Today I’m pruning our “Kniphofia”,  or commonly known as Red Hot Poker plants. While another gal weeds around 100’s of new baby lavender plants that were planted early summer last year. Get those weeds “Out” while the roots are still tiny and the soil is soft!! Thank you!!

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All 4000 lavender plants just got haircuts, in prep for this seasons blooms. The lovely lavender aroma wafts through the air surrounding us as we work 🙂 I just love to gently rub my hands across the nicely pruned lavender and inhale that fresh healing aroma. The lavender looks so beautiful and it’s not even in bloom!! We’ll have to wait until June to see blooms on these Angustifolia “English” lavender, and  I Can’t Wait!!!! 🙂Best pic flowers lavenderjune-18-09-300x225

Imagine yourself sitting in that chair, breathing in the calming, healing lavender aroma!! So peaceful and surreal 🙂  I love the stunning splash of color from the Kniphofia, Shasta Daisy’s and other Wildflowers!! (I took these photos the beginning of June)early spring 2016 8  Not too early for our beneficial critters, this is one very happy little “Lady In Red”!! What a blessed life she has living on an organic lavender farm 🙂

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We had a beautiful rainbow as we were just finishing off the day! Our senses were “delighted” by the freshly pruned lavender aroma, the sweet chirp of the Robin, and croaking tree frogs! It brought a smile to my heart!! 🙂

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These are some of the first Spring flowers in our wildflower garden, Iceland Poppies, and Lupine. I can’t wait to see their glorious blooms in May!!  🙂

Be sure to visit us April 17th & 18th for our soft opening, as we celebrate “Hood River Valley’s Blossom Time Weekend” in our beautiful Valley!  Your senses will be delighted by the serene peace that fills our Organic Lavender Farm!!

Happy Spring~Cheers!!!!

Love, Lavender Lady

 

 

 

Spring Gardening, Good For Body And Soul

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We have begun our Spring gardening on the Farm, tending our little piece of Heaven…as we call it! And it needs a lot of TLC, preparing for our lovely spring flowers that will bloom very soon! 🙂

I worked several hours today pruning, raking and weeding in the Wildflower Garden. Many of the wildflowers and shrubs that we planted over ten years ago in this Wildflower section, are Native to our area and zone 5.  These flowers provide Pollinators a rich, varied diet throughout Spring, Summer and fall,  as well as a safe Organic Habitat! Yeah!!  wildflower garden4

I took this photo after we finished today….the reddish top bushes are wild roses, Rosa woodsii, and surrounding them are hundreds of wildflowers, just beginning to awaken and sprout new growth!  We have a path that meanders around the Wildflower Garden, and many of our customers enjoy strolling on the path, pausing to sit on a bench to relax, and breathe a little slower. It’s a favorite sitting spot for me, and many others year after year 🙂 There’s nothing like spending a few calm, quite moments in a serene garden, surrounded by beautiful, fragrant flowers…to soothe the soul, and bring focus back to the moment. <3

During May our wildflower garden will transform into a glorious flower garden filled with brilliant fragrant wildflowers…sigh. I can’t wait! I love to watch the transformation happen each day!! And when it’s in full glory, the lovely melodies from the song birds, along with the delightful fragrance of these flowers,  makes me smile deep down to my soul!! I could sit in this garden forever, but for now I’m daydreaming of these beautiful Lupine, and Iceland Poppies, Papavar, showing their brilliance for all of us to enjoy…Spring is here!!! 🙂 Woohoo!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After all that fresh air, sunshine, and gardening I’m extremely famished!! I’ll begin by making my favorite “Tahini Dip It” sauce to compliment the Tabbouleh and oven roasted veggies that I made up beforehand.  And I’ll also make some oven-baked tortilla chips. Best pic Tahini SauceHeavenly and Tasty is what I think about this Tahini Dip It sauce, and Tortilla Chips I made with Organic Corn Tortillas.  I placed several tortilla shells (whole wheat and corn) on a cookie sheet, drizzle on a little olive oil, and sprinkle on my favorite herbs, spices and cheeses on top. I like to use our Hood River Lavender Spice Blend (herbs de Provence), Cumin, Pico de Gallo powder, and four cheese blend…just sprinkle on the amount you like 🙂 Then oven-bake at 400 degrees for eight to ten minutes until crisp (don’t leave the kitchen, as these chips bake quickly at this high oven heat, and depending on your oven, they might cook quicker than mine) Once removed from the oven, break into pieces and dip into this homemade “Tahini Dip It” Sauce! I also drizzled some of the Tahini Dip It sauce onto my oven roasted veggies! Lunch is On!!  Yum! Best loved appetizer everytime!!

Tahini "DIP It" Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian Dipping Sauce
Serves: 6
 
Tahini Dip It Sauce is a delightful, delish, and healthy sauce perfect for dipping veggies and homemade oven-baked tortilla chips. It's even delicious on fresh sliced local Fruit!! :-) Best loved party appetizers everytime!!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1½ Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (make sure it's Extra Virgin Organic)
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more for spicy)
  • 2-3 tsp Hood River Lavender Spice Blend (salt free) "Herbs de Provence"
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot water as needed to thin down the sauce
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add a little hot water to thin as needed, 1 Tbsp at a time. Whisk till smooth. Taste and adjust to balance Nutty and Tart taste. Salt to taste if necessary. I didn't use any salt...not necessary.
  2. Now grab a warm oven-baked chip and "DIP IT"!!! SOOOO GOOD & HEALTHY!
  3. Recipe was adapted from theShiksa.com

 

Best Pin Homemade Tortilla chips

I love to make delicious healthy meals…with a Middle Eastern Cuisine twist to it, Hummus, Tabbouleh, oven-roasted veggies,  and oven baked tortilla chips…with “Tahini Dip It” sauce! Yummy!

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And for Dessert……another culinary delight, “oven baked dessert tortillas”. I thinly sliced fresh, local Bosc Pears and placed them evenly around an organic tortilla shells that have been lightly coated with olive oil and then baked as above. Then I sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, culinary lavender, and feta cheese! OMGossshhh!! Heavenly Delight!! 🙂

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Lavender Lady Essentials: I Love cooking with lavender!!( here are some of my favorite recipes)  I think Lavender is the most delicious edible flower that lends a delicate floral note when using English Lavender, and a bold floral/savory note with using Provence in your favorite recipes!  Be sure to use “Organic” Culinary Lavender.. choosing the best ingredients in your recipe! Lavender is also a beautiful, fragrant perennial flower, perfect for landscaping around your home, as well as a pollinator flower for our wonderful friend, the Bee!!!  Lavender started plants 2015 in the greenhouse HoopHouse

We have hundreds of lavender starter plants in our greenhouse that are growing quickly with all these warm sunny Spring days.  We’ll be selling these starter plants at our Lavender Farm on our “soft opening” weekend, Blossom Festival Weekend, April 18th-19th. I look forward to seeing you then!!

Spring Cheers!! Here’s to healthy eating and getting outdoors in the garden!!

XXOO Lavender Lady

 

Happy Easter And Happy Spring Splendor

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Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Signs of Spring surround us, from the joyful birds song, to the sight of buds popping on the pear orchards, and fragrance of spring flowers.  The lovely, Forsythia is blooming in front of our house. This is Spring splendor…happy,cheerful, yellow flowers on a beautiful sunny day…aww…makes me smile 🙂

We are initiating  Spring Cleaning around the Lavender farm once again.  There’s tons of work to do, and I  wish you were here to share in the process! 😉  Sadie, our sweet Lab, is ready to help and she brought along her glove!! LOL  She loves her life ‘down on the farm’, as much as I do!! Never a dull moment around here, especially at this time of the year with all the prep around our lavender farm.

Today I’m pruning off spent flower tops, and weeding around the edges of our wildflower garden, before the grass takes over with vengeance. I’m thankful to have one of my awesome helpers giving me a hand! Thank you Shelby!!

As I tend to the gardens, I get all excited inside, anticipating the gorgeous beauty, and aroma of the flowers that are just beginning to burst out of their tranquil sleep!!

 

 I took this photo  last spring, around mid-May, of the wildflowers garden with lovely Lupine, Iceland Poppy’s, and California Poppy’s in bloom. It reminds me of a Monet painting..sigh..cheers to Spring Splendor. I can’t wait to see these lovely flowers again!!

Happy Easter to you and your family! I hope your will find time to take a walk and breathe deeply, enjoying the beauty surrounding you with all your senses! 🙂

Here’s a wonderful recipe for delicious coconut lavender balls that would make a wonderful addition to your Easter celebration!! The toasted flavor of the coconut after baking is simply divine with the delicate floral notes of lavender..to delight your senses!

Coconut Lavender Balls

yields 20-36(depending on size)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut(I used organic-unsweetened)
1 Tablespoon Culinary English Lavender-finely ground
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a large mixer, using the paddle attachment,
cream the butter, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, ground culinary lavender, and 1 tsp. vanilla on medium
speed, until light and fluffy.

 

Scrap down sides of the mixing bowl. Mix in flour, salt, and coconut
on low speed until they are well combined.


Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls, spreading them
about 2-inchs apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes (depending on size)Some of the coconut will turn golden brown.


Roll the warm balls in confectioners’ sugar, let cool.


I left 1/2 of the balls plain, without sugar on outside.
Option: I also placed a walnut in the center of a few balls…hiding it inside like an Easter Egg 🙂
(Pecans or Hazelnuts would be great too) 🙂


I love these Coconut Lavender Balls..so Yummy!!Cheers to Spring, and Happy Easter blessings!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Coconut Balls

Inspiring Vivid Beauty and Garden Cookie Party

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Finding inspiration and energy to motivate me as I begin spring cleaning, deadheading, and weeding around the lavender farm is important. I often start by imagining the vivid beauty and glorious, fragrant blooms emitting heavenly, calming aroma from the lavender & wild flowers. Awww…I can see it, smell it and feel it in my mind 🙂
Today I have a wonderful friend tending the garden with me, and it is a huge inspiration. Thank you Allove , from Wild Beauty Sacred Aesthetics, for helping me tend our lavender & wildflower garden.
As we work in the wildflower section we are extremely careful of the fragile new growth coming up from the perennial flowers; Lupine sulphureus, Papaver, Rudbeckia , Leucanthemum x superbum, Dianthus barbatus. These are just a few of my favorite wild flowers!!
Our wild flowers will transform starting in May with the “Crazy in Lupine Sulphureus” beauty! (I’m sitting on the bench here, that is also behind me in the middle pic above) It is extremely amazing to see our Wild flowers transform day by day. I Love my job!! Happy gardening to you, and be inspired!
 Knowing that Spring is right around the corner, brings energy to my spirit, and enthusiasm as I work. It feels great spending time in my garden again, reconnecting with Nature! It brings joy and energy to my soul! There is a time for every season…and now it’s time for a Cookie Party in the garden  🙂
Lemon Lavender Cookie with Lavender Cherry Pear Marmalade on the side.

Lemon Lavender Cookies G.F.

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons dried culinary lavender (I used English lavender)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used Olive Oil)
4 tablespoons agave nectar (I used Honey)
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. ( I store cookie dough in fridge for 1 -2 days, enhances flavor)
4. Form 1/2 inch balls and press onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5. Bake at 350′  for 7-10 minutes.
6. Cool and serve.
Makes about a dozen cookies

Recipe adapted from elasaspantry.

Lavender Lemon Cookies
Time for a break!

 

It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not! ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman~

When the world says, “Give up” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown

 

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!

How to Dance in the Rain

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Dancing in the rain
Painting by Joan Shannon, RN, BSN. MS, MPH, (Ph.D)

This is a beautiful story about love!!  Lets Dance in the Rain!

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.

He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.
On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the
needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me thatshe had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.


As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, ‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,

But how to dance in the rain.’

Blossom Weekend – open for the season

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Our little Lavender Gift Shoppe
Our little Lavender Gift Shoppe

I’m Spring cleaning my retail cottage getting ready to open for the season this Friday 12:00-5:00, Sat.-Sun. 10:00-5:00 for Blossom Weekend. We are hoping for blossoms on the fruit trees, our premier attraction at this time in this beautiful valley, but…we’ll just keep our fingers crossed. The forecast says “Sunshine”, so come out, and bring your camera for the spectacular mountain views and various flowering trees. 🙂 It’s still too cool to plant flowers in my window boxes. I’ll have to wait until after the last frost, which might be around the first of May, since we’re in zone 6 to 7.

 

Although the flowers are few at this time, I’m packing our Retail Shoppe full of various fragrant lovely products from Lavender Parfum, Lavender Essentials, and gloriously fragrant lavender sachets, to name just a few. I love our little 8 x 10 retail cottage, because it’s really quite easy to clean due to it’s size!! 🙂 Don’t we all wish our own homes could be small, and easy to clean..less clutter..small is good, and quaint in this case. When our dream of this lavender farm began 5 years ago, we considered building a small structure. But as it turned out, because of cost and efficiency, we discovered this little “Tuff Shed”, and decided to redesign it instead of building. With the help of “Jack of All Trades”, Hood River’s handy man (my dear brother :)), and a little paint. Wallahh!! We had our quaint “English Garden” cottage Retail Shoppe!!

We open at this time each year, and stay open through October 31, 7 days a week, Mon. – Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-5. So please come out and visit us this blossom weekend while you are in town, and sample some hot lavender “Gorge Wind” tea, and out famous lavender-mint shortbread. Then pick out one or two of our organic rare lavender plants to start your our herb garden, and love for lavender! Admission is always free :). Just wear your favorite garden shoes, and again bring your cameras.  *Note: Mention seeing my blog, and receive your free vile of Lavender essential oil, “Grosso”.

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. 🙂

Not Quite Spring Yet…

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Irene, the snow-gal
Irene, the snow-gal

A few days of 58’ temps, and it feels like spring. We’ve even started pruning the Lavender and other perennials at our farm. But, we got up today to another winter blast, of 3 ½” of snow! It’s beautiful as I look out at the fluffy white blanket covering the Lavender fields, and watch the sunrise. This is not uncommon for us at the time of year, since our U-Pick farm is 1700’ elevation. I will take today off, and continue our spring clean-up another day. I’m going outside to play in the snow, and build a snowman or “snow-gal, Irene”.  Spring’s on its way…for real!!!