The Lavender Slope gets additions…finally!

The Lavender Slope this morning

The lavenders have been in bloom for several days now, but I haven’t had much time to notice. The top (left) row is always the best, because it has the best drainage, which lavender not only loves but absolutely MUST have. The plants closest to the camera are “Royal Velvet” and then “Imperial Gem.” The second and third row are Lavandins, mostly “Abrialli” and “Grosso” which have much longer stems and bloom later. Looks pretty good from this direction.

New baby plants!

But, as is often the case, things are not so pretty on the backside! Back in 2015, when I sold my herb farm, I hadn’t really planned to sell so things were a little chaotic when it happened. One of the results was that I didn’t have time to move all the plants I wanted, or to pull some plants from the sales area before they were gone. So, when it came time to plant the Lavender Slope some months later, there weren’t enough plants to fill the slope. It’s a project that’s been on the list since then! When I knew I wouldn’t be traveling at all, I knew there would be plenty of time to grow some baby lavender plants to finish the slope, so the time had come!

Now normally, I’m an advocate of lavender plants from cuttings, because that way one knows exactly what one is getting. Seed-grown plants can range from lovely to blah, stately to floppy, fragrant to scentless. I used to do over 5000 lavender plants from cuttings a year, but I don’t have a good set-up now, and no big desire to set one up! So, feeling reckless, I ordered two varieties of lavender seed: “Avignon” and “Blue Spear.” They’ve grown slowly, as lavender babies do, but were finally big enough to face the big bad world on their own.

Into the ground each plant went, along with a generous handful of compost, and a tablespoon of lime mixed into the hard clay soil that is the slope. Now, we just wait and see what happens, and what they turn out to be: beauties or blahs?

After I finished planting, I took a stack of empty pots and flats back to the pole barn to “rest” until they are needed again next February. As I passed a stack of equipment, I saw another heat mat, and the mist line system that I used for starting cuttings. I stood and pondered for a while. Actually, I could cut it down to fit under the bench in the greenhouse, where the cuttings would be shaded. If I purchased a “Y” for the greenhouse faucet, I could set up the shortened mist line without much effort, and I’ve got a leaky hose that is begging to be cut up into a piece the right length. There are some other cuttings that I could use besides lavender as the gardens become more perennials than annuals. Maybe when I go into town to get that soaker hose the blackberry row so desperately needs, I’ll just get a “Y” and a couple of hose end repair kits as well! I bet lavender plants would sell at the garden club sale, don’t you?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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13 Responses to The Lavender Slope gets additions…finally!

  1. bcparkison says:

    Yes they would…but please add growing directions with each.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. juliejdonaldson says:

    I love lavender. Unfortunately it is not a perennial in Minnesota, so I have to content myself with growing them in pots during the summer season.


    • carolee says:

      I’d think there are some lavenders that would do okay in Minnesota. Probably not the lavandins. I’d check with Shady Acres Herb Farm in Chaska. Theresa will know. They have closed their herb farm for plant sales, but she still writes and does presentations.


  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I have struggled with lavender here but now have 2 plants bought locally which look to be doing more than marking time until they can die! Here’s hoping! Good luck with those cuttings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth says:

    Beautiful – I always enjoy seeing (and smelling) lavender blooms. Sadly, the unusual winter storm in Texas destroyed many of the lavender plants. I visited a lavender farm several weeks ago and it was really sad, but the survivors and the new plants were a cheerful sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Generally, lavender can survive the cold, but that freaky freeze that came so suddenly did not give the plants a chance to adjust. I’ve visited several beautiful lavender farms in Texas, and hate to think of their losses. Do support them as they also struggle to adjust!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jo Shafer says:

    Several years ago, I bought lavender plants from a large lavender farm out in the county, and still do, for the sloped east lane rose garden. The oldest now are over three feet tall and nearly as wide! The bees love ’em and so do I. Happily, lavender will do well during hot, dry spells, so I’m not worried about their surviving this current “heat dome” you may have heard about. And the daylilies should be all right, I think.


    • carolee says:

      The lavender doesn’t mind heat, but sometimes humidity is hard on it, especially if it is crowded. Some years, it paid to harvest it a bit deeper and sooner to improve the air circulation in order to save the plants. The daylilies should be fine, although you may see more browning of the leaves earlier than usual, especially if there is little rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I live in the Santa Cruz mountains on the SF peninsula in California. Lavender grows quite well here. I have a steep slope I’d like to cover with lavender and/or rosemary – being mindful of fire risks here and wanting erosion control and something to compete with poison oak and brambles. Rather than planting tons of baby lavenders, would broadcast seeding now it has started rainy season have any chance of success?


    • carolee says:

      I’ve never broadcast lavender seed but I doubt they could compete with poison oak and brambles that really never stop growing. Id try plugs but they will need water till they get rooted in and you’ll need to keep the weeds from encroaching and shading them. Good luck!


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