Celebrating a Bountiful Harvest!

Like any plant, lavender experiences good years, poor years and bountiful years.  I’m thrilled to report that this summer has been one of those bountiful years as the first harvest completed with a brimming Carriage House full of drying bundles.
What contributes to a bountiful harvest?  Lavender likes air, space, light and sun which were plentiful here at the farm in the critical months of May, June and July.  We received just enough rainfall which meant that the plants didn’t get their “feet wet” or drown in puddles in the garden, which renders them more vulnerable.
 
Sunny and warm Summers also hold diseases at bay like Alfalfa Mosaic Virus (AMV) and Phytophthora Nicotianae (Ppn) which plagued many lavender farms throughout America for the past two years. We’ve had our own tough seasons past  with “winter kill” from prolonged days of sub-zero Winter temperatures.
A few years ago we lost about half of our lavender plants from “winter kill”.  Many of those plants were 20+ years old and had been so well loved that we knew them by name.   We also lost every one of our long stemmed “Provence”and “Grosso” plants during the brutal Winter of 2013-14.  This was a heart break.
In trying to second guess the upcoming Winters we cautiously bet that there would be a return to “normal” which, for us, does not include months of sub-zero temperatures.  So, we began replanting gingerly.
We replaced the Provence and Grosso gardens with “Phenomenal” which flourished this year.  Phenomenal has stems as long as 2 feet; is very hardy in Growing Zone 5; and, offers a nice fragrance.  It has a mid-bluish/purple color and is a nice all around plant to include in your garden. All in all, an improvement!
 
We’ve planted a test garden of “Big Time Blue”, a new angustifolia with exceptional color, good fragrance and a long flower head for 10″ bouquets.   We found Big Time Blue at Burpee’s and I believe they have them in stock for Fall planting if you’d like to give this compact variety a try in your perennial garden.
Big time Blue Lavender

The Gros Bleu with it’s vivid color, longish stems (18″) and nice fragrance was such a hardy Winter survivor and star that we planted another garden of them.

A garden miracle also occurred with our twenty year-old  Munstead and Hidcote plants which produced “babies” through a natural layering process.  The aging Mother plant produced five baby plants, encircling her last summer.  While many of the rows are no longer “neat and orderly” the harvest from the year old babies has been surprisingly strong.   Mother nature works in mysterious ways
Even though we haven’t experienced Ppn at Lavender Green Farm, we’re taking precautions by sending one plant from each new flat from the nursery to the Clemson Problem Plant Clinic to be tested.  In the interim, the other newbies from the flat are quarantined until we get a disease free health report.  This may seem overly cautious but we don’t want to introduce fungus- like oomycete* into the gardens as they destroy plants with symptoms that look like root rot.  So far there have been no diseases present in nursery stock ordered this year.
A number of the gardeners who attended our tours last Summer reported that their plants died instantly after a rainfall, which is a another sign of Ppn.  If this happens to you, pull and burn or put the sick plant into the trash bag and remove the surrounding soil by digging out the ground around the spot in your garden.  If it was Ppn nothing will successfully grow there for an indeterminate number of years–it is that serious and it can spread through the soil infecting other plants.  You can also notify your local Dept. of Agriculture office to find out where to send the plant for diagnosis.
So much for reflection on what we have learned over the past few years. Given this year’s harvest, our new mantra is to optimistically look forward with eyes wide open–taking nothing for granted.
I hope your garden is flourishing this Summer, too.
Fragrant Lavender Wishes,
Ginna

 

12 Ways to Use Lavender in Your Wedding

I found this article in our archives and since we’re moving into Spring and thinking “wedding” I thought it would be fun to update and repost it.  Just ignore the 37 year wedding anniversary reference as time flies when we’re having fun! We now host weddings at Lavender Green Farm and can bring lavender into your wedding at the farm in unique and delightful ways.

Organic Lavender Flowers-Lavender Green Farm Dancing in the fields.This month Chris and I will celebrate our 37th Wedding Anniversary. It seems as though we’ve been together for our entire lives and it feels as though we have just fallen in love. A paradox! We were married in 1969 on our family farm, which is now Lavender Green. Our wedding was simple in ceremony and music and yet lush with 300 guests, great food cooked outdoors, and lots of love! As I remember, there were flowers and fragrance everywhere.

We celebrate every wedding anniversary and mentally renew our vows at every wedding we attend. My wedding dress is carefully packed away and I can still slip into it, which I did on our 25th anniversary.

Lavender Wedding with organic lavender flowers.One of our many passions is the growing of lavender, which has historically represented love and fidelity. Our website features a number of home, travel, and wedding gifts hand sewn and crafted at the farm.

Our most delightful customers are Brides, planning their own weddings and planning to use lavender in unique ways to add fragrance to the celebration. They look to us to provide dried lavender for their own creations, or keepsakes from our wedding line or recipes for food or drink. We raise a number of different kinds of lavender and guide them on what would work the best in their own wedding.

 

Here are twelve of the most popular ways to use lavender in your wedding:

For the Ceremony itself:
1. Dried lavender buds for the flower girl to strew down the aisle fills the space with scent. As the bridesmaids follow, stepping on the buds releases even more fragrance to last the ceremony. (No one ever objects to the lingering scent of dried lavender in the vacuum cleaner)
2. Lavender buds in the ring bearers pillow scent the ceremony for the Bride, Groom and wedding party–it can be very heady and romantic and memorable. The pillow fragrance will last forever and can find a place on your bed to hold the memory and freshen your linens.
3. Bunches of dried lavender tied with big bows at each pew or row of chairs. Dried lavender stems can be cut to any length and made just the right size to work with the bow.
4. Consider a Unity or Promise Candle made with lavender and soy wax to light at the wedding and anniversaries ever after.
5. Fresh lavender in the Bridal and Bridesmaids bouquet for color and fragrance.
6. As a wedding toss, dried lavender in little net bags can be given to each guest to toss at the departing Bride and Groom. It is a soft and fragrant toss that will not offend humans or birds. We suggest the dried French variety because it is less expensive than our organic varieties.

For the Reception
7.
Mini-lavender bouquets for place cards are very popular as well as little lavender “shot” candles to brighten your table at the reception and provide a subtle fragrance for the life of the party. We often provide the lavender for your own creation, or we can craft it to meet your specifications.
8. Lavender (our organic Munstead variety) can enhance the food and beverage served at the Reception. Many delicious recipes are available to make lavender scented Cakes, ice cream, cookies and punch. A sprig of lavender in a glass of champagne makes a wonderful aperitif, for example.

Special Gifts for the Bride and Groom and the Wedding Party:
9. Brides have purchased items from our wedding and travel lines such as scented hangers and sachets to give as gifts to the wedding party. Mothers of the Bride especially appreciate a wedding keepsake. Our spa line provides a memorable thank you to those who helped make your day, too.

After the Wedding
10. Store your wedding gown in a large box with acid free paper and tuck in our Lavender filled bridal wear storage liner to keep mustiness and moths away from your dress and veil. A young woman of the future may want to wear your dress! Tuck lavender scented shoe stuffers into your shoes to keep them looking new and fresh as well.
11. Throw leftover lavender buds into your bath for romance and stress relief from the big day.
12. Take a nap with a silky eye pillow filled with flax to reduce puffiness and lavender to ensure restful sleep and sweet dreams. Or tuck a Battenburg sleep envelope into your pillowcase for a long night’s sleep.

 

Lavender is one of the most beloved herbs and scents in the world and is equally enjoyed by men and women so use it liberally and experiment with your own creations! We would love to hear stories of how you brought lavender into your wedding!

 

All the Best,

 

Ginna Gemmell

Farm Tours

Lavender Green Farm Tours in Knox, Pa.

Experience lavender in all of its summer glory

Join us at Lavender Green for your own firsthand encounter with life on our lavender farm in Knox, Pa. Our farm, purchased in the civil war era and originally built in 1888, has beautiful spreading acreage and flowering lavender gardens.

Organic Lavender Farm Tour in Clarion County, PA

When you visit us at the Lavender Green Farm, you’ll get to:

  • Participate in our educational Garden Tour
  • See organic lavender cultivation and craft demonstrations
  • Sample lavender culinary delights
  • Shop for cottage crafted lavender products made with lavender grown on our farm.

Don’t Miss Our Summer Lavender Farm Tour Opportunities

Public Tours are held during the first and second lavender bloom in June and September

Our two-hour tours are 1-3 pm, Sunday afternoon on June 25 and Sunday afternoon September 24, 2017. Please email or call Lavender Green Farm to book your tour in advance. (See contact info below.)


Lavender Farm Tours at Lavender Green - Knox, Clarion County, PA Our 2017 schedule is:

  • June 25
  • September 24

Cost

Lavender Green Farm Tours cost $20.00 which includes tour, lavender refreshments, a free $5.00 coupon for our lavender farm shop and free parking. Tours will be held rain or shine.

All credit cards, checks and PayPal accepted.

Private Group Tours

Special packages are available for groups of 15 members or more. Call us to discuss your needs and to reserve your date.

Contact Info

Farm House Phone: 814-797-5117 (please leave a message)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lavendergreenco
Address: 564 Little Germany Road, Knox, PA 16232

– Contact Us For A Tour –