Today is Earth Day, a fantastic and wonderful holiday that goes hand-in-hand with springtime. Here at Heritage Lavender we have some saplings that we received for donating to the Arbor Day Foundation. Did you know that one tree generates enough oxygen for two people? We’re very excited to find new homes for our twelve new trees!
We have also freshly broken the ground for our second patch of lavender. This, coupled with the Greenhouse that we have laid the foundation for, will make for quite the busy summer. Our number of lavender plants will roughly double with this new patch. We have seeded some grass between the two fields for a nice place to enjoy some lavender tea and fragrances right off the plant.
Our existing lavender has started to wake up out of its winter dormancy, with new growth already coming in. Soon our lavender fields will have a nice blueish-purple hue to them as the lavender begins to flower. We can accommodate any visitors if you would like to see them in bloom!
And lastly, here is a fantastic fact-sheet from the CSU Extension about growing Lavender in Colorado: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07245.html
A little chaos and stress in life is inevitable but during the month of December it seems to skyrocket! According to the Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood “Stress occurs when the natural equilibrium of the body and mind is upset, often as a result of …..excessive demands made on an individual’s mental and physical resources” Studies have proven that prolonged stress weakens the body’s immune system as well. Perhaps that accounts for the increase in cold and flu occurrences during the months of December and January.
With the calming attributes lavender offers, perhaps it’s time to add a little lavender to our holidays and tone down the stress. Here are a few suggestions to help you do just that. When you are out and about shopping, carry a small sachet of lavender or a spritzer of lavender hydrosol in your pocket, purse or car. Give it a squeeze or spray when you feel tension trying to take hold. If you have a vial of lavender essential oil take a gentle wiff or rub some on your temples to calm your senses. Lavender is well-known as a calming herb and offers a powerful effect on the olfactory system.
After the running about is done, reward yourself for finishing your “to-do list” with this suggestion is from “Natural Cures, Not Medicine” instagram by Tawanda ShakaDread MaKombe. It sounds so inviting and relaxing!
- ….”sit in a hot bath that contains a handful of Epsom salt or sea salt, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and a half cup of baking soda. This combo draws out toxins, lowers stress related hormones and balances your pH level.”
Ahhhh I’m heading to the bath tub right now with some lavender bath salts, after I grab a candle and a nice glass of wine. Holiday stress….what holiday stress? I have lavender……….
~PS~ The handmade Relaxing Lavender Bath Salts pictured above are available from Heritage Lavender, send your request or order via email or phone. Watch for our upcoming announcement, we will soon be offering some of our products for sale online via Etsy!
On this cold cloudy morning of 36 degrees I found comfort in the photo above that Alan sent us while we were away at the US Lavender growers conference. As pictures often do, they take you back to a memory, a captured moment of time, an emotion. This picture is reflective of a recent revelation I had.
While attending 2 recent conferences we met many wonderful people with the shared passion for growing lavender. We received information and encouragement from large lavender farmers (with thousands of plants) and small growers alike. Looking at pictures and watching videos of acres of lavender made my heart yearn to walk among the colossal lavender fields as the owner and farmer of one of them.
Then, at the perfect time this picture evoked a new emotion, not one of envy, but of comfort and contentment. “Home Sweet Home” and my lavender, a little purple patch of happiness. Each tiny plant put in the ground loving with my own hands, daily nurturing and enjoying a connection to the earth. The amount of plants or acres is not what matters most, it is one’s humble contentment that matters. Mary Engelbreit said it best – “Bloom where you’re planted.”
~Contentment and tranquillity, that is what life is truly about!~
Over the past several months many people have asked “Why are you growing lavender?” I’ve finally formulated a response: Serenity. Some plants can grab your attention while you are pursuing in a greenhouse or garden center, and some just gently pull you in, affecting all 5 senses. Lavender is one plant I have always been drawn to – seeing the soft green grey foliage, feeling the velvet like leaves, the fresh scent as you brush by it, hearing the bee’s busy in the blossoms, tasting the sweet gentle flavor in my tea or lemonade….ahhhh, lovely lavandula. Then of course there is the gardening logic of lavender’s tolerance for heat and drought conditions.
Living on a rural 1.5 acre parcel I have plenty of dirt to play in. Mix that with a patient, hard-working husband that is always happy to get out the rototiller and stir up a new spot for more flowers or veggies, and we have the perfect recipe to grow stuff. Bob grew up on a farm so anything that has an engine and moves dirt makes him happy. I grew up in the country missing the farm life my siblings enjoyed but never getting away from the practical farm applications both of my parents taught me. I was easily entertained with dirt and water, the perfect ingredients for a mud pie or two. Little flower gardens here and there, nice raised beds for the kitchen garden, a big patch for potato, onions and pumpkins and still my dear husband tolerated another of my wild ideas. But this time the use of the John Deere 1950 B tractor (he restored) and the old 2 bottom plow (I gave him for his birthday), made him happy as a pig in mud. So after learning the history and benefits of the lavender plant I became intrigued with it. I fed my new obsession with any information I could get my hands or eyes on. I took an online course about lavender, visited Sage Creations Organic Farm in Palisade during their U-Pick lavender (driving home 5 hours with 10 bundles of fresh lavender had me relaxed for days!), and then last September attended the Southwest Lavender Conference in Grand Junction, CO, hosted by the Lavender Association of Western Colorado. (Told you I am obsessed!). Now a year and 270 plants later we have a pretty little purple patch of lavender growing. But now, back to answering the original question, “Why lavender?”.
Lavender is a herb from the mint family (Lamiaceae), related also to rosemary and thyme. Lamiaceae tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including poor soil and full sun. The history of lavender use and cultivation dates back to the Romans, more than 2,000 years ago. They used it to treat many ailments and for bathing. The English word lavender is derived from the Latin word lavare, which means ‘to wash’. Lavender has been used for centuries to relieve stress and headaches and as a bug repellent (often used in kitchens and out buildings of farms for insect control). Lavender has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, lavender oil was used as a disinfectant on the battlefields of WWI and WWII. All the history is wonderful but the main attribute I enjoy is the fragrance and calming aromatherapy.
With today’s fast paced lifestyle, constant use of technology and unending life stressors, we need a to calm our minds and bodies; that’s what lavender does for me. Be it a little bundle or a field full.
The plants we planted this spring are flourishing, we are enjoying the nurturing and growing process, as well as an unexpected harvest. We look forward to next summer when we can open our field for visits and u-pick. But most of all we endeavor to share the serenity.
Planting day June 1, 2013
Unexpected harvest of Lavandula angustifolia ‘Sachet’ September 04,2013
After two years of research, study, hard work, and extremely beneficial help from our family, we are finally achieving the goals of our dreams.
We started preparing the property for the lavender plot in April 2013 by adding a water line. We had to remove a section of the driveway to get the water line to the other side of the property.
Within the year, we will have bundles of many varieties of lavender and a considerable assortment of lavender products for you to peruse and purchase. We hope you will be able to visit Heritage Lavender soon!