Friday, September 5, 2014

First Lavender Harvest

I love lavender. If it's not my favourite smell than it's at the top of the list along with old fashioned roses, lilacs, babies (when they're clean ;)!) and fresh salt air. I think it might be my favourite though. It was my grandmother's favourite smell and I do like tradition.

I think I may have tried to grow lavender before in Germany (in pots on the back terrace where they promptly dried out from lack of water, too much direct sunshine and did I mention lack of water? My bad. I tried again in Ottawa but the wee starter plants I planted just shrivelled up and died during their first year probably due to that lack of water problem again. I was a vampire in Ontario as every May I retreated to the basement where it was coldest (even with the air conditioning blasting in the rest of the house, it was still coldest down there) and didn't come out again during day light hours until early September so I didn't notice them drying out. I didn't bother trying when we lived in NS as it was only a three year posting and I didn't think I'd get to enjoy any established lavender plants before we moved. I was right as we moved after only living there for two years.

Not one to give up on a dream too easily, however, I bought a couple of starter plants last year and put them in our temporary garden next to our back deck. It's a temporary garden because eventually we plan to extend the deck for access to the clothesline and that spot will be directly over where I planted the garden. Why did I plant anything there knowing they would be moved? Because it's the most protected spot on our property and I was hoping to get some plants well established in our micro climate before having to move them further along the side of the house.

I really didn't think the lavender plants survived the winter as by Spring as they looked quite dead to my inexperienced eye. You'd think after killing a few of these beauties I'd recognize a good and dead plant,  right? Happily it's apparent that I can't as on this, their second summer, I managed to harvest my very first, very wee lavender bunch just before we left for BC in August.

Thrilled doesn't describe the feeling. 

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