Monday, June 21, 2010
June is a lavender month and the Lavender...ahhh, the Lavender is blooming in shades from white to pink, blue, grey and the darkest of purples. These plants are the "Princesses" of my garden domain, offering promises of lasting color, texture and fragrance while they rule, steadfastly, this month and beyond. Lavender will continue to bewitch and bedazzle the most skeptical of garden visitors even after the last of the blooms have been picked and gathered by the middle of July....that's the beauty of majestic Lavender.
Having over 40 different varieties growing in my own gardens, you'd think I wouldn't need or think of adding even one more Lavender plant and I went there with just that intention of looking, not acquiring any more! However, the road to you know where is paved with good intentions and I came home with five new varieties of lavender to add to my own collection. No, it is not an addiction problem--I'm pretty sure. But, it has gone way past an infatuation with Lavender to perhaps how I prefer to think of it as a long-standing relationship with a fascinating plant that I can't ever seem to have enough of!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Well, actually, it was trivets to the left of me and llamas to the right and there I was--not exactly stuck in the middle, but situated in-between them as my booth neighbors at the Virginia Herb Festival at Sunflower Cottage Nursery in Middletown this past weekend. Three days of fun in the sweltering sun and, even with a tent for protection from the elements and plenty to drink, I now have a pretty good idea as to how a fried egg must feel when over-cooked!
There were also some very informative talks and presented close to my booth as well from speakers about edible flowers and healing herbs as well as cooking demonstrations from well known area restaurants like L'Auberge de Provecal in White Post, Virginia and One Block West in Winchester, Virginia. If you are a food groupie, you are already well acquainted with their fabulous fare. In short, Sunflower Cottage was a happening place and I was part of it for the entire weekend.
All in all, it was a good time for me at the Virginia Herb Fair, peddling my garden wares as a vendor, albeit a very hot and sticky one and also the last of the fairs for me until the end of summer. I always seem to have a lot of fun and I never miss an opportunity to talk about all of the fine qualities lavender has to offer. However, it's now time to focus on the tasks at hand in my own garden where the lavender is growing a bit impatient and beckoning me daily to come and harvest it in order to get ready for a new crop of fairs in the fall. There is never any rest for the weary around here but I love summer and high summer is just around the corner. Now it's time to enjoy the fruits of labor in my own garden
where there is only a big, friendly dog around who doesn't seem to have to steal the show--well, at least not all of the time.
Monday, June 7, 2010
In between the "hub-bub" of traveling these past two weeks, the lavender decided it was time to come out and play, displaying their splendorous buds in every shade of purple, blue, lavender, pink and white that you can think of--from the deepest tones to the softest hues. I love these family bonding times even though, in three weeks time, my name will be posted as public enemy number one around here. You'd be surprised how not fun harvesting can get when you are only on your umpteenth bush with countless more to go and the gnats are whirring around your face at break-neck speed, taunting you. But, for now, I'll enjoy these smiling, happy faces shining down on me from Peter and Kevin and even Tucker who thinks he is in charge anyway. Oh well, I'll humor them all and "grin and bear it" right through to the end of harvest time because, in the end, the satisfaction and benefits we receive from growing this mystical plant far outweighs the work. Take a look at the beautiful knot garden (pictured below) Peter designed and planted last year with "Baby Blue" Lavandula Angustifolia along with English Boxwood and Rosemary. It was almost a shame to cut the lavender in this bed because it was so pretty all dressed up in it's best purple-blue finery. Yet, the blooms and greenery from these heirloom plants are forever etched in our minds and "Baby Blue's" everlasting blue is ours and yours to enjoy.
And then, finally, because we haven't had time to stop and actually smell the roses, so to speak, I thought I might add a few scenes from the gardens to help you breathe easily, smile and savor the summer season in all of it's early glory before the dog days of summer begin to set in. Even in these crazy days where there doesn't seem to be enough time to water, re-pot, transplant or prune one thing, much less stroll through the garden in the early morning with a cup of coffee in hand, it does remind me that this is done, all for the love of flowers...
June promises to be yet another busy month for me. Next on my whistle-stop tour of garden fairs is The Virginia Herb Festival at Sunflower Cottage in Middletown, Virginia, June 11-13. If you are interested in more information about this popular garden event, go to www.sunflowercottage.net. The weathermen are calling for sunny and very warm conditions there and the Farmers' Almanac concurs. How else could it be in this "fair" state we call Virginia and home at this time of the year when June is bursting out all over? Until then, I'll be picking lavender, gathering rose hips, cutting lettuce and even smelling the flowers in between fairs. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by, chances are you will find someone at home, busy in a lavender patch, to say the least.