As the lavender babies are getting ready for a winter sleep, I wanted to share some of the highlights of our journey to becoming an official lavender farm in the Pemberton Meadows.
With a cool and slow spring melt, most of our work on the property did not get started until mid May. Our soil analysis results and high water table issues required us to bring in more soil to hill each row, so as to keep the lavender plant’s roots dry.
(Check out our Instagram Highlights “Our Journey” to see time lapse video and highlights to get the complete story of our endeavours to get the lavender planted).
On top of that, our baby lavenders arrived later than expected, and did not have the best journey getting here either. They got stuck at Canada Customs for a week. Despite our efforts to nurse them back, we lost about 1/3 of the lavender plugs.
Just as the remaining 250 lavender plugs were planted, the Pemberton summer heat arrived along with the annual snowmelt, and the water table rose higher than we expected. Even with controlled irrigation, we saw pooling in each of the rows. Our thoughtful plans and hard work were not enough to combat Mother Nature. After much consultation and research, I made the decision to add French Drains to each row, which hopefully would eliminate the pooling water.
So far this Fall, with some pretty heavy rain events, we are seeing success and the rows are draining better. I am praying they do their job coming into our rainy season.
All the lavenders got numerous “hair cuts” throughout the summer to keep them from spending energy on sending out blooms, which allowed them to establish their roots and foliage. They have been growing beautifully! I received another shipment of lavender babies just as I broke my arm, so with the help of my dear friend Lisa, another 80 were planted in the quadrants. There are another 100 potted up to winter over which will be planted next spring on the dyke.
We have planted 6 English varieties (Munstead, Folgate, Hidcote Blue, Purple Essence, Sachet, and Royal Velvet) and 3 French varieties (Grosso, Provence, and Phenomenal), with 2 more English and one French variety to be planted in spring 2019.
Our work outside is done for the year. We now wait and see how the babies will make it through the Winter and Spring. My focus now turns to designing and making lavender & horticultural goods for the coming market season. To see what I am up to this winter season, check out my Instagram and Facebook pages .
Sleep tight little lavender babies…. See you in the spring!