Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hurry up, here comes the first frost!

Everyone has been enjoying this wonderful  weather but sadly I (we) knew it was bound to get cool.  Cool weather means slower days at Lavender Fields Farm.  We closed out the month of October by announcing that store will be closed during the week but will remain opened on the weekends (10-4) thru Christmas.  I'm crossing my fingers that the first week or two of November is warm and rain free.    (I'd like to squeeze in a few more weeks of wearing shorts to work).
Here at Lavender Fields Farm we have been very busy closing things up, I've talked quite a bit about taking cuttings and moving plants into the greenhouse.  I'm happy to announce... all the cuttings have been taken and are now happily resting in the greenhouse.  Hurray!  (I will keep you up to date on their progress)
All the lavender plants in the fields have had a haircut (so to speak), remember, cut back by 1/3 now and in the spring your lavender will be healthier, longer lived and be more productive.  Aahh, a wave of purple in the spring, can't wait!!!
So here are a couple pics...
Carl cutting back the french lavender 
I was lucky enough to get a few pictures of these beautiful dahlias, within the week they succumbed to the first frost.




 Betty and Jo enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.

Well...I'd like to say that's a wrap but...   Now's time to move this operation inside!  

Hear from me soon,
Heather
F.Y.I.  I'm still around, so feel free to e-mail any questions or comments.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October is my all-time favorite month.  It's a perfect month.   What's not to love?  The weather is fantastic.  You can actually be outside and (comfortably) get things done!  October is a month chockful of beautiful colors.  The leaves are slowly changing fiery orange, flaming red, yellow...  and yet the garden is still as green as can be.  Here at Lavender Fields Farm we still have tons of blooming Dahlias, zinnias, buddelia, echinacea, shasta daisy's... It's a fairly long list, just come visit me and we can go for a walk!   

And yes, we still have potted Lavender for sale!  Now is a great (perfect) time to plant.   English or French the choice is yours.  Don't let all the goodness of October pass you by. 

Come visit us here at Lavender Fields Farm, we're open daily 10 am til 4 pm thru October.  Then weekends til Xmas.

English and French Lavender
Hurry south my friend the nights are getting cold! 

October... What a Perfect month!
Hear from me soon,
Heather ;)
 
Come visit us here at Lavender Fields Farm, we are open daily 10 am til 4 pm thru October.  


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 26 Pretty Amazing!

Full speed ahead!
We've come along way since my Week 1 post and even though we have 26 weeks under our belt  I'm happy to say there is so much more to come here at Lavender Fields Farm.  The season isn't over yet and if you haven't noticed I've added the Lavender Fields Farm calender to the sidebar.  (I'm still trying to work out a few gliches and hope to add more events) The calender will list the dates and times of events and activities here at the Lavender Farm and also events in and around the area.

Now on to a question that comes up quite a bit...
The Labryinth!
The Lavender Fields Labyrinth is an exact duplicate of the Labyrinth embedded in the floor of the Cathedral of Chartres (Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral). The Chartres Cathedral is located about 80 km from Paris and was dedicated on October 24, 1260. It has eleven circuits, is 42 feet in diameter and a ½ mile journey to walk both in and out.  Built in 2008, the arbor is encased in a lovely lavender colored Wisteria.  When you enter through the arbor you will see that the labryinth is surrounded by a beautiful green fence of Cryptomeria and a lowerer planting of Hidcote lavender.   The Lavender Fields Labryinth is a wonderful journey not to be missed! 
You can read more here:  http://lavenderfieldsde.com/labyrinth.html  

Now on to big business here at Lavender Fields Farm...  Taking Cuttings! 
Spring and Fall are the best time to propogate lavender and we've been very busy taking cuttings.  There are alot of new "babies", just about 5000, waiting to be placed in the greenhouse for the winter.
Both English and French Lavender

Don't they look GREAT!

Here's Carl trying to finish up, today he was working on Jean Davis and Royal Velvet lavender. 
You Go Carl!   
This week we should be finishing up with the cuttings.  
Next week, we should be moving on to the final harvest of the season!  
Hidcote is in its second bloom and looks fabulous!  Hurry out so you don't miss it. (You still have time it takes several weeks to harvest).
Next week I hope to show you pic's of our new butterfly and bee garden.      

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Perfect Start for September!

 Oh Wonderful September... Cool temps, the kids are back to school, the days are still long, and it's the perfect time to visit us at Lavender Fields Farm. 

We've been full steam ahead with propagating, "our little guys", all 5000 of them will spend the next several weeks in their little starter pots before they're potted-up and moved into the greenhouse for the winter.  It takes a few weeks of propagating in order to get the many varieties that we sell here at Lavender Fields.  It's a long process but it's exciting to seem them slowly green up and take root!
If your thinking of doing some cuttings of your own, keep in mind that the best time to take a cutting is early in the morning when the plant is fresh and full of moisture.  September is a great time for this because your lavender should be putting off some nice new (and green) growth and there is nothing liking the morning dew to wet (soak) the toes of your shoes!

With the start of September we were happy to welcome The Delaware Master Gardenders to Lavender Fields Farm.  Mother Nature was very accommodating, the weather was per-fect-o!  Marie Mayor planned a perfect evening.
Our visitors were directed to the Barn where owner Mary Ann Etu, a home economist had a lovely sampling of lavender inspired hors-d'oeuvres and beverages, (both lemonade and "adult beverages").  While in the Barn, visitors could view paintings done by the Delaware Shore Artist Group.  The paintings are for sale and will be on exhibit throughout the month.


Shortly after, members shuffled off to visit with the "Dahlia Lady".  Judy Knight, a member of the National Capital Area Dahlia Society, was on hand to discuss the more that 50 types of dahlias growing in the dahlia garden. 


Members of the Master Gardeners explored the farm, and of course, quickly found a spot to hear Sharon Harris discuss the history of Lavender Fields Farm.   What a perfect evening!

And... What a Wonderful start to September!  Cool temps, the kids are back to school, the days are still long, and it's the perfect time to visit us at Lavender Fields Farm!
Hope to see you soon!
Heather


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trust me, it isn't hard to find Lavender Fields Farm but if your unfamiliar with the area it could be a little confusing.  Cool Spring Road runs north and south across Route 9, unfortunately, many visitors turn north onto the wrong side of Cool Spring Road.  If your like me, give me a landmark and I can find my way to the moon.  Sadly, Route 9 is lacking in decent landmarks other than the train tracks and a faded piece of purple fabric that when travelling at 50 mph are easily missed.    
Well, miss us no more!  Look what the D.O.T put up last week!!  
   
Now, whether you travel east or west on Route 9 you will definately be able to see our new blue and purple signs with the Lavender Fields Farm logo. It's been a long time coming but they're finally here.  Hopefully, you will be too!    
Heather

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bats, Birds, Bees and Butterflies!

Welcome to Betty's Backyard! 
When you come for a visit to Lavender Fields Farm you absolutely must stop and say hello to Betty.  Betty's Backyard is new to Lavender Fields Farm and has been a huge hit with nature lovers of all kinds.  Like the sign says, Betty caters to the backyard nature enthusiast.  Looking for bird seed, well Betty offers a wide array of Wild bird seed that has been specifically blended for Northeastern birds.  Betty has made it very easy for the home enthusiast to attrack all types of bird into the backyard with custom-built bird houses (built locally right here in Sussex County, Delaware). If your interested in   attracting butterflies, bees or hummingbirds, Betty also sells many decorative feeders for our smaller winged friends.     
Hi Betty!

A quick peak into Betty's store.  Betty sells an assortment of specialty gifts and decor for the garden and home.  If you have a group of 5 or more friends, make sure to sign-up for one of Betty's popular Backyard Birding Lectures
Betty is open daily 10-4. 
Thanks Betty, it was fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wow, What a week!

What a hurried week it's been with so much going on and no time to get it all done.  I'm sure you've all been there!  Surprises around all corners, all week!  We had a wonderful group visit us from the beautiful water front community of Ocean Pines, Md.  I absolutely love it there!  Nice quite neighborhood, lots of pools, great yacht club and great golf course, if you're a golfer. (Yes, golf is on my "Bucket List")

Look, I caught Sharon off guard!  Funny!!!
Owner Maria Mayer, with friends who were visiting from Mexico City and Washington D.C. 

Imagine my surprise when I heard Kevin Fleming was in our gardens!  Whew, I ran as fast as I could for my cheap little Walmart camera.  Kevin Fleming is a local Delawarean who has photographed the "World".  You can read more about Kevin Fleming here   http://www.kevinfleming.com/about/ 
Mr Fleming spent the morning photographing the wildlife around Lavender Fields Farm.  I caught Mr Fleming here, photographing butterflies in one of our perrenial gardens.  The Crepe Mrytle in this garden is always filled with a huge varieties of butterflies.  I hope they're cooperating!

I thought it best to ask if I could take his pic, sadly, my camera is nothing compared to his and this is the best of the 20 or so shots I took. Kevin had his lovely assistant Autumn helping him throughout the day.  
I'm very excited to see what comes of the day Kevin Fleming spent at Lavender Fields Farm!  Hmmm...  maybe Lavender Fields Farm will be in an upcoming book?! 
Oh, and I've decided to start saving for a new camera, Mr Fleming said my camera was a tad bit slow! 
Hear from me soon!
Heather

Friday, July 16, 2010

Visit from the Master Gardenders

Just a quick bleep on the Lavender Fields Farm radar this morning.  I want to post a quick thank you to the Queen Annes County, MD. Chapter of Master Gardeners.  With over a hundred members, we were very happy to have 20 memers of their group visit us yesterday for lunch and a tour of the Lavender Fields Farm. 

Thank you for braving the heat and humidity!  We hope to see you again soon.
Heather @ LFF
  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

     Working outside you have to be aware of and plan for the weather.  A hot and sunny day at Lavender Fields means extra water and sunscreen, a cool and breezy day, I'm pulling out the long sleeves and my to-go cup filled to the brim with piping hot coffee (can't wait for fall).  Now rain... that's a whole 'nother story.  When it rains I'm lucky enough to sit at home in my studio with Rosie our dog, a pot of coffee, and CNN, and still be able to contribute to the success of the farm.  
     In the Lavender Fields Cottage store almost all of the products for sale are handmade by local crafts people (actually, I can't think of any that aren't!).  Our amazingly talented group of crafts people transform the lavender that is grown and harvested right here on the farm into the products sold in the store; lavender soaps, lavender lotions, lavender bug away, (keeps away the bugs) culinary items, jams and jellies, sachets, moth-away, eye pillows, neck wraps the list goes on...  
     Back to the weather...  All week the weatherman has been predicting rain and severe thunderstorms for the early morning and afternoon hours (when I'm at the farm) across all of Southern Delaware.  I hate not having a plan, so with the impending rain I've channeled my creative spirit and plan sit at the sewing machine until the sun comes back out.   Sadly, the weatherman was a little of the mark, most of the rain has fallen late in the afternoon and evening hours, but not all is lost.  For two days I've been able to sit quietly (the kids are at camp) and create!

Soon to be lavender filled shoe-stuffers.  I start by embroidering strips of crisp white cotton.   
Each piece is then hand-cut and pinned together.
Each one is filled with our dried lavender, I add a ribbon, it's sewn shut and then ready to be sold in the Cottage store.
I've also been working on lavender filled satchets.  
Depending on the weather, I may get more of these done tomorrow?!
 
Hope to see you soon!
Heather

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An Accidental Garden?

Here at Lavender Fields Farm you expect and want to see lavender!  Come for a visit and you'll see 5 acres of lavender in perfectly planted rows.   We have over 36 varieities of lavender here at the farm.  If you time your visit just right you can walk the fields in bloom and see hundreds of bees buzzing from plant to plant.  You can walk past a shady grove of trees and enter the labyrinth that is surrounded by english lavender.  Lavender Fields also has several raised gardens that contain wonderfully scented herb such as basil, rosemary, thyme and a wide variety of mints.  Last year we added a huge vegetable garden at the far end of the property and I'm happy to say, it's already overflowing with cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and various hot peppers. We also have a perennial garden and a gorgeous red rose garden.
Those are all things you should plan on and expect to see when you visit us here at Lavender Fields but that's not all we have.  Today, while weeding, I discovered a completly unexpected and unplanned garden growing in the rose garden.   
Sunflowers, thanks to a birdbath that was once filled with birdseed! 
One yellow rose shining brightly in a whole bed of red roses!  
And my biggest surprise, finding lavender growing where it was never planted!  Hmmm... seeds fallen from a lavender plant?! 

Along with the all wonderful things you expect to see when you visit Lavender Fields Farm you can now stop and see our newest addition; "An accidental garden".    
See ya next time,
Heather
Next week ask me about Eloise! 


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!


   HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Week 13 Time to harvest the lavender

How Beautiful is that?! 
So I thought, before the day gets too hot we could talk about harvesting that beautiful lavender you have growing in your garden.  Here at Lavender Fields, the lavender has been blooming for several weeks and it is finally at the point were it needs to be harvested.  Why harvest you may ask?  Well...  We harvest both the english and french lavender for use in the products that are sold in the Lavender Fields Cottage store.  Ok, you may not be making hundreds of eye pillows or a thousand bars of lavender infused soap but for the sake of your lavender make sure you harvest your lavender flowers.  Here's why:  Harvesting your lavender plant by 1/3 helps to encourage new growth (next year, more flowers/bigger plant).  When you harvest your lavender flowers you are helping to maintain the proper shape.  A properly shaped lavender plant is less likely to become woody or crack in the middle.  Harvested lavender lives a longer healthier life.  And finally, if you harvest your lavender you may be lucky enough to get a second bloom, especially with an English variety like Hidcote.  So lets harvest those plants! 
Disclaimer:  For the sake of the pictures we will actually be harvesting Super a french variety, it has nice long stems which will make it easier to see what is being done.
                           
Grab a bundle of flowers and set your huge sharp cutting thing (scary, huh?!) at the base of the stems and cut. (Carl is a great hand model!)
                            
Make your way around the entire plant.  (be careful of your fingers Carl!)
Almost done!
Finished at last!
Notice Carl left about two inches of green all around.  
 
Bundled, tied and ready to hang in the drying barn.
So there you have it,  lavender harvesting made easy! 
Thanks Carl!
'Til next week! 
Heather

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Week 12 Dinner in Provence!

One of the top bids at the Annual Milton Historical Society Auction last fall was for a Provence style dinner at Lavender Fields Farm. The winners chose Friday, June 11 for their party. It was a beautiful night - the al fresco dining was adjacent to rows of Jean Davis, Provence, Munstead and Hidcote lavender - all in bloom. Tea lights illuminated a tent well into the night. Linens and china purchased in Avignon and Quimper France adorned the table. The meal was prepared by members of the Milton Historical Society, all of whom have stayed in Provence. Each of the five courses (see the menu) was paired with an appropriate French Reims or Epernay champagne or a wine (a star was a 2007 gigondas) from vineyards in southern France. The dining experience also included pre- and post-chauffeuring.






What a wonderful evening! 
        Thank you Marie Mayor for being our guest blogger!!!