Propagated Lavender Takes Off

gardening

Ah the joys of gardening! Its the little successes that make it all so worthwhile. Back in June, I propagated lavender from lavender I had in my garden. (There’s a post on this in the gardening section.) Now it is early September and there is evidence of success. A lavender bud has formed on one of the propagated plants. Oh joy!

With the recent success of my blue potato bush and now the lavender, I could really get into propagating plants. I have a vision for where these new plants will be going in my garden. Believe me, I have a lot of space to fill. I plan to have a border of lavender and potato bushes. However, with the propagated plants, it will take a bit longer for them to reach a decent size. Yes, I would get faster results by purchasing more mature plants at the nursery, however, I kind of like this whole propagating thing.

As always, HAPPY Gardening!

Propagating Plants – An Update

gardening

It has been a little over a month since I propagated the lavender and blue potato bush. I thought I would write an update at how this process is going. My first post on this can be found under gardening and is titled Propagating Plants.

First of all, I want to say that I have been very diligent about watering the plants. They are on our potting table and I have been sure that they are taken care of in the mornings and are never dried-out. I have done nothing more to them than watering them.

From the beginning, all plants looked fine. One of the blue potato bush plant’s leaves started to wilt not long after being planted. I did not panick. It still looked alive. However, last night, I think reality has hit. The plant’s stem is dry looking and I think it has reached it’s end. The other blue potato bush is thriving. Last night I was so happy to see that new buds are forming on the plant. A sure sign of happiness!

Looks like the end…
Thriving!

The lavender seems to look pretty much the same as when I planted them. I guess that is a good thing. All seem to have attached themselves to their new soil.

Hopefullly, these cuttings will continue to grow and someday be able to be planted in the ground. I will keep posting every now and then on their progress. As always, Happy Gardening!

Propagating Plants

gardening

I have big plans for our backyard. Part of the plan is to plant more lavender (which is doing quite well in our yard) and blue potato bushes (which are relatively low maintenance). Since we already have these in the yard, I decided to try to propagate my own plants from cuttings.

I have been saving large yogurt containers for a little while now with the intention of using them as pots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the labels came right off and I could write on them with a Sharpie. I also poked holes in the bottoms of the containers with an awl for drainage.

Yogurt containers with awl

Next, a little research in propagation. April through June is a good time to propagate plants. I am in the window of time, early June. I took a cutting just below where the green part of the stem meets the woody part of the stem. Then I striped the leaves, leaving a few at the top and cut off the tips of the plants. Then I poked them into my soil-filled containers and gave them a good watering. I will just have to wait and see if I did this correctly.

Lavender Cutting

If this works, I figure I will be saving myself a little money from not having to purchase new plants. Of course, they will be smaller and take longer to grow, but I can spend the saved money for other things to complete the yard project. I will also have had a little fun trying something new. As always, Happy Gardening!

Lavender Makes a Comeback

gardening

I posted earlier about how the bunnies thought my two young lavender plants were a salad bar. I then put up fencing around the lavender and gave the plants some extra loving care. They started to grow back and look healthy. Yesterday, to my great surprise, one of the lavender plants had produced it’s first lavender flower! Not quite in bloom yet but will be very soon. That is the amazing thing about gardening, the big changes from day to day. As always, Happy Gardening!

Peter Rabbit and the Lavender

gardening

I should have known better. I let my guard down in the garden and Peter Rabbit (or one of his buddies) made a smorgasbord out of my young lavender plants. Oh no!

I have two other lavender plants that are always in bloom and the rabbits never touch them. I had not thought that lavender would need protecting, however, I suppose the younger plants were more to the liking of the bunnies. I have since constructed a couple of wire fences to protect my two young lavender plants and staked them in the ground so they will not blow away.

As can be seen in the photo, the weeds are making a come back. I guess I’ve been slacking in more than one way in the garden. I have recently purchased a three-pack of new garden gloves as I had worn holes in the fingertips of my old pair; and the weather is gorgeous so no more excuses. Happy gardening!

Keeping Spiders at Bay – Follow-up

gardening

Well it has been a little while and I thought I would post an up date on my post entitled Keeping Spiders at Bay. To recall, I was trying to keep spiders from building their webs around my mailbox and in particular from being present in my mailbox itself using dried lavender. The big question is, “Did it work”?

My original post was on September 18. It is now October 10th. So it has been about three weeks since my little experiment started. To date, I have not had any spiders in the mailbox. Exactly what I was hoping for!

I may add a few fresh springs of lavender in the box every once in a while to keep the aroma fresh. So far so good. We shall see if this lasts…

Keeping Spiders At Bay

gardening

It feels as though Halloween is approaching my neighborhood. But it is only September. Yet, spider webs are everywhere.

On my daily walks in the neighborhood, I have noticed the incredible amount of spider webs found on my street. Spiders have been very busy weaving their intricate art in the yards of my neighbors. Spiders seem to love weaving their webs around lamp posts, trees, bushes, porches, and mailboxes.

One morning I woke to find garlands of webs stretching across my whole front yard, from tree to tree to bush and across the front porch. Must have been quite a party these eight legged guys were having in the night. While the making of webs is quite amazing, sometimes they can get in the way. I do not usually mind the webs outside the home. Spiders do have their benefits and place in the world after all. However, I was getting a bit tired of the spiders over-taking my mailbox.

I clean the mailbox frequently so the webs do not build up. However, the spiders come back and decorate the box again. It is a never ending process. It is not unusual to find spiders in my mailbox when retrieving my mail. I personally do not like the idea of reaching my hand inside knowing there may be a spider waiting inside.

The question is: How to keep spiders at bay? I did a little research and found that spiders do not like some plants such as mint and lavender. Lavender caught my eye. I grow lavender! Why not plant lavender around the mailbox? But first, maybe I should see if the lavender thing actually works. So, I proceeded to clean the mail box of all webs and occupants. Luckily, no occupants were in the box at the time of cleaning. Next, I took some clippings from my lavender plants and made tiny little bundles which I tied with twine. One bundle I placed inside the box. The other bundle I tied to the post. I will wait and see if this will have the outcome I desire. Time will tell…

Drying Lavender

Projects

Have you ever gone into a boutique and seen the bunches of dried lavender neatly tied with twine for sale? I always thought it would be nice to purchase such lavender bunches. The only thing that was stopping me was my pocket book. Dried lavender can be pricey.

This is where my DIY mode sets in. I decided growing my own lavender would not only be cheaper than buying dried lavender bunches, but I would also have plants to fill in my bare yard. Bonus!

Growing lavender is easy (see my blog under gardening). Drying lavender is also very simple. Just cut the lavender stem above the lowest leaves. Cut enough to make a nice bunch and wrap a rubber band around the bottom of the stems. Hang this bunch upside down until they are dry. Voila!

I put my dried lavender in a ceramic wall pocket . You could tie a pretty ribbon around them and display them in a basket or make a floral arrangement with them. Crushing the flowers and putting them in a DIY hand sewn satchel would bring a lovely scent to your drawers. Gifting the lavender would also be a nice option or using them to decorate a wrapped package.

So if you like the thought of lavender indoors, why not bring it outdoors first. The bees will be happy and your garden will look lovely.

Lavender

gardening

Ah the sight of lavender fields! Brings one to think of lazy days touring Provence, France. The fresh scent of lavender can put one at ease. Wouldn’t this be lovely in your own back yard? That is exactly what I thought.

Shopping with my daughter, I came across bunches of dried lavender. “Wouldn’t this be nice,” I thought. Then I looked at the price tag. Maybe not today. After pondering the expense of buying dried lavender, I decided it would be more cost efficient to plant and dry my own lavender and that is what I did.

Lavender is extremely easy to grow here in California. It does not need a lot of water and is not picky about the soil except that it should be well draining.

The lavender can be cut and hung upside down to dry and then used around the house. Once cut, it does not take long for the lavender to bloom again. It is best to harvest lavender early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the bees, which love the lavender, are not busy at work.

I decided to dry lavender to be put in a ceramic wall pocket. I may also try making some dried lavender satchels to put in my drawers. It looks as though I will have enough lavender for myself and to share with others as well and my plants are only a year and not fully grown. Au Revoir!