Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Sport: Extreme Gardening

Walking through the lavender patch on a recent morning after a rain, we started thinking about how crowded and chaotic it was getting. Fall is prime transplanting season for lavender, and after the first rain the ground is ready for digging.

Over the last couple years we've planted all different kinds, French, English and Spanish. After watching their growth patterns I've come to the opinion that Spanish, work better for landscaping then as row crops. They tend to sprawl around and make the rows uneven, and grow too close together which seems to cause mold. They bloom at a different time than the others, so we do love the way they extend the blooming season.

While I was chained inside to the computer over the last few weeks, Drew (it's time for a name change) was eager to get outside and do some planting. He attacked the job with a fervor that is rare to see, even after 14 years of watching him attack things with a fervor. Lost count early on, but in the span of 2-3 days he had transplanted probably in the neighborhood of 50 plants. He extended and evened out the rows, bringing order, reason and sanity to the design.

Personally, in the case of lavender, I like the consistency of planting groupings of all one kind together, for the way it creates an uninterrupted blanket of color when in bloom. My favorites are still Provence and Grosso. They grows in long stalks, have a wonderful scent, and the base of the plant stays neat and tidy like a pincushion. Drew prefers mixing different kinds, creating more of a mosiac of lavenders.

This led to a heated discussion, and a satisfying compromise was reached (which was diplomatic of him, considering he was doing all the work) to plant the irregular sized and different types in a row hedge along the south side. Inside the main rows are mostly Provence and Grosso (not sure how to tell those two apart). There are a few Munstead, the edible type, which are smaller and a deeper purple, still mixed in.

Here is the new, updated, "Lavender Patch 2.0":

And in case you hoped thought the Gopher Derby was long-abandoned, all this planting prompted a revival, and Drew trapped four gophers in the last few days! Here he's setting a trap.

He's baa---akk.... Mwah hah hah....


  1. Well SRC killed quite a few this summer, not sure how many but at least 4. Garden looks lovely!

    Last time we were to Denver there were mole hills everywhere...

  2. Dyane Leshin-Harwood6:02 AM

    I want to buy a bunch of lavendar, to hopefully some lavendar essential oil (I have a distiller contact - I used to work for Elizabeth and Larry Jones, who live up in your neck of the woods and they are essential oil gurus and own Elizabeth Van Buren, Inc. at the Sash Mill. I worked for a time as Elizabeth's office manager at her College of Botanical Healing Arts on 17th. (

    Can I get some lavender from ya? We have one teeny, tiny plant here in the dark redwoods and it's not doing it for me. ;)

  3. emeraldwednesday8:30 AM

    It looks great! I love lavender. Too bad we don't have enough space for much of it...

  4. Thanks for the comments folks. Good work to SRC! I gave you credit for untold numbers in the derby. Drew hasn't gotten back to it since that little spurt.

    To all friends who want more lavender in your lives, you are welcome to come picking here at harvest season (usually starts in June...we'll announce it next year). It's best in the early morning before the bees wake up, so if you don't make it in time, don't worry, you won't leave empty-handed.