Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEW Garden Workshop: All About Lavender

This Saturday, September 29th, we will be in Winston Salem for an exciting NEW Garden Workshop entitled "All About Lavender". This free workshop will be presented by Sandra Sarlina, our farm manager and will take place from 10:00 am till 11:00 am at the Single Brothers' Workshop on 10 West Academy Street.

Before and after the workshop, we will be selling our products as well as lavender plants for fall planting. We will have several varieties including Grosso, Silver Anouk, Provence, Munstead and French Fringe. Fall is an EXCELLENT time to plant lavender!

And, we have discovered that Grosso is one of our overall favorites. This plant is a hybrid of the cold hardy English (Lavandula angustifolia) and heat-tolerant Portuguese lavenders (L. latifolia) and therefore performs very well in our Zone 7 climate. 'Grosso' has a deep aroma and large, beautiful flower heads. The flowers are a vibrant violet/blue color that tend to shimmer in the sunlight. 

According to the Herb To Know: Lavender 'Grosso' Plant article written by Caleb Melchior in the August/September 2011 issue of the Heb Companion, "It has a more elegant habit than English lavenders, with long, graceful flower wands making a vast lilac halo around the central mound of silver foliage. It’s heavy-flowering, with sporadic repeat bloom after the main flush of flower in midsummer. When not in bloom, plants of ‘Grosso’ make compact mounds of silver foliage to 3 feet high and wide. In winter, the foliage picks up tones of pink, violet and blue. With its strong globe shape, ‘Grosso’ is particularly attractive for geometric plantings."

This free workshop is sponsored by the Old Salem Museums & Gardens Department of Horticulture. This museum celebrates the history of this unique Moravian town through the preservation and restoration of the picturesque buildings, gardens and landscape.

Please call 336-721-7357 for more information or to pre-register.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lavender Propagation Update

Check out the new, tiny roots on my sprig of lavender. Has yours rooted yet?


Not interested in propagating new lavender plants from ones you already have growing? Check back this Wednesday for information on when and where we will be selling plants this Fall 2012. There will also be some information on the varieties we will be offering!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September On The Farm

Monday afternoon while walking around the farm, I decided to take a few pictures to share...things are slowing down as Fall is approaching.
Our shed is so quite after the June Harvest Celebration...but still much LOVED!
We are reseeding part of the lawn in front of the house.
Different views of the lavender field...
We love to keep chairs near the field for rest after weeding AND to sit and enjoy watching the bee's visit each and every plant all summer long.
Our big, beautiful and extremely productive lavender plants.
Another view of the house and shed from the lavender field.
These plants are the oldest two on our farm...they are around 10 years old and still holding on strong. Hooray for the lavender grandparents!!
Nice picture of the skies darkening as evening approaches.

Thank you for taking this quick fall view of Sunshine Lavender Farm. I promise to post more pictures as fall turns into winter. We have been promised LOTS for this snow this winter!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lavender Facial Spritzer

In the constant quest to find new and wonderful lavender tid-bits to share with you, our farm friends, I realized this morning that I have neglected to share one of our essentials from this past summer. My children LOVE to be outside, especially at the beach, a pool, a park, etc. I have a bag especially dedicated to travel when there is a chance of us getting wet. One of the items in our bag (along with towels, sunscreen, organic bug spray, etc) is a lavender facial/body spritzer. We use it constantly to cool off and help us relax the day away.

Even though the days are getter cooler, I've discovered that we are still bringing our lavender facial spritzer along on our outdoor trips. It's super easy to make too...

Gather together your favorite mini spray bottle(s), some spring water and of course your lavender essential oil.

First fill the spray bottle half full of bottled water.
Then add several drops of lavender essential oil...usually no more then six drops total as you will be using the spritzer on your face and body. 

Fill the rest of the spritzer bottle with bottled water.
You are now ready to begin spritzing away to lavender relaxation!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Farm LOVES It's Bees...

As another season approaches, our thoughts again turn to our lovely bee's...oh how we do LOVE our bee's!! Soon, the days will be cooler and bee sightings on the farm will start to diminish as our tiny friends prepare to winter over in the comfort of their honey filled hives.

Over the past few years, there have been a large number of articles written regarding the importance of honey bee's. There have been even more articles written about the disappearance of the honey bee. It is so very sad!

I recently read that one third (1/3) of the food we eat depends on the pollination work of bee's. I even found a list of 10 foods that wouldn't exist if bee's completely died off. That list included:
  1. Apples,
  2. Almonds,
  3. Watermelon,
  4. Pumpkins,
  5. Squash,
  6. Cucumbers,
  7. Avocados,
  8. Mangoes,
  9. Blueberry's and
  10. Raspberry's.
Shocking, I know!!

So, as you are reading this information, you're thinking "I love bee's too but I just can't have a hive in my life right now". Well, not to worry...there are many things you can do to help out bee's. For example, you could spend a little time this winter researching plants that grow well in your area that bee's love. Then add a few of those plants to your garden next spring.

There are also a few simple land spacing and garden practices that you can implement to help bee's thrive in you area such as:
  1. Don't use pesticides,
  2. Provide a variety of food for bee's,
  3. Provide a year-round, clean source of water, and
  4. Provide shelter.
All of this might seem somewhat daunting at first but I promise it is very east to achieve...LONG LIVE THE BEE!!

(More information can be found at

Monday, September 10, 2012

Want MORE Lavender Plants? Root Some!

Propagating lavender is much easier than you can imagine...and there are two times a year that one can take cuttings to root- in the spring just before the plant comes into flower AND in the early fall. So, that means right now!!

To begin, its best to use a good quality cutting soil or you can make your own by mixing approximately 3 parts peat moss with 1 part vermiculite. Remember that the most important thing is drainage…even a cutting of lavender DOES NOT like wet feet!

Once you have a good mix, fill several small terracotta pots and make sure to dampen well. Now poke one small hole per pot into the mixture about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Next, using a sharp pair of plant shears cut a small branch off the lower half of the plant that is about 3-5 inches long. Make sure that the branch is soft and not woody. Strip the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting and place one cutting per pot. Make sure to cover the bottom part of the cutting with soil. There is no need to use rooting hormones on lavender cuttings.

Water your cutting thoroughly. For the first couple of weeks keep the soil damp, but then water less frequently. After the first few weeks, water when the soil begins to get dry but before the plant displays any distress. Too much water will kill your new lavender plant. When attempting to propagate lavender, this is the most common mistake.


Congratulations, after about 6 weeks you will have several new lavender plants! Now, you can move your new plants to larger pots or into the ground.

Please send us pictures of your newly rooted plants!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pinterest Finds- Lavender Beverages

School has started again. The lazy summer mood around our house has changed somewhat. We are getting use to our new, busier schedule. My mind is now instantly ready for fall...sweaters, hot chocolate, pumpkin muffins, fallen leaves, etc.

The temperatures are definitely dropping at night but during the day (like today) it was still HOT HOT HOT!! Summer is not quite over yet...not by a long shot.

So instead of trying another one of the lavender hot chocolate recipes I've found on Pinterest, I searched for something cool, refreshing AND easy...I'm all about easy these days! Please click on each individual caption below the picture to access our pin on Pinterest.

Sophie Dahl's Iced Tea
I LOVED the sound of this iced tea. It is an iced Earl Grey (which I truly think is way underrated) with the addition of dried lavender during the brewing process. Can you see yourself enjoying a glass of this tea with a simple sugar cookie? YUM!!

Martha Stewart's Lavender Spritzer

How about something sparkling? This lovely lavender spritzer from Martha Stewart's website would be wonderful and super simple...just water, dried lavender buds and sparkling water to finish. Perfect with a garden sandwich for lunch.

The Blonde Gourmand Lavender Vodka Tonic
And clearly, a post dedicated to "lavender beverages" would not be complete without a little alcohol. This simple vodka tonic includes the addition of a lavender simple syrup and a few floating lavender blossoms for the full effect. I am certain to have one of these in hand this weekend after everyone has gone to bed and it is finally time to relax.
Have you tried or found any interesting lavender beverage recipes lately??