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Sometimes, colors are as simple as atramentous and white.Take atramentous and white, for instance.Black is atramentous and white is white (unless you’re attractive at acrylic chips, which affection hundreds of both colors).And lavender is, well, lavender.Except for back the blossoms are pink. Or white.But we apperceive gardeners accommodate them in their landscapes for adorableness and scent.Except back they abound them for comestible reasons, or to accomplish capital oils.At atomic we apperceive they are all variations of one kind: English lavender, right?If you absolutely adulation lavender, you additionally apperceive there’s French and Spanish lavender. And if you are a bulb nerd, you apperceive there’s alike Egyptian lavender.Ah, but the scent. Everyone knows the lavender smell. It calms the nerves, it fills the senses.Except that every lavender or lavandin smells cautiously — sometimes not that cautiously — different.And there are a hundred varieties aloof at Chris Mulder’s Barn Owl Nursery in Wilsonville.And the capital oils produced by Dr. Michael Lemmers at RavenCroft in Mulino anniversary accept their own different fragrance, based on the bulb the oil came from.So, I anticipate I’ll leave it to those two to accomplish scents of all this.
Marcia:Most of Oregon is accepted abundantly for its rainfall. In Ken Kesey’s archetypal book, “Sometimes A Great Notion,” I can still feel the drip, drip, dribble of rain falling (and, strangely, an aberrant abhorrence of actuality trapped beneath a behemothic log).But the adjustment is that we accept a admirable Mediterranean summer, which agency we can abound lavender.I didn’t apprehend aloof how abounding lavender farms we accept in Oregon and how admirable a acreage of lavender can be until we visited a few for this column.I acquainted like I was in Provence, except it was alike bigger because the fields are amidst by oak savanna and behemothic firs. It’s breathtaking.Take that, France!Because of our wet weather, lavender needs acceptable arising to thrive, so back planting, bank and alter the clay with abrasive or albino loam.For a abiding blossom season, bulb Spanish lavender for April/May blooms, English for June blossoms and French for a mid-July to October show.They are deer-resistant, slugs avoid them, bees adulation them, they aroma admirable and are acclimated in cooking, medicinally, as a cut annual or as allotment of a admirable landscape.With a lot of acid bend lavender ancestry activity on in Oregon, we can buy plants that we apperceive will advance in our conditions.Traditionally, ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ accept been mural staples, but Chris Mulder of Barn Owl Nursery assures me that there are alike bigger choices for Oregon gardens.
Chris Mulder’s favoritesFor garden landscapes:English Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivars: ‘Betty’s Blue’, ‘Lady Ann’ (pink flowers), ‘Little Lady’, ‘Miss Katherine’ (pink flowers), ‘Mitcham Grey’, ‘Nana’, ‘New Zealand Blue’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Rebecca Kay’, ‘Thumbelina Leigh’, ‘Tucker’s Early Purple’, ‘White Dwarf’ (white flowers) — all of these are bunched plants, some aftermath actual aphotic dejected or ablaze violet flowers, except area noted, and some will abound able-bodied in ample containers/barrels.English Lavender hybrids (Lavandula x chaytorae) cultivars: ‘Richard Grey’ and ‘Silver Frost’ — both bunched with arresting argent foliage, continued stems.French Lavandins (Lavandula x intermedia) cultivars: ‘Fat Spike Grosso’, ‘Gros Bleu’, ‘Impress Purple’, ‘Riverina Alan’, ‘Riverina Thomas’ — all of these accept darker flowers, for lavandins, and actual continued stems.For comestible use:English (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivars: ‘Folgate’, ‘French Fields’, ‘Imperial Gem’, ‘Melissa’ (white flowers), ‘Opal Rain’ (white/pink flowers), ‘Royal Velvet’For capital oil:English Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivars: ‘French Fields’, ‘Hidcote Pink’, ‘Maillette’, ‘Royal Velvet’, ‘Violet Intrigue’French Lavandins (Lavandula x intermedia) cultivars: ‘Fat Spike Grosso’, ‘Super’
Growing tips1. Bulb in abounding sun; should get 6-8 hours of abounding sun daily.2. For arising purposes, bulb in abrasive or albino loam. Abound on mounds, in aloft beds or on slopes.3. Work in a ablaze appliance of adhesive back advancing soil. Fertilize agilely with a low nitrogen fertilizer.4. Bulb lavenders 3-4 anxiety afar and lavandins (French lavender) 4-5 anxiety apart.5. Baptize able-bodied the aboriginal season. They are aridity advanced already established, but ability charge added baptize in the summer.6. Hand clip all lavenders at atomic already a year, or agilely clip them throughout spring, summer and fall.7. Lavenders developed in containers crave added water, fertilizer and pruning.Source: Oregon Lavender Association
Oregon Lavender Farm TourWhat: Almost two-dozen lavender destinations accessible their doors, featuring lavender edibles, lavender capital oils and abounding added articles as able-bodied as lectures and, of course, the plants themselves.When: July 8-9Where: Twenty-two destinations statewide, including Barn Owl Nursery in Wilsonville and RavenCroft in Mulino.To apprentice more: For a abounding account of activities, sites and hours, go to oregonlavenderdestinations.com/farm-tour/
Pruning tips1. Pruning in the bounce and summer and agilely in September helps the plants attending and abound bigger over a best period.2. Begin pruning back plants are young. Younger plants developed in pots accept a bigger alpha if they aren’t accustomed to annual the aboriginal year.3. English lavenders crave added pruning than the French ones, but not as abundant as the Spanish lavenders.4. Pruning can be done back agriculture the flowers for beginning and broiled bouquets.5. All lavenders account from actuality pruned at atomic already a year. If you can alone clip once, do it in backward summer afterwards they bloom.Source: Chris Mulder, president, Oregon Lavender AssociationFor added advice on pruning, go to the Oregon Lavender Association website, oregonlavenderdestinations.com/category/growing
Marcia Westcott Peck is a mural artist (mwplandscape.com) and Dennis Peck is a chief editor at The Oregonian/OregonLive.
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