Lavender question?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Keith Elliott, May 5, 2021.

  1. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Last year we started a very small plant section and this lavender is part of that effort. I have practically zero knowledge about this little plant, so my question is, do we cut off those parts that look dead?

    It is May 5th today, overnight temps are usually not below about 4º or 5ºC for the past week or so. We haven't had much rain over the last couple of weeks and it doesn't appear as though we are going to get much in the immediate future. We do water the planted areas most days, but not to the point that they are soaked.

    Until a couple of weeks ago, we didn't have any netting around this small garden section and the deer were able to run rampant over it. They seem to be leaving it alone now.

    We are in the North Shuswap area if that helps, about midway between Kamloops and Salmon Arm.

    So a couple of pics here, one with the lavender and the other showing the small garden section. Thank you for any advice or help!

    IMG_4470.JPG IMG_4378.JPG
     
  2. Keke

    Keke Active Member 10 Years

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    I think you can trim off the dead stuff on that lavender, but be very careful. Lavender rarely sprouts from old wood when pruned, so run your eyes down a "dead" stem and look for green sprouts. If you find any, cut above them. If there are green stems with dead matter atop them such as old flower stalks, cut down to, but never past, the green. Also, I don't know what kind of soil you have, but lavender is easily overwatered. It prefers dry, sunny, hot locations. If you have clay soil you might want to amend it for drainage near the lavender, or even create a mound of free-draining soil (can add perlite and sand to garden soil and mix it in) and plant the lavender on top. They don't really want fertilizer or compost either. Hope that helps!
     
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  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Soil looks heavy and compacted. Excavate and replace with sandy soil, mulch after replanting. Do not mix amendments with existing soil.
     
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  4. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Thank you so much. The plant was just put in last year, probably mid summer. We weren't in any position to do any gardening until we had the driveway ready to go. And until just a few short weeks ago, the deer population here had free run all over that garden. We planted many bulbs there, but the deer got almost all of them. I don't think the deer tried to eat the lavender. I don't remember if we mixed any sort of fertilizer in that small area, but perhaps Val will remember. I will check very carefully regarding the green parts of the plants and get some up to date photos after I get finished later today.

    As for the soil, we did put several inches of topsoil on ground that we had dug up with our small excavator. We did our best to get rid of weeds and rocks. I do not believe that we have clay here. Where it is located is high up on the property in a sunny area. Probably by about 5 o'clock in the afternoon the trees to the west of the bed might shade that area. I honestly haven't noticed that, but I will watch today as we are in full sun right now - perfect for Mother's Day!
     
  5. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Hello Ron, and thank you. Actually, I guess looks are deceiving! The ground is still quite loose. When the deer were doing their thing there, their footprints sunk several inches into the ground. We have only had that netting around that small section for the past two or three weeks.

    As I mentioned to Keke, I don't know if Val added any sort of amendment to the soil, but I will certainly let you know. We only have a small amount of sand here, but certainly enough to take care of that little plant.
     
  6. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    I checked with Val, and she didn't add any sort of soil amendment to this small bed. I did cut back most of the dead stuff and what you see here remains. I didn't add any sand this afternoon, so I will find the time to do that tomorrow. By almost exactly 5 o'clock, the closest trees put the lavender into shade, but it's still very bright there.

    IMG_4503.JPG
     
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  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning Keith, just seen your post. Can I add that I prune after my lavender flowers every year 'without fail'. If I don't do this it gets leggy and it will have the appearance of yours in the first photos with lots of dead wood. This will happen even with my dwarf variety 'Little Lottie'.
    Sometimes it is very difficult to get a lavender back, so a regular maintenance of this plant is essential.
    Looking at your latest photo, IMO it will do well now and the soil looks perfect for a lavender. But set a reminder to prune after flowering.
     
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  8. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Good morning Acerholic, and as always thank you for the information. I just went and took another look at the lavender, and I see that I managed to miss removing some of the deadwood. A few days ago we had a plant identifier tag by the lavender, (It's in the top photo) but I see it isn't there now...I will ask Val if she knows where it went. She was in that bed a few days ago and added some bedding plants which she has raised from seeds in the greenhouse.

    Incidentally, when I was on Ruxton Island, I used to listen to Brian Minter on the radio every weekend without fail, and he always told us that his "bible" was the Western Garden book. I'm not sure if I still have my copy or not, but I will certainly look for it in the coming days. Brian, in case you aren't aware, started his Minter Country Garden down in the Fraser Valley many years ago, just a wonderful place to visit and buy good stuff!
     
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  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    We all have our Radio or TV gardeners that we remember with fondness. Mine is the legendary Perry Thrower. I expect you have heard of him being originally from England.
    I haven't heard of Brian Minter, but just looked him up after your posting. He seems a very down to earth type of gardener that appeals to so many. Including myself.
    I enjoyed that little bit of your local celebrity gardener Keith. Always good to hear from other ideas from anywhere in the world. Thankyou.
     
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  10. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Three or four days ago we had these bulbs out in flower, and they are just a few feet outside of that small upper garden area. I was surprised that the deer hadn't eaten them for lunch, thinking that maybe they weren't to their liking. Well, they didn't disappoint after all.....when I looked again this morning we only have tiny chopped off stalks.

    IMG_4502.JPG
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning Keith, Grape hyacinth are on the menu for deer I'm afraid. But thh there's not much that isn't.
     
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  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I am a big fan of the Sunset magazine « Western Garden Book »

    Their proprietary zone system made so much more sense (I suppose because more detailed to our western NAmerica fact of complex mtns and valleys w ocean influences (vs great swaths of prairie or flat lands like Ontario for example

    Anyway - i looked around internet and I do not see any book newer than 2007 I think

    I have seen them at thrift shops -
    I do like having a couple of versions to compare and cross reference but I do think Sunset updated often to create new edition esp when gardening became THE thing in the 1990s / 2000s

    Maybe someone in your village has a copy if yours went to goodwill store in your house moves

    AbeBooks probably has a copy (online used book website)

    Some of old time Sunset is on website but sadly the company has gone fr SPRailroad to Lane Family (the people who made it THE magazine of western living) to Time or Meredith? and now an investor group in LA (hence the LA-centric content)

    I believe the iconic headquarters has even been sold off (Thomas Church landscaping and building designer B May)

    Hopefully you can find a copy of that great book.
     
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  13. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    I looked on Amazon yesterday and was shocked at the new price. Right around $100 Cdn! Ridiculous. Anyway, I eventually found a good used copy via one of Amazon's dealers and I ordered it. I think it's about a 6 or 7 year old copy. Doesn't really matter, as the information is still perfectly valid. I tried an archaeological dig yesterday to see if I could find my original book, but no luck. So just as soon as the book arrives, I can pretty much guarantee that I will trip over my copy here somewhere! Never fails.
     
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  14. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I expect you remember what law that's called over here Keith, begins with S. lol.
     
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  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Ain’t that the truth - buy a replacement and you lift up that sweater you (I ) left when rushing to calm down the boiling potato or feed the loyal pet

    I too was astounded at the price of old garden book

    I do believe the final edition before company sold and rebranded etc is 2012

    Hère is some info to sustain your thirst for Sunset

    The Ultimate Gardening Guide
     
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  16. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Yes, I spotted that one yesterday. They'll be only too happy to send you a copy for $108.29 Canadian, plus shipping of course. I ask you, what is this greedy world coming to? I think the one I found was about $17 Canadian.
     
  17. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Back to plants - thinking of Mediterranean - and lavender - this Arp rosemary is best success I have ever had in our shaded damp yet hot dry patch of garden at the coast cottage.

    Link below

    I have mine in well drained pot of soil that I move up against the house in winter

    Our coast place gets sudden icy winter temp drops when hi pressure outflow comes down Howe Sound and the other inlets here

    This supplier I realize is in USA - but call around Thompson Okanagan and someone will have it (Bylands in Westbank aka West Kelowna?)

    I use it often for cooking - and making my own dried poultry seasoning etc

    Has to be ARP rosemary

    Arp Rosemary
     
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  18. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Yesterday I managed to add some sand to the lavender plant and did the same on the upper lawn. I imagine that should let the lavender drain better if we get any heavy rain. But so far it looks OK, other than that it is pretty tiny.
     
  19. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Took a fresh photo of the lavender, and I must say that it is doing really well. At least to my inexperienced eye.

    IMG_4520.JPG
     
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  20. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Yes it does Keith and IMO your soil looks perfect for Lavender. But remember to trim after it finishes flowering. My wife trims ours every year and makes lavender bags for ourselves and our children, so it turns into a little gift and pruning all at the same time.
     
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  21. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Once again your comment has jogged my fading memory!

    There is (or used to be anyway) a wonderful lavender farm down on Vancouver Island. The lady there who looked after the place used to sell these delightful small lavender bags.
     
  22. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    One each for under yours and Vals pillows for next Winter then Keith. Just a thought, for good nights sleep.
     
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  23. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Thank you! Great idea!
     
  24. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Look what arrived in our mailbox today! All 768 pages of it. It is listed as the eighth printing, first done in 2007. And this one is indeed by the Sunset Publishing Company themselves, rather than their new corporate master. Good reading days ahead!

    IMG_4549.JPG

    Speaking of good books, does anyone know if there is a thread running anywhere specifically pertaining to books covering all things Japanese garden? Thank you.
     
  25. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    That looks a wonderful book Keith, even though I know it cost an arm and a leg. So expensive these old gardening books these days!
    Have a look at this resource.
    Japanese Gardens Resources
    Hope that helps re your question.

    D
     
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