Well, it has been a super busy week at Hereward Farms! Our plants arrived on Tuesday and it was all hands on deck. I have to tell you, my family rocks - we all came together to get these babies in the ground and finished by the next day.
We put in 3,000 plants and three different varieties - Hidcote (English Lavender), Mundstead (English Lavender) and Phenomenal (French Hybrid Lavender).
A little background on why we picked these varieties. For one, we had to research which ones would do well in our zone and last year we planted Phenomenal and Munstead cultivars in our test garden (and when people want to come and see our lavender that we first planted, it isn't pretty - it is literally in our backyard.)
Munstead Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), English Lavender
This lavender is used the most for culinary uses (we can't wait!). This compact extremely fragrant has rosy-purple flowers. This plant was introduced by the garden designer Gertrude Jekill in 1916.
We also choose planting this lavender because it is fairly hardy and can bloom twice starting in late Spring or early Summer and it performed great for us last year for our test.
Bees and butterflies are going to be happy in our fields this year!
Hidcote Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), English Lavender
This long-lasting and delightful scent lavender features dark purple flowers with contrasting blue-green foliage. This variety blooms once in late Spring or early Summer.
Hidcote is new to us, as I couldn't get it in time last year when we decided to try our hand at lavender farming. We planted this variety near the fence line and so far so good - I notice some plants aren't doing as well, but it could be just shock, so fingers crossed, lavender has a way of surprising us.
Bees and butterflies love this one too and it is a perfect culinary lavender.
Phenomenal Lavender (Lavandula intermedia) French Hybrid Lavender
We grew this plant last year and it has come back with a vengeance in our test garden. It is most notable for its outstanding cold hardiness and tolerance to heat. This lavender grows into a beautiful mounded shape with purple flowers on tall stems in mid-summer.
It is also attractive to bees and butterflies! This lavender is also good for dried flowers and cut flowers, so we are hoping to not only infuse this lavender but to have some dried flowers to sell (next year most likely).
As I write this, Stephen is finishing up the irrigation system and we should be all set. Overall, I am pretty happy - we had some bumps in the road, but for our first big planting, I am pretty happy. Who knows how many may not make it, but that is okay because I will focus on the ones that will.
We can't wait to show you over the next couple of weeks how things are turning out and thank you for being part of our lavender journey, here at Hereward Farms - the lavender farm that started on a whim.