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The Lavender Farm Blog

The lavender farm is not only a working farm but a well established Isle of Wight attraction. Within the farm team, there is an overwhelming desire is to share and bring to the attention of the public the many interesting ecological and educational aspects that we see on a daily basis.
 

Our primary goal is to operate a successful business, however,  we also see ourselves as an educational and informative centre. To this end we will be publishing various articles based around our nursery experiences as well as what we call good sense ecological propositions, that need to be shared, discussed and understood.

 
02/09/2017

Bare Root Rose


Bare Root Roses
Bare Root Rose
When you first receive your rose delivery, unwrap them, and inspect for any damage. Then carefully place the root or roots in a cool place to stop growth but with some moisture such as a damp cloth, so that they don’t dry out

As long as there is good wrapping or packing around the roots you can keep them for some time, such as in an empty freezer which is switched off.  Keep the top open a tad of the freezer and make sure they are kept moist.


However, if you need to store them for more than say twelve days then I suggest you take them outside and heel them in. 

Using this method you can store the bare root for some time, firstly create a trench around twelve inches deep in reasonable soil not too boggy, then lay the roots on their side at a 45 degree angle, cover the root ball with soil and heel them in with your boot, leaving the head of the root exposed.


Be sure to check the trench regularly for moisture and when needed gently ease out each rose for replanting in final destination.
 


 

Obviously they should be moved prior to the generation of new root growth as this is easily damaged so a good planting plan should be adopted in order to make certain the roses are given the best chance to thrive.


 

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23/11/2017

How a common parasite became part of Christmas


Mistletoe is a plant which is commonly found in our woodland and a parasite that can kill its host if allowed to get out of hand. How then, has it become such a recognisable symbol of Christmas?

There are around fifteen hundred varieties of mistletoe worldwide. In northern Europe our native variety, viscum album, has green foliage and white berries, and is the variety that grows on the Lavender Farm. There is also a red berried variety found in Spain, and in other parts of the world red, orange, and yellow flowered mistletoes make a heavily infested tree a spectacular display of colour.

Whichever country in the world mistletoe grows it has become part of its folklore.  In Norse mythology the god Baldr the Beautiful was killed with a weapon made from mistletoe.  An ancient Greek myth has Aeneas, Venus’ son, visiting his dead father by using a magical golden bough, commonly believed to be mistletoe. Closer to home, legend says that ancient druid’s harvested mistletoe in such a way from oak trees that they could tap into mistletoes magical properties.  The French also used mistletoes mystic power in a potion which when drunk induced great physical strength, at least according to Rene Gascinny, the writer of the Astrix stories. Modern day druids also use it in their ceremonies.

Today’s tradition of kissing under the mistletoe became popular from the seventeenth century, becoming fully entrenched when the Victorians reinvented the festive period. The tradition has several explanations, most going back to ancient fertility rights.  It was connected with fertility, as were other similar plants, because it remained green all year round and its leaves and berries are, apparently, arranged in a suggestive way. It has also been used as a sign of peace and goodwill for thousands of years and today in France is more associated with New Year and given as a token of friendship.

There are other traditions associated with mistletoe.  This Christmas, rather than throw your sprigs away along with the fir tree, leave them hanging in the home to stop evil spirits coming in.  After twelve months, when you bring in fresh sprigs, burn the old.

If you’d like some mistletoe for decoration, to ward off evil spirits or to bring out your inner druid, we now have some in the farm shop.
 

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02/09/2017

The Lavender Farm Mob


Reuben and Jill Abbott, who run the Lavender Farm, are very conscious of how lucky they are to live in such an idyllic place and love sharing it with others.  They are more than happy for visitors to bring a book, sit and relax around the courtyard or gardens to enjoy the peaceful and picturesque surroundings, but appreciate that some would rather be more active and perhaps stay for longer.

In view of this they have set up a group for people who would like to spend more time here, helping out in the garden.  They have called this group ‘The Lavender Farm Mob’ after the super comedy of the 1950's "The Lavender Hill Mob"

As any gardener knows, even a gentle potter in the garden provides you with not only the feeling of a job well-done (regardless of how much you really have done!) but also gives you exercise, helps concentrate the mind and leaves you feeling more positive. There is also a great feeling of purpose when pruning and planting and then accomplishment when plants mature and flower, and then again when they need tending to help them give their best. Being part of their cycle, and gardening generally, is proven as a positive thing we can all do for ourselves; even some GP’s are prescribing it!  

Being a squad member also helps those who don’t currently have access to a garden to enjoy these advantages. It is a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people with a similar interest, develop new skills and improve existing ones.  Or maybe you are hoping to get back into employment after a break and need to dust off your social skills and boost your confidence and freshen-up your CV.





The Lavender Farm is, of course, a working farm and commercial venture and although we are unable to pay our mob members you will be very well looked after. 

No gardener would expect to plant, prune, weed, and deadhead without a supply of rich, home-made cake washed down with a quality tea or coffee, and for those who want to make a day of it we’ll provide lunch too, all in our warm, welcoming tearoom. 

We have a shop on-site, so if gorgeous smelling essential and massage oils, Pot Pourri, or scented candles are your thing we’ll give you a mob member’s discount there as well. On the practical side, we have plenty of space for free parking and modern, spotless washing facilities including disabled loos. 

We’ll also provide gloves, kneelers, wellies, and if needed help with the bus fare.

 
Don’t worry if you’re not a Gertrude Jekyll or Monty Don as Reuben and Jill, both professional horticulturists, will be on hand to show you what to do.  Their latest venture is growing roses for bare root stock and developing a new rose; learn about it here “The Wight Rose”.

If you’d like to know more then give us a call for a chat.  There’s no commitment to how much time you spend or how much you have to do as we’d like you to feel unpressured, work at your own pace and enjoy your time here.
 
 
The Lavender Farm Mob
W:  www.lavender.co.uk  
T:  01983 530097  
E:  thefarm@lavender.co.uk 







 

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