Lavender farm

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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.

 
14/09/2017

Warm up in the tea room



The days are shorter, weather colder, skies often darker.  But then the walks are more refreshing, the air feels cleaner, we get bright, crisp days, and the countryside shows a stark beauty.

Warm Winter Fire
Our warm winter log fire
 
Once you’ve got the benefit of your winter walk, need a warm bolt-hole or just fancy good food in a calming, rural location, why not drop in and try our winter fare?

Welsh Rabbit - cheese on toast
Welsh rarebit
 
Based on a farm we keep our food wholesome.  Our Welsh Rarebit has two crusty thick slices of farmhouse loaf, liberally topped with cheddar cheese with a choice of either mustard/ Worcestershire sauce/pepper/paprika as well as a side dish of pickle.  

French Onion Soup
French onion soup

Farmhouse soup of the day, every day we have a wonderful winter warmer, from our range of chunky vegetable, tomato, French onion, all served with a chunky slice  of farmhouse loaf.
 
In between meals?  Then our gorgeous cream teas and range of cakes from award-winning local bakers, our sponge classics are available at any time.

Jam Sponge Cake
Jam sponge cake

Or maybe it’s liquid refreshment you need?  A warming and relaxing cup of lavender tea could hit the spot, or maybe one of our fruit infusions with a bit of bite to heat you through such as lemon and ginger?

teas at lavender
A large selection of Pukka teas
 
Just pop in and relax when passing for a soothing cup of tea or maybe something a little more tempting.

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07/12/2017

Christmas Gifts ideas from our ancient woods

 

We’ve mentioned our ancient woodland and how we manage it before. This is partly because it’s such an important part of the Lavender Farm, and also because the material which comes from its management is recycled into useful objects by Reuben.
 

Walking Sticks
Walking Sticks

Walking Sticks

His latest creation for our woodcraft offering is a straight walking stick shaped from a solid length hazel. At its head the bark has been left on and a pattern carved into it.  This not only offers a firm grip but provides an attractive decoration and contrast in colour and texture to the smoother shaft.  

You don’t have to be old to use a walking stick. They make practical gifts for all ages, helping to keep your balance on muddy paths, going up or down slippery slopes, or crossing streams.  They measure approximately 1.3mts in length, although they can be made to measure.  


Bessom Broom
Besom Brooms


Besom Brooms

Back in October we talked about the history and making of besom brooms, and how they are still sought after by gardeners for lawn care.  Reuben has now produced a selection of besoms with hazel staves and birch twigs for the brush.  Don’t forget that if looked after a besom will last fifteen years, it looks better than a plastic or metal handled broom, and when its worn out just throw it on the bonfire rather than landfill it.  You could also dress it up and use it as part of your Christmas decorations.
Besoms make great presents for gardeners as they are environmentally friendly and practical for sweeping worm casts and leaves from the lawn. As these are handmade from materials grown on the farm there is a limited supply so please don’t leave it too late.
 
Holly Sprigs
Holly Sprigs

Holly Sprigs

Some things are perfect the way nature intended. Last month we highlighted mistletoe as a plant associated with Christmas for hundreds of years; another such plant is holly. Considered a sign of fertility by druids because it is an evergreen, it was considered good luck to hang in the home. The Romans hung their buildings and homes with it during the festival of Saturnalia on 17th December as they associated it with the god of harvesting and agriculture, Saturn.  Christians believe that the prickly leaves are a symbol of the crown of thorns Jesus had placed on his head before he died and the red berries his blood on the cross.

Whatever your beliefs, holly makes an attractive, traditional decoration with its vibrant colours and distinctive shape.  You won’t be surprised to learn we now have some holly sprigs in our shop, along with mistletoe, candle holders, umbrella stands, bottle holders, log reindeer, log baskets, chopping boards, and spoons, all made from Lavender Farm timber.  Just drop into the Farm or have a look at our online shop.

 

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16/12/2014

How to water your new rose


No water no rose; all you end up with is a dry stick!  As with all things living the humble rose needs water to survive...

Here are some common ground rules:

  • When first planting, roses need more water, and regularly, especially in hot conditions
  • Examine the soil; if its sandy and loamy then water more often than if it’s a mainly clay base.
  • Even if it rains note that it’s best to water often to ensure they don’t dry out
  • Cover the entire root area well when watering; a slight sprinkle is just not effective 
  • Check the soil and dig down a little, say 3 inches, to see if the soil is moist. If not, water more
  • To help avoid disease water the soil, not the leaves except see below
  • In very hot and sunny conditions watering early in the morning from overhead is beneficial for the entire plant. Only do this if your rose is free of black spot and make certain it’s early enough so the plant has time to dry completely during the day.


Rose Black Spot



Mulch time!
 
Theoretically, you can’t overwater a rose. Of course, if you have no sun and steady rain for ten days, your roses won’t be thrilled, but if drainage is good, the extra water usually won’t hurt them, either

Having said that, err on the side of caution. For example, don’t water if you have had rain for several days in a row, but again, if the drainage is very good then feel free to water well, often it is recommended to use some mulch around the newly laid root. It looks good, retains water and keeps the weeds at bay.

Create a watering schedule and stick to it. Watering once every five or six days is adequate in most conditions, but obviously if very dry change that to every two or three days.

Be sure to examine the plant and the soil regularly; check three inches down to examine the moisture content, and if bone dry water immediately

Watch the foliage. If it’s dropping, this is not good as the plant is already suffering and watering may revive, but make sure it’s done quickly .  
Depth is also a consideration.  You must water so that the entire root zone will receive coverage which in reality could mean to a depth of eighteen inches. Getting to this depth will depend on the soil type but that’s what will need to be achieved.

Useful Tools

The soil probe is a hollow tube approximately three foot long and an inch wide. It allows you to take a soil sample for examination to the depth of at least eighteen inches.

Another tool for your armoury is the rain gauge. This tells you how much rain has fallen in a particular area, allowing you to accurately assess the amount of watering required. 

Watering methods
There are several methods to effectively water your roses. Remember the objective here is to water the roots at a continuous and steady pace

Basin
Create a basin of soil around the plant and fill on a regular basis, making certain the basin is large enough to cater for the plant’s needs. It should be at least twenty inches wide for new plants and at least thirty six inches for a large, mature rose.

Sprinklers
Simply review the many types in your local garden centre to what suits your needs in terms of cost and the area to cover.

Drip irrigation
Ideal for dry summers. This is a feed system that drips or sprays water on to the soil at a slow speed so that the soil can absorb it effectively. They are designed to water a specific targeted area, thus weed growth is minimised.

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