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Kristine Hanson shows you how to grow Lavender in your patio.
Tags:How to Grow Lavender,california gardening,choosing lavender variety,gardening advice,gardening tips,growing lavender at home,growing lavender on the patio,home gardening,kristine hanson,kvie,requirements for growing lavender
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Chris Burrous: Everyone’s a farmer when it comes to their own backyard, try these tips for doing’ it Home Grown. Kristine Hanson: It’s a common sight in Europe, rows of beautifully scented lavender. These plants grown wild in the Mediterranean so it’s not wonder that they’ve become a popular yet romantic landscape plant right here in California with our Mediterranean climate. There are lots of things to love about this plant, it’s pest free, it tolerates dry conditions and even thrives on it- look at the natural bush shape of it and it’s got this blue green color so it adds a little depth to your landscape, and it sends out shoots of scented flowers that can be used for medicinal and herbal purposes for you and your pets, but what kind do we pick? So do you buy English, French or Spanish lavender? Well those names don’t define the variety, just the country where you might find these types of plant- there are 3 types of lavender. One, an Augusto folia, or English lavender plant- think romantic cottage style, this is also great the flowers can be used for cooking in the kitchen. The Intermedia or French lavender, think perfume. There’s lots of oil in this plant, this makes a great dried flower and is used in all types of aromatherapy products. Then a Stoechas, or a Spanish lavender, not great in the kitchen as an herb but what a fabulous blast of color in the landscape, you recognize the Spanish or Stoechas by it’s unique blossom, kind of like little rabbit ears at the tip of the blossom. Now all of these plants need a little bit of pruning to look good, think I’m going to go to work on this one. Now one thing gardeners don’t like about the plant is the straggly appearance it has after a couple of years, well it simply needs a haircut- we’d all look a little bit un-kept if we didn’t get our hair trimmed. So you’re going to go in and cut about 2 inches below the stalk, right into the leaves of the plant. You’re going to continue to do this on each plant, and you’ve got these flowers and once this is done it will be pruned for the next season. It will start to fill out for the rest of the summer, and will start to produce flowers and you’ll get more flowers next year by doing this at the end of the season this year. Now this is a lot more efficient than cutting every flower spike and as you can see when it’s done it’s a nice rounded shrub. And now we have these flowers and I’m going to show you what we do with these next. This is my favorite part, not only do we enjoy the lavender plants year long in the garden but we get to bring these scented flowers indoors, and I’ve just trimmed off the bottoms of the plant and the stalks that we just took off of our pruned plant- and you can tie them like this and leave them flat to dry or you can clip them and put them just like this into a vase and they will dry naturally and provide scent for your house for the entire year and in some cases like these, they’ve been providing scent for my house for the last couple of years. You can also use these discarded stalks in the fire place later in the winter. And then the dried florets, that’s what we call the little dried flowers that come off of the lavender, go ahead and rub these in-between your palms, put them on you at sunset, and your kids for a natural deterrent for mosquitoes- also, sprinkle some in the pet’s bed and you wont see any fleas. So as you can see the lavender is a full service plant that’s not only old fashioned, but contemporary in any home or garden.