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Reader Question: Can alpha mosaic be treated?

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George B. writes: Is there any treatment for Alpha Mosaic other than plant removal? We have had a wet cool spring and the lavender bush is about 6 years old.

Alpha mosaic is a virus which attacks all areas of the plant. It is often difficult to diagnose b/c the symptoms can appear AND fade away very quickly. It is transmitted most often by certain kinds of aphids, and through the air from other infected plants.

Unfortunately, I would recommend that you dig up the plant and burn it. Please DO NOT place it in your compost pile or in the city/county yard waste bin (if you have one of those). The disease transmits easily and your best bet at containing the infection in your own garden is to burn the uprooted plant. If there were any seedlings from this plant, you may want to dig those up as well, as seeds are a path of disease transmission.
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An extended holiday…

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It has been awhile since I last posted! Life, as it sometimes does, got in the way of the plans and ideas I had for this site, and delayed me a little bit. I am back now, and getting back into the swing of lavender-related things, especially now that it is summer here!

I have two plants now from the lavender seeds I tossed out last year, and while they’re very small, they did flower this year already. That was a pleasant surprise. And while I haven’t been posting visibly on the site, I have been working on some behind the scenes stuff that I hope to show you all in the coming months!

Thanks for reading and for sticking around. I hope to have some new content up soon.

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Farm Feature: Helvetia Lavender Farm

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Every summer, the lavender growers in the Willamette Valley and the surrounding areas participate in the Oregon Lavender Festival, a time of fun and lavender blooms. When lavender fields bloom, the explosion of color is magnificent. Lavender varieties come in deep purples to white, and every color in between. At Helvetia Lavender Farm, there are 60 different varieties, from the French lavenders that are best known for their aromatic uses to the English lavenders that are best for culinary uses.
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Dot from NC writes: In zone 5, N. C. when is best time to plant lavender, and then to harvest it for a variety of uses?

For your zone, I recommend planting the lavender in early spring, after all chance of frost has passed. [click to continue…]

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Reader Question: What are the uses of lavender leaves?

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Dot from NC writes: What are some uses of lavender leaves?

Lavender is a very versatile plant, with many aromatic, culinary, and home uses. But, most people still focus on just the buds. [click to continue…]

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Reader Question: Does lavender attract bees?

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Dot from NC writes: Does lavender attract bees of any kind? If so, which ones.

Lavender attracts many bees, and most often the beneficial ones like honeybees, mason bees and bumblebees. [click to continue…]

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Farm Feature: Applegate Valley Lavender Farm

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From the moment you step foot on the Applegate Valley Lavender Farm, you’ll know you’ve stepped into more than just a place where someone is growing lavender. The farm itself has been passed down through the family, and where there were once cow pastures, which doubled as a private golf course, the family now grows lavender. But the animals are not all gone, as you’ll notice immediately. Cows, sheep, chickens, and other fuzzy friends are all happily clucking, lowing, and barking about, filling the farm with a sense of liveliness and constant motion. Applegate Valley Lavender Farm is a fun and comfortable place to visit, a treasure of southern Oregon.

Of course, the passion for lavender is also abundantly clear. Among the rare breeds of chickens on the farm are Lavender Orpingtons, a very uncommon breed that has a lavender grey color (http://applegatevalleylavenderfarm.com/OurFarm.aspx). And of course there are the fields of lavender itself. At Applegate Valley Lavender farm a variety of lavenders are grown and harvested. From French varieties that are best used for fragrances, essential oils, and bath and body products, to the best English varieties for culinary uses. They even have a few recipes on their website for you to try, including the award winning Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins with Lavender Honey Butter (http://applegatevalleylavenderfarm.com/things.aspx). If that doesn’t get you excited to try baking with lavender, maybe you should stick to savory uses.

Lavender has actually been used for cooking and teas for a very long time. Lavender salts and peppers are great for making salad dressings, marinades, or bread crumbs for encrusting lamb or pork. There are actually an incredible variety of lavenders, and most lavender producers agree that it is the English lavenders that are best for cooking. Lavender tea used to be incredibly popular in England, and was favored by royalty. Today people are using culinary lavender to make lavender mocha lattes and lavender hot chocolate.

And of course, the aromatherapy uses of lavender are most well known. Bath salts, bubble baths, soaps, lotions, and essential oils made of lavender are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Lavender has the distinction of being the best herb for inducing a sense of calm as well as alertness. No chamomile sleepiness with lavender tea or lavender baths. Just the sensation of a clear and calm mind.

Applegate Valley Lavender Farm is obviously tended with care and a lot of fun. There are many signs that show how much the farm is appreciated by the owners and the community, and that everyone who visits is meant to have some fun, find the lavender products they want, and maybe even buy some fresh eggs as well.

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Lavender has been used for centuries to heal aches and pains, cure headaches, and soothe the mind. The scent of lavender is used for aromatherapy to create a sense of calm that is accompanied by an alertness, rather than sleepiness. Lavender is unique among herbs for its aroma and properties, and perhaps for its flexibility. Lavender is used today for teas, as a flavor in honey, in all kinds of bath and body products, from lotions to bath salts, and as an herb for cooking savory dishes as well as for baking treats.

Olympic Lavender stands out as a producer of certified organic lavender, and they produce a beautiful selection of products that are all locally handmade. [click to continue…]

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Farm Feature: Blue Mountain Lavender

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In Washington State’s Walla Walla Valley, with its plateau and plains climate, nothing grows better than lavender and grapes. The best wines are made from grapes that grow in rocky, sandy, and dry soil. Lavender is also happiest in light and rocky soil, making them the perfect companions for the Walla Walla Valley. Among vineyards, grain fields, and fine inns and bed and breakfasts, Blue Mountain Lavender Farm is closely nestled against their neighbors. Southeastern Washington is known for being dry and open, which is perfect for growing the best lavenders from all over the world.
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Farm Feature: Oregon’s Mountainside Lavender Farm

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At Mountainside Lavender, producing the highest quality lavender and lavender essential oil is the priority and their specialty. Every year they distill different varieties of lavender to create the most aromatic essential oils, for use in the products they produce and sell, as well as to sell directly. Mountainside Lavender is located in an area of Oregon known for its dry climate and rocky soil, both ideal for growing lavender. Lavender doesn’t like to sit in water, and enjoys a lot of sun, so for the growers at Mountainside Lavender, the location and climate couldn’t be better. The result is gorgeous lavender of the highest quality.

For many people, lavender is a favorite herb. Lavender comes from the same family as mints, sage, and rosemary, but most people do not realize that it is one of the herbs in Herbes de Provence blends. Lavender is probably best known for its calming properties when used in bath and body products. While there are a wide variety of bath products, from bath salts and bubble baths, to bar soaps and lotions, lavender enthusiasts tend to use lavender for much more than the bathroom. Lavender is good for keeping away insects, such as moths that may eat holes in your clothing or linens. Lavender sachets are helpful as eye pillows or in your sock drawer.

But the most exciting way to use lavender is definitely for culinary uses. Baking with lavender can add a unique flavor to muffins, cakes, and cookies. Most people use lavender sparingly when baking, and while the flavor is detectable it is not immediately identifiable if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Lavender is the mysterious secret herb to people who haven’t been initiated into the culinary lavender world. Of course, not every lavender is good for culinary uses – and there are over 200 varieties of lavender so it can be easy to go wrong – and the same is true of lavenders that are ideal for aromatic uses.

Mountainside Lavender can provide you with the best type of lavender for your desired use. During the summer months, Mountainside Lavender is open to the public for pick-your-own, a fun and relaxing way to collect some fresh lavender, which will then infuse your life with its perfume. The truth is, once you learn all the uses of lavender and how to incorporate it into your home and lifestyle, you will probably be hooked. Many people visit Mountainside Lavender year after year to get their fill. And of course, if you run out you can also send them an email and have some lavender products shipped to you at home – info (at) mountainsidelavender (dot) com

Enjoy the loveliness of lavender in full bloom, or enjoy a special delivery at home from Mountainside Lavender.

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