Not Martha

my very own lavender

Last weekend we managed to get some lavender planted before it started raining. This is a spike lavender called Grosso, the label said it is often grown for oil production and I was sold. We planted three plants and they already smell pretty nice. We put these in on our front yard along the walk to the door. They get full sun here so hopefully they’ll live despite the less than ideal soil.

· comments [16] · 06-2-2008 · categories:the home ·

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rosie // Jun 2, 2008 at 9:46 am

    So I’m curious about the chicken wire. Why is it there?

    BTW, Grosso is a wonderful lavender. It’s one of my three favorites, along with Provence and Goodwin’s Grey. The last one has been known to send random spears up to bloom in December and January.

  • 2 eM // Jun 2, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I am also curious about the chicken wire
    and I am now VERY EXCITED about Goodwin’s Grey Lavender blooming in winter

  • 3 megan // Jun 2, 2008 at 10:02 am

    The chicken wire is there to discourage neighborhood cats from using the planting beds as a litter box. We needed to cut a hole through to plant the lavender.

    We did a lot of research and decided that a layer of black landscaping fabric (to prevent weeds from growing) then a layer of chicken wire (to prevent cats from digging) then a layer of medium bark chips was the least expensive and most reversible way to do this.

    Not that I hate the neighborhood cats, we’ve never seen a rat or mouse around here and I’ve seen plenty of rodents in far nicer Seattle neighborhoods.

    So far the chicken wire has been effective. Some neighbors put down a layer of hazelnut shells and that has stopped the cats from going over there as well. I am afraid that the landscaping fabric will keep the soil more moist than the lavender would really like, though. But, for the sake of our front yard not smelling of cat poop, I was unwilling to build mounts to plant the lavender in. In the summer months the soil in the front can get very warm and dry but I’m not sure how much the landscaping fabric is keep in moisture. We’ll give it a few years and see how it does.

  • 4 susan // Jun 2, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Nice! Where did you find/order the plants? I’m in the market for some myself.

  • 5 megan // Jun 2, 2008 at 10:32 am

    We got these at Swanson’s Nursery, which I like because they are very good about having information sheets and individual plant descriptions to help you pick out what you want. I know absolutely nothing about plants so I tend to wander around cluelessly otherwise.

  • 6 nazilam // Jun 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Good choice Megan.

    I really like Munstead as well.

    We pulled up a bunch of huge lavender bushes and planted compact varieties instead. You really can’t go wrong.

    I also like wood chips as mulch, if you can find someone in your neighborhood to split a load, you can mulch heavily and really make those pesky cats cranky.


  • 7 Nell // Jun 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Lavender is my favorite! The smell is just divine. Good luck! I hope it grows.

  • 8 Ansley // Jun 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I have these too and love them. They are very drought tolerant for our hot LA weather. They can get really large though and will be swarming with bees when the flowers come out. So, make sure they have enough room to grow so when you walk down the path you do not bump into the bees.

  • 9 Laura // Jun 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Landscape fabric does not usually help soil retain moisture. The lavender will have nicer fragrance if it is not too wet in the summer- it likes hot and dry.

    I also have a cat problem- actually had to take down my bird feeders because of the carnage. Where do you get hazelnut shells?

  • 10 megan // Jun 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Laura – We had priced them at Sky Nursery up on Aurora (I’m assuming you’re in Seattle). In the end we decided since we’re not going to be in this particular house more than ten years the cost and trouble of (possibly) taking them away wasn’t worth it. Thanks for the info on landscape fabric, hopefully the soil will be dry enough to encourage the lavender to grow well.

  • 11 okwes // Jun 2, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Lavender is nice!

    About 5 years ago, i was given 3 finger sized half dead lavender plants. nothing else grows in my yard but grass and weeds so i planted it not expecting anything.

    The lavender is now up to my chest (i’m 5 foot 4 in) and about 5 feet across! Not sure what kind, but despite the sucky soil here (very clay-like), lavender does REALLY well!

  • 12 Jess // Jun 2, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Megan, I came across this: and thought you might appreciate. Are you familiar with purlbee? I just discovered it and LOVE it!

  • 13 Jenk // Jun 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    We have crazy big wild lavender that grows in the summers here. I love the smell and the pretty purple color. The best part? I don’t have to do anything to make it grow or thrive! Yay Lavender!

    I hope it grows for you, too.

  • 14 Twigs // Jun 3, 2008 at 5:26 am

    You’ll love the Grosso! Lavender loves poor sandy or gravely soil. I’m surprised by the one commenter who said hers was doing well in clay-like soil. Don’t overwater once it is established and you’ll have lovely bloom. Make sure you prune in the fall. If you cut off your blooms after they fade you’ll get another bloom in the early fall. I have a field of over 600 grosso lavender plants and love them dearly.

  • 15 TPS // Jun 3, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Here are some lavender recipes:

  • 16 nancy w // Aug 1, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    My sister has a long row of lavender growing in her yard and whenever I go to visit, I want to throw myself in it because it smells so good. But, I don’t lay down in her lavender for a few reasons. First, it’s pinchy and I would get scratched up. Second, because my sister would smack me! She loves her lavender plants…

    When I saw the Made from Earth “Lavender Calm” Body lotion, I wanted it right away!! I found it on the internet at

    It has a beautiful scent. It smells so fresh and clean – and organic! I love that it is chemical free because I love living a holistic lifestyle.

    A very nice gift for a lavender lover.

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