LAVENDER

“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender,

and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadow.” 

                                                                          William C. Bryant

 

fresh lavender flower close up

Lavender Oaks Farm was established in November 2015 encompassing  approximately 60 acres of rural, undeveloped land in Chapel Hill, NC. We planted our first 4,000 two-inch lavender cuttings on April 27th, 2017 and have 9 varieties in our fragrant fields.   Lavender enjoys a soil ph 6.5-7, so proper preparation of our fields was key to helping our lavender grow, as well as the correct irrigation system since lavender does not like too much water. We determined the best location for our fields that provided plenty of sunshine, a slight slope to the land for drainage, and planted a cover crop of crimson clover to add some nitrogen into our clay soil.  In NC, our lavender benefits from spacing each cutting 3′ apart, and each row 6′ on center. The added space helps circulate the air among the plants as they grow to full size typically in 3 years.  Our rows are raised mounds with drip irrigation down the center with water meters every 3′ at the base of each plant, plus a white weed fabric covering each row.  We are happy to offer consulting to aspiring lavender farmers, so please contact us for more information.  Our goal is to have lavender blooming from May to September, and expand our fields to include several more varieties, plus propagate our own lavender in our greenhouse.  Our lavender will be used to create our line of culinary, apothecary, and home decor products in our historic barns, and also be the highlight of our Lavender Farm to Fork Dinners with lavender inspired and lavender infused menus.  Our farm will provide many opportunities to visit from agricultural workshops, lavender culinary events, among other private events.  Until then…please plan to follow our Blog for great information on all things lavender from recipes and planting tips, to our crazy adventures as Farmers!

Lavender Oaks Farm Lavender Varieties

LAVANDULA X INTERMEDIA

Commonly known as lavandin. Lavandin is the name for a variety of lavender that comes from a cross of English and spike lavender. Many of these varieties are highly recommended for producing commercial oil and dried bundles. It is also a very popular garden plant because the oil is of lesser quality than (Angustifolias) due to the presence of high camphor, a white transparent waxy crystalline solid with a pungent odor. The yields from these varieties are up to 10 times more than other varieties. In addition, lavandins are very hardy with a flowering period from early July to late August.

  1. Grosso – Grosso is a commercial, all-purpose plant that is very hardy. Its long stems are excellent for dried bouquets and potpourris. Because Grosso is such a high-yielding plant, it has become the most widely used lavender variety for oil production in the world. Lavandula ‘Grosso’ is a classic French hybrid Lavender grown for its fragrant dark blue flower spikes and vigorous growing habit. With nice wide gray-green foliage, ‘Grosso’ is a large grower and blooms heavily providing an ample harvest of flowers for lavender wands, sachets, and culinary use. This is an outstanding honeybee plant providing mid-summer flowers after the English lavender finishes flowering in early summer. ‘Grosso’ has good cold hardiness for a French hybrid and thrives in well-drained soils. Mature height 30”- 32” and grows up to 36”- 48” wide.

 

  1. Provence – This variety is also known as French lavender and is one of the largest lavandins. Provence features very long, dense and full spikes that are wonderful for fresh bouquets, lavender wands, potpourri and culinary purposes. The aroma is milder and sweeter than other lavenders. An evergreen perennial shrub with gray green foliage and abundant, fragrant, purple flower spikes that attract butterflies. Useful as hedge or edging in herb garden. Highly effective in mass plantings. Flowers may be dried and crushed to use in sachets. Mature to 2’ high and 2’ wide.

 

  1. Seal – This is one of the largest varieties of lavender. In fact, the plant may grow to almost three feet wide. It is reputed for having a very good scent and is one of the best for making potpourri and fresh bouquets. This variety features fan-like growth of stems. Flowers are a rich mauve and can last up to four months. Seal features an early flowering season.

 

  1. Super – This is one of the most elegant lavandins. It is dark green with bright green margins, thick lateral branching all the way up and long or mid to lower and long overall look. The variety features a light and flowery aroma. Super has the best perfume of all lavandins and is mainly used for soap fragrances and aromatherapy because it produces a lot of oil.

 

LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA

The Lavandula Angustifolia lavender species is the most recommended and valued of all lavenders because of the high quality oil produced by the plants. The oils can be used in perfume and cosmetics. The species medicinal properties include everything from alleviating stress, headaches and insomnia to reducing fevers. Its flowering period is from mid June to late July.

  1. Buena Vista – This slow-growing lavender is excellent for culinary purposes. This lavender variety blooms twice per year – once in the late spring and again in fall in areas with long growing seasons and mild weather. Buena Vista has a strong fragrance, distinctive and very dark blue calyxes and lighter blue flowers.

 

  1. Folgate – This English lavender is one of the best oil producers and is considered the best for producing high-yield crops for culinary uses, etc. Folgate has narrow, small leaves, blue-violet flowers, and blooms in mid-summer. Drought tolerant, deer resistant, and good for growing in containers with adequate drainage. Reaches heights of up to 2’ and grows up to 3’ wide.

 

  1. Melissa – This variety features tightly compact pink and white spikes that bloom longer than other pink lavender plants. It can be used for ornamental or hedging purposes or for a variety of culinary uses. The sweetly fragrant flowers start out pure white and change to delicate pink as they mature. Flowers are earlier and last longer than other pink varieties. Looks beautiful planted with traditional purple lavender for a mix of colors. For cooking, the flowers have a prized mild and delicate flavor. The plant reaches a height of 28 inches. The plant was introduced by Van Hevelingen Herb Nursery in Oregon.

 

  1. Royal Velvet – This variety is a small to medium-sized plant. It is one of the best Lavandula angustifolias. Its deep purple flowers and foliage are highly aromatic. It is a great oil producer and excellent for culinary uses. Royal Velvet is an all-purpose plant that is one of the best-selling lavender plants. Royal Velvet English Lavender is destined for greatness. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’ is very showy when blooming plants are covered with long stemmed, dark navy blue and lavender flower spikes. The 3 to 4-inch long flower spikes, and will hold their dark color superbly as a dried flower. Home gardeners will enjoy it for its rapid growth, its long bloom period in late spring/early summer, and tolerance of wet winters.

 

  1. Violet Intrigue – This is a mid-sized selection of English lavender, growing to about 2′ tall with the flower spikes and 2′ wide.  It forms a tidy, dense mound of narrow, soft, greenish-silver leaves that are particularly aromatic.  The flower spikes are about 2″ long and dark violet. A hybrid of two strong English lavenders, resulting in the longest stems for Lavender wands. Improved humidity tolerance, very upright habit, and deep purple color holds up even in the hottest summer. Run your fingers through the foliage when strolling through the garden for an absolutely soothing scent. Be sure to plant several to dry for sachets and potpourris. Looks stunning with yellow Yarrow. Lavendula Violet Intrigue has a high oil content which results in a strong fragrance. Evergreen in warmer climates.