Archive for October, 2009

Cleaning up the garden

October 28, 2009

lavender wandAfter days of rain the weather today was dry and sunny, just perfect, for cleaning up the garden. I was very sad to find that two of my larger lavenders had died, but it was my own fault. Both were L. x intermedias and both were too crowded. I think the problem was two-fold. Other plants grew over them, cutting off their sun. I think the second problem had to do with where they were planted – with roses. The roses need more water than the lavender and we had a wet summer to begin with. I think they got too much water.

The L x intermedia ‘Grosso’ never really got started. It had been a gift and I didn’t give it enough space to start with but I know I can get another if I decide I want to make the space for it.
‘Grosso’ is a beautiful, winter hardy, lavender. It takes 3-4 years to fully mature and can reach nearly 30″ tall when not in bloom. It is spectacular in bloom, but needs the space you would give a shrub to really do it justice.

I have a terrible habit of collecting plants. I love watching plants up close and seeing how they grow. When I see something different at the nursery, I just can’t help myself, especially if it is a good price!

The other lavender I was very sorry to lose. It was L. x intermedia ‘Provence White’. I found it a few years ago at the local grocery store, which has a very good nursery in the spring and have never seen it anywhere else. These intermedias take 2-3 years to start blooming and summer 2008 it produced lots of flowers on long sturdy stems and I used quite a few to make lavender wands. I cut some this summer and made a few more, but today when I was cleaning up the garden all I found was a mass of dead sticks.

Oh well. It did inspire me to thin a few things out and hopefully I won’t lose any more.


Lavender still in bloom

October 13, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and the fall weather has arrived but I have one lavender plant in the garden, still blooming. It is a two year old plant and according to the label it is L. angustifolia Sarah.

I’ve seen lavender blooming elsewhere in my neighbourhood as well. In fact the local funeral home has two beautiful plants still in full bloom. One is a smaller L. angustifolia while the other is a larger plant and I think it might be L. X intermedia Provence. I have often had angustifolias in bloom this late, but you don’t usually see an intermedia blooming this time of year.

Yesterday I went to the Toronto Bonsai Show and Sale at the Toronto Botanical gardens. Members bring in their plants to exhibit. They were wonderful and I’m sorry I did not take photos to share here. They had members giving demonstrations of how they wire and train their plants. I think we’re going to go to a meeting.

Some lavender plants can be trained to grow as topiaries.
The most common one I have seen is Lavandula dentata.
It is not winter hardy, but has lovely grey, indented leaves.

I have never had the patience to train one. The one shown here is about 4 feet high and was grown at Humber Nurseries north of Toronto.

If you are going to be visiting the Toronto area and want to find garden related events, check out this website:
Mark keeps track of what’s happening so it is easy to find an event to attend.

If you like reading garden blogs, he has a list of all the Canadian ones at:

Pruning your lavender
October is a bit late for pruning now. Leave the plants until next spring.

All for now.