LAVENDER HILL FARM

OF NILES, MICHIGAN LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI

 269-684-0123

 

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Posted 5/28/2015 7:41pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


 

Dear Friends,

It's starting to feel like summer and the lavender plants are sending up flower buds letting us know that it's time for summer hours. Beginning June 1st, the Lavender Hill Shop will be open Monday thru Saturday 10 am to 4 pm through the end of August.  

We still have some lavender plants available for purchase in 2.5 inch pots for $4.75. Quantities are dwindling, but we still have three varieties available including our very hardy, 'Folgate' English lavender; the best all-purpose hybrid (in my opinion): 'Grosso' lavandin; and one of my favorite hybrids for its long, graceful flower stems and wonderful smelling oil: 'Super'.  All of these plants were started from cutting of plants we've grown on our farm for years.  

Our U-pick lavender season will officially start June 23rd.  This year the best time to come and see lots of blooms will be the last two weeks of June continuing into the first week of July, when our English lavender plants will be in their glory. U-pick will continue through July and August but the flowering will be less than previous years, as our hybrid (July blooming) lavender plants will still be recovering from their winter damage. 

Though our English lavenders keep coming back like champs, the past two winters have been hard on the hybrid lavenders. This year we are completing the planned replacement of most of our 'Grosso' hybrid lavender stock, some of which was over 10 years old. Unfortunately our 'Super' hybrid lavender had winter damage again this year. We have lots of 'Super' plants that will be blooming sporadically, later than usual, as they send up new shoots from the base of the plant. Like last year, we will likely still have some lavender flowers to cut through August as our hybrid lavenders continue to regenerate. We appreciate your continued support of our farm as we recover from the past two hard winters.

As always we will have our Lavender Hill Farm Shop stocked with all our fragrant bath & home products as well as products of some local artists like the wonderful lavender-themed hand-painted porcelain of our friend Diane Beecher.  

Please accept and share our invitation to Lavender Hill Farm's U-Pick lavender season with anyone you think may be interested in visiting our beautiful farm.  

yours in lavender,

Martha

 

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2015

Posted 5/5/2015 7:51pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


 Dear Friends,

Spring has sprung at last!  The weather is turning warm, and we are ready to offer offer our new lavender plants for sale, just in time for Mothers Day.  The Lavender Hill Farm Shop hours for the remainder of May are: Thursday thru Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.  Beginning June 1st we will be open Monday thru Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.

This year we have limited quantities of three lavender varieties, available in 2.5 inch pots:

'Folgate' English Lavender:

 

Our hardiest variety, blooms mid-late June, periwinkle blue flowers, dries to a medium blue color, good for bouquets, wreaths, culinary.

 

'Super' hybrid Lavandin:

Best scent of the hybrid lavenders, blooms mid-late July, large plant, very long graceful flower stems, pale lavender colored flowers, buds dry to gray-blue color.  Good for bunches, dried buds, oil.

 

'Grosso' hybrid Lavandin:

Hardiest of the hybrid lavenders, blooms early-mid July, good strong, slightly camphorous scent, stems 15-20 inches long, flowers medium purple, dry to a medium denim blue color.   Good for bunches, dried buds, oil. 

Please note: we do not ship plants.  

Our shop is stocked with our fragrant lavender products and we are ready to help you find the perfect Mothers Day gift!  Come out to the farm and enjoy the beautiful spring weather this weekend.  

yours in lavender,

Martha

 

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 12/18/2014 2:44pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Still looking for some small gifts (or gift baskets) for teacher, neighbor, sister, in-laws or foodie friends?  The Lavender Hill Farm Shop, or web store http://thelavenderhill.com/store has got it! We have many pre-made gift bags and boxes and will do custom gift combination packages. Plus, through Friday December 19th we have low flat rate shipping of $5.35 on in-stock items and free shipping on orders over $49 if you use the code: freeship at checkout !  

Our farm store hours are 10 am to 4 pm Friday & Saturday December 19th & 20th, and for last minute shoppers the farm shop will be open, Monday & Tuesday December 22nd & 23rd from Noon to 5 pm.  

Here is a small sampling of what you will find in our store:

 Lavender Hand SanitizerOrganza Drawstring Sachet

 Lavender Hand Sanitizer $3.75          Fragrant Lavender Sachets $1-$6

 Lavender Lotion, 4 oz.Lavender Honey, 3 oz.

Lavender Lotion  $5.99                     Our own Lavender Honey $4.50-$9.99



Shea Butter Body BalmRecipe Card with Herbes de Provence & Culinary Lavender Samples

Lavender Body Balm  $5.99              Recipes & Herbes for Cooking $2.50

click here to go to our web store: http://thelavenderhill.com/store

Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 11/21/2014 1:23pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


 

Dear Friends,

The snow this past week forced us to realize that the holiday season is not far off!  Our elves have been busy preparing some special holiday offerings just in time! The Lavender Hill Shop is ready help relieve some of your holiday stress by providing beautiful, fragrant, relaxing lavender gifts in a completely serene, atmosphere.  Imagine not fighting heavy traffic and lines during your holiday shopping!  Imagine sipping tea or coffee and tasting delectables like lavender brownies, caramel corn, or cookies as you shop!  If that sounds enticing The Lavender Hill Shop is the place to be. 

We now have pre-made combination gift bags and boxes with many of our best selling products, or you may select your own combination and we will package it for free. We've also sewn some special silk sachet bundles which make a beautiful and fragrant gift.  Our lavender honey or culinary gift bags make a great gift for the "foodies" on your list.

 

 

Our regular hours up until Christmas are:

Thursdays Noon- 6 pm (closed Thanksgiving)

Fridays & Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm

or by pre-arranged appointment (by phone or email above)

If you can't make it to the shop, take a look at our ecommerce store on our website:  www.thelavenderhill.com/store

We have recently updated and improved our online store photos to give you a clearer picture of our product offerings. Plus, from now through December 19th, we are offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more! Just enter the code: freeship at checkout.

As always we appreciate your patronage!

We hope you have a safe and blessed holiday season,

Martha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 9/26/2014 3:28pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Dear Friends,

I am now ready to take orders for our "dig to order" Fall plant sales.  The variety we are offering is our 'Folgate' English lavender.   Folgate is our most hardy English lavender variety. It has bright periwinkle blue flowers starting in mid-June and dries nicely to a rich blue color. It will re-bloom lightly if it is not cut back.  It is wonderful for use in wreaths and crafting, and has a very nice scent and flavor for use in cooking.  The shrub's mature size is about 2.5 ft. wide by 1.5 ft. high, with flower stems up to 10 in. long. 

Fall is a great time to plant lavender. In the cooler temperatures of late fall, the plants will concentrate on developing a root system and preparing for winter.  Better flowering the first season may be achieved on plants installed in fall rather than spring.  

A limited number of plants will be available in the following pot sizes:

  • 6.5 in. diameter pots (1 yr. old plants) for $12 ea.
  • 11.5 in. diameter pots (2 yr. old plants) for $24 ea.

Orders will be filled in the order they are received with a limit of 20 plants per customer.  Please email me (info@thelavenderhill.com) with your order information including: name, phone no., size and quantity desired. We will confirm the availability of your plants with an email or phone call per your preference when they are ready for pickup. We do not ship plants.

Our current hours are Thursday noon- 6 pm, and Friday-Saturday 10 am - 4 pm.    We will take orders through Friday October 17th or until the available number are sold, whichever is sooner.  

 

 'Folgate' English Lavender plants.                     'Folgate' in flower.

 

Thanks as always for you patronage,

Martha

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles,  MI  LLC, 2014

Posted 8/27/2014 10:51am by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Dear Friends,

OUR LAVENDER HONEY IS IN!  

We now have both 8.5 oz. jars and 3 oz. jars of our fabulous 2014 lavender honey in stock in our farm shop and ready to purchase on our website:http://thelavenderhill.com/store/food-items    The price once again, is $9.99 for an 8.5 oz jar and $4.50 for a 3 oz. jar.  

It's hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is almost upon us.

This week is our last week of summer hours: Mon. through Sat. 10 am to 4 pm. 

We will be closed on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend.

Starting next week, our Early Fall (September) Shop Hours will be:  

Thursdays, Noon to 6 pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. 

Stay tuned for more information to come about fall plant sales. 

Hope to see you soon!

Martha Wilczynski

 

 

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 6/9/2014 4:42pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Our summer hours are now in effect until August 30th for the Lavender Hill Shop: Mon. - Sat. 10 am to 4 pm.

Lavender season is just around the corner! Our first English lavender flowers will start turning blue in mid-June, and U-Pick season starts Monday, June 23rd and will continue into late July. Peak bloom time will be around 4th of July.  

Our English Lavenders made it through the winter well, and should bear a good crop of flowers this year.   Our July-blooming lavandin varieties 'Grosso' and 'Super' needed some pruning, but we will have a flower crop on them as well.  Unfortunately we had to pull out our variety 'Provence' (700 plants).  We replaced those plants with new 'Super' plants this spring.  We also expanded our field with more 'Folgate' plants and added a new variety called 'Gros Bleu' that we hope will be a nice addition, as it is a darker flowered lavandin variety.  In all, we planted 1500 new plants this year.  The new plants don't look like much now, but in a couple of years they should increase our harvest and oil production significantly.  

We hope you will join us again this year for lavender season at Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI!

Best Regards,

Martha

 

Tip:Want to know what to do with your lavender stems and trimmings?  Lavender stems are often put into ornamental ponds and bird baths to reduce algae, and make them less desirable as mosquito breeding locations!

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 5/16/2014 10:19pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Well, now that it's mid-May and the lavender should be greening up, it's time to take stock of which lavender plants made it through the winter ok, which require removal of winter-killed branches, and which should just be considered a loss and pulled out.  

No doubt this past winter was a hard one for lavender due to the unusual, extremely low temperatures.  Though snow cover offers some insulation against extreme cold, melting and thawing can leave portions of plants unprotected, and long durations of extreme cold will eventually take their toll. The amount of damage may vary depending on the species and variety, or by location in the landscape, or other factors such as soil type.  It can be hard to sort these issues out if you only have one or two plants, if you have lots of each variety, as we do, you start to see patterns.  

 end row of lavender winter-killed'Super' lavandin with minor damage'Super' lavandin with major damageNew leaves sprouting inside plants

Plants that are exposed to drying winter winds can experience more winter damage than those in more protected locations. Note in the left photo above, the outside row of 'Super' lavendin shows more winter damage than those in the interior rows.  We also noticed that the south side of many of our plants experienced more damage this winter, possibly because the sun melted the protective covering of snow on the south side of the plants first, while the north side remained protected longer.

When faced with winter damage, it is important to assess the amount of damage along with the age of the plant when deciding a course of action.  

The second photo above shows a relatively young 'Super'plant that has been well maintained, with fairly minor winter damage. Recommendation: give the plant time to sprout new leaves on leafless stems, removing dead leaves by mid-May to allow light to penetrate to the interior of the plant. Any branches with no new sprouts by late May may be removed.  

The third plant from the left above shows a relatively young plant with severe winter injury. Only the bottom row of branches shows any green. This plant could be pruned back severely, leaving the green branches. It will not bloom this year, but likely will have at least some bloom next year. 

The fourth photo above, shows a mature (8- 10 yr old) 'Imperial Gem' English lavender plant that was pruned this spring, removing the dried up leaves. The plant is producing significant new growth in the middle of the plant. This plant may produce a light bloom this year.

Old "Provence' plants

The above photo shows a row of mature 'Provence' lavender plants with significant winter damage throughout the plants. Some green branches remain, but the plants would require removal so many branches that they would be disfigured.  Because these plants are older, and have thicker woody stems, they are unlikely to fill in with new growth where dead branches are removed. Therefore it is advisable to remove these plants and replace them with young plants of a hardier variety. 

Conclusions:

Hardiness depends on species and variety (genetics), care and age of plant.

Of our eight lavender varieties, 'Folgate' English lavender proved the hardiest this year. Indeed all of our English lavenders proved to be hardier than the hybrid lavandins in our field. Younger plants tended to be hardier than older plants.  But well-pruned older plants fared better than plants that were not kept compact by proper pruning.   

If you have questions about pruning and want to see the field in person, stop out this Saturday, May 17th, or Friday May 23rd during our open hours 10 am to 4 pm to view the field and talk to me. 

 

 

Yours in lavender,

Martha

 

Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014

Posted 4/22/2014 1:52pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Spring is a busy time at Lavender Hill Farm.  As soon as the snow melts we are out inspecting the plants and determining which ones need to be pruned, or replaced.  If the plants have been pruned well in previous years, they will need to be replaced less often than neglected plants.  For instance, un-pruned plants will start forming roots at the tips of the outer branches where those tips are in contact with the ground. Another effect of inadequate pruning is that the tops of the plant will have a tufted effect, where there are tufts of leaves at the end of the branches but the stems below are almost leafless and become very woody. When this happens the plants often start opening up in the middle, and not flowering as well.  Folks often ask if they can prune the plant back at this point to correct this situation. My answer is "it doesn't hurt to try". But most likely if it gets to this point it is too late and the plant should just be replaced.  

The first photo is an example of a plant that should be replaced. While the second is of a well-pruned mature plant.

Plant that has opened up in the middleA well-pruned plant

Many springs in Michigan we find a few branches in some varieties of lavender that are winter-killed.  This is most apparent starting in May when the plants start to green-up.  These individual branches may be pruned out and the plants will generally recuperate by sending out new growth to fill in the gap. 

Another important spring task is to rake out the leaves that have blown into and under the plants during the fall and winter. Lavender likes good airflow and drainage around the plant to prevent disease. Leaves under the plants trap moisture and become potential breeding ground for disease-causing fungi. 

If you are planting new plants, spring is the best time to do it. The following are a few tips on siting and spacing for lavender plants in your garden.

Siting your Lavender Plants in the Garden:

Lavender prefers light, sandy loam soils and full sunlight. If planting in heavier, silty or clay soils, it is important to plant them on a slope so that water will run off and not pond around the plant. Planting in mounds or ridges is one way to accomplish this. Your plants may survive, but not thrive in part-day sun and the flowers will tend to lean towards the sun. Once established, lavender does not like much water. It will not thrive in irrigated beds. We generally get plenty of rainfall for lavender in the Midwest. Just remember to keep it watered for the first month until the plant has developed an adequate root system to support itself.

Plant Spacing:

Lavender prefers to have lots of space and not be shaded or crowded by other plants in a bed. Recommended spacing for English Lavender plants is at least 2.5 ft. on center and for hybrid lavandin plants is 3 ft.  

Frost Hazard:

If you are planting new greenhouse-grown, hardy lavender plants in spring, be sure to watch the weather forecast and cover them when the temperatures are predicted to get near freezing. Even with hardy lavenders, the succulent growth that's developed in the greenhouse may be susceptible to frost damage if the plant hasn't had enough time to "harden off". 

In my next blog/newsletter I will discuss variety selection and pruning recommendations for lavender. 

That's it for now, happy Spring!

Martha

Posted 3/11/2014 10:36am by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


Spring is just around the corner.  Just as the bulbs are tentatively poking their tops out of the ground, so I am writing to announce that our Spring Opening at the Lavender Hill Shop will be Saturday March 22nd. Our hours will be limited to 10 am to 4 pm Saturdays until spring really comes. Stay tuned for more information.

SPECIALS, AND PRODUCT CHANGES

In March we will have specials on a number of products as we start to streamline some of our product offerings.  This year we plan to focus on the product scents our customers have indicated they like best.  We will also start offering a variety of pure essential oils, singly and as blends, for sale this year, including DIY tips and recipes on how to use them to make your own aromatherapy products. 

 

PLANT SALES, FIELD RENOVATION AND EXPANSION

We'll have some new things to watch for in the field this spring too. 

We plan to sell small potted lavender plants for the first time this year. Watch your email box or our Facebook page for notice of when they are ready, likely about the first of May. 

We are also planning to do some field renovation and hopefully expansion too this spring. Dates will be announced when those interested in learning how to prune lavender and when is the right time to pull and replace plants will have an opportunity to see it first hand.  Some larger field-dug plants may be available at this time as well. 

 

Don't despair, even though we are likely to get some more snow this week, spring is not far off!

See you soon!

Martha

 

 





Copyright Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, MI  LLC , 2014