An aromatic harvest

more lavenderOne of my preferred crops. Lavender. I’ve been waiting all week to get out the secateurs and wade in. But it has actually been too unsettled.

I like to choose a fresh  morning that hasn’t been too dewy overnight. And as we have had rain this week (oh joy) I’ve put it off.

Lavender grows all over this farm.  It’s my preferred ground cover plants.  It’s a bit lazy, but you just get to know that sometimes the most ubiquitous plant is often the best. Why fight nature?

It’s a bit like being surprised not to find agapanthus growing in a Sydney garden. It’s your local weed of choice. Unfussy, drought tolerant, a good spreader. And it even has a long flowering season just to break up the monotony of the those strappy leaves.

And lavender is the same. And it too comes in white along with the mauve and blue. lavender harvesting

My main planting is in front of the house. I grew tired of opening my thick wooden shutters of a morning and looking down onto a bank that, frankly, always needed weeding or strimming.

Now I start the day with a smile as I see not only the lavenders in flower. But also the interplanting of my favourite little allium; the drumstick.

Pause while we all go off and try and find out how it’s properly spelt: allium sphaerocephalon.  What a doer. Little drumsticks of raspberry red poking through the lavenders and breaking up the monotony.

drumstick alliumAnd they are cheap. I buy them wholesale from Holland (thank you Andrew!) in huge volumes of about 1000 for around a tenner.  The hardest bit is the planting. They are tiny but fiddly.

But as I was excavating this area at the same time the bulbs arrived it seemed like the most obvious place to put them.

Which is lazy gardener speak for ‘I couldn’t be bothered laboriously planting them anywhere else.’

I’ll leave the flowers to dry a bit and then I’ll strip them off their stalks and sow them into linen bags.  You have choose to still day for that job as the windows all have to be open otherwise you expire from the fumes.  Well, it’s headache inducing.  Up there with ice cream headaches. A mixture of pleasure and pain that is well worth the effort.