Gardening by Osmosis



Last updated 7/14/2022 at 8:31am

The lavender harvest is usually around the middle of July. Before then, to find yourself in a French Provincial Paradise of fragrance, a trip to lavender fields in Spokane County is a treat for your eyes and your olfactory. Look online for lavender growers.

Though we are on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, lavender is happy in our semi-arid part of the world. Lavender is especially suited to dry, well-drained soils. Its benefits to our gardens are many. Pollinators love them; they are disease, deer and fire-resistant. Their grey-green foliage is a lovely accent in a garden of green and it’s a long-lived perennial.

After flowering, I save the pruning, cut them up and stuff them in vases. Then I insert my artificial flowers. I don’t think it makes the artificial flowers look any better, but it certainly helps with houseatosis.

Every once in a while, I stir the stems of the artificial flowers. The lavender scent wafts through the house. For a different look in the vases, I use rice and drops of lavender essential oil.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with insecticidal qualities, but when I work in my lavender garden, black flies and mosquitoes don’t bother me.

The most common varieties of lavender in our zone are Munstead, a more dwarf and hardy lavender, and Hidcote, which is usually about two feet tall with more intense purple coloring. Some varieties even have pink and white flowers.

A good time to apply deer repellent products to your trees and full-leaved shrubs is when the weather begins to dry forage in the forests. Hungry deer ignore “experts” lists of “designated deer resistant plants” and will try just about everything in your garden. And those turkeys, I am referring to the two-legged varieties that gobble. They love to scratch and make dust bowls to clean their feathers on the dry, bare ground among your plants. I have deterred them with clay pots, wire mesh, and pots of petunias. I am OK with them in the garden as long as they stay on the pathways. But I don’t usually have much luck with that!

Giving your lawn and gardens another dose of fertilizer before the weather gets too hot is a good idea. Be sure to provide them with extra water when you do. You don’t want to burn them after all the tender loving care you gave them this year. Trees and shrubs need to have extra water as well. They were spoiled with all the moisture we had this spring and their new tender growth is highly susceptible to drying out.

Now is the time to raise the blade level on your lawnmower. The longer blades of grass will shelter the roots and help keep your lawn from browning or growing dormant.

A summer day with blue skies, a few puffy white clouds and the warm sun on our shoulders— ah, this is what we were thinking about this past winter under our snuggly blankets and heavy plaid shirts.


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