The Lavender Lover's Handbook: The 100 Most Beautiful and Fragrant Varieties for Growing, Crafting, and Cooking

The Lavender Lover's Handbook: The 100 Most Beautiful and Fragrant Varieties for Growing, Crafting, and Cooking

by Sarah Berringer Bader

Hardcover

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Overview

“The best recent all-around lavender book with something for gardeners, crafters, and cooks alike.” —Library Journal

Lavender is beloved for its and culinary and medicinal uses. In The Lavender Lover's Handbook, Sarah Berringer Bader provides a complete overview of the 100 most colorful, fragrant, and stunning varieties. You will discover expert tips on spacing, planting, pruning, and care and maintenance. Additional information includes tips on how to harvest, cook with, and preserve the plant, along with step-by-step crafts and project that use lavender in beautiful and soothing ways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604692211
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 277,313
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sarah Berringer Bader has always been drawn to lavender. In 2000 she purchased a five-acre farm south of Portland, Oregon, and after visiting the Sequim Lavender Festival in Washington and seeing rows and rows of this wondrous herb, decided to create a test plot of 365 plants despite knowing nothing about planting lavender. She learned through trial and error, helped by a little-known society of lavender pioneers who had dedicated their careers to cultivating, growing, and preserving the true species of lavender. Soon she purchased many varieties of lavender from a seasoned grower in Oregon who had propagated starts from his own extensive collection acquired over a twenty-year span.

In 2005 she planted almost 5000 lavender plants with more than ninety cultivars and began propagating her own starts from cuttings. She opened her farm to the public and began holding the classes that inspired this book. Sarah and her farm, Lavender at Stonegate, have been featured in regional publications, on television and radio, and in Grower Talks and Country Gardens magazines.

Read an Excerpt


Lavender Obsession: An Introduction
On a warm, sunny day, it doesn’t get much better than brushing up against a lavender plant and inhaling the intoxicating aroma. You can experience this just about anywhere in your landscape. From pathways to rock gardens, lavender makes a wonderful focal point, and it is useful as well. Any warm, sunny spot will do, as long as the soil allows for proper drainage and the plant gets plenty of room to grow.

There are more than 450 named lavender varieties or cultivars, and more are being discovered all the time. Lavender belongs to the Lamiaceae, the mint family, which includes oregano, sage, and other fragrant herbs. There are several species within the genus Lavandula, grouping plants together based on characteristics such as hardiness, leaf shape, and fragrance. Some species are available only in certain parts of the world, and only about four species can be grown outside of tropical climates.
 
What Makes Lavender a Great Addition to the Landscape?
Lavender is a beautiful addition to just about any garden. Lavender foliage colors range from various shades of green through gray-green to silver; variegated cultivars are even available. The flowers are not just lavender but come in a spectrum of color from blues and purples to whites and pinks. These plants also come in a variety of sizes: there are dwarf lavenders, medium-sized lavenders, and lavenders that grow quite large to fit into any landscape design. More and more people are realizing how easy lavender is to grow and how useful it can be in the garden.

Once lavender is established, it doesn’t need to be watered very often. Plants are considered drought tolerant if they can survive a dry period with little or no supplemental watering. With lavender’s sunny disposition, it certainly falls into this category. In fact, when lavender is placed in the right spot—where it has full sun, good drainage, and plenty of room to grow—it will thrive with very little care, even through the summer months. With many municipalities restricting water use, these plants can hold their own and help conserve water.
 
Lavender attracts a wide range of pollinators that are not only beneficial to your garden but also great for the environment. A lavender plant draws the bugs you want in your garden that, in turn, eat the ones you don’t. On a hot, sunny day, anyone can become mesmerized by watching the level of activity on one lavender plant. Bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, ladybugs, and praying mantises are only some of the beneficial insects a lavender plant will attract. These pollinator and parasitic species not only help the plants and flowers thrive, they also greatly reduce the need for pesticides throughout your garden.

If you have had deer wander in your yard, you know that they like to nibble on just about anything. The only way to really keep a deer out of your garden permanently is a tall fence, but lavender is considered a deer-resistant plant, meaning they do not prefer the taste of lavender. If hungry enough, they may nibble the tops of young plants a bit, but they normally stay clear of established plants. Rabbits don’t like lavender, either.

Lavender plants are built-in aromatherapy. Not only do they add a wonderful fragrance to your garden, but the lavender flowers can also be brought indoors for herbal teas, homemade crafts, and sachets for your drawers. It’s hard to think of another plant that can add this much beauty and joy to our lives.
 

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