Lavender and Rosemary – Ready for Winter

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The potting bench and greenhouse at La Paix Herb Farm October 28th 2014

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First I had to move the lavender plugs out of the greenhouse – this was last week – and into the deep red box in the kitchen garden.  It is under a screen now, but shortly (I hear there is a freeze warning Saturday night.) it will be covered by heavy but light letting in plastic covering from 7 Springs Organic in Floyd, Va.  These plugs were taken from the lavender remaining at La Paix this summer – it was 14 years old and it was a harsh winter – and most of the lavender bushes (about 200) died

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But over the summer about 25 bushes showed signs of life and began flourishing, particularly those on the south facing slope in front of the house by the driveway.  Even now, what I call the guest bush has flowers.  It was these hardy survivors from which I took the plugs in late June and you see here some of the 150 or so plugs that resulted.  These are the ones which are now in the big red box in the kitchen garden. A screen is over them until winter begins (this Saturday?) when plastic covering will be put on top.  A light bulb will be placed in the box which will be set to light when the temperature is below 32 degrees.

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More plugs are in the box opposite the above box still in the kitchen garden.  There is an electric outlet on the porch which we will staple up the side of the porch wall, then to the ceiling and then down into the two boxes.  This box is covered by a repurposed plastic cage with tops that zip down in warm weather.

So when we had the lavender out of the greenhouse, we cleaned it up, filling up the old milk bottle jugs with water for passive heat and arranging the shelves to get the Rosemary in.

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This photo shows the potting bench and greenhouse in the back yard of La Paix.  You can see the greenhouse is now full of Rosemary plants.

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Well, Bill and I finally got them in.  I trimmed them alot, collected nice plugs for anyone who would like to grow them out – let me know – and also collected larger branches (so everything fit in the greenhouse) for distillation.  I’m thinking of having a Rosemary Day at La Paix after the elections – and distilling Rosemary and giving away plugs for others to grow out.  What do you think?

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I know – I think I am gaining weight – oh dear.  Anyway, the small Rosemary on the right is one of the plugs I made last year when a big branch fell off the largest Rosemary plant in transporting it to the Greenhouse.  Doesn’t it look healthy?  (so do I I fear).

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The two sides of the greenhouse.  The largest Rosemary is held up with cord – I trimmed alot of these Rosemarys so that they didn’t hit the glass where they can freeze on really cold days.  I use a small heater turned low when the temperature is below 20 degrees – otherwise they are fine – very sturdy – very acclimated to West Virginia weather.  And what a pleasure in February when they often bloom blue all over to visit the Greenhouse.  The aroma is wonderful.  And my Rosemary chicken isn’t bad either.

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Close Up of Rosemary.  Chuck Wyorstock, now of the Sierra Club built this greenhouse for me from a kit (the foundation took more time than the rest – it is made of glass – and could have been bigger – but I have had it here for over 25 years and it works!

So maybe I will have a Rosemary Day.  Rosemary, you know, if for remembrance – and it looks like that’s what I’ll be collecting now, memories, memories of plants, and trees, and birds and peace and so many many wonderful friends and supporters.  Yes, I think I need to have a Rosemary Day and cook some Rosemary chicken and invite my friends.

ps. At the bird feeders this fall, so many birds I hadn’t seen until I stop to look out the front door window and I see blue birds, cardinals, tufted titmice, chickadees galore, gold finch, Blue Jays, sparrows and more – all at the feeders and the hanging suet.

Treasure every moment – see a miracle in every bird – see God in every friend.  Treasure your life!

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