Monthly Archives: July 2013

Colorado Lavender Festival is next week!

3rd Colorado Lavender Festival is a feast for the senses
July 12 – 14, 2013, Palisade Colorado
Immerse yourself in lavender at the 3rd annual Colorado Lavender Festival in western Colorado. Highlights of the 3-day event are:
·   Friday – All Day Guided Motorcoach Tour to blooming lavender farms.
·   Saturday – Festival in the Park in Palisade with vendors, seminars, food & wine.
·   Sunday – Self-guided Agri-tours & Events – 12 locations, each unique.
FRIDAY July 12: All-day Guided Motorcoach Tour, 8am – 5pm
A great start to a lavender-filled weekend! From Palisade to Paonia, experience lavender farms, learn about the latest lavender research, shop for high quality lavender related items, pick a fresh lavender bouquet, meet the growers, and see a lavender distillation. Relax along the Gunnison River with a lavender inspired picnic lunch. Finish the day with wine & nibbles – including Lavender wine – at Grande River Vineyards.
SAT. July 13: Colorado Lavender Festival, Palisade Memorial Park, 9am – 4pm. With an interesting variety of high quality lavender and artisan vendors, cooking demonstrations (including one with Chef Marcelo Marino of Wine Country Inn) spiked with lavender and entertainment – the scent, sight and tastes of lavender are everywhere. Admission to the Festival is free.
A signature element of the Festival is info-rich seminars. For those interested in growing lavender as a garden or farm crop, the morning consists of three seminars. First John Steuble of Grand Junction Pipe & Supply will discuss economic and effective methods of irrigation. Next, Dr. Curtis Swift and Kathy Kimbrough, founder of LAWC, present research findings on lavender growth and distillation. Then, CSU extension agent Rodney Sharp and lavender grower Paola Legarre focuses on the economics and considerations of starting a lavender farm.  
The afternoon session covers uses of lavender. Barbarba Lucks, RA, presents the benefits and cautions of essential oils and hydrosols used in the home. Then Rick Spelenka, certified Therapeutic Garden designer, B.S., B.S.N., explores the history of healing gardens and aroma therapy. Tickets for workshops and can be purchased in advance at http://coloradolavenderfestival.com. Morning session is $45; afternoon session is $30. Find complete speaker biographies online as well.
Fresh Lavender Wreath Making Workshops: Take home a fragrant souvenir when you make your own lavender wreath. Cost for materials & instruction $15. Morning and afternoon sessions limited to 20 participants. Fun for adults and kids (age 12 and over).
Spike it with Lavender – Recipes for Living cookbook author Lida Lafferty will present two cooking demonstrations showcasing recipes and easy tips for using culinary lavender in your home. Special guest, organic and local food afficianado, Chef Marcelo Marino of the Wine Country Inn in Palisade, will talk about hot infusions during the afternoon session.
New! “Celebrate Lavender” Art show at The Blue Pig Gallery in downtown Palisade. Follow the blue pig footprints from the Festival at Palisade Memorial Park to the gallery to vote for a favorite work of art. “Celebrate Lavender” runs June 18th– July 13th. Winner announced on July 14th.
SUNDAY July 14: Step into a Lavender World with Self-Guided Agri-tours. Twelve lavender locations from Palisade to Paonia are open and each is unique. Walk through blooming lavender fields, talk to growers, watch as lavender is distilled into hydrosol and essential oil; taste lavender cookies, lemonade, wine, cheese, chicken salad or pizza; try crafts, U-Pick; or choose from a variety of talks… the possibilities are endless. Set your own pace and enjoy lavender locations – some are open year ‘round and some open only once a year for this Festival. Maps available at the Saturday Festival.
SAVE THE DATE for these Upcoming Colorado Lavender Events
Essentials of Distilling: Oils, Hydrosols and Value Added Products
October 26 and 27, 2013; 9 am – 5 pm
Mesa County Fairgrounds, Community Building, Grand Junction, Colorado
Conference features experts in the field and these topics:
• Workshops on creating products with essential oils and hydrosols
• Live distillations using several types and sizes of distillers
• Learn how to distill for commercial as well as medicinal products
• Learn how to distill for hydrosols as the product, not the by-product of essential oil
• Hear the latest updates on the LAWC Specialty Crop Grant progress
Lavender Christmas Craft Fair
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Two Rivers Convention Center, Downtown Grand Junction
Rich array of vendors and high quality, small batch, hand crafted items. All the more fun as the wonderful Parade of Lights follows at dusk.
Professional high resolution photography available.

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The tale of the floppy catmint

This is a picture of my nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ in the middle of pruning it back on June 11th.  The center of the plant completely flopped open and the stems were only blooming at the ends.  So I did what had to be done.  I cut the stems off to about 5 inches from the crown.  This is a 10 year old catmint so the crown is very dense.  
Catmint getting a haircut.
So here is that same catmint today, July 7th.  Full of fresh, shorter stems with lots of new flowers.  I do this every year around the beginning of June to rejuvenate this plant.  They can get so tired looking and I would hate to have it look this way throughout the rest of the season. 

Fresh and pretty catmint
I plan on doing the same thing to my Salvia ‘Mainacht’ or ‘May Night’.  They will also rebloom after a bit of pruning back.  This clump of salvia started with three small plants.  There are probably 20 plants there now after 5 years or so.  If you want a few of these plants, email me.  I’d love to share! 
Large blob of  May Night salvias