Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Case of the Croxton’s Wild

Below are pictures I took the week of March 19th of the lavender. The first three rows, the Grossos, the mystery variety (topic of another blog later) and the munsteads (blame these 9 english plants that sparked my obsession) are all doing super well, greening up fast, and looking like the need little pruning as opposed to last year, as each year I get better at pruning.

But the new varieties that I planted last May, are a mix of “on their way” to “shaky.” I think maybe it’s because they are so young. Many of them are on their way to greening up and will require some pruning of the dead stuff in a couple weeks. But the Croxton’s in the last row, look the worse for where. Look at the last couple pictures...those are the Croxton’s.

As you can see, instead of looking bushy, or on their way to being bushy, they are leggy, long, stringy, and in some cases, looking decidedly flattened. I think it’s partially because of the variety. they were always super leggy last summer, growing these long willowy stems. I pruned lightly, and now I’m thinking (as I’m often reminded by lavender mentor Melissa) I should have mown them down in the fall, baby plants or no.

Because what I think has happened. Is that the high speed winds we experienced a couple weeks ago, just flattened these suckers out, and, in many cases, snapped one or two of the central stems. The stems were brittle from winter and boom!

I think they will come back, already as I post this blog, new starts are showing signs of life around the base. I’ll prune the old dead stuff back and as they recover, if they recover, they will be pruned into tight little balls.

What are Croxton’s Wild? This variety is described by Mulberry Creek Farm as “If you desire a tall, wild looking, silvery, shrub with thigh-high masses of light, lavender-blue flowers, we think you will enjoy this ""true lavender."

This variety is based on a wild lavender population in Europe, and is a close relative of wild lavender. It was introduced to the states by Tom Debaggio.

The buds are very white, with lavender tinges. It’s fragrance is so so. If it doesn’t survive or do well, I’ll be replacing with another variety.

In other lavender news, there’s a slight problem in the gravel, lots of grass and weeds coming up through the landscape fabric and gravel. I won’t use Round Up and Todd’s brilliant idea of using one of those hand held propane torches got nixed by Andrew. Something about not wanting to burn the house and surrounding neighborhood down just to be “organic.” Don’t worry, I’m working on a secret weapon...

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