Growing lavender

I love growing things, but I don’t like growing them in pots. I feel like the plant is missing out. Instead of being able to reach its roots down into the earth and feel what I imagine would be a connection to the planet and everything in its immediate surroundings, it’s bound by the pot that it’s in.

On a more practical side, I also tend to forget to water the plants and so the poor things end up neglected, and thus do not thrive.

That said, I do still grow some things in pots (not trees). The house we live in is a rental, so I have limited options, and if a pot is going to help me get my garden fix, then it’s going to have to do.

I had a lavender plant for many years surviving in a pot. Although I do rent, I decided I’d plant it in the garden (even though it meant that when we leave it will remain here). While somewhat stunted in the pot, it has truly blossomed, and is now huge! Ever since I planted it well over a year ago, it has been in full flower.

After that success, I ended up buying and planting about ten more lavender plants in the gardens here. There are four of five different kinds. One has the most gorgeous dark violet flower – the darkest lavender I have ever seen. It unfortunately got squashed by my cat lying on it, and so is still very small.

Another one (in the photo above) has a pretty flower that is almost fuschia.

I’m always trying to attract bees to my garden, and lavender has proven to be one of the most successful ways of doing this!

Sometime in the future, I will definitely take some cuttings with the intention of growing new plants from them. That way, these ones can stay in the gardens here, and I can take a piece of them with me.

The war on aphids has begun

I’ve grown broadbeans twice before, and have never had any issues with pests. If anything, it seemed like they were immune. Although there is quite a bit of time between sowing and harvesting, I always like to grow them. Not only do they taste good, but they have a pretty flower that attracts bees to my garden.

This year, I’ve recently noticed that some of the leaves near the bottom of the plants are a bit yellow and dying. On closer inspection I found the cause. Aphids.

Now I generally don’t mind if there are ‘bad’ bugs in my garden. As long as they refrain from taking over, or doing so much damage that they kill my plants, then I’m all for allowing them to coexist with the ‘good’ bugs.

In cases like this however, when they seem to have had a population explosion, I have to declare war. Me and my trusty garden hose again a billion little aphids.

I probably shouldn’t say ‘little aphids’ because it makes them sound cute. Poor little aphids just want to eat and live like the rest of us. Well, not on my watch.

The sap-sucking vampires of the plant world are not going to destroy my broadbeans… and so the battle begins.

UPDATE (03.09.16): I always avoid the use of any pesticides or herbicides on my garden and lawn, so it can be a little tricky at times. I was using the garden hose to manage my aphid problem. A light spray on the broadbeans each morning, hosing off any aphids. This was working well until I broke the hose.

Now, I’ve found that if I hold my hand under the broadbean and shake the top, the aphids will fall onto my hands. I then give them to my chickies, who peck them up pretty quickly. This seems to be working quite well.