Thanks to the flow of people and love, we have a lavender labyrinth completed in what used to be a horse arena. Mokelumne Lavender is in business!! Mokelumne is the name of three forks of our rivers in this region. We live between the north and middle fork of the Mokelumne. Our pond eventually flows into the middle fork down below our property.
I want beauty in my life and my community, and Phase One of our simple lavender business has begun. We started growing lavender with three hundred large Lavendula x-intermedia,’Grosso,’ planted into a maze design. I met Patience Diaz in July, who came from Shasta Lavender Farm to our house for consultation in August. She instructed us about the feasibility of establishing a lavender farm on our property. Patience helped us decide where to plant, and made suggestions for getting the soil tested, checking for drainage, and different types of lavender choices that would be appropriate for our labyrinth.
We were introduced to Allen, who is an earth excavator, and he brought up his equipment from Sutter Creek, and graded the arena with his backhoe. He moved tons of red earth to make it drain better, and tilled the red earth for the landscape designer to begin. Allen’s neighbor, Paul took responsibility for the landscaping project and Paul is the one who made my dream come true. Paul drew the labyrinth shape in his own family field, and invited me over to walk it. I experienced the size and scope of the labyrinth in another location. We discussed the plant choice and his crew mounded the designs at our place. Paul’s son and his son’s best friend worked for days with shovels and wheelbarrows to shape mounds. Two weeks later, the lavender labyrinth is here to stay.
My husband, Fred was instrumental in every aspect of the labyrinth project. He used the Bobcat to dig irrigation ditches for the water supply, smoothed the area outside of the labyrinth after the mounds were established. Fred’s soil expertise determined the choices of rock and designing drainage pathways, and he knows about other critical details, which I didn’t consider, because I do not have his brain.
I knew I was going to spend a carload of money. I was afraid to start this project because of the money. I was afraid the project would be difficult and wouldn’t work out easily. Patience reminded me that beauty is of great value, and money is needed to create such magnificence. She’s right. I’m writing checks and more checks for lavender plugs, mulch delivery, crushed rock and delivery costs. Right now, a truck is driving up the canyon from Sacramento to our house, and will strategically dump crushed rock into a gigantic pile. Fred will move it closer to the labyrinth with the Bobcat. We will load the pathway bucket by bucket. It may require walking the labyrinth to get to the interior space. I’m thinking of the work as prayer.
I decided the Grosso lavendula would be ideal, because of their high oil content and strong fragrance, with a floral note. I over-ordered hundreds of Grosso lavender plugs from nice people outside of Fresno, in Squaw Valley, CA. I didn’t know what the right amount would be, but I have hundreds of extras. Hopefully, in a couple of years, our planted little plugs will grow over three feet wide, thirty inches apart, and turn into a winding hedge. The Grossos will provide our main business products, bouquets, sachets and drier bags. I plan to learn more about distilling and shipping aspects of sending bouquets to lavender co-ops for lavender oil. It’s likely next spring we’ll plant culinary lavender in Phase Two.
This labyrinth is so fabulous! My Miwuk neighbor Joy Cee and her friend Jessica stopped by, and the three of us walked the labyrinth saying prayers, while the men worked to cover the mound designs in shredded cedar mulch. Joy Cee remembered the albino squirrel who lived a couple of years in the exact pines and oaks around the labyrinth when it used to be an arena. Joy Cee is a member of the squirrel clan, and I gave her plants. We all love lavender, and honor love and beauty. We honor the white squirrel who brought his positive light to our property.
Fred reminded me that giving a plant to someone is like giving them a dog, because it takes responsibility to keep plants alive. Not everyone is getting a plant, they are special. I want more Grossos around town, and people who want them seem excited to plant plugs in their yards. I prayed for grace, and it is not surprising that love flows even faster now. I am thrilled to change my heart.
The Grosso plugs have doubled since I bought them. I have plenty extras, in case of loss. So far, they seem happy in our yard. Winter is coming, but it’s it’s not here yet. Rain is likely tomorrow. I am learning about love and lavender, and the value of beauty.
Love and lavender are inseparable. Thanks to you and Fred, the love has spread to the McIntyre’s lavender bed in San Juan Capistrano, where I planted 5 plugs this morning, and to Glencoe, where 7 plugs have joined company with some Spanish Lavender planted a few years ago. May they thrive and flourish.