by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner
I have always loved lavender products and was thrilled when we purchased Brewster by the Sea 11 years ago and was able to incorporate the flower and scent into many different areas of our guest’s stay. We grow the actual flower in our gardens and love to recommend that our guests visit the Cape Cod Lavender Farm during their stay. It’s a wonderful place that has acres and acres of lavender plants that you can purchase along with an honor system store where you can purchase lavender products. We like to use their lavender for our summer lavender lemonade. It has become a guest favorite.
Also found at the inn are lavender spritzers that the guests can enjoy in their rooms during their stay. We have this product for sale in our gift shop in old fashion glass bottles that we make at the inn. We also include a lavender facial soap as well as lavender shaving cream for our guys to enjoy. We purchase these products from a lovely gal in Virginia that hand makes each soap at the Bumble and Company. Guests also enjoy a wonderful lavender sea salt that can be used for a relaxing bath.
Lavender (Lavandula) is such a romantic flower that every gardener sooner or later succumbs to the urge to grow it. Undeterred by the fact that it is a native of the Mediterranean and a lover of dry, sunny, rocky habitats, we gave it a try and have had good success with the plants we purchased form the lavender farm.
As with most plants, your success in growing this coveted plant will depend both on what kind of growing conditions you can provide and which varieties you select to grow. Lavender plants will tolerate many growing conditions, but it thrives in warm, well-drained soil and full sun. Like many plants grown for their essential oils, a lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An alkaline and especially chalky soil will enhance lavenders fragrance. While you can grow lavender in USDA Zone 5, it is unlikely you will ever have a lavender hedge. More realistically you can expect to have plants that will do well when the weather cooperates and to experience the occasional loss of a plant or two after a severe winter or a wet, humid summer.
Lavender is a tough plant and is extremely drought resistant. However, when first starting you lavender plants, We always love to recommend that you use some compost or manure to help fertilize the solid and give the plant a great start.
Exhaling on Cape Cod and enjoying our lavender!