Lavender, the south in your garden
- Jessie Ventura
Lavender is a popular plant. Understandably so, as the delicious scent of the leaves and flowers, and the beautiful purple blooms, turn any garden into a little piece of France.
Types of lavender
The common or English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is not actually an herb, but a small shrub. The plant has been cultivated for centuries by pharmacists and in monastery gardens for its medicinal properties. There are many varieties of English lavender. Our favorites:
Lavendula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ is a purple bloomer and a strong plant. There is also a variety with flowers, which bloom white and slowly turn to pink. This is Lavendula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Pink’. This plant grows to 60cm in height and has grey-green leaves.
Lavendula angustifolia ‘Munstead’ is true lavender blue. There are also white, violet and pink cultivars. This variety blooms nicely, but does not have as intense a fragrance.
A beautiful white bloomer is the Lavendula angustifolia ‘Arctic snow’. The plant stays relatively low and is one of the few true white lavender varieties.
Lavendula angustifolia ‘Pacific Blue’ is a taller species whose flowers are very suitable for making oil. They smell as lavender should.
The lavender that grows in southern France is the crested lavender Lavendula stoechas. This plant is sensitive to frost, but can withstand drought well. In full soil, it doesn’t even need to be watered! This plant thrives on acidic soil, so lime is not necessary.