If I randomly asked you ‘Is that lavender’ what would you do. Would you look to see what colour you were wearing, would you sniff the breeze, would you take another lick of your ice cream...hmmm. The name is actually derived from the Latin word meaning ‘to wash’. Toss some lavender buds on the mattress and skip bathtime ...for the Romans I guess. Additionally in ancient time, lavender was often cultivated for its medicinal qualities. Anxiety, headaches, toothaches, insomnia and skin irritations were big players when it came to having a lavender treatment and while it is still recognized as having some terrific health benefits you may find other reasons to find a spot for it in your garden.
Lavender is no doubt one of our best selling herbs and being perennial gives it extra points. There are in fact over 450 varieties of lavender however many of them are not hardy to our area. At ‘Horlings Plants’, we grow only ‘lavender angustifolia’ (AKA true lavender or English lavender... even though it is commonly grown in France) This species is hardy to zone 5 and maybe even 3 or 4. Lavender is tough! A heat and sun lover (but does not like humidity) and requires good drainage. Once established it benefits from a good pruning two inches above the woody growth as it shows signs of life in the spring then again after it blooms in late spring or early summer.
So here are a few reasons for you to acquaint yourself with this most popular flowering herb:
- Beautiful garden specimen with soft musky fragrance to greet you near your front door
- Fragrant cut flower to grace your dinner table
- Natural air freshener: dried bouquet or bowl of flower buds
- Lots of recipe ideas online ie: tea, cookies, ice cream, savoury & sweet breads
- Gift products including fragrant sachets, soaps, potpourri, wreaths (again Google has limitless possibilities!)
And planting lavender is always a good choice for encouraging pollinators to your garden space...makes for a tasty honey!