Lavenders, or Lavandula, in horticultural circles is arguably one of the most popular summer blooming perennials available. Its aromatic, evergreen, gray-green foliage and attractive upright blue-purple flowers are a tried and true success story for most gardens.
Originally from the Mediterranean, North African and Indian regions, their natural habitat is hot, dry and exposed rocky areas. As a result, they are an excellent plant for hot dry sites, containers and even informal edging. They grow in a wide range of soils but MUST have good drainage, especially in the winter.
Lavenders are divided into three main groups, the Spicata varieties, also known as English Lavenders, the Stoechas group, and the harder to find and more tender Pterostoechas varieties.
Spicata or English Lavenders are perhaps the most common and the hardiest of the group. They will usually survive a north-west winter as long as they are planted in well-drained soil. The most common varieties like Hidcote Blueand Munstead have the well known purple-blue coloured, upright, small flower spikes that are extremely fragrant. The English varieties also tend to produce the best oil and fragrance of the Lavenders. Plant them in full sun where they can be brushed against to release their aroma. Prune these varieties lightly after flowering to maintain size and shape.
Lavandula ‘HidCote Blue’
This lavender variety has slightly downy, narrow gray-green leaves and highly aromatic deep purple-blue flower spikes that are produced in early summer. Great for borders, edging, containers and rock gardens. It is also particularly well suited for mass plantings. Hidcote varieties are also ideal for use in potpourri and sachets. Drought tolerant once established. Grows to 18-24 inches in height and spread. Prune after flowering to maintain size and shape. Hardy in zones 5-9.
Munstead is an easy to grow, dwarf lavender variety popular in containers and edging. It consistently delivers fragrant, fine cut silvery-green foliage along with equally fragrant spikes of purple flowers in summer. It is a reliable, compact ornamental plant that can be used in the herb garden, as potpourri in sachets or various places in the sunny garden. Grows to 1.5ft tall and 2ft wide. If pruning is required, do so after flowering and only to maintain size and shape. Avoid cutting into the large, heavy wood. Hardy in zones 5-9.
The Stoechas group, also known as Spanish, French, Italian or even Butterfly Lavender have fatter flower spikes with upright wings or petal-like bracts. They are typically lower growing and have fine grayish-green foliage. In warm areas, these plants are rarely without flower. They are less hardy than the Spicata-types and should be planted in an area that will receive some winter protection. A south facing wall is ideal. Stoechas Lavenders should be pruned in summer. These plants love water, but should be allowed to dry between waterings.
Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk’
‘Anouk’ is a very popular stoechas Lavender variety with 10 inch high, intensely fragrant foliage with long petal packed wands of pure purple flowers over a long period of time between spring and late summer. It is an excellent indoor or patio plant, as a specimen in the garden, a low edge or as a feature in the perennial garden. This plant needs good drainage and full sun, along with some winter protection in cooler climates. Protect from cold winter winds. Grows to 20-28 inches in height and width
Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk Supreme’
Anouk Supreme is a compact Lavender with a profusion of summer blooms, aromatic, green foliage and a canopy of two-tone ‘butterfly-like’ flowers. Each flower consists of dark purple cones with large violet terminal bracts. Not very hardy in cold climates and needs good drainage. Excellent as a patio or container plant. Can also be used as a fresh cut or dried flower . Plant in full sun. Grows to 16 inches in height and 24 inches across. Hardy in zones 6-9.
Luxurious is a newer Lavender variety very similar to Anouk Supreme but appears to offer darker, more vibrant purple hues in its flowers. Otherwise, it grows to a similar size and habit as does ‘Anouk Supreme’. Plant in full sun and with good drainage. Hardy in zones 6-9
Lavandula ‘Lusi Pink’
‘Lusi Pink’ is a recently arrived variety of Lavender here at Art’s Nursery. Originally developed in the Netherlands in 2010, this new variety has purple-blue flowers and light pink leaves known as tufts. It is characterized by large flowers and unique colours. Lusi is a late, but long bloomer, with flowers appearing from May-June through October. It is also more resilient, being less susceptible to mildew and has a more uniform growth pattern. It just makes one want to say, ‘I Love Lusi’ …
Several other Lavender varieties are also generally available including Provence, Loddon Blue, Silver Anouk and more. For additional information about Lavender, or to add some to your garden, visit Art’s Nursery today and treat yourself to a few luscious lavenders. As always, call ahead, 604.882.1201 to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.