Not sure Simon & Garfunkel thought their title through; thyme is all well and good, but lavender is the herb of royalty. The history of lavender goes back well over 2500 years. Not only has been used for its essential oils and fragrance but also to treat gastrointestinal problems and to reduce anxiety. What’s not to admire. Lavender comes from the Latin lavare, to wash, and was a favorite ingredient in herbal baths for both the Romans and Greeks.
We may not be royalty, but we certainly can find a space in the landscape for some lavender. In more recent times, varieties of lavender have been significantly improved to enhance success in the landscape and garden.
It can be said that not all lavenders are created equal, some are large, some more hardy, some with blue flowers and some with white. However, it can also be stated with certainty they have a couple of similarities – they all need excellent drainage and sunshine to do well.
While we are not on the Mediterranean, we can grow lavenders perfectly well – keep them out of low spots and allow them lots of sun. That’s about it. That we are not on the Mediterranean means that selecting the best varieties becomes more important. There are a ton of choices out there, here are but a few I like:
Don’t get flummoxed when reading about lavender. It seems every country has claimed it as their own. English lavender, Spanish lavender and French lavender along with hybrids and subspecies have appeared to make our gardening lives more complicated. of the herb. That so many countries have claimed them as their own makes little difference in their performance and beauty. They are all native to dry warm areas, and all should be treated similarly when using them in the ornamental garden.
Lavender fits everywhere. These herbs look good in containers on the deck, in the garden as part of the design and in the rose garden where lavender can be planted to complement the roses and hide their “knees”. Beauty, fragrance, ad history – all in one place.