lovely lavender

It's been a while since I talked about my lavender plants, and this is a good year for lavender in my garden!

Probably because of the mild winter, each of my seven lavenders are looking really good. Some of these make it through any winter because of the drainage they have, while others in different spots suffer some damage -- not this year though.


Since I took these photos a few weeks ago (20 May to be exact) I can't remember what order they're in, and I'm not keen to guess which photo is of which plant.

So I'm going to take the easy way out and just post photos with minimal text.

The key to getting lavender to overwinter in climates with cold, wet winters is drainage. Most of these are planted in raised beds or on slopes, although the 'Grosso' is planted at the bottom of a slope and it's doing great. Since my yard slopes all the way to the back, that may be enough to keep the soil from staying too wet here, but I suspect that 'Grosso' is just a little more tolerant of wet winters than some other varieties.

Did I mention that the 'Grosso' is HUGE this year? It is at least 7' (2m) across, but doesn't have a mounded habit like you often see with lavenders grown in ideal conditions:

I know how it got this wide: The first year I had it the center of the plant died during the winter. The outermost branches didn't though and the next year I ended up with a "ring" of plants, with each branch forming a pretty full-looking "plant" of its own. Today all of the previously dead parts have filled back in, and the outermost branches have filled out even more, creating a huge "mat" of lavender. I haven't checked to see if any of the branches have rooted in, but I suspect they have.

To think that when I started gardening less than 10 years ago I thought it wasn't possible to grow lavender in the St. Louis area!

Apparently others have been discovering that lavender does better here than previously thought, because there is a 17-acre lavender farm not too far away: Winding Brook Estate. I haven't been there before, but may have to visit soon -- I'd love to see a field full of lavender!


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Mary Pellerito  – (June 5, 2012 at 8:09 AM)  

Lovely photos. I can actually smell lavendar.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM)  

Beautiful! Lavender has got be my favorite Mediterranean perennial. My experience with Grosso is similar to yours, both in terms of size and in terms of the center dying. I think that's fairly typical.

Alan  – (June 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM)  

Gerhard: good to know... I think. I've seen photos of nice mounded 'Grosso's though, so maybe it's just extra-finicky? It seems quite hardy otherwise.

Gardener on Sherlock Street  – (June 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM)  

How pretty. My lavender is looking good already too. I love bringing in the blooms for sachets.

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