Lavender. Yes, you can grow it.

by Ray Allen

Everbody loves lavender, and Lavender "Munstead", the best for the US,  is a best-seller every year with our perennials.  There's all kinds of detail on growing it on the site; click here for the details.

But all you need to know is that lavender is really a desert plant--do not put it into "good garden soil", or it will simply die.  Thousands of lavender plants are loved to death every year in the US, since so many gardeners plant them in rich loam, and fertilize and water them to death.  Lavender is one of a good sized group of perennials that absolutely insists on quick-draining gritty soil--what most of us call bad soil--rocky, arid, desert-like conditions.  I always recommend making a part of your garden your "desert"--bring in some sand, maybe some gravel, and make sure that area is in full, baking sun and has perfect drainage.

Then in that spot, plant your lavender, liatris, yarrows, and other plants that hate the soggy, muddy soil we try to create for poppies, peonies, and all the others.  The photos here are of a famous lavender garden in Oregon.  The magnificent red flowers through the gate in the midst of the lavender are red crocosmia "Lucifer", a spring bulb we sell and one that makes a dramatic show with lavender as you can see below.  Unfortunately, you can't smell this garden on your computer, but trust me, it smells as heavenly as you imagine.

Perennial GardenPerennial Garden
  1. Purple Lavender Grosso, Lavandula x intermedia, Lavender, Close Up

    Long-blooming and highly fragrant, 'Grosso' Lavender is famed throughout the world as the one most often grown for use in perfume making. It's also very showy, with large and spiky d...

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    Grosso Lavender Grosso Lavender Lavandula x intermedia Grosso
    $15.98 Sale $11.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Long-blooming and highly fragrant, 'Grosso' Lavender is famed throughout the world as the one most often grown for use in perfume making. It's also very showy, with large and spiky dark purple blooms set against silver foliage. Blooms form on purple bracts (as opposed to the more common green) making for a richly colorful appearance in the garden and when dried for crafts. (Lavandula x intermedia)
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  2. Sensational!™ Lavender, Lavandula x intermedia Sensational!™ harvested in a baskest

    Sensational!™ Lavender is an improved, easy-to-grow variety that makes growing lavender accessible to more gardeners than ever! Silvery foliage is topped by large, dense purple flo...

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    Sensational!™ Lavender Sensational!™ Lavender Lavandula x intermedia Sensational!™
    As low as $15.98 Sale $11.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Sensational!™ Lavender is an improved, easy-to-grow variety that makes growing lavender accessible to more gardeners than ever! Silvery foliage is topped by large, dense purple flower spikes. With a compact, dense habit and notable durability for sun, heat, and humidity, as well as cold tolerance, Sensational stands apart from many traditional Lavender varieties. A favorite of honeybees, these fragrant flowers will attract a wide range of pollinators. (Lavandula x intermedia)
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  3. Lavender Royal Velvet, Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet growing in field

    Velvety, dark purple-blue flowers are the hallmark of Lavender ‘Royal Velvet’, as are its rich fragrance and speedy growth habit. Tall, waving flower spikes last and last, and wi...

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    Royal Velvet English Lavender Royal Velvet English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet
    $15.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Velvety, dark purple-blue flowers are the hallmark of Lavender ‘Royal Velvet’, as are its rich fragrance and speedy growth habit. Tall, waving flower spikes last and last, and will bloom a second time after a mid-season harvest. Deer resistant, ‘Royal Velvet’s strong scent attracts plentiful bees and butterflies. Excellent for cutting and drying. (Lavandula angustifolia)
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