I love lavender. Not only the beautiful color but also the intoxicating fragrance and all the ways it can be used. Abundant in perfumes, potpourris, bath and body products, it is perhaps one of the most widely recognized herbs today.
The herb Lavendula is the Latin genus referring to lavender. There are over 45 known recognized species of this plant, and over 450 varieties. This herb is not a modern day discovery. Its roots go back in history to the coastal hills of the Mediterranean, where most types of lavender actually originated on dry, chalky/rocky ground so it thrives on hot, dry, rocky, or sandy soil.
Around 600 B.C. the herb was carried to France, England, Italy and Spain. Queen Elizabeth was reported to love lavender jelly. As early as the early 1500s, its uses as a remedy were noted.
Landscape with lavender
Aside from growing it for flowers and fragrance, lavender can be used in landscapes, adding color and beauty. It is excellent for water conserving plantings and it can withstand heat, making it a great plant for this area of Texas.
There are a variety of ways to garden with lavender but first you need to do a little research.
The United States Lavender Growers Association reports that some people have great success growing the hybrid Lavandula x-intermedia, var. Grosso, which tolerates the hot dry climate and produces a good and useful essential oil. This hardy hybrid is the workhorse in many fields throughout the world.
Another lavender species that does well in cooler climates are the varieties of Lavandula Angustifolia. There are many varieties such as Hidcote, Munstead, Lady, and Sachet and many more.
Sonia Duggan • [email protected]
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