Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) is a hardy, aromatic shrub that is native to the Mediterranean in poor, rocky soils and mild coastal areas but can be grown in similar climates around the world.
History has it that the ancient Egyptians used it as part of the process for mummifying bodies.
Valued highly as a rare herb, the Persians, Greeks, and Romans used it in the public baths for aromatic and medicinal purposes, which makes sense since the word lavender is derived from the Latin word lavare, or to wash.
Queen Victoria used to require that her furniture is polished with a lavender-based solution, and she also sipped tea infused with lavender to settle her stomach and ease her headaches.
Lavender became highly popular in Victorian times and is enjoying a resurgence as modern herbal medicine has found the herb’s calming properties indispensable in the manufacture of antiseptics, muscle soothers, aromatherapy and massage oils.
The oil in lavender’s small, blue-violet flowers gives the herb its fragrant scent. The flowers are arranged in spirals of 6 – 10 blossoms, forming interrupted spikes above the foliage.
Unlike other herbs and flowers, lavender has the unique quality of conjuring memories of days gone by, the scent of a grandmother’s house, of sweet-scent lingerie drawers and of comforting bubble baths.
Gardeners like to plant it beside entryways to their beachside homes and take cuttings for fresh flower arrangements for their tables.
Types of Lavender
The height and width of lavender can range from dwarf to giant; flower color from white to pink and every shade of purple; foliage color from silver to green. Mature plants range in height from 12 to 36 inches, in shape from spherical to bushy. We grow over twenty varieties of lavender. Our most popular selling plants are in two categories:
English Lavender (Lavandula Augustifolia)
Munstead – Lilac pink to mauve pink flowers, fragrant, blooms twice annually (early spring and late summer). Hardy, compact, bushy, dense mid-green foliage.
Hidcote – Mid-blue to dark purple flowers, spicy, fragrant. Green -gray foliage more compact flowerheads, bushy density and evenly covered in spikes.
Lavender Intermedia (a hybrid of English and French Lavenders)
Grosso – Beautiful dark lavender flowers. Grows to 36 inches tall and is the main lavender used for oil production in France. A very versatile, hardy plant, good for landscaping, oil, flowers and crafts.
Provence – Grows to 26 inches tall. Mauve to violet flowers, very fragrant, long flower spikes, large flowerheads. Aroma powerful and sweet. Blooms in mid-June to July. Good for fresh flower arrangements and sachets.