Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lusty Lavenders

Lavender is as at home in a Southern California garden as most natives although they are from the Mediterranean and southeast Asia, and I strive to include as many different varieties of lavenders as I can in my gardens to prolong the lavender season. They are what are considered a short lived perennial that needs to be replaced every few years in order to remain looking attractive, although they will live for a long time, albeit taking on a rather ragged look. It seems like as every variety comes into bloom for their peak couple of months, I swear it is my favorite hybrid, but as soon as those blossoms disappear and another variety starts to peak my fickle admiration switches. There are times I think about just planting only lavender throughout the gardens and making my life much simpler, but as lovely as they are in the spring and early summer, they do fade into the background and become a rather boring perennial the rest of the year and I would find that a bit tiresome for my wandering eye. I have tried the white and pink lavenders and never had much luck with them. I am just not fond of the fern leaf lavenders with their wiry stems that seem to be so popular in all the big box stores, but that is just a personal opinion. I always plan to be more organized and start a number of plants from soft wood cuttings (I did fifty of them one year for a Master Gardener project), but maybe this will be the year I get my act together. I had to replace all my beloved Spanish lavenders this year because they were looking so tired and woody, so I didn't have the big, beautiful show they put on in the spring. Because June is typically such a mild month here we still have time to plant before having to settle down for the summer, so maybe I'll look for a few more lavenders today to add the garden for next year's bloom. They do handle the drought well and are a benefit to the bees and other friendly insects. They are wonderful for adding scent, texture and movement to the garden and have many culinary and medicinal uses. Practically a perfect plant in my opinion!

1 comment:

Jean Campbell said...

There are things that just do not work here. Lavender is one of them.
Mediterranean plants just melt out.

They seem to work well for you. If you can start new plants and keep them going easily, I marvel.