Nothing in the world smells as wonderous as a field of blooming lavender!
Want to create your own personal oasis full of aromatherapy and beauty with your own Lavender plants? With over 450 named lavender cultivars how do you choose?! Believe me, the struggle is real! We grow over 18 varieties and each one has it's own scent and properties... and I keep adding more!
Every one of these cultivars have different qualities and use with each having it's own unique scent and chemical make-up. Some lavender is used for cooking, typically called 'culinary lavender' and some are best for essential oils or aromatherapy, while still others are wonderful in containers or in the landscape. Such an amazing and versatile plant!
For most of us that live in the Pacific Northwest or anyone that lives in an area that typically has "four seasons" we need to grow hardy lavender. Hardy Lavender typically falls into two categories: Lavender Angustifolia and Lavender x-Intermedia and they are both spectacular!
Here is what you need to know when choosing a lavender plant:
Lavandula Angustifolia – also called 'True Lavender' and 'English Lavender'. This group of lavenders offer a wide range of hues, including whites, pinks, and light violets to dark purples and blues. They are a smaller, more compact lavenders that produce a sweet floral scent. It is the most cold-hardy of all the lavenders. This lavender is often used in containers due to its smaller size and compact shape. The oil is prized for its’ relaxation properties while the buds are coveted for their flavor in culinary recipes. Angustifolias are wonderful fresh or dried and make many award-winning essential oils. Typically blooms start in late May and bloom through June and most of July, some may also be repeat bloomers later in the summer.
Angustifolias that we love and grow here on our farm:
New Zealand Blue
Lavandula x-Intermedia - also called 'Lavandins' and sometimes 'French Lavender'. These hybrids grow from cuttings (not seed) and are generally larger plants with long, straight stems. They also have more flower spikes and buds and will produce more essential oil than the Angustifolias. Lavandins are excellent for Dried & Fresh Bouquets, Essential Oils, Sachets, and Crafts. The oil has a stronger fragrance and a higher camphor level compared to the Angustifolias and are typically what is used to scent soaps, candles and other products. The blooms start in mid-June and continue through August.
Lavender x-Intermedias that we love and grow here on our farm:
Grosso Fat Spike
Alba / White Lavender
Lavandula Stoechas – also sometimes called 'Spanish Lavender'. These cultivars are known for the “bunny ears” that sit on top of their blooming stem. They are the first to bloom early in spring and are primarily used in the landscape or in a container. This variety needs a bit more pruning to keep it nice and compact or it will tend to get "woody". This variety is not used for essential oils or culinary, but is a lovely drought tolerant landscape plant that also makes a nice low hedge or border. Some of these varieties can be hardy enough to grow here in the PNW. Try 'Cottage Rose' or 'Ivory Crown'.
Lavandula x-Chaytorae - These hybrid crosses combine the beautiful blooms and hardiness of Lavender Angustifolia with the silvery leaves of the Lavendula Lanata or woolly lavender. The combination is stunning. We love 'Ana Luisa' for it's stunning dark flowers and silver fuzzy foliage.
Visit us this summer to see our lavender plants in bloom and decide for yourself what your favorites are! See our summer hours listed HERE!