Chris Mulder, Barn Owl Nursery
As spring approaches we get anxious to start planting our garden! In March, we have time to plan which lavenders we want to add or replace in our garden. In late March and into April and May, after the weather and the ground have warmed up, we can usually tell which lavenders need to be replaced. After we do spring garden pruning and clean up we have a better idea of how much space we have to plant. There are also more lavender plants available from local growers at that time of the year.
English lavenders, Lavandula angustifolia cultivars, are the hardiest lavender plants to grow, but eventually they do need to be replaced with new plants. Some lavender plants that are over 10 to 15 years old are very woody and parts of these plants may no longer produce new leaves or flowers. As long as a garden space receives six to eight hours of full sun and the soil drains well, there are many different lavender plants that will grow well in the Pacific Northwest. It may be easier to start with a small space and plan to incorporate a few lavender plants at a time into the garden. Small, compact lavenders can also be grown in large pots and barrels and placed in the garden or on a deck or patio where they will receive full sun. In general, smaller lavender plants hold their shape well, need less pruning and will take less space in the garden. There are many shades of violet-blue lavender flowers, as well as some pink and white flowering cultivars available.
If you plan to grow a variety of lavenders with different flower colors and bloom times, you will add interest and fragrance to your garden from June throughout most of the summer and into early fall. If you want to grow lavenders that have multiple uses, consider that all of the buds from these lavenders can be used for culinary creations and crafts. Some of these little lavenders produce especially sweet scented flowers that can be used to make lovely fresh and dried lavender flower wreaths and bouquets for weddings and special events.
Featured English lavenders – Lavandula angustifolia cultivars:
Smallest lavenders for small gardens, small borders or large pots/barrels – (Height: 12-18”)
Dark violet-blue flowers: Backhouse Nana, Loddon Blue, Nana, Peter Pan, Summerland Supreme, Thumbelina Leigh, Wee One, Willow Pond Dwarf Blue
Violet-blue flowers: Lavenite Petite, Little Lady, Lullaby Blue, New Zealand Blue, Pastor’s Pride, Wyckoff
Pink flowers: Chelsea Pink, Lady Ann, Little Lottie
White flowers: White Dwarf
Compact lavenders for low borders and hedges – (Height: 18-20”)
Dark violet-blue flowers: Betty’s Blue, Hidcote, Imperial Gem, Mitcham Grey, Violet Intrigue
Violet-blue flowers: Brabant Blue, Cedar Blue, Fiona English, Grey Lady, Munstead, Spira
Pink flowers: Fairie Pink, Miss Katherine,
White flowers: Blue Mountain White, Opal Rain,
Compact lavenders with sweetest scent
Blue Mountain White, Brabant Blue, Chelsea Pink, Lady Ann, Little Lottie, Lullaby Blue, Melissa Lilac, New Zealand Blue, Opal Rain, Spira, White Dwarf