If there’s one garden plant that immediately upon seeing it conjures up romantic nostalgia besides things like peonies and lilacs and also roses then, of course, it has to be lavender and this is a selected form of the so-called English lavender.
That I think was probably developed by Lawrence Johnson when he was growing his famous garden at Hidcote Manor in the Cotswolds. It wasn’t unusual for gardeners of that time to select out particular clones of plants that had characteristics they wanted.
Gertrude was doing the same at our famous munstead she was selecting a form of lavender that had a particular color and leaf color that she liked. And I suspect Lawrence Johnson probably selected out this clone because it had those beautiful violet-blue flowers.
Young plants are covered with lots of buds that are about to pop out and when they do they’ll have those glorious deep violet-blue flowers that have a wonderful fragrance that bees and butterflies love to come and visit. And incidentally is kind of nice about lavender it’s got aromatic foliage that smells so good to us but isn’t normally eaten by deer. So there are lots of reasons why we could be growing these in our garden wonderful kind of a subshrub.
To grow in an elevated place like a raised bed a rockery an herb garden somewhere where you’re able to enjoy both the fragrance and also aromatic foliage. And remember or just note that I said elevated that’s kind of important because a lot of people have difficulty getting lavenders to grow. If you fall into that category and you want a few tips as to how to grow them let me tell you the important things as I just mentioned.
The first thing is to grow them in an elevated position if you look at those pictures of the lavender fields in France you look at it closely you see they’re all growing on elevated beds. That is important because lavender loves to have good drainage in their native Mediterranean.
They’re called English lavenders they don’t come from laughing from England. They’re just called English lavenders because they were widely grown there and made very popular growing in English gardens.
But actually, this type of Lavender Angustifolia is native to the Mediterranean.
You need to plat them in places like that where it’s really gravelly and free draining and of course. The other thing to mention is lots of suns so sharp drainage. Lavenders hate having wet feet, particularly after snowmelt.
So it’s important that you plant them in a gritty gravelly elevated area then give them lots of sun and when you have them out in that the other thing to bear in mind.
They like plenty of good airflows.
Its botanical name is Lavandula angustifolia Munstead. But a lot of people refer to it as Munstead. It’s a very popular one because it’s been cultivated so much here in the states. And it tends to be smaller. A little bit more
compact. It’s got fairly short purple-flowered stems.
The thing about Munstead that’s difficult is because it’s been so over-cultivated here in the United States sometimes you’ll go to ten different nurseries and you’ll see ten different Munsteads. So make sure that you
see what their blossoms look like when you buy them before you know if that’s for sure what munstead it is.
Munstead is a great plant but there are definitely some rivals. We’ve got some great Angustifolia species that are available on the market today. Some of whom include full gate, royal purple, royal velvet, purple bouquet as well as many, many others. So Munstead is a great variety but I wouldn’t limit yourself to it if there are some other choices that are just as good or better than Munstead.