Plant Family Guides: Lavandula - Lavenders
Highly placed among the favorite rose companion plants are Nepeta (Catmint), hardy Salvia (Sage) and Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender), whose exquisite flower heads contrast beautifully with the billowing pink, red, yellow or white roses.
Often associated with the famous purple fields of Provence, Lavandula angustifolia, also called English Lavender, is not native to England but to the Mediterranean. Ideal for garden borders, cooking and potpourri, this lavender also produces the best oils.
Since not all lavenders are hardy, containers provide the opportunity to grow lavender that would otherwise not be suited to your garden. Place them in a sunny spot (at least 6 hours of sunshine per day), provide the right soil and plenty of drainage, and your Lavender will happily blossom and grow!
Most late season Lavenders belong to the Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin) group but some cultivars of Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) are also prized for their midsummer blooms. Flowering typically occurs in July or August and tends to last until late summer.
While Lavender is usually regarded as a summer-blooming flower, some Lavender plants are early bloomers with their magnificent blooms appearing early in spring. Others are late bloomers with blooms opening up in midsummer and lasting until late summer. Planting one of each in your garden will reward you with heavenly fragrance and attractive flower spikes from spring until late summer. Alternatively, you can simply choose a variety of Lavender which blooms almost continuously from spring to summer's end.
Most early blooming Lavenders are Lavandula stoechas (French Lavender) but some cultivars of Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) are also prized for their early spring blooms. Flowering typically occurs as early as May (in areas with mild summers and winters) with another flush of blooms in June followed by another flush of color in late summer or fall.
There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the most fragrant Lavender plant is not always an easy task. Not all Lavenders are highly scented. Some varieties are wonderful as accent plants but have little fragrance. Others might not look as spectacular but exude a rich perfume.
There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the most fragrant Lavender plant is not always an easy task. Not all Lavenders are highly scented. Among the most fragrant Lavenders are several cultivars of English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)