PO Box 567
Lilydale, Vic 3140
Phone (03) 9735 3831
Many of what we call ‘true’ lavenders are actually Lavandins. The true lavender has a soft sweet smell that many of us associate with Grandma’s handkerchief. It comes from the higher altitudes (over 1000m) of French Alps in the Provence region. Here it is hot in summer and cold in winter, the soil is very high in limestone and quite rocky. The rainfall is low and confined mostly to autumn and winter. There is quite a degree of variation in the wild lavender and as such the seed grown plants have given rise to a broad selection of lavenders. The larger ‘lavender’ plants with the camphoraceous scent are generally Lavandins, the hybrid between L. angustifolia and L. lattifolia.
Lavandula angustifolia ssp angustifolia is the ‘type’ plant that is the normal wild growing form that was used to describe the species. The original plant imported by Clive Larkman comes from Kew Gardens in the UK where most of the early plants were lodged for future reference. Like all lavenders, ‘The True English Lavender’ requires full sun and good drainage. It flowers in mid to late spring and may flower again in early autumn. Feed with Osmocote Outdoor Trees and Shrubs plus a dose of gypsum or dolomite lime after flowering.
Lavandula angustifolia ssp angustifolia makes an excellent hedge (plant 45cm apart). For a fragrant entrance plant in large tubs by the front or back door. For those that wish to try some culinary flair, this variety is good for making cookies, tea or ice cream. It cuts well and holds as both dried and fresh flowers. Plant with other selected lavenders like ‘Grosso’ and Seal’ to have plenty of lavender flowers for Christmas gifts or with Penstemons for a colorful spring – summer garden.