Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lavender Hills Forever...

The lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia) has been in documented use for 2,500 years with the Egyptians using it as part of the mummification process along with other essential herbs and oils, as well as perfuming.

The plant originates from the Mediterranean where it grows wild and sees many of its uses within the countries surrounding that body of water. The Greeks, Romans and Arabs all used lavender in oils and baths. The word lavender is derived from the Latin “lavo”, meaning “to wash”.

In the 1600’s, the plant made its way to America, where it has been a part of kitchen gardens ever since.

The have been part of our yard for an entire year! Not quite the same history, but a full set of seasons nonetheless. We currently have two types of lavender on this small little slope on the side of the property, Spanish (lavendula stoechas) and French (lavendula dentate). Both are doing quite well in this bed that gets full sun after it clears the house in the early morning. We have drip irrigation in this area, as we are also going to be doing in the rest of the yard. The one difference here is that my neighbor bordering this side of the yard enjoys watering not only his yard on a daily basis, but this section of ours, as well. It doesn’t seem to have affected the lavender in any ill ways, though.  The same cannot be said for the Phormium 'Pink Panther' that can just be made out in the upper right of the above photo.  Its partner in crime a few feet away became one with the mulch pile only a couple of months after planting.  The survivor will be seeing another part of the yard, shortly.  That's its original size from a year ago.  Not happy.

Our lavender will be due a haircut soon as we fast approach spring. We may be due a late frost which is not out of the question in our area, so I’m going to hold off on the trim for a little while longer. In the meantime, the lavender has graciously provided us with some mid-winter blooms.

1 comment:

  1. I love lavendar. You have such a great collection of it. I planted three lavendars last year. They've all survived winter. I don't remember the cultivars off had but am looking forward to clipping some for sachets this year!