Lavenders are renowned for their scent and ability to thrive in the driest conditions. Easy to care for, they are suited to both cottage and contemporary style gardens. Here is some facts about Lavender!
Lavender is a classic Mediterranean plant. Native to southern Europe, North Africa and the Canary Islands. There is 39 known species and is part of the Mint family of plants.
The name 'Lavender' originates from the Latin, 'lavare' meaning to wash. For millenia, the plant has been used in infusions for personal hygiene.
Lavender plants thrive in dry sunny positions with well drained soil. They require little or no fertiliser.
Lavender is one of the best garden plants for attracting bumble bees. They love them!
Renowned for its essential oil that is said to be anti-septic and anti-inflammatory, farms grow Lavender on a commercial basis. The largest privately owned Lavender farm in the world is Bridestowe Farm in Tasmania, Australia, 260 acres in size. Imagine the scent from that!
The Romans are believed to have brought Lavender plants with them to Britain, and used it to scent hoter water in their public baths, for massage and to burn it as incense. Historians claim that 1 pound in weight of Lavender cost the equivalent of a monthly wage for a Roman farm labourer.
Lavender can also be used in food recipes. Queen Elizabeth 1 used to enjoy Lavender preserve, which is Lavender flowers in sugar.
Two of the most common species of Lavender are Lavandula Angustifolia, often called English Lavender. (The most well known varieties of this species are Hidcote and Munstead.) and Lavandula Stoechas, often called French Lavender and sometimes Spanish Lavender. (Popular varieties of this species include; Papillon, Regal and Splendour)
Hybrid Lavenders created by horticulturalists are known as Lavandula intermedia. These are different Lavenders crossed to create a whole new variety.
Lavender are evergreen and keep their leaves all year round.
The image at the top is Lavender x intermedia 'Edelweiss'. It is a cross between English lavender and Lavender latifolia. This new variety of Lavender has white flowerheads and a strong scent. Available from Thompson & Morgan £12.99. To order click on the image or HERE.
To view their whole Lavender collection view HERE.
Vistore sell Olive oil soap from Crete, Greece, with Lavender & Honey and Rose & Almond Oil. One pack has 2 soaps, one of each. £4.95 including UK delivery HERE.