Lavender Fields Forever-Phenomenal!

 

Photographing lavender fields at Westwind Farm Studio in Portland, Oregon Photo courtesy of: Helen Battersby Toronto Gardens http://www.torontogardens.com – 2013 Canadian WebLog Award-Winner, Gardening (2nd) – One of SweetSpot’s Top 10 Canadian garden blogs

 It is a given that most gardeners want to grow lavender for its romance,  beauty, and scent. Unfortunately a lot of people get frustrated with the plant when it dies after a season or two. The main culprit that will kill a lavender plant is heat and humidity. But there is one variety that has been developed that will tolerate and thrive under those conditions – Phenomenal!

 

Happy to pick lavender
Happy to pick Phenomenal lavender!

Phenomenal Lavender

Phenomenal Lavender has hit the market by storm and I have grown it it now for two years. Supposedly more forgiving of heat and humidity which hits me hard in Maryland, this plant was chosen from thousands of lavenders for its amazing performance and resistance to root and foliar problems that tend to hit other lavenders. Patented by Lloyd and Candy Traven of Peacetree Farm, a wholesale greenhouse, Phenomenal is a great new introduction. A high oil content makes this plant an asset in the kitchen and bath. There is even a Facebook page for this variety! It was also named a ‘Must-Grow Perennial’ for 2013 by Better Homes & Gardens. Phenomenal sailed through our record-breaking winter temperatures for me without a hitch.

Fresh cut Phenomenal lavender
Fresh cut Phenomenal lavender

Growing Lavenders

Keep in mind that lavender is native to Mediterranean climates with a dry, rocky, and sunny climate, and you will get some clues on how to treat this versatile perennial. I visited a lavender farm in Oregon and saw beautiful fields of different varieties being grown side by side.

White and purple lavender side by side
White and purple lavender side by side

There are several pointers in keeping your lavender plants healthier and producing those beautiful aromatic wand-like flowers.

  1. Hardy to zone 5, lavender’s worst enemy is wet-think poor drainage, high humidity, and frequent rains

  2. No need to fertilize this plant; Think lean and mean!

  3. Drought resistant yes! But don’t forget to water new transplants until rooted in

  4. Make sure there is plenty of air circulation between plants so that moisture and dampness is not a problem

  5. Apply mulch in areas where the ground freezes and thaws throughout the winter

  6. In spring, a little pruning is in order; Cut back a third of the plant for better form when you see new green growth at the base of the plant

  7. Always, always plant in full sun

White lavender is beautiful but doesn't have the same intense scent as blue lavender
White lavender is beautiful but doesn’t have the same intense scent as purple lavender

 

 Besides being beautiful and aromatic, lavender flowers are also edible. They can be used raw in salads, added to soups and stews, used as a seasoning, baked into cookies and brewed into tea. See my post on Edible Flower Palette  for more ideas on edible flowers.

Pollination Powerhouse

Lavender is one of the top ten flowers for honeybees and other bees. Lavender honey is sublime! Here is a video of the buzzing bees that constantly cover this plant. See my post on Plant These For The Bees on other flowers that bees love.

11 Replies to “Lavender Fields Forever-Phenomenal!”

  1. Thanks for all the information. I just planted new lavender plants and one that has been potted 2 years now. I know it’s the wrong time of year but the garden needed to be refreshed and I love lavender. I’m in Oregon (Portland area) so I’ll have to watch and see how they do. I may be looking for some Phenomenal soon.

  2. I was just in Portland Oregon a couple of weeks ago on the Garden Bloggers Fling and we went to Westwind Farm Studios. Have you been there? The first picture of the lavender field is of that location.

  3. Great! I love lavender but it struggles in my Hereford Zone yard with the trees. I’ve been telling my hubby to plant a lot of it down in the full sun field. Top ten flower for bees? He’ll do it! How well does it do from seed around here?

  4. Do you have phenomenal plants for sale? I will be happy to pick them up any time. I cleaned out my lavender bed and want only mailed te and phenomenal to fill my 48 spots.

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