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Hi. A lot of us live in parts of Georgia where it's already 98 degrees with practically 95% humidity, and absolutely no rain! I'm getting rid of as much lawn as I can and I'd like to cover about a 15 X 4 ft. patch with lavender. Can y'all tell me which ones you prefer and which you think will like living in these conditions?
Also, can you suggest a good lavender plant supplier? Our nurseries seem to be all out of it.
Well, someone gave me a Jul 2006 copy of Horticulture magazine that has an article "success with lavender - plus tips for every region". Unfortunately their online resource doesn't go back that far and scanning the magazine would be an infringement of copyright. I have finished with the magazine and if you like, I will mail you the article (d-mail me your address) - This beats typing it all out!
I do have some lavender in my own garden - I bought four different types (can't remember what) about four years ago and carefully started them in a very sandy mix. They were by the back stoop, sheltered with adequate water and afternoon sun. One died when I moved it elsewhere and I don't know what happened but now I only have one type which thrives.
Tip: Putting a sprig of lavender in a bird bath prevents the build-up of bacteria
Fact: I visited a lavender farm in England last year - it was wonderful!
I grow French lavender in raised planters in Atlanta and potted up in Cleveland. I tried it for years in a ground bed and it would start off great and then develop something that looked like random stem and leaf rot; then die. I finally figured out that maybe my guy dogs were lifting a leg and it wasn't a culture problem. I did prepare a special bed for the aforementioned ground plants with top soil and lots of builder sand (not play sand which is fine and heavy). What is there now is spreading like crazy in no special soil, except that there is no clay, but it is located in the raised planter beds. So sharp drainage is a must. It is heavenly scented and since we grow to cook, I dry it and use it for tea. It also makes fantastic biscotti with almonds.
There is a place outside of Athens called It's About Thyme. The town might be Bethlehem or Colbert. We drove by on the way to an orchid grower, but were to tired to stop on the way back. The place looks like a lovely cottage garden and would be worth a day trip and picnic. Think I saw them well rated here.
My lavender is starting to bloom at both houses and no one can walk by without sweeping a hand over it.
Artgal, the photo is beautiful. Thanks for putting it up.
Thanks Becky, it's my "old timers" setting in. That place looks great. I just want to mention that the lavender that Danita recommends seems more hardy than mine. However, I have not had a problem with the two to five year old plants that I have of French (which is really Spanish) lavender or Lavender dentata. The term "Lavender Provence", or lavender from Provence is used interchangeably, but I think it's a different cultivar. It might also work for you. The question becomes do you want fragrance or hardiness? I don't know all the varieties, but there are some out there that seem low, sprawling and weedy. I don't care what the smell like, I'd not want them for mass planting.
I've been reading a bit and it seems that the Spanish lavender is the most resistant to problems due to humidity. I already bought a few and put them in before this info. search, (typical!) so I think I will remove them and try to work the whole area. I need to try to cut the clay with sand, maybe even gravel, before I try a mass planting. I need plants that are about 2 ft. high and mounding; purple, not white; drought & humidity resistant. Not too much to ask is it?
I love the look of Thyme after Thyme, maybe I'll take a trip there. And the site Crimson Sage has GREAT looking herbs of all sorts. Thanks for that info.
I've been to Purple Haze in WA state, so I'll give them a look as well.
Ya'll have given me some great info. and places to find more. Thanks, DG folks always come through!
A couple who were selling lavender items this past weekend at the Union County (Northern part of Georgia) Farmer's Market told me they have no trouble growing lavender of Provence here. We can have temperature extremes here and drought but they told me they have no trouble growing it.
Roseone, this is what I have grown for the past seven or eight years. I grow it in Atlanta in raised beds and up here in N. GA. in a large pot. It must be well drained, as you said, but also hates drying out during this heat. I'm watering very regularly or the leaves "flag". Mine is about two feet tall in bloom and covered with purple flowers. It's fairly easy to divide too. Mine is just finishing blooming now. It took me a long time to learn to grow lavender well.
Folks generally think of lavender as a plant that is native to temperate climates and grows in relatively poor, rocky soil. This is true. What is not often understood is that most varieties that we are discussing grow close to the Mediterranean coast and are bathed with frequent rain and moist clouds. Thus the need to plant in a sandy ('builder's sand", which is more course, not play sand) soil mix and well drained soil.
Any X-intermedia lavender will do well for you, as well as Spanish. I have about 4 kinds of spanish lavender and the only one which was more trouble was the white.
Provence and Grosso are two good ones available at Thyme after Thyme.
Several people have mentioned Thyme after Thyme to me recently so I guess I'm going to have to get up there close to fall planting time.
GGG - I was just reading some of your articles last night. I have a perfect visual of your home and gardens. Kinda neat for me (I love seeing other people's gardens), but could be kinda creepy for you. Speaking of that, my sister and law told me to go to Goodle Maps and type in my address. I did. And there was a photo of my home...that could turn 360 degrees and winde through my whole neighborhood. Of course, it was a winter photo and my yard looked like crap! LOL
Anyway, the Big Brother thing is un-nerving to me.
Hey, y'all...I live right here in Winterville, which is where Thyme After Thyme is located. I'm just 4 minutes away from them...lucky me. If you do come to Winterville, please look me up as I'd love to show you around our beautiful little town, have lunch at the park or the Marigold Cafe', as well as show off my own gardens. :-)
In the meantime, if there's something you would like for me to check out, let me know as I'd love to have an excuse to visit Thyme After Thyme.
You can request photos of your home be revoked by the hosting company if you don't want pictures. It does not creep me out that you have seen my home, virtually. I don't mind at all - just don't come looking for plants or tomatoes...PLEASE, lol.
I love Thyme after Thyme. I'm so sad to see that GardenSmith has gone. My favorite trip was a day to Athens taking in these two nurseries and then heading into Athens for some fun at book stores, thrift shops and a delicious stop at a vegetarian eatery (there used to be several). My friend also had a weird comic book shop there which is always a fun stop. Visiting a garden would be icing on the cake!
Charmar was also one of my favorite nursery/garden stores, but they too, have gone out of business. The owner still has his green houses here in Winterville. Charmar was the nursery that supplied over 10,000 marigolds each year for the Winterville Marigold Festivial, which by the way, is coming back after a five year hiatus. I'm on the Advisory Board for the Winterville Marigold Festival and we are now in the planning stages for the 2009 revival! We're so excited. You can read all about it on the website I designed at http://www.marigoldfestival.com.
Just wanted to put in my 2 Lavender cents. I tried 3 last year in April. Lavendula dentata did not last the summer. Croxton's Wild has done fairly well, but Hidcote Giant has been excellent! I'm very impressed.
I did not do a lot of special prep (which I should have done, maypop), but I did put some Perma-till in the hole and fill soil.
I planted the stochas this May and it's dead. But I think it was in too much shade.
And yes, the big brother thing is unnerving! Here I am in the middle of nowhere, but you can see our house, magnolias at the driveway, everything.
I grow Provence lavender here, in half day sun, in clay soil. I moved here, threw them in the ground, and they are thriving. Go figure. Lavender stoechas, however, needs full sun in my opinion. Gets good drainage, but half day sun and it is pitiful.
I have a Fine Gardening magazine article (october 2007) where Allan Armitage says that Lavandula angustifolia 'violet intrigue' is great for the south. Trials in Athens proved it to handle excessive rain, heat and humidity, but it performed well. Strongly upright, no staking, deep violet blooms. Worth a try, I think. Just be sure to plant it in well drained, soil, lots of sun, etc
According to Allan Armitage at UGA plant trials, you might want to try Lavandula angustifolia ‘Violet Intrigue’:
This cultivar was sent to The Gardens at University of Georgia in Athens among others for trial there. In Allan Armitage’s “Plant Pick” article, he says “The summer provided brutal excesses of rain, heat, and high humidity that year, yet we were all pleasantly surprised by the outstanding performance of ‘Violet Intrigue.’” He further states that it is labeled for Zone 8 although it returned “…. to fight another season in our trial gardens in zone 7.” He characterizes it as a superb, vigorous grower that has the same cultural requirements as all other lavenders.
I tried finding violet intrigue this year, but it was completely unavailable on the internet, as it was sold out. Currently, I have Provence growing in my loamy clay soil, and also some in sandy-amended soil. It does fine both places. Also a spanish lavender in a couple of pots. They all do well as long as they have full sun. I live in Atlanta, and have a southern exposure yard that is also fenced in and has a bit of warm microclimate in winter.
Thanks so much for your response. So far, I have Goodwin Creek, Firn Leaf and a Provence which are doing well. My Provence is 2 years old and is living in a clay pot. I decided since it was doing so well, I'd put the others in clay pots as well. Hopefully they'll be equally as happy. I'll check around for the one you suggested. In my opinion, one can never have too much lavender! LOL