Lovely lavender

Lavender is an attractive, wonderfully aromatic, evergreen herb that is easy to grow, in the right spot. The major key to success is choosing a planting site with infertile to moderately fertile, loose, well-drained soils. For the fullest shape and best flowering, a full sun location is necessary. The classic English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), with its narrow, gray-green leaves and spiky pale-purple flowers, is perhaps the most familiar species. This variety is commonly used in sachets and dried bouquets. Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) has similar foliage, but its flowers are shaped like little pineapples. The flowers of French lavender (L. dentata) resemble L. stoechas, but the plant's leaves are serrated. Depending on the species and variety, lavender blooms from early spring through summer, and blossoms may be pink, purple, white and even yellow. Lavenders are great for edging pathways or creating low hedges. A typical size is about 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Slopes and rock gardens provide excellent drainage conditions. In alternate locations, it may be helpful to prepare the site by mounding soil and adding some sand or gravel.

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