Monday, July 03, 2006

Lavender, lavender, and more lavender

I have become a great fan of lavender. Not only is it a great moth deterent, and beautiful to behold, but it requires almost no water and loves living in the high altitude desert of northern Nevada. Last year I planted eight or so plants: half Lavendula X intermedia 'Grosso' and half Lavendula X intermedia 'Provence'. The Provence took off, grew tall and bloomed most of the summer. The Grosso stayed exactly the same puny little size, but did not die. This year the Provence expanded and is covered with exuberant purple flower salks. The Grosso, who aparently needed an extra season to get going, have come into their own. As soon as it warmed up they grew rapidly, and if not as thick and tall as the Provence, they are coming close. In my happy enthusiasm, I ordered again from my favorite purveyor of high-desert plants, High Country Gardens. Thursday I received a box of 10 more Provence, 10 more Grosso, and 3 Salvia reptens (West Texas Grass Sage). Saturday morning I dug 23 holes and planted the 23 plants. Saturday evening I expanded the drip system to reach each of the new plants. (Hence my previous post about drip watering systems.) I have an ambition to look out my front door on an entire front yard of blooming lavendar mixed with shrubs of Russian Sage and Caryopteris and other blue and purple flowering desert plants.
To offset all that purple I have added bright yellow blooming Coreopsis grandiflora 'sunray'.

My neighbors are mostly of the green-carpet lawn and rose bushes persuasion, so I am not sure that they are entirely with me as I slowly progress toward my desert ideal. When I dug the initial path through the lawn-that-would-not-die, I had many polite enquiries as to whether I had plumbing issues. Just recently, a neighbor strolling by asked when I plan to "get the yard under control". I just smiled and said, "Oh, one is never done with a garden." I figure as water prices rise and my desert garden keeps blooming at 100th of the water used to keep a lawn green, folks will start to see my point of view.

Next year I think I'll add in some Lavendula X intermedia 'Alba' which blooms white.

1 comment:

Mim said...

The lavender I brought to our dye day is "Croxton's Wild". It gets 30" and has shorter flower stems then "Grosso" It has grown fast and easy in my lavender garden.