Plenty of varieties of lavender 
to consider

I want to have a lavender bed in our yard. The spot I’m thinking about is in front of a deck on the south side of our house. Will lavender tolerate the direct sun and heat in the summer? It gets great protection from the cold during the winter months.

— Joan

Lavender should do great where you’re thinking of putting it. Lavender thrives in hot, sunny locations. In fact, I see a lot more problems with lavender where it gets too much shade. It tends to get thin and leggy and just doesn’t thrive.

The most important thing to remember is that all lavender like well-drained soil, so do a great job amending your soil before you plant. Most plant loss here in the valley isn’t because of the cold but because of waterlogged soil that causes rot in the plant.

There are quite a few varieties of lavender you could consider. The standard around here for years has been a compact variety called Munstead. This variety grows 12–18 inches tall in a neat, compact form that doesn’t need support. It has attractive gray foliage with striking spikes of dark violet purple flowers in early summer. It’s hardy to minus 15 degrees.

Another popular variety is Provence lavender. This variety grows a bit taller, getting up to 30-inches tall. This is one of the types grown for its oil and flowers in France. It has light purple flowers that are very fragrant. This variety is more moisture tolerant than others and is hardy to minus 5 degrees.

Thumbelina Leigh is more compact than Munstead, only growing to 8–18 inches. It has a very neat, uniform and compact habit. This variety bears deeply colored violet-blue flowers and is hardy to minus 15 degrees.

There are lots of others besides these, but hopefully, that will get you started.

Dennis Hill is the nursery manager at Bookcliff Gardens, Send questions to Bookcliff Gardens, 755 26 Road, Grand Junction 81506; or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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