Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stereotypical Lavender

Do I look English to you?

Do I look Spanish to you?

I heart lavender. It's so easy. It needs very little from me. It blooms at least twice a year. It has a nice fragrance. These are just some of the reasons why I grow several varieties in my garden. I don't want to offend anybody, but I've noticed something. The first photo is Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender), while the 2nd photo is Lavandula stoechas (Spanish lavender). Does the English lavender look stereotypicaly "English" to you? It's elegant, orderly, prim and proper. I mean can't you just see the Queen sipping tea while admiring the L. augustifolia? On the other hand, we have the Spanish lavender - vibrant, showy, fiesta!

Spanish lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and North Africa. Despite its common name, English lavender also comes from the Mediterranean region, predominantly (and ironically) Spain. However, L. angustifolia can be seen in many English gardens, which seems to be how the common name was derived.

And now an intereting tidbit from Wikipedia:

"During Roman times, [lavender] flowers were sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month's wages for a farm labourer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber." lavender flowers twice a year. If I planted it throughout our property, that would mean...Dang! I could have been rich!

On the other hand, I would have to live in Roman times... Depending on your point of view, that might not be such a good thing. I'll keep what I've got.


Tatyana said...

Hi Jackie! I love lavender, too! I have Spanish type. I bought 18 plants 4 years ago, some of them are gone, but there are babies growing from the old plants' roots! I want to have other types of lavender, I like them all! Interesting post, thank you!

Jackie said...

Hey Tatyana! I didn't know that lavender babies would grow from the mother plant's roots. Thanks for the info!

Michelle said...

Hi Jackie, I've got various types of lavender growing in my garden as well. The Spanish one volunteers from seed and produces a very nice size plant in one or two years.

Jackie said...

Michelle, how right you are! I just noticed some little seedlings around an older Spanish lavender plant in my garden.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I love the spanish lavendar! I wish had some in my yard. I planted one small lavendar plant last summer. Fortunately, it made it through our long, cold winter. I'm planning on planting some more.

PS -- Thanks for the comment on my blog! I hate allergies!

--Jackie from Ellie Mae's Cottage