Holiday - Blue English LavenderLavendula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
View more from Lavender
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Lavendula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
Outdoor Growing zone
The unique perfume of Blue English Lavender is instantly recognizable, and this soothing aroma comes from a bush that is also stunningly beautiful. A rounded mound of gray-green evergreen foliage, tall spikes of blue-purple flowers rise above it in summer, just like those pictures from Provence. An indispensable part of any Mediterranean-style garden, it works wonders in any garden at all, it’s so full of charm. It loves those hot and dry spots, and you can cut the blossom spikes to dry, so you can bring that wonderful smell right into your home.
Give it hot and sunny spot in your garden, and Blue English Lavender will love you. It is hardy in zone 5 and everywhere hotter, so it grows all across the country. Any soil will do, as long as it isn’t wet all the time, and it thrives in poor, sandy and rocky ground. Pests or diseases are rare, and deer won’t eat it either. A light trim after flowering, to tidy it and round it out, is all the care you need – just once a year.
You probably think of Lavender as French, with an image of the rolling hills of Provence covered in rows and rows of spectacular color. Of course, the English are great gardeners, so it’s no surprise that one of the very best forms of this aromatic plant is the Blue English Lavender. It’s a special selection from the 1920s developed by an American who loved everything English and French, Lawrence Johnston, at Hidcote Manor, his crowning achievement. Wow, anyone who loves the romance of gardens is going to be swept away to receive such a beautiful plant, so steeped in gardening history. You surely have friends or family like that – or perhaps it is you – but whoever it is, there could be no way to celebrate the holiday with them better than with a bush of Blue English Lavender. Its compact bushy form, gray-green slender leaves, slender spikes of violet-blue flowers, and of course its unique fragrance, all conspire to make this an unbeatable gift to brighten the dark days of winter.
Blue English Lavender is a selection of the lavender that grows wild all through southern Europe, Lavendula angustifolia. It is the source of pure, natural lavender oil. The whole plant, fresh or dried, has that distinctive classic aroma, and the variety we have – definitely one of the best – is called ‘Hidcote’. It is an evergreen bush, growing about 2 feet tall and wide, and 3 feet tall when in bloom, which is it from July until the end of summer. The slender gray-green leaves cover the many stems that grow from the base, and above them rise long spikes of small violet-blue flowers. Every part of the plant is fragrant, and spikes of flowers can be cut and hung to dry – they stay aromatic for months. Scatter dried flowers in a hot bath or sleep soundly with it tucked into your pillow. It is perfect for edging a path or bed, a herb garden, or blending with perennials, roses, and small shrubs in an ‘English’ or cottage garden style. It is equally striking in a natural rocky setting, in a pot by a door, or in a minimalist modern garden too.
Sun, heat and well-drained soil are the secret to growing this plant well. Avoid wet areas, and shade. Trim it lightly once the flower stems have faded, and that is it. Plants live for years, developing woody stems with gray flaking bark in time, and a more rugged look. It needs no particular attention at all, and pests leave it alone. It grows well from zone 5 to zone 9, and it’s easy, low-maintenance, and oh, so beautiful.
The lovely small bushes we have of this desirable plant are ready to pass through winter trouble-free and burst into growth and bloom next year – nothing could be easier, and in a cooler zone they can stay in a cold porch or sunny window until spring rolls around. A promise of beauty for the coming year – what better way to mark the holidays could there be? Order now and cross another job off your list.