I thought that was Heather????
Posted by Laura on January 06, 1998 at 13:58:27:
In response to Lavender information, written by Caroline on January 04, 1998 at 13:39:35
] (The photo's just to justify discussion of this topic- and to show that Lizzy and Darcy agree that Lavender is great!)
] Mary, dear, am I right in thinking that there is only one Kalamazoo in the USA, and that it is in Michigan? If that is so, then I am afraid that you are going to have your work cut out to grow Lavender!
] Here's why- it's a native of the Mediterranean, likes hot, dry summers and winters which are mild and wet. It doesn't like really soggy soil, and cannot withstand frozen ground. I cannot grow it at all in Canada, and climate-wise, I'm not really that much colder than you. Even in England, it doesn't grow wild, but needs a bit of TLC, protection from strong winds and the ground there doesn't even freeze solid in the winter. The plant is a bush, and really you need to grow it for a couple of years before it'll be anything like the glorious summer display that Ann2 describes. I suppose if you grow it in big pots, and have a really good greenhouse to keep it in during the winter, it might work.
] If you are determined to give it a try, here's some information. The classic Old English Lavender goes by the latin name of Lavandula officionalis , but you will probably not find it. Two plants. Lavandula spica and Lavandula angustifolia are new, improved, versions of the old one, and both grow about 3-4' high and wide, have wonderful smelling flowers, and are used by commercial lavender farms in England. (The Bressingham hybrids are from the commercial perfume farms too.)There is a variety called L spica nana atropurpurea which is smaller, but otherwise is just as good. L. stoechas is French Lavender, needs similar growing conditions, has a different flower head with an amusing tassel on the top, but the smell is not so strong.
] As Lou has said, Lavender has great relaxing properties, and is a wonderful headache remedy ( but I'm getting on my hobbyhorse and off topic now.) Pure Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils to handle, and is available from most sources that sell aromatherapy products. But do make sure you get the pure essential oil, undiluted, as sometimes its sold diluted in a neutral carrier oil like grapeseed or cottonseed oil. If you use the diluted oil, you will have to compensate a bit with those recepies .
] I've said enough...as you might gather, growing 'useful plants' is one of my great passions. I wish you the very best of luck with your experiments, and expect a full report of the results.(Please?)
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