Harvesting Lavender, Noticing Differences

Published on 5 June 2023 at 10:37

Right now, my kitchen is filled with the heavenly scent of Lavender.  It's a favorite of mine, and here in early June, I am cutting the gorgeous blooms and collecting my harvest.  But I'm noticing a difference.

Usually, I grow the Munstead (Lavendula angustifolia 'Munstead') variety of English Lavender, and it blooms most of June and into July.  I picked that particular variety because it is a hardy perennial that can grow in my climate; snow, ice and frost in winter as well as hot climates and most important, it is resistant to drought. This lavender also has the ability to live for up to 15 years with the right care.  But this year I lost a few plants.  So I picked up another variety of the English Lavender called Hidcote, (Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote').  And you can sure tell the differences.

The Hidcote is much deeper in color and more fragrant than the Munstead.  The Munstead has a slight messy appearance while the Hidcote is much neater.  I'm sure that the Hidcote will make better dried bundles.  Once established, the Hidcote is drought tolerant and able to handle colder climates as well.

The thing is, it is interesting to see the differences between each variety.  Right now, I'm thinking about getting the Provence French Lavender variety so that I can evaluate that too.  This variety is a hybrid (Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence').  It is very drought tolerant and adapts to the cold.  But it is the variety that has the highest of essential oils and the one that is grown commercially for that purpose.

Suddenly my mind is swirling with excitement.  If I find the perfect Lavender plant, perhaps I could plant a hedge and expand my garden a bit.  Oh the work involved, and my strength is limited.  But it is so very fun to dream isn't it?  Especially while inhaling the intoxicating scent of lavender.  

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