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Nothing compares to Lavender, otherwise known as “Queen of the Herbs”! Its rich violet-blue flower spikes are just delightful. They decorate many a postcard sent from happy travelers in Provence, France. Its silvery-tinted evergreen foliage brings cheer to us in the darkest depths of winter. And its fragrance—its fragrance—is legendary. One whiff of its distinctive herbal scent produces feelings of calm after a stressful day. Blue Cushion Lavender gives you all of these things on a compact, tidy framework. It requires little pruning to maintain its tight cushion form, and it holds its flowers high for easy harvest.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Although it’s native to the Mediterranean region, this type of Lavender Spirit is commonly known as English Lavender. It grows so well in England and has been cherished there for so long that many people think it’s actually native there. The variety known as Blue Cushion did originate in England as part of a deliberate breeding program. It resulted from a cross of the deep purple–flowering Hidcote Lavender and the very compact, white-flowering ‘Nana Alba’ Lavender. The new plant that resulted had deep blue blossoms that faded to pale blue or blue-gray as they aged, producing an interesting bicolor effect.
Keep Blue Cushion Lavender near your door, so you can easily snip flowers for the house. You can use the blooms in fresh arrangements or dry them. Toss a satchel of aromatic dried lavender blossoms in your drier or dresser drawer, or put one in a hot bath for a fragrant soak. You can even eat lavender blossoms! Make a pretty and sophisticated Lavender-infused lemonade, or mix dried, pulverized Lavender flowers with sugar to make elegant cookies and cakes.
How to Grow
Plant Blue Cushion Lavender in full sun in soil that drains quickly. Sandy or gravelly soils are ideal, and loamy soils (medium textured) are good, as long as they don’t contain much organic matter. In heavy (clay) soils, you may need to amend with crushed gravel. Planting on a slope so that excess water can run off or planting the root ball a bit higher than the soil line will help prevent moisture from settling in the crown, which can lead to disease. Lavender doesn’t like to be spoiled! A hot, dry, low-fertility environment is what it craves. Too much kindness, in the form of water or fertilizer, can be deadly.
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