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Oh là là! Bring a bit of La Belle France to your garden with Provence Lavender. In Provence, Lavender is grown as a field crop for the essential oils it contains, and the plants carpet the sun-soaked hillsides in stripes of purple blossom. The fragrance is divine. You can imagine how it must hang in the air on warm days. Plant Provence Lavender near your outdoor living space, and relish the beauty and fragrance of this special Spirit in your own backyard all summer long. Then, dry the flowers for potpourri to enjoy the scent in the winter months, too. Magnifique!
This type of Lavender Spirit is a robust hybrid between two species of Lavender that are native to the sunny, dry Mediterranean. It has a rich tradition in areas like Spain, Italy, and the south of France. Especially in Provence. However, there is some false advertising going on here… The selection known as Provence isn’t really from Provence! It originated in Canada at Alpenglow Gardens in British Columbia in the 1950s; it made its way into the U.S. in the 1960s. Provence is a large-growing plant with tall stems that are perfect for cutting.
Keep Provence 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 Provence 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. You can trim Provence Lavender all summer to shape it as you like or to cut flowers, but avoid any major trimming in the fall. Wait for new growth to emerge in spring before doing any serious pruning.
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