Who once saw a lavender at the peak of its flowering and felt her exquisite fragrance, fall in love with her forever. Lavender (Lavandula) - frost resistant evergreen shrub habitat which - Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and India. Plant name comes from the Latin lava - "wash", and reflects the fact that the Romans added lavender to their bath of freshness and flavor.
Name Lavender combines a large group of plants. I will mention the ones that are often grown in gardens. The most common or English lavender, Tara (L. officinalis, spica, angustifolia), which grows up to 80 cm in height and up to a meter in width. She has long, narrow leaves are pale green-gray and blue, white, pink or purple flowers on long stalks. The whole plant is very fragrant.
Lavender Hidcote - one of the most common types of English lavender, which is often used for low natural hedges. French or broad-leaved lavender (L. Stoechas, latifolia) and its hybrids have unusually beautiful shape flowers that come in all shades of purple.
Sometimes it is called papillon (butterfly) because of the shape of flowers. French Lavender is also very fragrant, but the smell is not as refined as that of English lavender. There are also many hybrids Lavender (L. x intermedia), which can be often seen in European gardens.
The history of man's love of lavender begins with ancient Rome, where it was used in the hygienic and cosmetic purposes. The Romans introduced lavender Europe, and has since grown lavender monks in the monastery gardens. Later, when paid more attention to the quality of aromatic and medicinal plants, lavender was grown in large quantities and sold in the markets. From the 17th century lavender is grown commercially in France for the production of spirits.
Nowadays, lavender oil is very popular and is widely used in medicine, cosmetics and perfumery industry. At home, lavender oil is used to relax, relieve stress and gain peace of mind, against headaches and joint pain, as a means of burns and as a massage oil (before using any mineral oil, you should carefully read the instructions).
Dried flowers and leaves of lavender has historically been used at home for refreshment rooms and cabinets for perfumes linen and clothing against moths and other insects, as well as for Popuri and pillows of fragrant herbs and dried flower arrangements. Lavender flowers are traditionally used in cooking during baking, production of jams, to flavor sugar and salt.
Lavender - one of the mandatory inhabitants every English garden where lavender is not difficult to grow if you follow a few basic rules. This plant prefers a sunny location (although accept the penumbra), abundant watering with good drainage, light soil and trim after flowering. It is important to never cut lavender too much (to woody stems), as the plant may die. Lavender responds well to periodic hilling.
In colder climates it is necessary to provide winter shelter lavender or even grow plants in containers that winter will be stored in a cool room with minimal watering. Can propagate lavender cuttings, which are taken from non-flowering shoots in the spring or summer and autumn of semilignified stems.
Growing lavender from seed may not be so easy method, as its seeds need stratification (holding at low temperatures). If you do this dare, then sowing fresh seeds should be done in the fall, once in the soil or in a cold frame. Sprouts will appear only next spring.
Good method of propagating lavender is abstraction: autumn attach slips to the ground and sprinkle liberally on top of a good compost to the plant can form new roots and green shoots. The following spring, you can get a new independent plant. In areas with low temperatures abstraction can be done in the spring.
Collect lavender flowers as soon as they are fully opened - at this time, their color and smell will be most intense. Dry flowers should be in a shady and well-ventilated place. All kinds of lavender in the garden bring their irresistible charm.
They can be used to create low hedges, as a plant or front of the middle row in the flower border, along the garden paths, among other herbs, groups or one plant. Hidcote and dwarf varieties are very convenient for small gardens and containers. Lavender are invariably present in the strict "official" landing and geometric gardens, as they perfectly amenable to topiary.
Ideal partners for a variety of lavender plants are fragrant gardens and a variety of plants with flowers of yellow color (they are perfectly set off the deep blue and purple lavender). Traditional partners lavender for many years considered different species and varieties of fragrant santolina (Santolina) with yellow globular flowers (it is called "cotton lavender"), and roses.