A delightful variation on L. 'Grosso' named for the province in southern France where Lavandin is grown by the acre to supply the perfume industry. At 36in, 'Provence' is the tallest variety we've seen, and its long, silver-gray spikes lined with mauve blooms make first-rate cut flowers. The display begins in July and continues into September if the old spikes are removed as the flowers go by.
Many gardeners grow Lavender for its fragrance, but the genus includes several excellent garden plants that should be more widely used for their midsummer beauty and resistance to heat and drought. The cool, gray-green foliage provides a perfect backdrop for the slender, arching flower stems. Some varieties are small, others tall, but they all prefer well-drained, sweet soil and full sun. Plant them in masses or form them into small hedges, and you'll find that they are attractive and useful long after the spent flowers have been clipped off.
Lavenders thrive in the arid West but are best treated as annuals or grown in fast-draining containers in the South.