Lavender in the traditional style but with some big, big advantages: a profusion of shimmering violet-blue flowers, the very upright habit of the flower stems, and an extraordinarily long flowering season. Makes a splendid low hedge or specimen plant and ideal for cutting or drying. PP 15,344
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.