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English Lavender

English Lavender is an evergreen shrub, even though many people think of it as an herb.  There are several different variations, including Jean Davis, Munstead, and Hidcote. 

- Jean Davis Lavender has a pink flower and looks a lot like the Hodote variety.  However, each of the two has a unique flavor, with Jean Davis having a fruity flavor. 

- Munstead does the best job of tolerating heat in the summer.

- Hidcote is smaller than Munstead and has a deep purple flower.  It handles cooler climates better than some other varieties of English Lavender.

They flower in the mid or late spring and are done blooming by late spring or early summer.  You should prune back English Lavender right after they bloom so that you can keep the plant neat and compact.  If the plant gets to be older and woody, you can cut them back half way when new growth begins in the spring.  If you want to divide English Lavender plants, you should do so in the fall an can divide them in half.

Lavender emits a wonderful aroma from both the flowers and also from the foliage. 

English Lavender does well in Zones 5-8. Compare this to Spanish Lavender, which does well in Zones 8-11 and enjoys full sun. 

English Lavender plants thrive in soil that drains well.  If the soil is not well drained, the leaves will turn yellow.  In fact, you rarely have to water English Lavender.  These plants also like a lot of sun, but they will still do well in a limited amount of shade.   Usually English Lavender is very hearty and does not need much or any fertilizer.

Butterflies like English Lavender, and as a bonus ants dislike the smell (I don�t really understand why!) � which makes this variety of lavender useful as an organic pest control.  In the same way, deer think that English Lavender stinks, and they will stay away from it.

Lavender shrubs can grow to be up to 3 feet tall and about twice as wide.  While there are many different variations, the leaves are normally narrow and a gray-green color, while the flowers are a shade of blue and grow on spikes.

For generations people have use English Lavender to add fragrance to their linens and to create wonderfully smelling potpourri and sachets.  Drying lavender for these uses is easy.  Just cut the flowers when the open and then hang them to dry in a dark and well ventilated room.  The smell will linger for months. 

People have also used English Lavender for medical purposes � it makes a fine essential oil to be used in aromatherapy for treating many different conditions, including relieving pain from burns, treating head lice, and aiding digestion.  It has many beneficial properties, such as providing relation and help with sleep.

Many people like to plan English Lavender in rock gardens.  It also does well when used as a border plant.  It is difficult to start an English Lavender plan from seeds.  Instead, consider purchasing a seedling from a reputable nursery.

Hybrid English Lavenders are known as Lavandin.  They bloom after English Lavender has finished in late spring or early summer, bloom into mid summer.

Interesting notes

The word �lavender� comes from the Latin word �lavare� which means �to wash�.  Romans used lavender in their baths.