My family moved to Tennessee in the summer of 2012. Since then I have tried and failed repeatedly to grow a significant lavender plant. Every year I plant a new lavender. I study which variety to use, what soil conditions to create, build little mounds, add pebbles, change the pH, and try a variety of natural fertilizer concoctions. Every year my lavender has failed to thrive.
Last summer I was coveting the lavender plants at Lavender Wind Farm on Whidbey Island. I told Sarah Richard, the owner and creator of Lavender Wind Farm my woes. She encouraged me to try a new variety called Lavendula x-intermedia var. Phenominal. I purchased a tiny plant and carried it all the way home to Tennessee.
When I got home I planted it in my front yard. Next to it I planted a lavender hidcoteplant, which a local grower promised would thrive.
I started to wonder if my expectations were unrealistic. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the lavender fields of the Northwest. Perhaps growing giant lavender plants over a single season in my yard in Oregon had set my expectations too high. But I have finally found a lavender plant that thrives in the soil of Tennessee in the heat and humidity of the South. The lavender plant on the left in the image above is the Lavendula x-intermedia var. Phenominal and was just a tiny start last summer. The lavender on the right is Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and was just a tiny bit smaller then pictured when I planted it last summer.
If you are in the Northwest make sure you head up to Whidbey Island to catch the Lavender Wind Farm Festival on July 30 & 31, 2015. While you are there you may find a panting of lavender done by my mother still hanging in the store. Or the Sequim Lavender Festival on July 15, 16, and 17th.
If you are a transparent like me or you love lavender, let’s get planting and add some purple to the landscape of the South. My friend Pat Stewart of Down To Earth in Hixson, TN is selling Lavendula x-intermedia var. Phenominal this year.