Fragrant, free flowering and heat and drought tolerant. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Vicenza Blue’ blooms the first year from seed. Bold clustered flower spikes in deep lavender-blue from mid July through to early September.
The plants have a more compact and tidier habit than common Lavender, and grow 30cm (12in) tall. They have deeper green leaves and a more powerful, less sweet, fragrance. The blooms can be used as a cut flower, or dried for their aromatic flowers and foliage.
Because plants bloom uniformly, mass plantings of Vicenza Blue Lavender are stunning. This especially fine lavender is very suited for growing in patio containers, for bedding or in the rock garden. The deliciously perfumed, rich blooms make an enchanting informal aromatic hedge in the garden.
The flowers are produced from July onwards and are highly attractive to bees.
It is common to dry lavender, but it also makes a wonderful fresh cut flower. If you arrange fresh lavender stems without adding water to the vase, it will dry on its own and extend its vase life indefinitely. Lavender's strong fragrance intensifies as it dries.
When arranging it in a water-filled vase, remove all leaves below the water level or they will rot.
Cut fresh and placed in water, English lavender will last for up to ten days.
Sowing: Late winter to late spring (Feb to April) or sow in late summer to autumn (Aug to Oct)
Vicenza Blue Lavender will flower the same year if sown early. Sow indoors in February, or outdoors in May to July, the plants should bloom July to September.
Sow seed on the surface of a well drained, seed compost in pots or trays. Cover seed with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Keep at a temperature of between 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F). Germination should begin to take place after 10 to 14 days. Maintain a temperature of 15°C (55°F) after germination.
When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 45cm (18in) apart. For best results, provide any ordinary, well-drained soil in full sun.
Lavenders do best in moderately fertile, well-drained, alkaline soils in full sun. Once established they thrive on poor, dry, stony soils, but do not tolerate water logging. In poorly-drained soils plant on a mound or, in the case of hedging, on a ridge which will keep the base of the plants out of saturated soil. On heavier soils consider adding large quantities of gravel to improve drainage. It will grow in slightly acid soils.
Adequate spacing is essential to provide good air circulation. For informal plantings allow up to 90cm (36in). Where grown as a hedge, plant about 30cm (12in) apart or 45cm (18in) apart for taller cultivars. Prune back to encourage bushy growth. Although lavenders are drought-tolerant, they need watering until established. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers.
Lavenders grow well in containers but are deep rooted and need large pots with a diameter of 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in). Use a loam-based compost such as John Innes No. 3 with added coarse grit for drainage and a controlled-release fertiliser. Plants will need regular watering in summer, but should be kept on the dry side over winter.
Lavenders should be pruned every year to keep them in a tidy shrub form. Pruning or trimming should be done each year in late summer, as soon as the blooms have faded, so that the bushes have time to make a little new growth before winter. On established plants use secateurs to remove flower stalks and about 2.5cm (1in) of the current year’s growth, making sure that some green growth remains. Hard pruning is sometimes done in April, but this means the loss of a season’s flowers.
Harvesting Lavender is one of the most enjoyable pleasures any gardener can have. Lavender flower heads look grey before the flowers open. Cut lavender stems when the lowest blossom opens. Make the cut slightly above the first set of leaves leaving a stem length suitable for a vase or whatever flower arrangement you choose. The colour will be more vivid when dried.
Cut the flower stems during the cool of the morning after the dew has dried. The fragrance is the strongest then, and the blossoms will keep most of the perfume oils present, even when dried. Keep cutting blooming stems to encourage more growth. Plants can flower up to three times during a summer.
Tie the stems in small bunches and hang upside down in a warm dark place for the deepest colour and to prevent them from bending. More essential oils will be retained, too. Use a dark, dry, airy room for fast drying. It will take about a week for the flowers to completely dry.
Banks and Slopes, City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flowers Borders and Beds, Garden Edging, Gravel Garden, Mediterranean, Patio/Container Plants, Rock Garden or Wildlife Gardens.
Aromatherapy, Culinary uses, Moth and Insect repellent. Cut or dried flower in arrangements.
As an Insecticide:
Simply planting lavender within your garden works as a natural insecticide, simply because of its fragrance, which insects despise. Planting lavender around plants that are prone to insect infestation helps keep bugs at bay.
Dried lavender flowers are traditionally used for filling sachets and for placing amongst linen. The dried flower can be simply placed inside drawers or closets repels moths and it makes your clothes small great.
Lavender is a popular herb for the garden it is prized for both its fragrance and its colour. Lavender is popular amongst beekeepers and produces a delicately scented honey. The flowers are rich in essential oil which is obtained by distillation. Lavender oil is used extensively in perfumery,
Roses and Lavender, with a little mint and some lemon juice to activate the alkaloids can make both a brilliant pink dye and very tasty pink lemonade.
Tradition has it that the Romans brought lavender to the more northern parts of Europe. The plant soon became indispensable in for example English gardens. In the Middle Ages, the Benedictine monks sang the praise of its medicinal qualities.
Among the ‘Top Ten’ sellers for as long as most people can remember, lavenders are universally popular because they are hardy, adaptable, disease and pest resistant and they fit comfortably into most garden and landscape styles regardless of fashions or trends.
Lavenders are reliable - landscapers and retailers use and sell them with confidence, knowing they will usually survive tough conditions and reward their owners well.
In recent years, they have really come into their own with the popularity of firstly the cottage garden, then the Tuscan or Mediterranean style.
Lavender gets its name from the Latin word lavare, which means to wash. In ancient times, Romans used the aromatic herb to scent their bathwater.
The species name angustifolia means 'having narrow foliage'.
The name 'Vicenza' is both an Italian female given name (the female form of Vincenzo, or Vincent) and an Italian city known for its architecture.
In the Veneto region of northern Italy, the work of the architect Andrea Palladio (1508–80), based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture, gives the city its unique appearance.
'The City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto' is a World Heritage Site, which protects buildings by Palladio. UNESCO inscribed the site on the World Heritage List in 1994.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25mg Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Family Lamiaceae Genus Lavandula Species angustifolia Cultivar Vicenza Blue Common Name English Lavender Other Language Names lavendel lavanda lavande laventeli lawenda lavanta lafant Hardiness Shrub Flowers Deep purple fragrant booms Natural Flower Time July to September Foliage Evergreen, grey-green leaves Height 30 to 35cm (12 to 14in) Spread 30 to 35cm (12 to 14in) Position Prefers Full Sun, Sheltered Soil Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Sandy Time to Sow Sow indoors in February, or outdoors in May to July, the plants should bloom July to September. Germination 21 to 90 Days Notes First year flowering.