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What are the characteristics of lavender?

Lavender is described as a woody or bushy perennial, which means it lives throughout the four seasons and exhibits a dormancy stage in the winter and a reproductive (flowering) stage in the summer. Lavender develops stiff and woody stems to support greener vegetative stems and slender leaves. Over several growing seasons lavender will grow to a mature size, typically ranging from 2 to 4 feet in diameter and 2 to 3 feet high. Lavender is distinguished from other woody perennials as producing a spike pointing skyward that exhibits a delicate floral arrangement with universal appeal in many past and present cultures. With proper care, lavender will remain an important addition to your garden for many seasons.

Lavender is one of the most “garden friendly” plants for the gardener who has less than a “green thumb”, has limited time to garden or has a garden space with certain challenges such as steepness or rockiness. Lavender requires no fertilizers, pesticides or chemicals to maintain its vigor. No insects or animals prefer them as a food source. They do not require regular watering. They can survive on mother nature’s rains. They provide a year round presence in the landscape which includes various colors and continued fragrance. They fill up large and small spaces, easily cover hill sides and fit in hard to garden areas. They are not picky about soil types or available nutrients. They are perfect for landscapes in vacation homes, commercial property and around rental units where gardening chores are infrequent. Lavender is the perfect addition to a newly designed landscape where traditional, natural or modern designs are preferred.

Lavender is useful for creating labyrinths, sculpted plant designs, trimmed hedges and special places for meditation and attracting bees and other beneficial insects.

Smaller lavender varieties may be used in containers, small rock gardens and along pathways. Larger varieties may be used as barriers, large hedges, boundary markers and foundation specimens to create a focal point in the landscape or to direct visitors to entranceways.

For those who are involved as buyers and sellers in a competitive real estate market, lavender provides instant curb and visual appeal, fits in nicely with the northwest landscape, always provides a fresh fragrance, is non-demanding when other matters are more pressing and is reasonably priced to purchase and install especially if watering systems are not desired. Lavender also makes a great welcoming gift to the buyer of a newly purchased home.

Overall, lavender is typically self-reliant and provides a perfect match for the gardener or property owner who has less than a green thumb, limited time to spend on plant maintenance and intends to be water-wise.

Information excerpt from Dr. Lavender's Owner's manual and is provided by the Sequim Lavender Company, Sequim, WA. All rights reserved.

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