My lavender plants have started putting on such a wonderful show,† I make excuses to walk by them. Is there a more evocative plant than lavender? Lavender says summer and the south of France. So why do those of us in climates very unlike the south of France continue to try to grow this wonderful herb? Well that's easy to answer; even if you have to grow lavender as an annual, it's worth it to have that fragrance in your garden.
There are many new lavenders in nurseries this year. Take a hint from their names. If the lavender is called something like "Provence" or "Spanish", it's not going to be hardy below USDA Zone 6. But don't lose heart. There are plenty of lavenders anyone can grow. Dry heat, cold, wet winters, smothering humidity - no problem. Choose your lavender wisely, treat it well and you can bring the south of France to your garden.
But why stop there. Lavender is an edible flower, after all.† Celebrate the start of summer with one of the chill out lavender recipes .