Munstead or Hidcote Lavender?

When growing lavender you have lots of choices for varieties. Some grow better in cooler climates than others.

Both Munstead and Hidcote lavender (the two are of Lavandula angustifolia – English lavenders) are good candidates for Northern gardens. They’re easy to obtain, and they have been time tested to be hardy to zone 5

Munstead or Hidcote?

Hidcote lavender has a deeper, violet-blue color for the flowers and the flower head is more compact. The foliage is silver-gray and changes color slightly through the seasons.

Munstead flowers are somewhat ‘looser’ and lighter in color. It’s named for Munstead Woods. Another plus is that it can withstand hot summer temperatures better than other of the English lavenders.

Keep in mind that one of the biggest problems with growing lavender is too much moisture. If your soil is low and wet, try hilling and adding sand and gravel to allow for better drainage. The good news is that they don’t need – or like a rich soil.

Go out and give lavender a try for a border that butterflies and bees love or mixed in with your other flowers.

All About Lavender

What we regard as old English lavender, Lavandula intermedia grows to a height of a metre or more and so is much larger than most English lavenders. It is a cross between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia (broadleaved). It can veer towards straggly and woody quite quickly without careful pruning, although its flower and foliage scent is second to none and is consequently invaluable to the perfume industry based, ironically, in Grasse. Having said which its scent can be more like camphor; and so its oil is often used for cheaper soaps and detergents. Vigorous examples that are worth growing are L. intermedia ‘Grappenhall’ or ‘Heavenly Scent’. All of the intermedias are good for clipping into topiary but the result can be uneven and gawky so lavender breeders concentrated on producing a variety that was more compact and more floriferous. The most successful aesthetically and commercially have been two varieties of L. angustifolia, ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’. Gertrude Jekyll’s garden Munstead Wood was made a full fifteen years before Edwin Lutyens built her a house there. It is in honour of her contribution to gardening that this lavender was named L. a. ‘Munstead’. It is the most hardy, reliable and tolerant of both wet and dry conditions of all lavenders and also happens to be the most edible. Both ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ grow to comparable sizes of between 45-60 cm height and spread but differ in their colouring: ‘Munstead’ has a paler mauve-blue flower with grey green leaves while ‘Hidcote’ has a slightly smaller flower that is a more imperial, deep purple with silver washed leaves. ‘Hidcote’, named after Lawrence Johnston’s famous Arts and Crafts garden in Gloucestershire, is marginally fussier about its terrain and grows at a more sedate pace than ‘Munstead’ but retains its scent wonderfully throughout the summer and even after its flowers have been dried (for all those pot pourris and embroidered muslin bags that you are planning to make….) Both are fantastic pollinators for other plants in the garden because they are irresistible to bees and butterflies so you can often see a miasma of whirring wings above them and, as with all lavenders, neither mice nor deer can abide them.

Play to lavender’s strength as an evergreen and use ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ as a low slung hedge to divide a potager or formal garden into different areas. The leaves look and smell good all year round so the flowers would almost the icing on the cake. For a formal look you could grow any or all of a standard or shrub rose, a small crabapple tree or a weeping silver pear in each divided section and change the bedding plants as you will. ‘Munstead’ associates particularly well with yellow or white roses like David Austin’s Charlotte or ‘Jacqueline du Pre’ and ‘Little White Pet’. The violet ‘Hidcote’ provides a good foil to pink roses like ‘Nathalie Nypels’,Brother Cadfael or ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. In a potager, lavender makes a welcome change from box when used as elegant edging for a bed full of herbs, vegetables or cutting flowers. Both lavenders also make a good front to an herbaceous border to soften the boundary between border and grass, gravel or path as the flowers and leaves spill out over and soften any hard, delineating edges.

If left to their own devices these compact lavenders will grow into curvaceous, scented mounds that can undulate along a path in mass plantings, or recur through a herbaceous border to provide year round structure or make up part of a Mediterranean bed. When planting them out, always plant in groups of three or five. Other contenders for the Med Bed would be some of the many varieties of sage with different coloured and shaped leaves; ‘Tricolour’ has purple, green and white leaves, Common sage has its own felt-like grey-green leaf and then ‘Purpurascens’ morphs to plum purple when the thermometer rises. A muddle of these sages with any lavender and some creeping or ordinary thyme would look and smell wonderful all summer – and be invaluable for the cooks in the family.

A more designed arrangement might include rock roses such as Cistus x argenteus or C. x purpureus, Santolina chamaecyparissus (Cotton lavender), any of the silver wormwoods but Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver Queen’ is one of the best, and a Cordyline australis. Surround them with slate pebbles or dark, grey stones to create a gravel garden that will also heat up the surrounding soil and reflect the sun back onto the plants – a good trick in a slightly colder or shady situation. Lavenders are an essential part of any purple and silver scheme which might include any of the Nepetas or catmints, Rabbits Ears- Stachys byzantina, Perowskias and Verbena bonariensis. Or use lavender to contrast with some of the brightly coloured Achilleas for a clash of form and colour – ‘Walther Funcke’ is my favourite. Another idea is to mix and match ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ with other lavenders.

It feels like an oxymoron but there are pink lavenders out there. Try L. a. ‘Rosea’ or ‘Jean Davis’ and the pink ‘Hidcote’ lavender is stunning planted en masse. The colour can be a little insipid if there is not enough heft in the planting so mix it up with the violet flowers of L.a. ‘Hidcote’ or plant it seriously en masse. The white L. a. Alba grows fractionally smaller than English lavender but taller than ‘Hidcote’ or ‘Munstead’ to reach up to 80 cm with a cavalcade of white flowers to break up the purple hegemony and play with differing heights. It goes without saying that no white garden would be complete without a white lavender in its large or dwarf, L. a. ‘Alba Nana’, form. Lavandula lanata – woolly lavender – has felted, almost white leaves that juxtapose sharply with the dark purple flower spikes. It is relatively tender but for lavender aficionados is one of the most desirable varieties around.

If you are thinking of growing lavender in pots then imagine an old Elizabethan brick wall with lavender grown in front of it and an old lead planter nearby and you will know that terracotta or lead (fake if you must!) pots and planters will look tremendous filled with mounds of lavender. Anyone desiring a more up to date look might seek out a bright purple glazed pot and combine the lavender with some zingy red Argyranthemums that will need dead-heading through the summer. Whichever style you plump for, do not overwater and remember to remove the top layer of soil each spring and replace it with some new, nutritious compost.

However you decide to deploy your lavender in the garden there are some essential rules to observe to maintain it at its best. In spring, lightly trim the lavender to shape, an essential measure if they have taken a battering over a cold winter. In late summer after flowering, snip off the flowering stems back down to the leaves (unless you live somewhere very cold where the spent stems can act as a protective insulating layer) and then finally in autumn perform another light trim in preparation for some winter growth but always leave some of the current year’s new foliage intact. NEVER cut into old wood because the chances are the lavender may not re-generate from there so you end up with bald patches. If you keep up this regime your lavender will still look bushy and flower generously for about ten years. After that even the most assiduous gardener will find that some plants need replacing.

Once you have billowing lavender throughout the garden, harvest some of the flowers on a dry day. Strip any leaves from the stem and hang them out of direct sunlight to stop the sun fading the colour and tie a paper bag over the flowers so that if any fall, they collect in the bag. Stick a few tablespoons of the dried flowers into a jar of sugar to sprinkle over strawberries, macerate some in your bath or get on with those muslin embroidered bags that we talked about earlier…. Alternatively lavender makes a stylish buttonhole or cut flower for a posy or nosegay. With its abundance of nectar for bees, multitude of uses for you and year round beauty if asked the question,”Lavender in the garden?” You will know it makes sense and why!

Tags: lavender munstead lavandula angustifolia hidcote alba rosea english lavender

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ (English Lavender) – Named after Hidcote Castle, this lavender is noted for its silvery-grey leaves and rich violet-blue flowers. It is a slow grower to 12 to 18 inches tall and as wide. Flowers keep their rich color when dried. It is one of the most popular of the lavenders. It takes full sun, has low water needs, and is hardy to below – 10° F – considered to be the hardiest of the English lavender. Reportedly, the blooms are edible. Our plants from a seed strain called “Hidcote Superior”. The original ‘Hidcote’ selection was made by Major Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote Manor prior to 1950. The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery’s garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote.

Buy Lavender Plants Online Store

Lavender Plants For Sale

Here you will find where to buy Lavender plants online from several reputable suppliers including mail order as well as our Online Store with Lavender plants wholesale. You will find a good selection of several different Lavender varieties all potted ready to plant in your home flower garden. Checkout our new sampler packs offered below. We have a 6 pack of different Culinary(angustifolias) Lavender plants and also a Provincial (Lavandin) 6 pack both offering a variety of different colored blooms.
These suppliers also offer a wide selection of other garden plants that will compliment your Lavender planting as well as offering other needed garden supplies. Be sure to see our assortment of potted Lavender plants available for purchase below. We have all colors including white Lavender plants for sale! There are several different choices allowing you to send a Lavender plant as a gift too.

For those of you just starting out Grosso and Provence are very easy to grow. Check them out below:
(click image for product info)

We Offer Bulk Lavender Plugs Wholesale Here

Lavender Plants Store

Shop Below (USA only) UK Customers Shop Here

Why Buy Lavender Plants Online?

The main reason to shop online for your plants is convenience. Buying Lavender plants online allows you to get the best selection of a wide variety of plants from prominent suppliers and nurserymen.
Remember that local garden centers only carry a few of each type of plant due to lack of space and the labor needed to take care of them. You do not get a lot of choices when it comes to plant variety. Some only stock one type of Lavender!
Online shopping gives you the widest selection of choices possible. You get shipping to your door at the proper planting time and all you have to do is sit back and relax in front of your computer! Almost all companies offer plant guarantees so be sure to read each one’s individual policy.

Where To Buy Plants Online – For Spring Planting Get UK Information & UK Store Here

Dutch Gardens Inc. – Good selection of perennial plants such as roses, day lilies and delphiniums, summer and spring bulbs. Shipping to US.
Richters Herbs – Offers a variety of seeds, herbs and ornamental plants some which are hard to find elsewhere. Shipping is available to Canada and the United States for live plants and other items. Worldwide Shipping is available for seeds, books, and all products excluding live plants.


Pruning Lavender

Pruning lavender

Lavender is a strong durable plant for dry, warm borders and known for flowering from spring right though to autumn. The toughest semi-shrub around, every sunny garden needs this heavenly scented staple. One of Europe’s favourite lavender is the ‘Munstead’; a semi-shrub attractive in pots or containers.

How to prune lavender

Not only is lavender incredibly versatile and low maintenance, lavender is easy to prune too! Start pruning after its first season in the soil. If you begin by pinching out the tips of the new growth when the plant is very young, it will respond by forming an aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow pruning shape with lots of blooming growth to work with later.
Using pruning shears cut back at least 1/3. The older the plants, the more vigorous you can be, however, don’t cut down to leafless wood. Give life to the lavender by pruning to the points just above the wood. When pruning well established lavender, cut just above the third node from the wood. This will revitalise existing nodes and they should then produce new stems. Make sure you always leave a few leaves on the branches, even if you want to prune back quite drastically. New branches do not develop readily on old wood.

When to prune lavender

The best time for pruning is once flowering is over but lavender, being the versatile plant it is, can be pruned as and when required. The flowers bloom on the maiden stems each year. This means that pruning can be done anytime from late autumn until early-spring without losing the flowering stems. Lavender in a sunny spot can triple in size each year.
The best time to prune lavender is in autumn. The main pruning can be done as soon as the plant has finished flowering. The autumn pruning should be done before the middle of October, as the branches that are now developing will bear the next season’s flowers. Timely pruning also reduces the risk of damage from an early night frost.
If you have enough space to let your lavender bush grow bigger, you could skip the main annual pruning for one year, although it is still a good idea to remove the dead flowers as this will encourage richer and prolonged flowering.
It is also possible to prune lavender in March if this is done very early, in the first half of the month. Any frozen branches can be cut off and the plant can be given a neat, compact shape. Make sure you always leave a few leaves on the branches, even if you want to prune back quite drastically. This ensures that new branches will develop. Never cut lavender back to the old wood, as this will prevent new branches from forming, and the flowers grow on branches that appear after the spring pruning. Don’t prune if a late frost is expected. Spring pruning instead of autumn pruning will delay flowering slightly.

When to cut back lavender

Cut back lavender after the flowers have finished preparing the plant for the cold winter months. The pruning reduces the plants size, weight, and density. If you decide not to prune, the plant will grow large and dense, forming areas that can collect water which could in time rot the plant, weaken or split the wood and collect snow, deforming the shape.
The other reason we prune lavender is to slow down the formation of the wood growing. We want to slow this process as lavender wood does not rejuvenate once pruned but simply dies. Old wood stops producing new shoot or will produce spaced-out shoots, making your plant look straggly and sparse. A good pruning twice a year will help slow down the formation of wood and extend lifetime of the plant.

Pruning by variety

English lavender is commonly grown in the UK and the hardiest lavender of all. It has pointed leaves and tight, upright spear-like flowers in midsummer. The flower is heavily scented.

Pruning English lavender

You prune English lavender by cutting it back by two thirds in the late August. If necessary, you can cut into the wood. New shoots will quickly appear at the base of the plant. By pruning in the summer, the new shoots will have time to establish and become hardy before winter arrives. By pruning in August, your English lavender plant will remain in good shape for many years. A well-pruned plant can last for more than 25 years without becoming woody.

Pruning French lavender

French Lavender has long flowering stems and enchanting, large flowers topped with purple bracts. Individual plants dotted around the borders look excellent. Every time the wind catches them they sway effortlessly.
French lavender is less hardy than the English lavender and, therefore, you never cut back hard into the bare wood as it could quite easily kill the plant. Shape in late August, aiming for a rounded mound of foliage. Their winter silhouettes can make a huge contribution to the structure of your garden. French lavender has a much shorter life and only last for around five years.

Taking lavender cuttings

Take lavender cuttings from all your varieties in July. Choose young three inch shoots that have just started to harden up. Trim them under the leaf, remove the lower leaves and place them into a 50% compost-and-horticultural-sand mix watering sparingly.

Lavender and roses, a winning combination

If you have planted the lavender to help your roses keep aphid free, a lesser prune can take place in April to delay the lavender flowering time.

Lavender – the illusion of France

The branches removed from your lavender plant can be put to use in several different ways. For instance, you could make lavender bags to place in drawers and cupboards to keep your clothes smelling nice and fresh. The branches cut off during the September pruning are ideal for this.
Not only does lavender provide a scent sensation but it also works as a visual treat. If you have an unsightly part of the garden or a chair that needs covering, why not try a painting of lavender, or a lavender cushion.

Lavender facts!

  • Lavenders are from the southern Mediterranean countries and need a dry position to do well.
  • Lavender was originally introduced into Britain by the Romans and used for their antiseptic and relaxation properties.
  • Laver is Latin for wash. The flowers were added to water, between linen and onto floors. Bridgwater candles release a delightful lavender fragrance both subtle and relaxing.
  • Their flowers, which really attract the bees, contain highly concentrated nectar.
  • Pick the flowers of English lavender in early June if you wish to dry them.

Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote – the perfect dark blue edging plant

Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote

Hidcote lavender is the most popular lavender in the UK. Quintessentially British, it is ideal as a low hedging and edging plant equally at home in rose borders and kitchen gardens. The flowers are an imperial, deep purple with a good balance between the height of its foliage and flower spikes. Hidcote is bushy and silver grey washed leaves are needle shaped but a little shorter than those of other English lavenders such as Alba or Munstead or Rosea and, although there is not much in it, Hidcote Lavender is the smallest of the three overall. It grows more steadily than Munstead but retains its scent wonderfully throughout the summer and even after its flowers have been dried. As with all our lavender plants neither mice nor rabbits nor deer can abide them making them almost pest-proof.

PLEASE NOTE: Delivery of lavender is weather dependent. In a warm spring we start shipping as early as April but if the weather is cold it can slip into May. There is nothing to be gained from trying to plant it out before night time temperatures rise consistently. The shock simply sets it back and it will establish more slowly and flower less well than lavender planted when everything is warmer. P9 lavenders are never shipped before the beginning of May in any event. If you are not happy with these timings, please order elsewhere – we guarantee our plants and like to see them do well.

Lines of Lavender

Grown as a hedge, Hidcote lavender’s silvery foliage reflects the light onto whatever it surrounds. Its narrow, evergreen leaves are a joy throughout the year; the flowers a mere bonus. Left to itself Hidcote lavender forms a rounded, palest green-grey bush that adds structure in a herbaceous bed. Lavenders play an enormously important role in any eco-garden being fantastic pollinators for other plants because they are irresistible to bees and butterflies so you can often see a miasma of whirring wings above them, reason enough to grow them and especially if you have fruit trees or a veg patch. The violet Hidcote provides a good foil to pink roses like Nathalie Nypels , Princess Alexandra of Kent or Souvenir de la Malmaison. In a potager, Hidcote lavender makes a welcome change from Box (Buxus sempevirens) when used as elegant, dark flowered edging for a bed full of herbs which often have purple flowers themselves. Being reasonably petite, Hidcote makes a good front to an herbaceous border to soften the boundary between border and grass or gravel. There is an art to keeping lavender going year in and year out and preventing it from becoming woody. Cut it back by two thirds in the second half of August once the flowers have faded. Nowadays the experts say that if necessary you can even cut into the bare wood if you do it at this time because our warm autumns mean that the new shoots that will quickly arise at the base of the bush will have enough time to grow and harden up before winter comes. And if you want to be sure that your lavender will combine and follow on from the main flush of June roses then you can delay its flowering time by giving it another quick and very light trim in April.

Features:

  • Use: Plant at 33cm intervals for hedges and edges or use as a herbaceous perennial
  • Height: 45 cm
  • Spread: 45 cm
  • Colour: dark purple flowers
  • Shape: medium spike
  • Aspect: south facing
  • Scent: strong, lavender
  • Flowering: summer
  • Leaves: evergreen, silvery-green

And why Hidcote?

Hidcote Manor is in Gloucestershire and was bought by Lawrence Johnston’s mother. Lawrence went on to create this famous Arts and Crafts garden, beginning in 1910. He chose his plants meticulously, and selected this narrow leaved lavender along with a Penstemon ‘HIdcote Pink’ and a St John’s Wort ‘Hidcote Gold’.

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