French lavender

aprilbarngardenTwo weeks early. That’s my calculation with this gorgeous sunshine, lack of rain, and no excuse not to get outdoors each day and attack the weeds weather.

I have just had a lovely rummage in my folder for last year where I took this exact same shot. The one above is April 2016. The French lavender is almost but not quite out. And some of the precocious early iris are emerging.

I do love this late spring scene. If you had to ask which would be my favourite lavender, this wouldn’t be it. It’s called  Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata. The English call it French lavender. I wonder if the French call it English lavender? I don’t think so.

IMG_6085No. They call it Butterfly Lavender. And you can see why. Or I like to think of it as bunny ears. Great upright blotches of purple waving above the rest of the plants in this mediterranean garden.

This lavender stoechas flowers first of all my lavenders and I’m always delighted to see that it has survived the winter.  Stoechas shrubs die messily.

Bits seem to drop off. It doesn’t apreciate being crammed into a garden bed. And this barn garden is a very crammed space indeed. So if it can’t fight for room it sulks.

I started with seven plants and I seem to have four left. But I’m determined to take more cuttings this spring and build up my stocks. It may not be my favourite, but you can’t just spend all your time ogling irises.

Here’s a sneak preview.


Oh, that is what I was meaning to say. The revelation this spring has been my very large collection of viburnum tinus. Quite up there in the unremarkable shrub stakes with the lavender stoechas. But this year things seem to have been different.

viburnumtinusI thought they went from healthy bomb-proof evergreen shrub to fey pink flowers. But this season of glorious warm spring weather they are an electric white.

And the scent is divine. I normally get a bit secateur happy and lop off the flowers before they turn that unimpressive pink. But this spring they have only been hacked when I needed more flowers for the house.

Good plant. Good do-er. A keeper.


And so drought tolerant too.  So without a drop of rain for a month, that’s good news.