May 22, 2020
Last May, I documented the progress of my lavender plants after noticing a lot of winter damage. I promised to do a follow-up in the summer that year, but life got in the way, and so I now bring you a follow-up exactly a year later. Interestingly, I wasn’t able to tend to the plants at all during the past year, so the results you see are from an entire year without weeding, watering, or pruning.
I did a lot of pruning and weeding in the patch earlier in March, and my impression then was that the lavender patch was coming along surprisingly well despite my neglect. There were a few plants that died — Alba, Hidcote Giant, Hidcote Superior, Lavance Purple, Munstead, and Vera — but the remaining plants seemed to be growing well enough that I decided not to take out the entire patch as I had originally planned.
Here are photos of the plants today (compare with last year):
In April, I replaced some of the dead lavender plants at the back of the patch with new roses from Roses Unlimited. I replaced one at the front of the patch with another plant of ‘Phenomenal’. Overall, despite the continuing failures, I like the way the patch is developing and have decided to keep the patch at its smaller, more manageable size. In the future, I will replace any lavender plants that die with some of the top-rated performers in Chicago Botanic Garden’s plant evaluations, as I’ve had good results so far with their recommendations.
I think one of the mistakes I made initially was mulching the patch with wood mulch. Lavenders need to be kept dry at the base and wood mulch probably retains too much moisture to help with that. It’s usually recommended to mulch with gravel. It probably would have also helped to plant the lavenders on mounds, to help with drainage and air circulation.