White lavender is probably the least well known of the English Lavenders. It never fails to surprise garden visitors - a bit like white strawberries or orange raspberries and, in some ways, it is this unexpected quality that makes white lavender such an important part of our range of English Lavender. The muted white flowers are held upright on long spikes that float above the foliage below. The flowers are as powerfully scented and redolent of the South of France as any of the purple lavenders. The leaves are also fragrant, long, narrow and the palest greenish-grey. They are so abundant the plant looks soft and billowing when left to grow into a mound, or trim and neat if clipped to a hedge.
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.
If change is as good as a rest, then white lavender will recharge you visually when you see it combined with roses in the classic English gardening combination. Its white flowers are just as good for setting off the rounded, colourful petals and deep green foliage of our national flower. They will also prove essential for anyone who is trying to create a monochrome garden of silvers and whites. The natural bushiness of the plant means that if you grow them as a hedge the leaves soon knit together to form an evergreen, silvery dividing line that wafts scent from both leaves and flowers, especially when it is hot. And lavender does like it hot; choose your sunniest spot for it to really excel and for those base notes to come through. Being a sun-worshipper lavender is designed to cope with less water than most other herbaceous perennials so it will be magnificent in a drought and merciful if your soil is not up to snuff. In fact, it prefers a very free-draining, gritty soil and will turn up its toes if left in water-logged soil over winter. That having been said, if your hedge does encounter some shade along its length, your lavender will flower, but just not quite so generously. The L. a. Alba grows slightly taller than Hidcote or Munstead to reach up to 75 cm with a cavalcade of white flowers to break up the purple hegemony and play with differing heights. Left to its own devices lavender forms a lovely mounded shape to provide a sinuous edge to a path as well.
Lavender dries well (pick it early if you want to do this) while retaining its fragrance and so is invaluable in pot pourris, sachets for airing cupboards, or just hanging drying in a room. The smell has strong insect-repelling properties and was used as a strewing herb in houses to mask the less sanitary smells that were part of Roman and Tudor life. A few flowers in the bath will transform your whole bathing experience and will cost you nothing....step aside Floris et al!