A Tale of Two Lavenders: Spanish vs. English Lavender Unveiled!

A Tale of Two Lavenders: Spanish vs. English Lavender Unveiled!

Ah, the exhilarating scent of lavender! Just the thought of it brings to mind sun-kissed meadows and fragrant gardens. As gardeners, we constantly seek new additions to enhance the beauty of our green spaces. When it comes to lavender, two popular varieties often catch our attention: Spanish lavender and English lavender. Let's embark together to explore the unique characteristics of each and learn how to care for these delightful plants in the Alberta region.

  1. Spanish Lavender: The Dazzling Beauty 

Picture a vibrant flamenco dancer, twirling and captivating everyone with her graceful moves. Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is just as charismatic with its showy blooms and distinctive features. This variety boasts vibrant, cone-shaped flower heads crowned with a tuft of colorful bracts. Its aromatic foliage and ability to attract pollinators make it a true star in any garden.

Care Tips:

  • Sun-soaked Delight: Spanish lavender thrives in full sun, relishing at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure you choose a sunny spot in your Alberta garden to maximize its growth potential. 
  • Well-Drained Dance Floor: This variety detests soggy soil and demands good drainage. Amend heavy clay soil with organic matter or opt for raised beds to prevent waterlogging and root rot. 
  • Pruning Passion: After the first bloom, trim back spent flower stems to promote bushier growth and encourage a second flowering later in the season. 
  • Winter Warmth: While Spanish lavender can be slightly more tender than its English counterpart, providing a protective layer of mulch in winter will help shield it from harsh Alberta cold snaps.

  1. English Lavender: The Classic Beauty

Imagine strolling through the English countryside, past charming cottages and picturesque landscapes. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) embodies that very essence, exuding elegance, and timelessness. With its delicate, slender flower spikes and soothing fragrance, it has enchanted gardeners for centuries.

Care Tips: 

  • Sunshine Serenade: Like its Spanish counterpart, English lavender thrives in full sun and appreciates a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. So, find it a sunny spot to bask in the glory of Alberta's sunshine. 
  • Soil Symphony: Well-draining, alkaline soil is the key to English lavender's heart. If your soil tends to be acidic, add lime to raise the pH level and create a more hospitable environment. 
  • Prune with Precision: Pruning is crucial for English lavender, as it helps maintain a neat and compact shape. Perform a light pruning immediately after the flowers fade to keep the plant looking fresh. 
  • Winter Wonderland: English lavender is generally more cold-hardy than its Spanish sibling. However, in Alberta's harsh winters, it still benefits from a layer of mulch to protect its delicate roots.

Spanish lavender and English lavender, each with its unique charm, can add a touch of elegance and fragrance to any Alberta garden. While Spanish lavender flaunts its dazzling blooms and vibrant personality, English lavender stands as a classic beauty, exuding timeless appeal. Remember, both varieties crave abundant sunshine, well-drained soil, and some pruning love to thrive in your garden. So, unleash your inner gardener and let these lavender beauties cast their magical spell on your Alberta oasis. 

Happy gardening!

*It is always recommended to research and consider specific regional factors before implementing any care practices for plants in your area.