When designing clients’ yards, I often hear statements like “I like lavender and rosemary, but they get so big. Is there one that doesn’t?”
Well, I can’t help you out with the rosemary other than this: just plant one, let it get big, and harvest it often. I either give rosemary away to neighbors or dry it by tying sprigs together and hanging them in my kitchen. Not only does the hanging rosemary look good, but when dry it keeps forever to be used in any number of pasta or meat dishes.
However, when it comes to lavender there is a variety that stays small and looks attractive year round. It’s called lavandula ‘munstead’ and can be used in any number of ways in your garden.
This handsome lavender is so useful because it keeps its shape and form. Growing only 1 and 1/2 to 2 feet tall and wide, lavandula ‘munstead’ can be used along walkways, in border gardens or massed together in large plantings.
It’s a prolific bloomer and has very attractive silvery foliage that doesn’t become woody and dense because it doesn’t get too big. Right now. I’m ripping out a hillside with patchy brown sod and replacing the whole thing with lavandula ‘munstead’. It’s going to be spectacular, and drought tolerant. I’m envisioning a rolling hillside in the south of France as I dream of this project.
This is a great plant for all of you who want a “neat and clean” look to your yard. Pair it with a yellow flowering achillea, or groundcover like bidens and watch the two colors bounce off one another. Gorgeous!