Gardening Gone Wild Picture This Entry May 2011
The kind comment from the GGWPT mentioned this photo was--uhh, had too much going on? I went out and tried to work on a better...how's this one? Any better? Well, I'll keep trying!
Dwarfed annual bedding plants: I do not like. My impression is that growers know you must plant more of them when they are dwarfed, so the smaller, the better. I've quit buying annual bedding plants because all of them seem to be dwarf varieties--squat little plants that are difficult to get going. No, thank you.
Dwarf Lavenders, however, are a different story.
They seem to have all of the virtues of full-sized Lavender, minus the major vice of splitting open to expose dead material and unattractive woody branches. The dwarf plants I've tried have been long lived (10 years and thriving) while remaining tight and tidy. Full sized plants I pull out after a few years because they look so bad.
The dwarf lavender pictured above blooms only in late spring. I sheer off the spent blooms and the tips of the branches in mid summer, and for the rest of the year they remain neat and symmetrical little buns of grey-green foliage. And too, sheering a small lavender is far easier than dealing with a monster. I am satisfied with the once-blooming aspect, since the lavender's other good qualities are so compelling. The fragrance, if not the bloom, is year 'round.
I recently got this impossibly cute little cultivar with the impossibly cute little name of 'Thumbelina Leigh':
I will not hold the name against her: when I opened the car trunk to take out the plant, the trunk was filled with sweet lavender fragrance. Heaven! This variety is supposed to remain just 12" (30 cm) or so tall and wide. Small in stature, large in fragrance. What could be more ideal?