Popular Lavenders: Lavandula angustifolia ‘Twickel Purple’
RHS: “Originated in Holland before 1922. A good plant, being vigorous with impressive long flower spikes. As there are so many different plants in the trade it was decided that the AGM awarded in 1993 should be rescinded.” Picture top
Foliage: Attractive green
Flowers: Vivid, lively purple
Flowering period: June to September
Height: 60cm excluding flower spikes
Notes: Hardy in most areas of the UK:down to -15°C. A strong grower, perfect for cottage style gardens.
Twickle Purple has fallen victim to unscrupulous breeding and growing practices that, unfortunately, are all too prevalent at the fringes of horticulture. This is the only reason the plant lost its AGM. However, our Twickle Purple Lavenders are the real thing and so have all the virtues that gained Twickle Purple its AGM. It’s a true statement Lavender.
Popular Lavenders: Lavandula intermedia ‘Grosso’
RHS: “Three quarters of the lavender grown for oil in France is from this cultivar. Very floriferous on particularly long stems, forming an arc of colour.” Picture bottom
Foliage: Silver green
Flowers: Deep bluish-purple
Flowering period: Mid July to mid September
Height: 70cm excluding flower spikes
Notes: Excellent variety for cut flowers and, for the really keen, essential oil
Grosso is the most widely planted Lavender variety in the world – but lacks an AGM. Unlike with Twickle Purple, the RHS doesn’t give a reason for Grosso being considered unworthy. Whatever the reason, it certainly isn’t looks or reliability – acres of Grosso across Provence attest to its willingness to give of its magnificent best. You can plant with confidence.
The following from a North American enthusiast explains why an AGM isn’t the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to choosing plants:
“If I could grow one lavender only, ‘Grosso’ would be my first choice. For form, colour, and year-round good looks, this hybrid can’t be beaten. It was discovered in the Vaucluse in 1972 and named after the famous lavender grower Pierre Grosso. It has become an important commercial cultivar because of its disease resistance. We call it ‘Fat Spike’ because of its huge, dark violet flower heads, 3 inches long and filled with 10 circles of flowers atop long, stately stems. The plants form gorgeous grey mounds of foliage.”