Hello Lavender Fans!
Another post giving you some information on the different varieties of lavender. This week we are going to be looking at Maillette, which makes up around a third of the main field, giving some details of the flower generally, as well as our experiences of growing it at Hitchin Lavender!
First thing to say is that this is another example of an angustifolia blooming between mid June and mid July. Having said that, everything is happening a little earlier this year and, as you can see from the shot below, it was looking fab by early June. Though it has a continental name, it is not one of the ‘French Lavenders’, but is, what’s commonly known as, an ‘English Lavender.’ However, this is a bit of a misnomer as lavender is essentially a Mediterranean plant.
It has a mid purple sort of colouring at the height of its bloom and is the most commonly used flower by aromatherapists. Maillette oil is a relaxant and a few drops can be put neat into a bath, or maybe even a few on the pillow to help you drift off to sleep. It is a widely held belief that all lavender oil is as such, however, depending on the variety, it can also be a stimulant.
What brings all lavender together are its properties as an antiseptic. Lavender oil is particularly good for cooking burns and can heal up a wound within days.
Though this is a hardy plant, we have had a few problems with the maillette we have grown on the field. It is, generally speaking, a hardy plant and it used to make up the entirety of our display area, however, for whatever reason, it did not grow happily there. Though this is a shame in one sense, it allowed us the space to grow 60 new varieties of lavender, giving the full spectrum of the plant.
Furthermore, last year, we had problems with maintaining the maillette on the field. As mentioned previously, one of the properties of an angustifolia, is its shorter stem relative to a lavendin. This means that, when we want to cut back our lavender, an angustifolia does not give us much margin for error. It was pruned back too low before the season last year and we thought that it had been killed off, as, for a long time, it did not flower. Sometimes lavender is difficult to predict, because by the end of the season it had regrown and survived the slight mishap.
This gives a good example of the resilience of lavender. Though we certainly don’t recommend ever pruning back into the old wood, the
maillette shows just how much of a fighter an angustifola is!
That’s all for this week.
Come back on Thursday for another Lavender Digest.
Bye for now!