Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’
Although often called ‘English Lavender’ Lavandula angustifolia is a plant of sun-baked rocky hillsides of the Mediterranean – a clue to their cultivation as they resent cool, wet soil in winter.
Although often called ‘English Lavender’ Lavandula angustifolia is a plant of sun-baked rocky hillsides of the Mediterranean – a clue to their cultivation as they resent cool, wet soil in winter. It is grown for its beautifully light, silvery, aromatic foliage and dense heads of lavender-coloured, fragrant flowers throughout summer. Nectar rich, they are a magnet for bees and butterflies. ‘Munstead’ is a compact and bushy dwarf cultivar with particularly intense, violet flowers: one of the finest all-round lavenders and essential for the Mediterranean-style garden.
‘Munstead’ first appeared in an English nursery catalogue in 1902. It was championed by the famous garden designer and author Gertrude Jekyll, whose West Surrey estate it was likely named after. In one passage about her garden she recorded: “…much use is made of this dwarf kind of lavender that is also amongst the best of the July flowers.”
Care Size & Guidance
Like most lavenders, this requires little attention beyond watering in the warmer months when the plants are still establishing. Though they have a naturally neat habit, you can clip them annually as the summer flowers fade if further shaping is desired.
‘Munstead’ is a more compact cultivar than some, reaching around 45cm across in the right conditions. In heavier soils or colder regions it may be worth planting lavender on a slight mound and/or backfilling the planting hole with horticultural grit to improve drainage.