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GARDEN SURROUNDINGS: Growing Lavender In Your Garden

By Francesca Filanc, for Let’s Talk Plants! March 2024.

WiX stock photo. French lavender, Lavandula dentata, is one of the author's favorite lavenders to grow and enjoy in her garden.

Growing Lavender in Your Garden

Lavender is such a fun plant to grow in Southern California. It is perfect for our climate because lavender is a Mediterranean plant. It is also part of the Mint family.

One thing that’s interesting is the fact that English lavender is not native to England because it is a Mediterranean plant.

There are forty-seven species of lavender. Personally, I enjoy growing French lavender, Lavandula dentata, Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechas, and many of the other varieties that are grown profusely in California.

One of my girlfriends asked me to write about lavender and I thought it was a perfect month because I always have beautiful new shoots coming up in March that will make beautiful lavender wands or sprays of lavender tied with a bow and put next to one’s bed or in a clothing drawer. Lavender wands may help to keep moths away. Taking a sniff of your wand before going to sleep will give you sweet dreams and help you to sleep well.

French lavender is one of the easiest lavenders to grow in our climate. I love it for its aroma, making lavender wands with my grandchildren and it is also a culinary lavender so one can cook with it. One of my girlfriends makes delicious lavender cookies. 

These tips will help you to keep them looking full and beautiful year-round:

·     Lavender prefers sandy, well-draining soil. In our area most people have clay. The good thing about clay is it has lots of nutrients so when you plant your plants just make sure that you add sand to the soil if you have clay soil.

·     They are perennials, and after a few years, they can get leggy. (Top right photo above) Let them go to the compost and plant a new one.

·     Prune them back at the end of July. I always do it in the last week of July. My gardeners make a beautiful round look of the plants. Then again in October or November, you can cut deadwood out of the plant as long as it hasn’t gotten too cold. I notice new shoots coming out of my plants in March.

·     When you’re over at the nursery and/or garden center picking up lavender plants also pick up California poppy plants and plant them in front of your lavender. This will give a “Matisse” brilliant color combination for spring.

The artwork shown this month is called Prunis and is a mixed media work of tree leaves, flower petals, gold and copper leaf.


Want to learn to make lavender wands? Here's a link -

(FYI - Lavender wands are also called bottles and rattles.)

There are even edible versions such as this found in Mother Earth Living magazine.

From Garden to Table: Candied Lavender Wands Recipe by Kathy Gehrt


The rain just stopped. Now I will walk out into the garden and enjoy the beauty and the scent while strolling on the paths checking for new shoots of lavender coming up that can be cut later. These sprigs of lavender will soon be tied with ribbon and made into lavender wands with my grandchildren and friends.


Enjoy Growing Lavender and Happy Gardening!


~ Francesca


Fly fisher woman, Francesca Filanc, grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with two dogs.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media here: Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact: 

If you enjoyed reading this article, consider joining (or renewing your membership with) the San Diego Horticultural Society.



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