Here’s the second plant of the spring season that I’m excited about; the first one, digiplexis, looks like it will be a winner for our area. Introduced in 2012 by Peace Tree Farms in Pennsylvania, Lavender x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’, is touted to be a truly humidity and heat tolerant variety.
Unfortunately, many of us in the south have tried lavender over and over. We’ve planted them in the best of spots with lots of sun, excellent drainage, and even added lime to “sweeten” our acidic soil. But, invariably, the cold tolerant English lavender varieties have either succumbed to the never-ending humidity and heat of southern days (and nights!), or the more heat tolerant Spanish and French varieties have died in the damp, cold, and waterlogged soil in the winter. (Excellent drainage is definitely a must for any lavender, especially in the winter.)
Attaining a size of roughly 24″-30″ tall and wide, Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is reputed to be resistant to many of the foliar diseases that have plagued southern gardeners and is also extremely fragrant. The look is that of a classic lavender plant, with bright blue blooms held high above mounding, silvery-green foliage.
Maybe this will be the truly perennial lavender for us, and the others can be used for what they’re best for, either through the summer, and maybe winter, like the Spanish lavenders or as a winter interest lavender like the beautiful English and French offerings. Who says we can’t have it all?
I am hoping for the best with Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ and have contracted a local grower to supply us with some this spring. Some will definitely be going in my garden!