The National Garden Bureau, the non-profit information and marketing arm of the gardening industry, has chosen lavender for this year's "Year of" honors .
For versatility in the garden, you can't go wrong with lavender. Use lavender for lush greenery and a pop of color in every garden, or as a dense and fragrant border plant. In zones 3 and 4 these lovely plants are annuals.
English varieties can grow quite tall while some of the Spanish and French varieties will bloom in the spring and again later in the growing season and do well indoors over the winter.
Lavender attracts pollinators, has a wonderful fragrance, beautiful pink to blue flower spikes and can be dried for teas, and used to flavor sweet and savory dishes.
Lavender likes full sun and loves dry well drained soil so don't mulch right up to the plant but let the soil dry out around it to avoid root rot.
Lavender repels moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes so is great for patio planters and used dry in drawers and closets as a sachet.
For more information on how to grow lavender, the varieties available, and the multiple uses of this versatile plant, check out:
The Teaching and Display Gardens are a joint effort between the Spooner Agriculture Research Station, operated by the University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Agriculture and Life Science, the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and area UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.
Open to the public for self-guided tours during day light hours seven days a week mid-May through mid-September.