—Lynn Hunt, Fine Gardening, July/August 2001
Lavender: The Grower's Guideby Virginia McNaughton
With their heady perfume and stunning visual appeal, lavenders have been prized by gardeners since ancient times. Lavender is a truly comprehensive study that enables the reader to research and identify more than 200 lavender species and varieties. With chapters on cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases, and botanical history, this book is as/i>… See more details below
With their heady perfume and stunning visual appeal, lavenders have been prized by gardeners since ancient times. Lavender is a truly comprehensive study that enables the reader to research and identify more than 200 lavender species and varieties. With chapters on cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases, and botanical history, this book is as practical as it is authoritative.
More than 200 photos document recent advances in color variation that have resulted from intense breeding; plants now available range from deep purple and lilac to white, cream, pink, and red-violet. With so many hardy and dependable plants to choose from, no lavender enthusiast will want to be without this indispensable book.
—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post, April 28, 2001
—Country Living Gardener, January/February 2001
- Timber Press, Incorporated
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- 7.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Read an Excerpt
Dioscorides, a Greek physician, described lavender as having slender twigs and hair similar to thyme, only longer. The Greeks apparently used mainly L. stoechas medicinally, making wines and vinegars from the spikes and foliage. The Romans used it to scent their baths and relieve their aching limbs. It may be that the Romans distinguished between L. stoechas and L. vera, using the first for wine-making and the second for their exotic perfumes. However this is not clear.
It is generally assumed that the Romans introduced lavender to England but it may well have been introduced earlier. No records exist to confirm this. During the Dark Ages, monks recorded their herbal knowledge and lavender thrived in their monastery gardens. Abbes Hildegarde (1098 — 1180), a learned female botanist, made a study of lavender and wrote of her findings. Subsequently herbalists such as Turner and Gerard (16th century) attributed lavender with an ability to heal anything from colds and headaches to limb paralysis and neurosis, as well as with use as both a tonic and a laxative. Lavendula stoechas was referred to as 'Sticadore' and was one of the main ingredients of 'Four Thieves vinegar' used to combat the plague during the Middle Ages. The spikes of L. stoechas were still being used medicinally until the middle of the eighteenth century. Even today in France and Spain, fresh spikes of L. stoechasand L. dentata are suspended in water in closed bottles placed in the sun, for use as a haemostatic or for cleansing wounds.
Meet the Author
Virginia McNaughton formerly worked as Botanical Officer at Christchurch Botanical Gardens, New Zealand. She has written articles and lectured widely, and her book The Essential Lavender has served as the leading horticultural text on lavender. Together with her husband, she manages a specialist lavender business, and she is also responsible for the national reference collection of lavender for the Herb Foundation of New Zealand.
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