When one says “Mediterranean climate,” one tends to think of olive trees, rosemary, sage, and, of course, lavender. Ojai’s Mediterranean climate is perfect for lavender, and is highly recommended as a drought-tolerant bush with attractive purple flowers. For many, lavender (Lavandula) is a source of fascination, as there are so many varieties and so many uses.
In the Ojai Valley, lavender is not only a fantastic plant for our garden zone, but also a part of our history and culture. In 2014 the Ojai City Council declared June “Lavender Month,” proclaiming that “Ojai’s Mediterranean climate makes it an ideal place to grow lavender” along with praising its medicinal and culinary uses. The Lavender Inn, built in 1874, was named to reflect just how well lavender grows in the Ojai Valley. The Ojai Lavender Festival, held every year at Libby Park, celebrates the plant with music, food and lavender products.
Flora Gardens continues to celebrate the versatile lavender along with the entire Ojai Valley. If there is ever a time to plant lavender, it can be done now while we are blessed with some rain. With over 500 different varieties to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is right for your garden. Its versatility is all at once inspiring, intimidating and somewhat mystifying for the beginning lavender grower.
Be mystified no more! Our next event, being held on Saturday, March 7 at 11am, will feature Ojai Lavender Festival President Cindy Mullins. She will explain how to take care of lavender, how to prune it, how to dry it for decorative purposes, and (the most delectable of all) she will explain its culinary uses. We hope to see you there!