Walking along the 500 block of South Windsor these days may make you feel as if you’re in the south of France with the new aromatic lavender fields installed in the front yard of one Windsor Square home.
There are 210 plants now thriving in the large front yard that for years was green lawn – 105 plants laid out symmetrically on each side of the center path. Planted in an “agrarian pattern”, the garden showcases long lines leading vertically up to the stately home. It also provides space to walk between the rows to harvest the fragrant crop of blue lavender that draws bees, butterflies and wistful gazes from passersby.
“We chose Lavandula Provence, French lavender, because it was appropriate to the home’s architecture, we liked the mix of silver gray foliage with a flower that is more blue than purple, and because it fits with the neighborhood which has a Mediterranean palette of plant material,” Daniel Garness of Garness Studio told the Larchmont Buzz. Garness believes finding continuity between the architecture and the landscape surrounding it makes for meaningful spaces for the home’s occupants and gives them a connection to the natural world.
Lavender loves heat and sun, and thrives in dry conditions so fits the bill for gardens wanting to move toward low-water use. It generally does not like the type of clay soil present in the greater Hancock Park area but Garness said they worked on amending the soil prior to planting. Lavender plants usually live 5-10 years before replacement, though some may last longer.
If everything goes right the lavender crop should bloom twice a year – once in June and once in August, and even when not in bloom the evergreen/gray foliage is compact to the ground and planted en-masse provides a nice sweep of green to the eye as one drives by. The garden is watered by drip irrigation buried just beneath the soil. Landscape installer Oscar Luna installed the new landscape plan and the family uses their regular “mow and blow” gardener to help maintain the new garden.
“I love the ease of this new front yard,” owner Gillian Wagner told the Buzz. “It needs little upkeep and gives off such a lovely aroma when I open the front door. But the best reason – lower water bills!”
“I have dreams of making lavender sachets for friends,” Wagner said. With 210 plants available to harvest come spring, Wagner should have plenty of sachets for her plentiful friends.