One of many Lavandula Angustifolia or English varieties (including Royal Velvet) developed in Oregon in the 1980's by herbalist Andy Van Heveligin, Melissa comes in a couple of shades: lilac and a pale pink. We grow roughly 2,500 of the pale pink plants at Fennario Meadows. What makes this special? First, durability. They can handle the Canadian winter and our 5B growing zone with little winter preparation. Melissa is also the best oil producer of our English varieties. Its oil has a light flowery and somewhat citrus scent and is very popular. For culinary purposes, the dried bud has a slightly peppery tone.
Like all lavender, well-drained sandy loam soils are the best home for new plants. The other key ingredient is exposure to sunlight - lavender loves sunshine. These two factors are the primary determinants of healthy lavender plants. If you are on the lake side of the Niagara Escarpment, you likely have a clay loam mix of soil which creates drainage and root growth issues because of soil compaction. Tilling and raising your beds with more porous materials is one solution to mitigating this problem. Standing water for any length of time can be fatal to your plants.