The first picture is of the Parterre gardens at the City and County Building which I helped design and maintain with the Master Gardeners of Denver and staff from Denver Parks. I am amused that one of the few large public gardens of which I am a primary designer is a parterre--the most formal of garden styles...Mr. rock gardener does stray a bit.
I hope that if you click on the picture it will billow out enough to see the sea of lavender that the garden is gradually becoming. One could do worse. I can't think of a plant I like more, to tell the truth. Is there another plant that blooms as long? that is as wonderfully fragrant? that has such year around substance? that needs no irrigation? that thrives in almost any soil? Right now Denver is the Capital of Perovskia (another fine plant to be sure, but must it always be isolated? Stark eruptions of blue here there and everywhere...has anyone heard of companion planting? huh? huh?). Perovskia is a tad spready in many settings, and frankly pretty massive for most gardens and its winter appeal is marginal. But lavender is gorgeous in the winter. More lavender please!
I would like to see as much lavender as we have Perovskia right now. Instead you can drive for miles around Denver and not see a single one. What gives, eh?
I took the last picture last week at Joy Creek Nursery in the Portland area, a spectacular display garden selling tons of treasures at very reasonable prices. They have a fabulous assortment of lavenders I intend to tap into next spring (lavenders are best planted in April and May to establish deep roots before summer drought and winter frost)...
I could go on and on and on: the only Lavender Society I know of I was invited to join by J.C. Ralston: a sort of support group for gay (and those sympathetic to gay) horticulturists. I am sure Christopher Lloyd would have approved (every time I saw him he always wore rich lilac or lavender shirts)...I think that society is no longer terribly active since the only homophobes left in America are probably busy down in Arizona hunting down immigrants [can't you just visualize the rifle rack on the truck, the Nobama bumper stickers and terse no nonsensicality...yeeehaw! Regular Teddy Bear chollas these home grown Senoritos.].
How clever of gays to commandeer the color of sagebrush sunsets in the Wah Wah mountains when the West is awash in lilac and apricot and a cool breeze stirs. The color of Ionian mountains in the primordial dawn, the wild lavender nearby inspiring the Homeric poet with its fragrance, color, and its gentle, raspy sound.