Lavenders are truly lovely, aren’t they? Whether they’re English, Spanish, French (and everything in between) lavenders are some of the most beloved plants in the garden. Unfortunately, though, many lavenders tend to fizzle out in less than ideal conditions. The truth is, many varieties are quite sensitive to overwatering, intense heat, and high humidity, which are the main reasons for their rapid decline.

Not so with ‘Meerlo’ Lavender, Sunset Western Garden’s latest lavender introduction. Gardeners everywhere are cheering with joy, as this lavender is one of the toughest on the market today. Growing to a manageable 3’x3’ mound, ‘Meerlo’ can survive hungry deer, drought, and higher humidity levels than other varieties. But that’s just the beginning. Prepare to swoon with deliciously fragrant foliage that, when lightly brushed, will perfume your garden.

In addition to being one of the most fragrant lavenders available, it’s the spectacular variegated foliage that stops gardeners in their tracks. Each stem is covered with tightly placed, lightly serrated leaves, each with a gray-green center bordered with creamy yellow margins. The result is a lavender that appears much softer and lush looking than other varieties. And, unlike many other variegated lavenders on the market today, the foliage on ‘Meerlo’ doesn’t revert to gray, but instead maintains its striking color year after year.

When planting ‘Meerlo’ in the garden, there are several methods to use that will best highlight its striking variegated foliage.

One of the surest ways to let the creamy yellow color shine brightest is to surround ‘Meerlo’ with plants that have darker foliage. Lomandra ‘Breeze’ is an excellent choice as it, too, can withstand high heat and low-water conditions while providing a soothing dark-green backdrop. Other tranquil green pairings might include Baby Gem™ Buxus, Mojo® Pittosporum, or Boxwood Euonymus.

 
('Meerlo' Lavendula and Lomandra ‘Breeze’)

To add a bit more drama to the garden, team ‘Meerlo’ with the dark and moody foliage of ‘Design-A-Line’ Cordyline, Black Adder Phormium, or Red Diamond™ Midsize Loropetalum. The contrasting dark and light tones are sure to wake up a sunny garden bed.


('Meerlo' Lavender and 'Red Diamond' Loropetalum)

Variegated foliage also offers a unique opportunity to create subtle color echoes within a garden bed. These echoes help to not only add another layer of interest in the garden but also to unify a grouping of plants. Garden beds may sometimes appear overly busy, with a random selection of plants seemingly placed with no rhyme or reason. Creating color echoes can often be the solution, acting as the ribbon that ties the plants together. To accomplish this, emphasize a particular color found in the leaf and surround it with plants that contain similar shades and tones. An example of this might be to pull out the gray-green center found in the foliage of 'Meerlo' and surround it with the gray-green leaves of Echeveria imbricata.


('Meerlo' Lavender with Echeveria imbricata)

Resistant to heat, drought, humidity and deer, as well as highly fragrant and gorgeous year-round makes ‘Meerlo’ Lavender one of the must-have plants of the season.