There are three main types of lavender and over 40 named varieties. Spanish lavender is the first to bloom in the spring, the English has a daintier flower with the most popular variety being the Hidcote and the French lavender from Provence has the sweetest scent and is mostly what is used in the cosmetic industry. Regardless of the type of lavender, they all need good drainage and shun soggy areas. Mixing compost with the soil is also suggested and these plants do very well on a sloping area of your garden. The other requirement for this plant to thrive is sunshine-these herbs require at least 6 hours of direct sun a day.
Lavender is harvested twice a year, June/July and again in September/October. Sonoma County has several festivals that celebrate this ancient and beautiful herb so check them out.