One of my jobs this week has been pruning back the lavender. I absolutely adore this plant, not only because it is easy to grow and low maintenance, but also because it is so attractive to our very important bees. Oh, and it’s scent is a wonderful, calming presence in the garden. Also, if you have a dog like our border terrier Millie, then it’s great entertainment, as she’s been known to sit watching the bees working, quite mesmerised, for hours at a time.
Where and when to plant
You can either pop lavender straight into your border or into a container. I’ve planted mine to form a low hedge behind my topiary hedging, but it also looks fabulous in flower borders or herb gardens.
Lavender needs a lot of sunshine so it’s best to plant in a well-lit position and preferably in free-draining soil. If you have heavy clay soil or soil that becomes waterlogged then lavender is probably not right for your garden.
It will also not tolerate shady, damp or cold environments
The best time to plant Lavender is in the Spring (April or May) when the soil is starting to warm up. If you plant in the winter then Lavender can rot. If you are concerned about your soil’s drainage, then when it comes to planting, I would mix in a little sand or gravel before you plant them in.
In terms of planting, the key is to do it as soon as possible after buying. If you are growing in groups, space the plants about 90cm apart, and if planting a hedge as I have done, then apply a distance of 30 – 45cm apart (dependent on the size of the plant). For their first year you should water regularly, however, once well established, they are drought tolerant and rarely need additional watering (I only water mine in extremely dry conditions).
If you have grown your lavender in containers, then I would recommend watering regularly as they will dry out extremely quickly. I would also recommend planting in terracotta pots with drainage holes and not forgetting to add some grit for drainage. Due to the fact that they are fine in soil with little nutrients, no feeding is required.
Throughout their blooming period, I deadhead the faded blooms as, if left alone, lavender will become woody. I trim in the late Summer, just after they have flowered. This allows enough time for them to recover before the first frost. In terms of pruning, I remove the flower and about 2cm of leaf growth, avoiding any cutting back into their woody stems.
And finally, don’t forget they are fabulous dried or as an addition to a bouquet, just to add a different texture and of course that all-important scent.
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk