Our beautifully grown Lavender makes a lovely addition to a garden, patio or balcony as they have great flowers, attractive evergreen foliage and contribute a fantastic scent. They are one of only a few plants sold for culinary use that look good and grow well outside the kitchen garden as well as in it. And we grow and source the best, and hardiest, English & Dutch Lavenders for garden and culinary use. A naturally small, bushy shrub, it is one of the most effective ornamental hedging and edging plants: a go-to choice to soften straight lines, blurring the lines of terraces, steps, and paths.
Choose from blue, pink and white flowered lavender in a range of sizes - all of which should be planted (if you want a hedge) at 3 per metre.
Queen Victoria was a lover of lavender as a scent, and it became very fashionable with the ladies of the day which led to English lavender becoming a profitable industry with the main growing areas being just south of London, around Merton. The rise in land prices after the First World War pushed the growers out of business, so now most commercial lavender growing is in Provence where the vast expanses of purple and blue in summer have become an iconic image and are a huge tourist attraction.
All varieties will grow into thick little ornamental hedges, perfect for covering up the base of a rose border. If you live in the sunnier, warmer Southern and Western parts of England and Wales, every variety will thrive without bother. For the rest of the island, Hidcote and Munstead are the toughest varieties, and will look lovely for several more years than the others without any protection in winter: all lavender naturally declines in aesthetic appeal after about a decade, even with diligent care. Butterfly lavender is the most tender of the bunch, and in colder regions it's usually best to grow it in pots and take it indoors overwinter to keep it happy.
For packing pot-pourris and other scented items, the Lavandula intermedia varieties, known as Dutch lavenders or Lavandins, have the strongest scent, with a high camphor content. Lavandula angustifolia varieties are definitely best for cooking with, and many people prefer their milder scent when it's right up close in aromatherapy or under their pillow.
All lavender loves a dryish, windy place in the sun, and none can stand damp feet. The best time to plant is into warm soil, usually from late April/early May (depending on our ‘characterful’ climate) through to early August.
Being of Mediterranean origin, they thrive in a poor, free draining soil and full sun. A heavy or clay soil can be improved by adding matter to help drainage, such as leaf mould and gravel, and a good tip is to create mounds of soil to plant into, or low raised beds, which keeps the base of the plants above the wet ground.
When planting a lavender hedge, it is best plant on a low ridge to improve air flow (in most gardens) and allow 3 plants per metre (one every 33cms). Pruning should be carried out every autumn, in order to keep plants looking bushy and healthy. It involves careful clipping of the foliage, back to around 2cm of new growth. Lavenders do not take kindly to hard pruning, so cutting back into old woody growth should be avoided. A bit of commitment to dead-heading your lavender regularly through the season will encourage plenty of repeat flowering. A great task to occupy the kids!
Read more about growing Lavender here.
Trimming Lavender in Late Summer / Early Autumn (Video)