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Hidcote Blue Lavender Plants

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The details

Lavandula angustifolia

  • Most Popular English Lavender
  • Use: Low hedging / edging, basic topiary balls & shapes
  • Flowers: Spikes of rich purple-blue
  • Flowering: June/July to September
  • Scent: Strong, lavender
  • Leaves: Evergreen, aromatic. Silvery when mature
  • Height x Spread: 60cm x 60cm
  • Unappealing to deer, rodents
  • Drought tolerant when established
  • Culinary herb
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
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Description

Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote': Classic Purple English Lavender Plants

Hidcote is the most popular lavender among UK gardeners. Quintessentially British, it is ideal as a low hedging or edging plant for all flower borders and kitchen gardens. The flowers are imperial, deep purple with a good balance between the height of foliage and flower spikes.

It is wonderfully bushy, but ever so slightly shorter and slower growing compared to other English lavender varieties like the paler Munstead. There isn't much in it, but Hidcote suits tight spaces and containers a bit better than more vigorous cultivars.

It retains its scent wonderfully all summer and then in its dried flowers. 

Browse our varieties of lavender, other evergreen hedging, or all hedging plants.

Delivery season is weather dependent. There is no point planting lavender out before nighttime temperatures rise as the shock sets it back, so it establishes slower than lavender planted later when the soil is warm.

  • The smallest lavenders, in P9 pots, are never shipped before May. 
  • We aim to ship the larger pot sizes from the end of April, but cold weather can delay delivery into May. 

Choosing a size:

  • For window boxes and other containers, start with the smallest plants, which come in P9 pots and are a year old. If you plant them outside, do it from the end of May when the soil is nice and warm. They are the cheapest way to start a lavender hedge, but you will have to wait a year or two longer for them to knit together.
  • For borders, hedges and edges, two-year-old plants in 1 litre pots are ideal. You get more root and more flower in the first year, and they do not look lost planted at one plant every 13" (33cm). By the end of the first summer, they will have joined up.
  • For specimen shrubs that provide instant impact, buy larger plants in 3 litre pots or bigger.

All our lavender plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the soil (the pots aren't measured).

Features

  • Most Popular English Lavender
  • Use: Low hedging / edging, basic topiary balls & shapes
  • Flowers: Purple-blue spikes 
  • Flowering: June/July to September
  • Scent: Strong, lavender
  • Leaves: Evergreen, aromatic. Silvery when mature
  • Height x Spread: 60cm x 60cm
  • Unappealing to deer, rodents
  • Drought tolerant when established
  • Culinary herb
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Growing Hidcote Lavender

  • Aspect: Full sun, South facing 
  • Soil: Well drained is vital, poorly fertile is preferable
  • Soil pH: Above 6.5 is best. Likes chalk
  • Hardiness Rating: H5 (to -15C)
  • Suitable for the coast and windy locations
  • Ideal for container growing

Lavender must have good drainage and close to full sun. It prefers poor soil and thrives in exposed coastal sites.
When established, they are drought-tolerant, but in their first and second year you must water them well, as with any new shrub.

Don't plant lavender out too early in Spring: the cold soil will shock it and set it back. In most years, this means waiting until May.  

There are different approaches to pruning, which is necessary to keep your lavender dense and beautiful.
The essential thing is to cut all the new, green growth down to two or three buds typically in early September, around when the last flowers have faded.
A light trim in Spring is optional, but recommended.  

Spacing a Hidcote Lavender hedge: Like most formal hedging, plant at 3 per metre, 33cm apart in a single row.

Deer and rodents are not interested in lavender - they might nibble fresh green Spring growth to test it, but as the foliage matures they ignore it.

In Your Garden Design

The pale, silvery, evergreen foliage reflects the light joyously throughout the year; the flowers are really a bonus. Left to itself, it forms a rounded muffin-shaped bush that adds structure to the front of a herbaceous bed, softening the boundary with a lawn or path, and it can be clipped beautifully into simple geometric shapes.

Hidcote's violet goes well with pink roses like Nathalie Nypels, La Rose de Molinard or Souvenir de la Malmaison. In a potager, Hidcote makes a welcome change from Box (Buxus sempervirens) when used as elegant, dark flowered edging for a bed full of herbs, which often have purple flowers themselves.

Lavenders are irresistible to bees and butterflies, and L. angustifolia cultivars in particular are useful edible herbs, so they deserve a place among working fruit and veg plots.

Did You Know?

Major Lawrence Waterbury Johnston’s mother bought Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire in 1907; beginning in 1910, Lawrence (1871-1958) went on to create perhaps the most famous Arts and Crafts garden ever. Despite being known for Hidcote, his true passion was Serre de la Madone, his larger, relatively private garden in Menton, France, which was not continued after his death, contrary to his wishes. 
He bred and selected his own plants meticulously, also introducing a Penstemon 'Hidcote Pink' and a St John's Wort 'Hidcote Gold'. Hidcote lavender itself was almost certainly selected in France, but the record has been lost. 

Planting instructions

Read our full guide on how to grow lavender, with a quick pruning video.

  • Good drainage is most important: Lavender tolerates cold weather, but it hates "wet feet" in winter.
  • Heavy clay on a dry, sunny hill that sheds water should be fine, but light, dry, poorly fertile soils are ideal.
  • If your site is not well drained, lavender thrives in pots.
  • It needs plenty of sun to flower well.
  • It can grow near the sea, good for windy sites.
  • It's drought resistant after it has established deep roots, which takes a couple of years.

Prepare the Soil Before Planting

  • The key is to remove weeds and to break up soil compaction, so the new roots can spread out rapidly downwards and sideways.
  • Don't enrich the soil, only use Rootgrow mycorrhizae at planting time.  
  • To improve drainage, it helps to raise the soil level a little by forking in plenty of grit and sharp sand, however, this is not usually practical beyond a small ridge or mound: growing Lavender in a pot is much easier than raising the level of a whole bed! 

Care for Your New Lavender Hedge

  1. Most important: water thoroughly in dry weather for the first growing season. Soak the ground, and then let the soil almost dry out before watering again. 
  2. Second most important: weed around the plants.

After the first growing season, lavender in most gardens should never need watering again.
If your soil is very dry and sandy, then continue to water in dry weather at the start of their second growing season.

Even with the best care, all lavender hedging tends to go woody and floppy after 10-15 years, losing its full appeal. When you see this happening, take cuttings to replace the old hedge, or order new ones from us. 

Trimming Lavender Plants

A hard trim every year in late autumn ensures dense growth, more flowers, and extends Lavender's ornamental life span.
Cut back each stem to about two buds / 2cm of green growth. 

  • Avoid cutting into the older, woody part of the stems: if you prune yearly, you should never need to do this.

Deadhead flowers regularly to encourage more - it's up to you to decide whether to leave the last blooms on the plants overwinter.

Hygiene & Diseases

Lavender is very disease resistant, and diseases are typically indicators that the site is too damp and/or shady for Lavender to thrive.

  • Prune off Dead, Damaged or Diseased (DDD) wood as soon as it appears.
  • Disinfect your pruning tools between every cut if there are signs of disease.
  • Disposing of diseased material is safer than composting it.
  • Clean out Autumn leaves from underneath your plants, which can trap damp.