There are a myriad of reasons to include a gorgeous lavender plant in your garden. Not only do they have beautiful evergreen foliage coupled with fantastic blooms, but they also release the most wonderful fragrance and they are delightfully hardy! Even the least green fingered of us can usually make a success of lavender if you follow a few super simple rules.
Firstly remember where lavender originates (if you don’t know think about the gorgeous lavender fields of Provence and you won’t be far wrong!). Lavender likes a Mediterranean climate so find it a nice sunny spot in well drained soil. A shady damp corner is the place for ferns (also spectacularly easy to grow) – not lavender. So, not too hard so far.
Next plant your little lavender bush. Dig a hole, remove plant from pot, put plant in hole, fill hole with soil. Then give it a little water to make it feel at home. Note that unless you are in periods of extreme drought this may be the last time that you ever need to water your lavender plant, as they are well adept at coping in the dry. Hooray, one less thing to worry about!
Now all you have to do is prune it. Annoying there are lots of different pieces of advice out there about pruning lavender, but we’ve found that again it’s really quite simple. Every year after the plant has finished flowering simply use secateurs (or hedge trimmers if you have a particularly large bush or a lavender hedge) to remove the flower stalks and then cut back about a third of that year’s growth. There is only really one important rule, and that is to make sure that you always leave some new growth remaining and never cut back into old wood. Lavender can do many things, but it generally does not rejuvenate itself from the older woodier parts of the plant.
Finally if you have let your lavender bush get a bit out of control and it’s become woody and straggly at the base, then it is really time to pop down to the garden centre and get a new plant. Or simply propagate a cutting from your old one for replanting next year.
We think that there is no better inclusion to a garden, patio or even window box than a wonderful lavender plant; the combination of beautiful foliage, wonderful flowers, the most gorgeous scent and the minimum of work makes it hard to beat.