Lavender is great for bringing bees into gardens and its aromatic blue flowers release soothing wafts of fragrance on warm summer days. The flowers are edible and can be used in biscuits and pancakes, salads and dressings as well as a flavouring for sugar - they can also be used to make a soothing herb tea when two or three flower heads are added to a cup of boiling water. Traditionally lavender flowers are dried and sewn into small bags that can then be used between piles of stored bed linen to keep it fresh and fragrant. I like to grab a flower and rub it in my hands then inhale the rich heady aroma whilst out tending to plants.
Companions Great for attracting pollinating bees into the garden, plant with cabbage and cauliflower.
Lavender is suprisingly tasty in this teacake, which uses almond flour. A delicious and pleasing texture.
Lavandula angustifolia - English Lavedner It's fragrance has the least camphor of all varieties. Grows to knee high bushes.
French Lavender Has overtones of camphor. Grows to knee high bushes.
Munstead - Dwarf Variety Great for edging veg beds ad ornamental potagers. The low growing plants can be clipped, after flowering, into small hedges and rounded balls to add structure.
Plant in early spring and summer countrywide when all risk of frosts has passed
Lavender grows best in full sun. Smaller growing varieties can be planted in pots and larger varieties look good in half barrels.
The poorer the soil the stronger the fragrance you’ll get from your plants. Lavender needs a fine, sandy free draining soil to grow well. Moisture should pass through your growing medium reasonably fast so that roots do not get water-logged. If your soil is sticky then dig in lots of coarse sand or fine pumice to help improve drainage and soil structure.
When the weather has settled and is reliably warm and sunny, plant lavender at an average spacing of an arm’s length between plants – this will vary from variety to variety so check growing dimensions for the varieties you choose. It also depends on the effect you are after. If you are planting a hedge with Lavender ‘Munstead’ then you might put them a bit closer together – say a full hand’s length apart.
Water once or twice per week during dry periods.
Flowers can be cut for use indoors. Use secateurs or a sharp knife to cut them off at the base of the long stems that support them.
Lavender is a perennial plant and will flower regularly for several years. It is frost hardy in most places and perhaps suffers more from sitting in wet soil during winter than anything else. To keep plants in good shape trim flower stems off with a pair of garden shears after they have flowered.