It’s hard to imagine a plant which is more evocative of Summer than Lavender, especially with its intense colour and incredible scent. Lavender is a quintessentially English plant, that despite being traditional will sit well in both a contemporary and cottage garden.
Lavender has been available to the British since the 13th century, and it is thought to be one of the most commonly grown plants. Lavender has a lot to offer, it’s fashionable, scented and excellent for attracting wildlife. There is no denying its versatility will attract both amateur and novice gardeners - they can be grown as neat edging along a path or flower bed, or added to a border.
English Lavender, such as, Lavandula Angustifolia ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ are a firm favourite as they are low maintenance, but long-lasting options for planting schemes due to their hardiness. Although it is more hardy than the French variety, they require well-drained soil that is not too rich, and a warm, sheltered, sunny spot which isn’t too draughty.
Lavender looks good all year round, it forms a neat mound of narrow grey leaves, and wonderful spikes of purple flowers which open in Summer. Unsurprisingly, purple dominates the colour options available amongst the genus however the different variations of purple mix and match well.
Undoubtedly, fragrance is a large part of the Lavender’s appeal, however it needn’t remain just in the garden. The unusual spires of purple flowers can be cut to make scented sachets, potpourri and a display for a vase. The Lavender scent is used to deter pests from other host plants, making it an excellent choice for underplanting beneath plants susceptible to diseases.
It’s an easy to grow plant, however it must be pruned. English Lavender has long spikes of flowers in June and July, therefore they will require a light, all-over clipping as soon as the flowers are finished. It’s likely these will last for around three or four years, but they can be replaced cheaply or, even propagated.
English Lavender will guarantee you with years of enjoyment, just as it will for bees and butterflies too as the flowers are rich in nectar.