Grown by gardeners around the world for fragrance and colour Lavender is one of the easiest perennials to grow. Lavender has a place in any garden especially as they are water wise and have a long flowering period. In the meanings of flowers lavender is for those you wish to bless with Love, Protection, Happiness, Peace and Longevity. What’s not to love about a plant that has such special qualities?
Lavender fragrance finds its way into the home in all sorts of things from fragrances to home spa treats. Lavender is incredibly easy to grow and will last about two to three years in the garden if planted in sunny areas where they don’t get too much water.
Did you know most of the fragrance in lavender is found in the flowers? Cut some stems and place them in a canister with sugar to add a new dimension to baking or add flowers to your bath oil bottle to infuse the oil with a subtle lavender fragrance.
Lavender is well suited to containers with many dwarf varieties available. If planting a hedge then flowering is less important and a strong grower is recommended. Lavender that has a greener leaf will handle a bit more shade and the flowers of Lavandula Margaret Roberts are the most fragrant for the vase or infusing sugar or oils.
As water wise plants they are well suited to full sun borders and in containers around the pool. Lavender should be cut back twice a year, early spring and midsummer, to keep it compact and to extend its longevity.
Lavender likes to stay dry with very little fertiliser and would prefer a full sun spot. Lavender lasts for about two to three years depending on how you look after it after which the flowering becomes less as the plants become woody.
The traditional or classic lavenders are often identified by their feathery leaf whether it’s green or grey. The green leafed varieties handle a little more shade than the rest and will also not mind if they get more water. Growing quite fast they are the ideal choice if you want to plant a border or to clip into topiary ball shapes. Their flowers are typically lilac, mauve or as one expects in lavender.
English Lavender is traditionally silver grey and of the hardiest of all lavenders. They grow the largest and their flowers which are mostly blue-mauve are the most fragrant. Because of the silver foliage they must have full sun and preferably kept as dry as possible.
English lavender will generally grow over a meter in diameter and flowers on longer stems. The longer stems and more fragrance make English lavender ideal for picking for the vase and using for potpourris. Lavender Margaret Roberts is a hybrid English lavender and one of the most popular.
Identified by the interesting flowers that have little wing like tips. Generally they are compact varieties that flower on short stems and provide a striking display of purple to pink toned flowers. As compact growers they clump close to the ground and can easily rot if overwatered. Make sure they are planted in well drained soil. They make exceptionally good container specimens, plant them directly in potting soil with a good drainage layer of river sand and feed them with Multifeed Classic once a month for the best results.