Tough but beautiful lavender
LAVENDER would be one plant nearly every gardener — novice or experienced — would recognise.
Lavenders have been cultivated for hundreds of years. Gardeners looking for a hardy waterwise plant with great fragrance should consider adding a few lavenders to their landscape.
This hardy group of plants can provide flowers in colours ranging from white, blues and pinks through to deep purple. The silvery tones of the foliage also look great all year round.
Lavender can be very easy to grow. It requires a sunny position and well-drained soil. If you have a heavy clay soil, it is important to add gypsum to the soil and plant into mounded beds.
While lavender will grow happily in poor, low-nutrient soils, flowering and general health will be greatly improved by regular applications of a seaweed-based liquid feed.
After the initial establishment period, lavender is usually very drought tolerant but additional water should be given during extended dry periods. Pests and diseases are usually few and far between when grown correctly.
Lavenders are very well suited to growing in pots, looking right at home in terracotta tubs in a courtyard or on a deck.
To prolong the life of the plant and to keep it looking attractive, it is important to prune. Lightly prune off old flower spikes after they are finished, but never cut into old wood.
Lavender is great for cutting and bringing flowers into the house, where they can be used dried for fragrance.
The many flowers produced by lavender make it an ideal plant to grow near the vegetable patch or near fruit trees. Bees cannot resist lavender and will help pollinate your veggie plants and fruit trees as they visit.