Botanical name: Lavandula
Flowering time: Summer
Height & spread: 30cm-1m height, 30cm-1.5m spread
Lavender is probably my favourite plant in my garden. It’s beautiful, easy to grow and smells amazing.
Lavender is best when planted late spring/early summer, ideally in May. Like many other herbs, it does well in most soils once it gets full sun and moderately good drainage. If you have heavier clay soil, lavender can become woody and the plant may not live as long. Now, I have very heavy clay soil so I often add gravel to the base of my plant for drainage. Lavender grows well in pots also and makes a lovely addition to a balcony or driveway if you are growing in an urban environment. Just ensure you add some gravel to the end of your pot for drainage.
Lavender does not need to be watered too often, and in fact over watering lavender is more likely to kill it than anything else.
Lavender should be pruned every year to keep the plant compact. Some people prune after it flowers in late summer and others in early spring. I pruned mine in early spring this year. Use a secateurs to remove the flower stalks and and inch of the years growth.
To propogate lavender you can take semi ripe cuttings from young plants in early summer. You can also collect seed from dried flower heads and plant the following year.
Lavender is an aromatic herb, famed for its calming qualities. It is often used to treat insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. it can also be used as an analgesic and an antiseptic. It is also beneficial to the respiratory system, in particular in the treatment of colds and flu. Lavender is one of the most popular ingredients in aromatherapy used to treat insomnia and headaches.
Lavender is also widely used in the culinary world, often used in condiments and dressings. Its flowers yield a lot of nectar and as so is popular with bees make high quality honey from the lavender nectar.