The fantastic fragrance and the dark blue colour make it a No. 1 hit in the summer garden – and the bees love it too! When I walk through my garden I love to crush the Lavender heads through my fingers and smell the delicate fragrance. I think it has always been a favourite of mine from being young when I remember an elderly aunt would send for me on 2 occasions when she was going to harvest her lavender.
We would harvest in the morning when the plants were dry and just before the blooms opened which would always mean a ‘sleep over’ for me. Off we would go to snip the Lavender and she would say ‘snip the stems as ‘long’ as you can child’. We would then go in and sit with a glass of milk and a biscuit and put them into bundles – I was then dispatched with some of these bundles to deliver to the neighbours and would return with the odd few sweets in my pocket. I was always told to tell the neighbours ‘Aunty said don’t forget to ‘hang’ them to dry’.
The next time I visited would be after the Lavender had dried and we would strip the flower buds from the stalks and fill pieces of material made into small cushions and little bags with a drawstring. These days when I do this I buy some small bags to fill but if you have some pretty scraps of material you can make your own.
Lavender will grow in all conditions but it does tend to grow best in full sunshine in well-drained soil. Adding some sand to your soil is a benefit as it helps with the drainage. It’s quite a drought resistant plant but if you are growing young plants they need to be watered more often. Plant them at a reasonable distance from each other so that the air can circulate around them. Take great care when pruning if you cut into the old wood they will die. Each year prune back by approx. 1/3rd of the plant.
Lavender can be used for all manner of things – Lavender bags – oil – looks very decorative when dried – and it can even be used in making tea or for cooking. A favourite for me is to use it as pot pourri.
Such a lovely versatile plant. Don’t you just love it……..
Earlier this year Adrian and I grew some from seed so next year Adrian is hoping to compete with me as he always admires mine when he visits. You are doing well Adrian – yours is beginning to look pretty good! If you’ve never grown Lavender make it a ‘must have’ on your list and give it a try!