This month’s Flowers In Pots post features that ever popular plant, lavender.
It’s ideal in pots lining a path, so that every time you brush past them you smell the beautiful fragrance of the flowers and grey-green foliage.
The most common lavender is Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender or common lavender). Several cultivars are available including ‘Hidcote’ (deep purple), ‘Alba’ (white) and ‘Rosea’ (pink).
There’s also French lavender (Lavandula dentata), whose flowers are adorned with petal-like mauve tufts, and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas). These varieties look gorgeous, but are prone to frost damage in the winter so you may need to protect them when the temperature drops.
The plant is native to the Mediterranean and likes well-drained soil so when you pot them up it’s a good idea to mix some horticultural grit in with the compost as this will aid drainage. Lavender also loves to be baked in the sun so they make great plants for a sunny courtyard or terrace.
It’s really important to trim lavender every year after it’s finished flowering to stop it becoming straggly. The easiest way to do this is with hand shears. Cut off the spent flowers and lightly trim back the new foliage, taking care not to cut back too hard.
Did you know that the name, lavender, comes from the Latin word lavare (to wash)? Lavender was used in ancient times to make perfumes and to scent soaps. And now of course, it’s very popular as an essential oil in aromatherapy…plus popular for cutting and drying.
It’s equally at home in an old-fashioned or modern garden…so if you’d like to bring some fragrance and colour to your outdoor space, be it a balcony or a garden, why not buy some lavender?
P.S. Lavender plants in pots are also becoming popular as low-cost table arrangements at ‘country garden’ style weddings!