Lavender herb plants
Lavender is one of the most well-loved Mediterranean herbs, prized for its distinctive flowers and deliciously rich perfume. Traditional lavender flowers are pale purple, held above the foliage on long stalks, but there are now a range of varieties with blooms in shades of purple, pink and white. They are produced from July to September above a compact mass of aromatic evergreen foliage. Flower stalks are well suited to being cut to hang in bunches on walls or doors in the home or combined with other naturally fragrant, dried plant material to make a pot pourri. Lavender plants prefer a sunny spot in a gritty, free-draining soil. They’re effective for edging paths and borders or as a low, informal hedge to delineate different parts of the garden. Lavender is also at home in containers on the patio or next to doors and entrances where their flowers and scent can be fully appreciated. The two most popular types of English lavender are Lavender Hidcote and Lavender Munstead, both hardy in all parts of the UK. Hidcote has a deeper violet-blue colour with more compact flower heads while Munstead has ‘looser’ blooms that are paler in colour. There are also tender varieties such as French lavender, which need protection from the frost over winter. Prune lavender plants annually to keep them compact. Do not feed – lavender prefer a soil low in nutrients.