"Lavender's blue (dilly dilly), lavender's green", so goes the popular 17th-century rhyme, and I can think of few other plants so recognisable and celebrated.
A member of the mint family, this plant has its roots firmly embedded in the Latin tongue, believed to have derived its name from the word lavare - to wash. Today we spend millions on lavender creams and potions following in the footsteps of the Romans who added the plant to their bathwater. However, it is in our gardens where lavender is most appreciated.
Lavendula Angustifolia 'Hidcote' is at the top of the list, being the perfect compact English lavender.Deep purple flowers on aromatic spires, perfect for creating a low hedge alongside a path.
'Provence Blue' is another winner, making reference to this plant's homeland of the Mediterranean region. It is no surprise, given its roots, that these plants adore a sunny, well-drained site and are also drought tolerant.
If you don't happen to possess such conditions, fear not, there is one special lavender recently introduced by Suttons, which is happy to grow anywhere. 'Phenomenal' really lives up to its name - it will grow in shade or wet conditions, but still equally happy in sun and dry soil. It is tough and reliable with the most glorious flowers and fragrance.
For something different, try Lavendula multifida 'Blue Wonder' - known as the fernleaf lavender on account of its fine lacy like foliage. With electric violet flowers, this is a showstopper - best kept in a pot and moved to a frost free place over winter as this one is tender.
When does Lavender flower?
Lavender is a vital part of any cottage garden scheme, mixing perfectly with peonies and roses and flowering from June until September. Alternatively plant as part of a herb garden with Rosemary and Sage. It is also an excellent plant for pollinators.
Equally at home as part of formal garden design: structural, well-shaped mounds in rows or large specimens in pots will really impress.
Every garden should feature this fragrant favourite.
When To Plant Lavender?
It’s best to plant lavender in April or May when the soil starts to warm up
Lavender plants are available in 9cm pots and lavender plug plants.
Buy Lavender plants UK from Suttons