With the start of summer; I’ve been contemplating which plants I’m going to choose for my summer pots. I enjoy looking at attractive plants throughout the year in my small garden.
The natural environment of our garden plants changes dramatically. If you, like me watch the seasons go by; you will have observed these changes yourself.
Plants and flowers are struggling to survive due to climate change. The bee population is in decline and this will have a knock on effect for the plants we grow in the future.
By introducing flowering plants into our garden we can help bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
If I had to choose just one plant that fulfils these objectives it would be…
it’s an extremely versatile evergreen shrub with a great range of uses.
Lavender looks beautiful planted on mass and it has a soothing distinctive scent.
Its latin name Lavandula angustifolia meaning narrow leaved lavender; flowers in June and July. This variety grows to form a rounded, shaped grey, leaved bush with mauve flowers on spiked branches.
A wide range of cultivars exist from L. angustifolia including Hidcote, a slow growing variety, Folgate which is richly scented.
On Royal purple and Imperial gem the flowers and leaves can be dried and used for pot-pourri or made into dried lavender bags.
French lavender is a more ornate variety with feathery leaves on top of the flowers. With cultivars the flowering season can vary depending on plants.
Growing details for gardeners; Lavender requires a sunny site, with reasonable fertile, well-drained soil.
Plants should be cut back in mid-spring to the previous years growth by 5 cms (2 in). Avoid cutting the old wood.
Lavender can be grown with roses; another plant pollinators like.
Lavender flowers are blended to make lavender oil, which is renowned for its healing properties. Lavender has been grown commercially for it’s oil, for a few hundred years in Britain.
English lavender is popular because it’s oil is stronger than other varieties. Home, medicinal and beauty products are created from this to produce essential oil, massage oil, perfume, herbal tea and soaps.