There are few finer things in life than coming home after a long day at work to be swept along your driveway by arms of deliciously scented lavender. As well as it’s distinctive scent, lavender is also well-known for its healing and sleep-fixing properties so growing a magnificent lavender border not only smells good, but can really work to improve your sleep too.

 

 

 

The Benefits

Lavender is very easy to grow and requires very little looking after once it is established. It is evergreen so adds interest after its flowers fade in the autumn. You can also harvest the flowers and use them for cooking or dot bowels around your home for the ultimate home-made potpourri. Lavender also happens to be one of the best plants out there to attract bees to your garden so planting a border filled with them means you’re also doing your bit for bee conservation too.

 

Planting

Depending on which variety you opt for, generally speaking, lavender needs about 30cm between plants.  You can opt for dwarf varieties and you can keep them well-trimmed or let them flop over depending on the look you’re after. There are so many beautiful varieties out there to choose from, you can even opt for varieties with white or pink flowers. Hidcote is good dwarf variety  for edging, Blue Cushion is great in a container, the most common and familiar are Angustifolia (English Lavender), or Intermedia (Cottage Garden Lavender).

 

Position

Though virtually fool-proof, you should remember that lavender is traditionally a Mediterranean plant so they do like well-drained soil and a warm, sheltered position. More delicate varieties will probably do better in a container but be careful not to over-water.

 

Pruning

Unless you like the woody straggly look, lavender needs a good prune once its flowers have faded. English lavender varieties need to be clipped back but not into the wood once flowering finishes whereas others have different requirements so make sure to always read the advice label on your chosen plant.

 

Healing

Lavender oil and dried lavender flowers can also be used in the bath, as a room spray, and will even help protect your winter woollies from moths. Shop-bought lavender sachets can be expensive so growing your own has to be a top money saving tip too. Lavender has got so many amazing properties, it’s a topic we’ll come back to later in the year.

 

Eating

Lavender works really well sprinkled into cookie dough, but you can also make lavender lemonade, delicious lavender honey, and for the ultimate roast sprinkle some dried leaves on your potatoes as they roast, and add sprigs to a leg of lamb along with lavender’s good friend rosemary, and your Sunday will be one to remember. 

 

There are so many benefits to growing a serious stock of lavender, as well as its gorgeous scent and beautiful flowers, lavender can seriously improve your life. So whatever the variety you opt for, rest assured that lavender is an easy option that gives a lot of impact for very little input.