I thought it might be nice to start up a(nother) little gardening series, taking a look at some of my favourite plants at the perfect time for planting them in the garden (or sowing seeds).
Too often, when I read about plants that I decide I simply must have in my little patch, it’s at a time when they’re in full bloom and by the time it’s the perfect occasion to plant or grow them, I’ve completely forgotten about all my wonderful plans…
First up then, a plant that I would argue is an absolute essential in any garden, the quintessential cottage garden stalwart: lavender.
I adore lavender. I love the look of the silvery foliage; I love it clipped into neat balls (so much more interesting than the ubiquitous box!), I love the fluffy purple and blue flowers and, of course, I love the gorgeous scent, redolent of lazy summer days spent lounging on picnic blankets and watching clouds drifting overhead in blue skies.
Possibly the only thing to love lavender more than I do is bees, and, hey, waddya know, I also love a wildlife garden too, so this is pretty perfect.
Every year, I also cut some stalks, to dry, use in craft projects, put in pots and just generally festoon wherever possible. Actually, now I think of it, I even used lavender in the buttonholes we made for our wedding party.
I’m working on putting more lavender plants into my own garden. At the moment, I’ve got a very old, leggy, woody shrub in the back garden that we inherited when we moved in (you can see it here from last summer) and which really needs replacing. And I’ve got about, hmmm, 25 small plug plants in the greenhouse that I grew from seed last year.
My plan is to replace the old shrub with a healthy new one and also to plant a row of lavender balls running down the pathway to the front door. (Incidentally, please don’t imagine I have a gigantic front path – it will take approximately five balls to fill that space adequately. The rest will have to find a home elsewhere.)
And now is the perfect time to plant lavender: get it in the right situation for the glorious blue haze of flowers in the summer. Incidentally, spring and autumn are generally the best times to plant any shrubs, so they can get their roots nice and settled into the ground at a time when they’re not also concentrating energy into making flowers.
If you’re tempted to plant some in your garden, after all this rhapsodising, do take a look at Ashridge Nurseries, a really excellent online seller of trees, shrubs and hedging. They’ve got my two favourite varieties of lavender for sale: Munstead and Hidcote. (Named after Gertrude Jekyll’s garden at Munstead and Hidcote Manor, respectively…)
Plugs start at £2.95 and you can also find loads more information about using lavender in the garden along with advice on planting and pruning. (Plus a little selection of lavender trivia; what’s not to love?!)
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post with, hey you guessed it, Ashridge Nurseries. Regular and wildly attentive readers might notice this is the first collaborative piece I’ve run on Wolves in London. Though I’m approached fairly frequently, I tend to know nothing about the companies or don’t think they’re a great fit for the blog. Ashridge, on the other hand, is a website I’ve been using myself for about eight years now whenever I want to buy any trees or shrubs. I’ve always found them to provide an absolutely excellent service, amazing value, brilliant trees, as well as a fantastically informative website. If you remember the rosa rugosa hedge I put in last year, that was bought from Ashridge. So, I’m happy to sing their praises to you all! (And, of course, I’m always happy to sing the praises of lovely old lavender…)
16 thoughts on “Plant it now: lavender”
Gorgeous lavender, one of my favourite things. I’ve used Ashridge before and found they were very good as well. I shall look forward to seeing your garden full of lavender and bees come the summer. CJ xx
Incredibly stupid question, but, how do you grow lavendar balls? Obviously, I am not a gardener.
Ha ha, not stupid at all! You basically just have to keep clipping them into shape, right from the very beginning, and keep pruning out any unruly stems!
Ah, so it is a form of topiary, right?
Yes exactly. Of course, they’re not so neat when the flowers are out, but they look very smart in the winter…
Beautiful photos, we’ve added lavender to our garden this year but it won’t look as stunning as it does along that path.
i love the way lavender smells. wish i could grow it here in miami but it is way too hot
Lovely lavender – I’m a huge fan of it too, and my husband loathes the smell (odd really as he usually has such great taste) so that kind of provokes me into planting it all the more!
Last Autumn I bought some end of the season 3 for £5 bargains from Waitrose and planted them in a row beneath our lounge window. That’s all I planted in that border, the hope beig that it’ll be a small wall of lavender in a year or two and waft us through the window.
We dug up the big lavender behind our back door when we were doing our extension and I felt so sad about it as it was always full of very friendly bees so I felt obliged to plant more than I dug up!
Thanks for sharing lovely x
I love lavender, who doesn’t! I have a lot of bushes in my garden front and back, some are a bit unruly and probably need replanting but the amount of Lavender I get each year is amazing plus my neighbour grows loads too and gives me her excess, love it. We also love the bees and always wonder who is eating my Lavender honey! 🙂 #hdygg
I did have a lavender plant in my garden but being the lazy oaf that I am I didn’t prune it and it went all woody. My friend has a beautiful selection in her garden plus all the bees you could hope for!
Reminds me of a former house of ours in London – I only planted lavender in the front beds. It was wonderful.
We bought a pot of Lavender and everytime I would hang my clothes in my terrace I can whip a smell of them! #hdygg
Your destiny lies in gardening. I love your gardening posts. I am trying to channel a little of you into my garden. -Annie
Yes, every garden needs some lavender – I took some cuttings last year and they’ve survived the winter, now I just want them to grow large and quickly! #hdygg
Oh how fabulous – lavender always looks beautiful, what a great idea with your path. I remember seeing the lavender fields in full bloom near us last year and it was incredible. There’s something lovely about a carpet of purple whatever size it is! Good luck, look forward to hearing how it all progresses!
Thank you for your lovely comment on my Wisley post. The alpine houses there are awesome, it’s usually much quieter in that bit too. Definitely worth a nose next time your there 🙂
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