Planting with Lavender

There are daffodils waving their wonderful yellow trumpets, the first lambs appearing in the fields and the other day I even saw people out without their coats on! It must be Spring! And along with Spring comes warmer soils, meaning that it’s time to start planting this year’s new lavender plants. Early April through to May are the best time of year for planting Lavender, so have a look at our simple lavender growers guide below.

Where to Plant Your Lavender?

Lavender has its origins in the warm, dry climates of the Mediterranean (maybe that’s why it likes Jersey so much) so choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. For a plant that produces such a delicate a fragrance, lavender is also surprisingly tough and is perfectly happy in any poor or moderately fertile, free-draining soils and is ideal for chalky or alkaline soils. However, if you have heavier soils, such as clay or clay loam, lavender can be a little short-lived and rapidly become woody at the base. To counteract the effect of heavy soils on lavender, we recommend adding organic matter and gravel to improve the drainage and plant on a mound.

Companion Planting with Lavender

Not only does Lavender make a fantastic addition to your garden due to its striking architectural foliage, beautiful flowers and gorgeous scent, but it can also be beneficial to those plants around it. Companion planting is nothing new, having been used for centuries before the invention of artificial pesticides, to keep plants healthy and strong. But with the continuing shift towards more organic gardening, companion planting is becoming more and more popular, and it is here that lavender exhibits some additional garden benefits.

Try Planting Lavender in Your Vegetable Patch

Lavender’s distinctive scent can work wonders for deterring aphids, so planting lavender around carrots and leeks can confuse the nasty little blighters and send them off towards someone else’s prize veggies!

Lavender can also handle some bigger garden pests and has been noted to be useful in repelling both mice and rabbits. As such, try edging your brassica bed with lavender. Not only does this look fantastic and make a remarkable contrast to the pale new heads of cabbage, but it will also help to protect them and your cauliflowers from the destructive little nibblers.

Include Lavender in Your Rose Garden

Lavender can look remarkable when planted in and around roses. Consider planting lavender around the base of older rose bushes that may be getting a little bare around the bottom to fill in the gaps.

Lavender bushes can also act as breathtaking living mulches, suppressing weeds and lightly shading the soil, keeping the rose bush roots cool and moist. Also, Lavender’s pest control benefits will also apply to roses just as much as to other plants, helping to ensure that your blooms are even more perfect than usual!

Plant Lavender Around Fruit Trees

Lavender can be especially useful when planted around fruit trees. Firstly its scent is said to deter the codling moth, which can cause havoc to your crop and lavender can also work wonders with deterring whitefly away from your fruit bushes. Secondly and conversely, the scent of lavender and its gorgeous blooms attract a number of excellent pollinating insects, bees and butterflies, so can aid in ensuring that you have a great crop, to begin with.

Lavender and Anything that Needs Pollinating!

Lavender is a wonderful addition to any garden that has a crop that needs insects such as bees and butterflies (all ace pollinators) are attracted by its wonderful scent and gorgeous foliage. Once in your garden, they will then happily flit about pollinating all of your other plants too.

Plant Lavender and Help to Save the Bees!

There is often nothing so lovely as sitting in your garden on a hazy summer’s afternoon and listening to the soft buzzing of bees as they flit from flower to flower – and the knowledge of a lovely pot of honey at the end of it doesn’t hurt either! However, bees are under threat like never before; studies have shown that bees losses in commercial hives are typically as high as 40% or 50%, with similar losses being observed in the wild bee population.

Not only are bees the providers of delicious honey, but they are also vital pollinators. One report states that one of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. So what can we do to try to help to save our declining bee population?

Where to Buy Your Lavender Plants?

Now obviously we would say this, but buying your new lavender plants from an established lavender specialist is a great idea. We have teamed up with a wonderful local nursery that specialises in sending plants by post to offer some of our expertly grown lavender plants for you to buy for your own garden. We have two types of lavender available for you to buy directly from us:

— English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), is one of the hardiest varieties of lavender and very well suited to the British climate, this variety typically grows to about 60 cm high and has short flower stalks with vibrant purple flower heads. It is from this variety that we extract our wonderfully velvety lavender essential oil.

— Decorative French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), slightly less hardy than the English Lavender and without as much oil-producing capacity, this variety of lavender is a fantastic addition to any garden due to its long flowering season and decorative large petals (that look a little like ears!) that adorn the flower spikes.

So when you are next heading to the Garden Centre, think about all the benefits of Lavender, and why not pop a plant in your basket?


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