If you have ever been to Provence in the summer, you cannot have missed the huge purple fields of lavender. To be completely precise, these plants should be called lavandin. A hybrid species that is planted there to make lavender oil, which is mainly used in aromatherapy. True lavender usually only grows on mountain slopes and was already used by the Romans to make bathwater smell good.

Lavender in the garden
Lavender is one of the most popular garden plants, they are decorative throughout the year and have beautiful, strongly scented flowers in summer. In our country it is mainly the cultivars such as white and soft pink lavender which can do well in the garden. Lavender should be planted in a sunny spot, preferably in well drained and calcareous soil. It combines well with evergreen shrubs such as Ilex.

Lavender should be pruned every two years, preferably in April. In time the shrub will develop a loose, open habit, leaving thick woody branches in the centre. This creates a sloppy appearance. Pruning should be done to about 1/3 of the shoots. After flowering, you can prune the bush back slightly. If pruned successfully, lavenders will remain compact and flower profusely. However, old shrubs in particular are poorly tolerated.

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