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CRYSTAL GARDENS

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HOW TO GROW LAVENDER IN YOUR GARDEN 

 

Among the most useful plants in gardening is the lavender. Besides being a much cherished herb with a culinary reputation, lavender is applicable in a variety of uses within the garden.

However to efficiently apply lavender in your garden it is important to know which variety is suitable for whatever design function you wish to achieve. This beloved shrub has over 25 species and many more cultivars.

 

 Choosing Lavender

If your desire is have lavender  for clipping into low neat hedges in small gardens, go for small varieties  like the Spanish  lavender or French lavender (L. dentatta)

Spanish lavender (L.stoechas)

It is a compact bushy shrub,  with linear-grey-green leaves ,long fragrant dark purple flowers. The spikes are dense, ovoid, oblong spikes.

French lavender (L.dentatta)

Spreading bushy shrub  with linear oblong, scalloped dark green leaves. It has long unbranched stalks that produce dense spikes.

For bigger, robust borders, pyramid or ball- use strong growing tall varieties like English lavender (L. angustifolia) and Dutch lavender. Of course neat compact hedges with flat tops and straight lines sustained trimming is needed. Naturally   with such trimming you will not het flowers. In a natural free flowing garden your lavender may be more relaxed and probably even overflow into the path.

L. angustifolia

Compact bush shrub with linear grey -green leaves. Its long branched stalks produce fragrant, pale to deep purple flowers in dense spikes.

One key advantage is their hardiness. Originally from the dry, sunny and rocky regions of N. Africa, Asia, India and Canary Island lavenders are drought tolerant and therefore useful for water wise garden.

How to Grow your lavender Hedge

Lavender is an easy plant to propagate. Rather than purchase tens of lavenders plants for a hedge at a princely sum, you can propagate your plants in a quick and easy manner from one bush or cutting from a friend.

Here is how to do it

  1. Choose a healthy bush or shrub that has non flowering spikes. Cut off the 5-10 cm pieces of spikes. 
  2. Remove all leaves that are at the lower side that would be underneath the soil.
  3. Make a potting mix from free draining  top soil mixed with sand and place in a container
  4. Insert the pieces of sticks into the soil and firm them up.
  5. Water lightly. Keep moist in a warm sunny place.
  6. As soon as slips have rooted move them to individual container full of rich soil mix.
  7. Transplant as soon as roots start showing through holes

 

Pruning

How often should lavender hedge be pruned? Regular pruning or clipping is desirable, as if left untamed, lavender will become woody and bare of foliage at the base. Once a lavender becomes leggy, new flower buds rarely emerge from the old wood.

Lavender is best pruned after flowering. Cut it back by 1/3 and see it flower in the next 4-5 weeks.

 

Soil mix

Grow lavender in moderately fertile well drained soil in full sun. Lavenders are ideal for wildlife gardening. The flagrant tubular flowers have a very high nectar content which attracts bees.

 

Pests and diseases

Lavenders are susceptible to   honey fungus, Froghoppers, and grey mold (Botrytis).

 

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