Lavender Loveliness - Common Uses & How to Grow.
Lavender is one of my favourite plants to have in the garden - It smells wonderful, has a host of uses and bees love it. What more could you ask?
Mine is grown from a medium-sized pot plant picked up from the garden centre for less than the price of a cup of coffee. It's now a dome of about three feet across.
My main reason for growing it is that pollinators love it, especially bees. But having accepted it into my garden, I discovered how versatile and enchanting it can be.
There are several types of lavender available - I chose the one pictured because this is the flower style I liked, and the scent was amazing. They are all easy to grow as long as the soil isn't waterlogged and it's not a cold spot. Mine is planted at the corner of a lawn and arches over a path. This means I brush past each time I go into my garden, which releases the scent. Gentle breezes set the long stems in mesmerising motion, again releasing the scent
The sandy soil is quite dry, but these plants will tolerate drought conditions. The long, thin, silvery leaves help retain water by slowing evaporation. Once established, these plants are easy to care for, only needing a quick trim at the end of the year and some added compost over the roots to feed and retain moisture. You can propagate lavender easily from cuttings and therefore get more plants for free. If you don't have much room, lavender is quite happy in a pot on a sunny balcony.
As if being lovely to look at and great for bees wasn't enough, lavender also has a multitude of uses
It's edible and can be used as a flavouring or decoration. Take care, though - too much, and your food will taste soapy.
Talking of soapy, lavender oil has long been used in soaps, creams and oils for its scent.
It's used in aromatherapy as an essential oil for massage.
Lavender pillows are used to promote a good night's sleep.
Lavender is also attributed with helping ease certain ailments, although the true benefits are uncertain.
I wouldn't be without lavender in my garden now and would encourage anyone to grow some, especially to support pollinators.