Friday, June 11, 2010

lovely lavender!

I love, love, love lavender! There is something so 'French-ish', so stately, so classic about it. Lavender has an air all of its own and looks best by itself or as the centerpiece of a flower bed. It blooms for weeks and  after its first bloom is over, trim the flower stems off and it will do another light bloom.
Having lavender plants around a bird bath was a long-time dream of mine and it wasn't until we lived here that it came together...not the first summer, nor the second and not for lack of trying, either, but it never looked 'right.' On a hot August day of the third summer, I found the perfect spot! That part of the yard was the first to dry out and turn brown and it hit me, 'This is the perfect spot!'

But because it was a hot, dry August day, I tried to convince myself to put it off till spring but after all this time of wanting I gave in and did it the next day. I measured the circle, moved the huffinheavy birdbath over, dug huge holes and watered the empty holes. Then I dug the lavender out with a big clump of dirt, moved 'em over, watered them again and they never missed a beat! It's still one of my favorite beds.
Lavender does not like wet feet, loves the hot sun and must be trimmed way back in the spring or it gets too 'woody' and will not bloom well. Choose a spot that drains well and hold the fertilizer. It really is an easy care plant. Come late winter, I use a hedge trimmer to trim it and that's a lickety-split way to get it done. I planted some in a pot and to my amazement, it survived the winter - lotsa bang for the buck!

I let the plant alone until I trim it as it has a better survival rate with the extra protection and the silvery foliage looks wonderful throughout the winter months. It's a beautiful winter/Christmas decorative filler for window boxes and outdoor arrangements or inside the house and the scent still is strong. Altogether, this is a must-have, easy-care plant if your conditions are right. Love, love, love it!

This is the 'before-the-lavender' bed...
and how it looks now.

...happy gardening!


PS. don't forget to deadhead the iris and peonies!
The foliage of both can be used in flower arrangements.

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