If you’ve ever been to Provence in the summer, you can’t really miss those huge purple fields full of lavender. To be more precise, these plants should be called lavandin. A hybrid strain that is planted there to make lavender oil that is mainly used in aromatherapy. True lavender usually only grows on mountain slopes and was already used by the Romans to make the bath water smell nice.
Lavender in the garden
Lavender is one of the most beloved garden plants, they are decorative all year round and have beautiful, strongly fragrant flowers in summer. In our country, it is mainly the cultivars such as the white and soft pink lavender that do well in the garden. Lavender is planted in a sunny spot, preferably with well-drained, calcareous soil. It makes a nice combination with evergreen shrubs, such as Ilex.
Lavender should be pruned every two years, preferably in April. Over time, the shrub develops a loose, open growth habit, with thick woody twigs remaining in the heart. This creates a messy image. Prune to about 1/3 of the shoots. After flowering, you can prune the shrub back slightly. If the pruning is successful, the lavender will remain compact and bloom profusely. But especially old shrubs often do not tolerate pruning well.