Lavender is wonderful at every point of the year, from giving comfort as an essential oil in the winter to ensuring a great night’s sleep in the autumn to keeping away pesky insects in the spring. However, in summer those of us who adore growing Lavender know that’s this is when it truly comes into its own.
There’s no better feeling than sitting out in your own garden on a humid evening with the scents of fresh lavender floating on the breeze. The striking colours and fragrance add intrigue to any space, along with attracting the butterflies and the bees.
The Warmest Welcome
Lavender Hidcote is popular with those who like to create a warm welcome for visitors as like every variety it releases a fragrant aroma when brushed against. The natural properties allow guests to appreciate the aromatherapy that calms, nurtures and relaxes before they’ve even knocked on your door!
Hidcote lavender is preferred as it grows tall and if pruned correctly in the autumn it can last for years and years, it can even form a complete hedge although patience is key.
Although frost resistant, French lavender is best in pots so you can bring it inside in the winter, this ensures it doesn’t get water logged or succumb to sub-zero temperatures. French lavender is ideal for adding big bold splashes of colour as you can buy it in colours of red, blue, pink and purple which make it ideal to use as an alternative bedding plant.
The dried seed heads are also ideal for adding fragrance to potpourri while the long needle like leaves can add a fragrant spice to roasted meat.
For Added Flavour
The Intermedia Grosso is ideal for drying and so makes a delicious dried herb for adding flavour to cookies, stews, soups and desserts. Lavender pairs perfectly with chocolate whether it’s white, dark or milk and if dried carefully it retains all of the properties you’d expect.
This plant with its long green stems is very simple to dry at home, simply prune and hang upside down in a room with little humidity. Once you have the dried seed heads you can then make lavender tea which relaxes and calms in the same way its cousin Chamomile does.
You can also use dried lavender for a multitude of crafts; add it to drawers to freshen clothes or even as confetti for a wedding. It truly is a plant every garden should have especially if you like to embrace the naturally beautiful benefits of lavender all year long.
As it grows large and high make sure you trim it well in late summer, down to 8 centimetres at the end of August. This will ensure you benefit from the long green stems the following years rather than woody straggly stalks.
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