Lavender makes a wonderfully scented flowering hedge. In summer, the flowers are alive with bees and other pollinators. In winter the evergreen structure makes a neat low edging to a border, or a dividing line between areas of the garden. Planting in autumn gives the roots a chance to establish in the warm soil before winter.
Choose a site where the soil is well drained and there's plenty of light. There are many choices of cultivar. Compact forms such as traditional blue ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are the easiest to keep neat. Lavender flower colours range from purple, blue and pinks to pure-white forms. Once established, lavender is fairly drought tolerant and will do well in coastal plots or gravel gardens.
Prepare the soil before planting. If you're lucky and have a thick layer of dark, fertile garden soil with good drainage, you'll need to do very little except add some slow-release fertiliser and mulch with organic matter regularly – both heavy and light soils improve with plenty of organic matter. Mix in grit to heavy soils to help improve drainage. You can dig it all in, but adding compost to planting holes, followed up with regular annual surface mulching, is fine.
You Will Need
- Garden spade
- Slow-release granular fertiliser
- Horticultural grit
- Bark chippings (optional)
Monty Don shows how to make a lavender hedge, on heavy clay soil, in this short video guide.
Soak plants before removing them from their pots. Loosen the roots at the base and trim away the softest growth from the top of the shoots, so that the new growth thickens in the spring. Space plants along the hedge line. Leave 40cm between plants if they are to make a neat line, but space them further apart for a softer, undulating effect.
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Plant into soil that has had grit added to improve drainage, and use a slow-release fertiliser to encourage root development. Water well, then mulch with grit or bark.